Most of Dream Theater's landmark second album Images and Words, their first with lead singer James Labrie, is performed here, but unfortunately they left out a couple of the album's best songs, "Metropolis Pt. 1," and "Learning To Live," which they played on the tour. Then again, these are the two longest songs on the album so they were probably sacrificed due to the time constraints of the original VHS release. Too bad they couldn't have included their entire 16-song set on this DVD edition.
What you do get from that album is the killer opening performance of "Under a Glass Moon," which is followed by Kevin Moore's beautiful piano ballad "Wait For Sleep" - damn I miss Kevin Moore! Instead of flowing directly into "Learning To Live," as on the album, "Sleep" precedes what is perhaps one of John Petrucci's finest moments laid down to vinyl, err digital, and that is "Surrounded." His guitar tone on that song can still give me chills. Maybe it was the Ibanez's he used back then.
The middle of the DVD is dominated by the three previously mentioned videos, a couple of songs from Dream Theater's debut album, When Dream and Day Unite, and the previously unreleased epic "To Live Forever," which featured a mesmerizing Petrucci guitar solo. When I saw Petrucci play live this first time, I simply could not believe my ears. I kept asking myself, where in the hell have they been hiding this guy? Berklee College of Music it turns out. I was also kind of amazed at how impressive Dream Theater's light show was already, considering that they couldn't have had that big of a budget at this point. Maybe they pay well in Japan. The light show during "To Live Forever" was particularly hypnotic.
"Ytse Jam" is a ferocious instrumental that showcases an incredible Mike Portnoy drum solo. A very slim and baby faced Portnoy was already in a class of his own at this point. His solo kicked off with boxing announcer Michael Buffer's now legendary "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLE." And rumble it did.
"Puppies on Acid," which eventually became "The Mirror" on the Awake album, segued into the band's virtuoso showcase "Take The Time." At the show I attended, members of the opening band, The Galactic Cowboys, all came out on stage to sing the "Take The Time" chorus section, which was pretty wild. They show them rehearsing their part during some of the behind-the-scenes stuff.