Live: Dream Theater: The Astonishing Live in Louisville

With a career spanning almost 30 years and 13 albums, it can be hard for a band to keep the momentum going, keep fans interested and continually put out music that is on par or better than what released before. Dream Theater is one band who can do just that and their latest record- a two-disc concept album titled The Astonishing released earlier this year. In support of the album, the band hit the road to bring The Astonishing to life, hitting almost every major U.S. market and playing the record in its entirety at every show and the tour recently hit Louisville\’s beautiful Palace Theater. With a following as dedicated as Dream Theater has, you knew going into the show that it was going to be packed, loud and one hell of an experience and that\’s exactly what it was. As soon as the lights went down and the band members slowly took the stage, the crowd became more and more deafening. The Astonishing garnered some serious acclaim from fans and critics but you don\’t truly appreciate or understand the record until you see it live. Dream Theater doesn\’t just play the album in its entirety, they show you the album in its entirety as well. What does that mean? Behind the band is a giant screen which shows a full-length video depicting and encapsulating what each song is actually about. Not only do you hear the album but you get to actually watch the album unfold before your eyes. If you\’d never been to a Dream Theater show, this is the tour to start on. They may not play the fan favorites on this trek but they show exactly how good of musicians they really are and you get the diehard Dream Theater fanbase at its best. On the performance front, the band is stronger than ever. James LaBrie\’s voice is just as powerful as ever. John Petrucci is truly a guitar god and he proved it once again in Louisville with the biggest eruption of the night coming with his solo during “A New Beginning” The goosebumps moment of the night, though, came when you couldn\’t even hear the band singing with “Our New World.” If you want to hear the Dream Theater faithful show exactly what they\’re made of, this was the time that it happened. In the end, Dream Theater showed exactly why their fans have stayed as dedicated as they have for as long as they have. This was a Dream Theater show at its best and if you haven\’t caught one of the shows on this tour, you still have time. -Reggie Edwards