Article and Photos by: Linda Carlson
Cincinnati, OH – On November 6, 2017, the Taft Theater hosted an evening with Dream Theater, part of the band’s third and final leg (North America) of their “Images, Words & Beyond 25th Anniversary Tour” celebrating the 25th anniversary of their RIAA gold-certified album, Images & Words. Previous legs included sold-out shows throughout Europe.
Formed in 1985, Dream Theater is a band’s band, with highly acclaimed musicians: lead singer James Labrie, guitarist and back-up vocalist John Petrucci, keyboardist Jordan Rudess, bassist John Myung and drummer Mike Mangini.
Instead of an opening act, Dream Theater performed two full sets with a short break between, and an extensive encore. During the first set, the band played various favorites from their repertoire, including a John Myung solo tribute to Jaco Pastorius, and adding Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” to the end of “Portrait of Tracy.” The second set was dedicated to the entire Images & Words album, including solos by John Petrucci (during the outro for “Take the Time”), Jordan Rudess (during extended intro for “Wait for Sleep”) and Mike Mangini (during “Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper”). The encore consisted of the full seven tracks from the title song of A Change of Seasons.
Located in downtown Cincinnati, the Taft Theater is an elegant venue ideally suited for the music aficionado. It boasts a spacious stage, excellent acoustics and comfortable fixed seating, both on the main level and balcony; however, throughout the evening, nearly everyone stood as the band played favorite after favorite, interspersing anecdotes of their early days of touring. Before the concert, during breaks and after the concert concluded, long lines at the merch center confirmed the crowd’s dedication to the band.
The “Images, Words & Beyond 25th Anniversary Tour” has dates through early December. Check the band’s website for specific dates and locations: http://dreamtheater.net/tour/.