Dream Theater at The Oakdale – Wallingford, CT

Photos and Review by Brian Gallo
Show photos HERE

Dream Theater’s “The Distance Over Time Tour” made a stop recently at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT. This was one night on the seven week North America tour that I will remember for many reasons. I have been a fan since I first saw them in a small club in CT alongside a handful of people and they became my all time favorite band since.

Let me start by taking you back 20 years ago. The band had just released “Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory,” and they were on tour supporting the album. This was the band’s first concept album and also the first album featuring keyboardist Jordan Rudess. I had the pleasure of meeting the band at a local music story before the Toad’s Place New Haven stop. Speaking with James Labrie I had mentioned that as much as I loved the small atmosphere of Toad’s Place I wished they would play a bigger venue.  I thought the acoustics and sounds of their intense musical abilities could be so much more.  We proceeded to have a brief conversation regarding size of venues & their ability to sell tickets at the time and said I felt they should play the Oakdale Theater.  James looked back at someone who nodded. I watched several hours of my favorite band perform that night, and to this day can remember it all. They played ny favorite album, “Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory,” from start to finish.  As the tour was wrapping up, Dream Theater added dates. I read they would be filming a DVD release in New York and would be performing at The Oakdale Theater in CT as well. I could not wait. I managed to get second row tickets, dead center and again was treated to several hours of my favorite band, now taken to a new level because of my suggestion. As I had hoped, the sound was so much more amazing.  Did I have something to do with them finally playing a new venue? Let a fan dream ok?

So here we are, 20 years later.  The band is featuring a new drummer, Mike Mangini, which is old news at this point.  I will say that those loyal to Mike Portnoy (he was and is my all time favorite) are surely missing out by not letting go and welcoming Mangini. I was on pins and needles as I waited for the lights to dim and the musical journey to begin. I was photographing the show, so it was all business for the first 15 minutes, pushing my inner fan aside for just a bit.  My images can be found here on the site and I hope you enjoy them.

I was in awe from the first note to the last. I was treated to several hours of what I can simply say was pure epicness.  The first set featured a small variety of their recent songs, which audience and I fully enjoyed.  The second set featured “Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory” which took us on a journey of new memories while conjuring the old. I felt 20 years younger again and full of energy.  Any, just when you think this evening with Dream Theater could not get any better, they performed “Pull Me Under” for the encore.

So let me sum things up… Dream Theater is still a musical masterpiece from all sides.  James Labrie is still is a vocal master who is hitting his range. John Petrucci is still a legend on guitar who draws you in with every note he plays, be it fast or slow. John Myung is a bass master and to this day I do not think anyone has fingers as fast as he does. Though James told me 20 years ago I should see him use his toes. Jordan Rudess is nothing less than astonishing on keyboards. And last but not least, Mike Mangini is all skill and talent on drums. 

Dream Theater – Setlist – Oakdale Music Theater April 9, 2019
* Set 1
1. Untethered Angel
2. A Nightmare to Remember
3. Fall Into the Light
4. Barstool Warrior
5. In the Presence of Enemies, Part I
6. Pale Blue Dot
*Set 2 – Metropolis Pt. 2 – Scenes from a Memory
7. Regression
8. Overture 1928
9. Strange Déjà Vu
10. Through My Words
11. Fatal Tragedy
12. Beyond This Life
13. Through Her Eyes
14. Home
15. The Dance of Eternity
16. One Last Time
17. The Spirit Carries On
18. Finally Free
19. Pull Me Under

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