Distance Over Time Tour concert review

Oct 11, 2019....New Brunswick, NJ

Dream Theater in New Brunswick, NJ?  Not Newark or Camden or Holmdel but New Brunswick, walking distance from Rutgers University.  I heard this from many of those in attendance at The State Theater Friday night when Dream Theater brought their "Distance Over Time" Tour to town.  Even as we were pre-gaming at a local pub (where the Dream Theater brew "Barstool Warrior" was being served) people were super stoked to have this incredible band in their town.

There were very few empty seats as guitar legend John Petrucci and band took to the stage and started the night with "Untethered Angel", the first single released from the band's 14th studio album "Distance Over Time".  I'm ashamed to admit it but this was my first time seeing Dream Theater live and for those who haven't seen the band perform live yet, watching these musical technicians at work is jaw-dropping.  If you've played an instrument before, played in a band before, or even played freakin' air guitar before to see the way Dream Theater attacks each note and each tempo change with perfect precision will inspire you to practice until your fingers bleed!

Of course the dynamic music is just one part of Dream Theater, the vocals of James Labrie are needed to tell the story of the music.  Labrie enters and exits the stage multiple times throughout the show using his voice to enhance what the music is having the audience feel.    

Two early highlights for me came from songs off the band's latest album.  The first was with  "Paralyzed" is one of those songs that builds in the beginning, lightens up to let the vocals breathe, then tears it up with ferocity and a stunning guitar lead.  The second was with "Pale Blue Dot", Dream Theater's ode to Earth and Space.  Petrucci and drummer Mike Mangini tag team the opening notes giving the song solid heaviness!  Add in some prog keys from Jordan Rudess and you have the makings of an epic tune, perfect to conclude the band's first set of the night.

After intermission it was time to sit back, reflect, and enjoy hearing "Metropolis Pt 2 - Scenes from a Memory" in full in celebration of its' 20th anniversary release.  Hearing the album performed as it was intended was simply stunning.  ""Fatal Tragedy", "Through Her Eyes", "Finally Free".......I wish more bands would perform full albums live.  A work of art like "Metropolis" is meant to be heard one way, in order, without breaks,  and live!!

The "Distance Over Time" tour rolls across North America until November 11th.

Set List (Act 1)

Untethered Angel

A Nightmare To Remember


Barstool Warrior

In The Presence of Enemies (Pt 1)

Pale Blue Dot

Set List (Act 2)


Overture 1928

Strange Deja Vu

Through My Words

Fatal Tragedy

Beyond This Life

Through Her eyes


The Dance of Eternity

One Last Time

The Spirit Carries On

Finally Free

At Wits End

Dream Theater is:

James Labrie - Vocals

John Petrucci - Guitar

Jordan Rudess - Keyboards

John Myung - Bass

Mike Mangini - Drums