Progressive Nation 2008 (Dream Theater, Opeth) – Oakland – May 3rd, 2008
Remarks: Oh man what a night. I didn’t really know what to expect going into the venue. I had been sick for the past few days, but there was no way in hell I was gonna miss out on this concert. I pretty much came for Dream Theater. I knew of Opeth but I had never really listened to them all too much. On the other hand, I had never even heard of 3 or Between The Buried And Me. Mike Portnoy definitely knew what he was doing when he picked these bands because it ended up being a fantastic package. In the end, 3 and Between The Buried And Me both played for 30 minutes, Opeth played for an hour, and Dream Theater played for 90 minutes with short intermissions in between. The Paramount Theatre was real nice (except for the small seats and the $2 water, but whatever). I snagged a nice Images And Tour shirt (which I’m assuming was a reprint) and the Chaos In Motion 2007-2008 tour book (which is now framed with my ticket and hanging on my wall) from the merchandise table before heading in. I would’ve gotten a Progressive Nation 2008 tour shirt, per my “1 concert = 1 tour shirt” rule, but I didn’t like the design of them at all. We were up on the balcony on the very right side and about 5 or so rows back from the front of the balcony. It ended up being a pretty good view down to the stage.
3 was downright amazing. Having heard nothing of them before, I was totally blown away by their performance. Joey Eppard was outstanding on guitar although his voice kinda threw me off at first. And the keyboardist/percussionist Joe Stote was a blast to watch perform. I wasn’t familiar with their music and most of the songs transitioned into another song. I do remember All That Remains clearly and their epic instrumental solo section!
Between The Buried And Me was okay. Not my preferred style of music, especially the vocals. I thought the idea of a lead singer/keyboardist was interesting, but he was mostly singing. He did a fine job of trying to keep the crowd pumped up. Other than that, I don’t really have much to say about them.
Opeth was, in a word, killer. From the time their giant Opeth banner went up on the stage, the crowd went crazy. When they came out and started playing, the crowd got even crazier. It was clear that a ton of people were here just to see Opeth. The two guys next to us were going wild for Opeth, but were pretty stoic during everyone else. Their setlist was very diverse and had a good mix up of songs. They got (and deserved) a standing ovation at the end of their set. We headed out for the intermission where I begrudgingly forked over $2 bucks for a bottle of water. It helped my coughing though so I could enjoy the concert a little more. I really wanted to snag a CD or two by 3 but the line was massive and I didn’t wanna miss a second of Dream Theater.
When we returned, the Opeth banner had gone down and a big screen was now visible. Also at the very top of the stage was a stop light (like the one on the special edition cover of Systematic Chaos) which was amusingly red. A while later, it turned yellow and some frantic sounding symphonic music came on (if anyone knows what it was, I’d love to know). Also, the screaming began. Then it turned green and the Majesty symbol came up and the THX sounds from a movie theater played. The symbol even “broke” like the THX symbol does :D Then a little intro video played that started from their Majesty days and went through all their albums, showing pictures and playing audio clips from that era.
Dream Theater was outstanding, as expected. Seeing them live is amazing and it made me regret not seeing them when they were in the area last time. Everyone was definitely at their best, especially James who hit everything perfectly. Seeing the live camera feeds show up on the screen behind them was very cool, glad that that feature isn’t only restricted to just special concerts for DVDs. It was interesting to see their setlist evolve through the tour. Ours was full of longer songs and it seemed like James wasn’t on stage for a decent part of it. Seeing the later shows, I see that we missed out on a Scenes From A Memory act (Strange Deja Vu, Through My Words, and Fatal Tragedy) which I would’ve died for. We also didn’t get As I Am, Panic Attack, Take The Time. We did get most of the ‘A Mind Beside Istelf’ suite and a very good medley. Seeing what was in the other ending medley made me kinda wanna hear it, but luckilly that will be on their next DVD. And on a side note, Jordan Rudess wins an award for using the best instruments of the night.
●The Word Is Born Of Flame
●The End Is Begun
●All That Remains
●My Divided Falling (Abridged)
● Monster (Abridged)
●Drumz (Couldn’t find this track on their records unless if it was Gartdrumm’s Paradise but I’m pretty sure it was the drum/percussion battle.)
● Amaze Disgrace
Between The Buried And Me‘s Setlist:
● Master’s Apprentices (Very powerful opening by Opeth :D)
● The Baying of the Hounds
●In My Time of Need
● Heir Apparent (A track from their new album Watershed which hadn’t been released at the time.)
● The Drapery Falls (Very awesome end to their set.)
Dream Theater‘s Setlist:
●An Ant Odyssey (Title is a play on 2001: A Space Odyssey and they played a varation on the intro of Also Sprach Zarathustra. The background video featured an ant from Systematic Chaos and the In Constant Motion music video. It sounded very epic! Then Mike Portnoy sat down and they jumped right into…)
● In the Presence of Enemies – part 1 (Epic again! Poor James had to wait 5 minutes before he could come out on stage :( )
● Beyond This Life (Went straight into this song from the last one. Although we didn’t get the 3 song set, I’ll take all the Scenes From a Memory I can get! They had the whole stage production from the DVD playing on the screen with the news paper and all. Seeing John Petrucci do this solo made me realize, he is way, WAY too good at guitar.)
● Misunderstood (James really delivered on the chorus here.)
● Forsaken (Hearing this live made me love this song so much more. I’m absolutely hooked now! They also played the music video in the background which I couldn’t stop watching. Go-go live music videos!)
● Never Enough
● Erotomania (Went crazy when they started playing this! Gotta love their instrumentals!)
● Voices (When they started playing this, I was excited cause I thought they were gonna play the entire suite. They didn’t, but close enough! Once again, James really came though on the last chorus.)
● The Ministry Of Lost Souls (When they didn’t play The Silent Man, it appeared they had enough time to finish with a 15 minute epic to leave time for a nice long encore. I figured they were gonna finish In The Presence Of Enemies. I was wrong. Not that this was a bad song, cause it was great, I was just kinda bummed they didn’t play the whole thing as a shell like on the album.)
At this point, they went off-stage. The lights went out though and an 8-bit version of the intro to The Dark Eternal Night started playing. Up on the screen, the title appeared as The Dark Nintendo Night. Instead of describing it, you can just watch it:
Everyone loved it!
This is pretty much the same medley they played in Once in a Livetime, the only difference being the extended solo section of Metropolis.
● Metropolis (Epic! I was very excited when they started playing this! I had to break the ‘no cameras’ rule for it! They played up through the line “The both of you will be confined, to this mind” then jumped right to the instrumental & solos section, which they extended. After the bass solo, Jordan jumps onto his continuum (on the video, you can hear me lean over to my friend and exclaim “That’s his motherfucking continuum!” ^_^;;). Then after John Petrucci is done soloing, Jordan jumps on to center stage with a keytar! Jordan wins at musical chairs… but with instruments.)
● Learning to Live (Starts around a minute in and lasting a little past the end of the first chorus. Very smoothly transitions into…)
● A Change Of Seasons VII: The Crimson Sunset (Very awesome way to end the setlist. They threw in the first few bars of A Fortune In Lies before the very final chord, which was a nice treat. All in all, a fucking epic night!)
(I was a little paranoid so I was holding the camera kinda low so the railing is blocking a good part of the stage. My finger also appears for a good part of it >.< I was hoping to record the whole medley but my memory stick ran out of room. Doh! Big plus though, my video made it onto the official Progressive Nation 2008 website! Woot!)