Jim and I took a trip down to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to see the Dream Theater / Queensryche / Fates Warning show last night. The weather turned out great, and so did the show. I’m going to spoil some of the show for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, so read on at your own risk…

Our tickets said the show started at 7:30pm, but Fates Warning took the stage at about 6:55. Luckily, we had just settled into our seats (row K, stage right – nice seats except for the fact that our view of Scott Rockenfield and Jordan Rudess was partially blocked by the stage right tentpole) about 10 minutes before that, so we caught their act. I only own FW’s “Parallels” album, and don’t know any of their other stuff. It sounded pretty cool – they have their own sound. Some of it was pretty darn fast. One treat we received (which I was really hoping for!) was that Mike Portnoy sat in on drums for a rendition of the second half of the OSI song “shutDOWN”. It was very cool! FW’s Ray Alder and their touring drummer Frank Aresti had fun with the vocals. (Ed: I researched this a little more, and the drummer touring with FW right now is Nick D’Virgilio of Spock’s Beard. Frank Aresti is touring with them, but he is a guitarist. Oops!) Jim Matheos looked like he was really enjoying himself. That really made the set for me.

After a short break, the black tarp came off Scott Rockenfield’s drumkit and Queensryche took the stage. They started with a new song, “Open”, which wasn’t too bad. However, they delved into their back catalog for most of the set, playing tunes from The Warning, Rage for Order, Operation: Mindcrime, and Empire. I think I have all the songs they played in the setlist below, but I’m not sure it’s in the right order. The “Mini-Mindcrime” set was heaven for me – I love that album. Chris DeGarmo did not reunite with the band for this tour; not knowing much about what he is up to, I can only guess that he likes to dip his feet into the QR pool (he co-wrote 3 of the songs on their new album, Tribe), but he doesn’t want to jump back in. QR’s newest guitarist, Mike Stone, kept a hood over his head most of the show and played his ass off. I thought he did a great job of replicating DeGarmo’s solos and meshed pretty well with the rest of band. Geoff Tate still has his pipes – he sounded awesome. Eddie Jackson had a healthy amount of stage presence and handled backing vocals well (although I suspect some pre-recorded vocal parts were augmenting his and Mike’s backup vocals occasionally – I may be wrong). Michael Wilton played great, but looked pissed off the entire night. I hadn’t seen Queensryche live since the Empire tour in ’91; their performance on this tour compares very favorably. I had a great time watching them perform.

Dream Theater took the stage at about 9:25pm, and rocked through two glassy songs, “The Glass Prison” and “Under A Glass Moon” (which I don’t recall seeing live since my first two DT concerts back on the Images And Words tour). They then played some of my favorite songs, “Home” (from Scenes From A Memory), “Another Day”, and the “A Mind Beside Itself” suite from Awake (still my all-time favorite DT album). The “Solsbury Hill”-like opening of “Solitary Shell” was next, and they closed with “Metropolis Part I”. Portnoy was as flamboyant as ever, tossing drumsticks to members of FW behind the mixing board and catching them as they were thrown back, encouraging the audience, singing occasional backup vocals, and (did I mention?) pounding the heck out of his massive drumkit. He even had a robe with “Iron Mike Portnoy” on it – cute. He can get away with this without seeming supremely egotistical (at least in my book) because of his openness with DT fans. He revels in the spotlight. The other members of DT were on their game, although I think John Myung’s bass was not mixed well – I thought it lacked low end most of the show. His bass solo in “Metropolis Part I” sounded great, though. Jordan Rudess seemed to enjoy himself more this show than the last DT show I saw last September in Long Island with Don. This was as tight as I’ve seen DT since Jordan joined them.

After DT’s main set, Rockenfield’s drum kit was uncovered again, signaling that we’d see both drummers, indeed, both bands, take the stage. They performed a neat rendition of DT’s “Peruvian Skies”, with Geoff and James exchanging vocal leads and harmonizing on the choruses. Seeing both bands performing together was a rare treat – it will probably never happen again after this tour. They then played QR’s “Real World” and The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, building up to a frenzy at the end of the show. This was a very unique concert experience that I won’t forget for a while.

Fates Warning:

  • Point Of View
  • Life In Still Water
  • shutDOWN (w/ Mike Portnoy)
  • other songs I didn’t know, at least one from their new album

    Queensryche:

  • Open
  • NM156
  • Screaming In Digital
  • Take Hold Of The Flame
  • Walk In The Shadows
  • Empire
  • Jet City Woman
  • The Lady Wore Black
  • Spreading The Disease/Electric Requiem
  • The Mission
  • I Don’t Believe In Love
  • Eyes of a Stranger
  • Anarchy-X

    Encore:

  • (a song I didn’t know – probably Desert Dance, based on other setlists from the tour) Queen Of The Reich
  • Best I Can

    Dream Theater:

  • The Glass Prison
  • Under A Glass Moon
  • Home
  • Another Day
  • A Mind Beside Itself: Erotomania, Voices, The Silent Man
  • Solitary Shell
  • Metropolis Pt. 1

    Encore (DT/ wee

  • Peruvian Skies
  • Real World
  • Won’t Get Fooled Again

    Update 17-Jul-2003: Queensryche setlist corrected with info from “OdinsCourt” here.