Dream Theater’s Images, Words & Beyond Tour, Mumbai

Picture Credits: Mukesh Amaran

Across the spectrum of music concerts, there are gigs that leave you happily satisfied and those that leave you with memories so deeply etched that you could never re-visit them enough. Needless to say, what Dream Theater fans witnessed in Mumbai this year will live with them for the rest of their lives.

Every one that came down to the MMRDA grounds from across the country, went through a multitude of emotions right from uncertainty and despair to elation and fulfillment. Despite the unforgiving weather and less than accommodating ground condition, fans came in waves and brought an undying energy with them that surprised even the band members themselves. James spoke about how this long awaited (27 years to be accurate) trip finally took place, and how he was certain that they’d be visiting again to satiate their massive fan base in the country.

The moment lightning struck through the sky to highlight The Dark Eternal Night, was poetically, visually and audibly one of the greatest concerts moments for which a fan could ever hope. Despite having to cut short the song itself and leave us hanging in uncertainty due to fear of the storm, the set and showmanship of every single musician on stage more than made up for it. The first half of the 3-hour show consisted of tracks from across their albums, including the stunningly performed Hell’s Kitchen and an emotional bass solo tribute to the late Jaco Pastorius, by John Myung. Ending the first Act with Breaking All Illusions, the band took a short interval before bringing out the Images and Words album in its entirety. The audience sang along with overwhelming nostalgia to Pull Me Under and Another Day, and tried unsuccessfully to headbang to the ever-changing time signatures. John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess ripped out some massively proficient solos in Take The Time and Wait For Sleep, re-affirming just why they’re considered masters of their instruments. Mike Mangini showcased his other-worldly technique and independence abilities with a drum solo in the middle of Metropolis Pt. 1. This wasn’t it, however, cause after the entire album the band stayed back for an encore to play their incredibly popular 23-minute epic, A Change of Seasons.

While fans surely expected better facilities than one with barely accessible toilets and ankle deep water at some parts of the venue, it was inspiring to watch their rain soaked selves rise above these bumps and maintain an energy fit for one of the greatest progressive metal bands in history.