I last saw these guys from NYC eleven years back at the Octagon in Sheffield, when I was pretty much second row behind the barrier[1] slap bang in front of a pre-buff and shorn John Petrucci. It was also the first tour that Dream Theater had Jordan Rudess in tow as an official member of the family. Little did I know eleven years later I was to see them again with another new band member.

Mike Portnoy’s departure was somewhat a sad event for the band and fans alike, but I think they’ve got themselves a bloody decent drummer when they agreed unanimously[2] to let Mike Mangini, erstwhile Professor in the Percussion Department at Berklee (and not forgetting one time drummer for Extreme!), into the fold. So, with bated breath my brother waited for the date of this gig which was supposed to be held in err… Doncaster, before they changed it to the O2 Academy in Leeds.

We arrived quite late only to catch the last three songs of the opening act, Eden’s Curse. The band had two posters at each side of the stage of what I felt were Eden’s blessing but let’s get straight on to the main act which got on stage pretty much at about quarter to nine. With Hans Zimmer’s Dream Is Collapsing (from Inception) blaring through the PA, DT got onstage to a rapturous applause and kicked the set off with Under A Glass Moon. My brother’s a mega DT fan and this was the song that caught his ear 20 years ago, and it was nice for him that the show started with this. I guess all eyes were on Mangini, as did mine, with him being the new guy. Living up to his reputation, Mangini’s playing was hard yet flittingly precise.

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