Dream Theater OVO Arena, Wembley, 23rd April 2022

Words and photographs by Mark Stimpson
Dream Theater spent the first part of 2022 touring the US with their “Top Of The World” tour. Tonight, they stop off in Wembley, London on the final night of the short UK leg (Sadly only three dates Belfast, Newcastle and London).

The stage is dimly lit with fluorescent poles doted around as the evening starts with a short set from prog metal band TesseracT. I’m not too familiar with the band but it was a polished set with some nice heavy riffs. The low lighting added to the overall atmosphere, seemingly focusing your attention on the music rather than the band.

During the break a huge animation of the album cover A View From The Top The
World is projected on stage complete with birds circling the sky. Then there is a roar from the audience as the lights dim and a short animation starts on screen. They applauded and rose to their feet the moment that Dream Theater members John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, John Myung, and Mike Mangini walk on stage. They kick off their set with “The Alien”, the first track from “A View From the Top of the World”.
About two minutes in James LaBrie walks on stage. Again, there is a cheer and applause from the audience,
There’s no let up as we go straight into “6:00” the only track tonight to feature from the band’s 90’s back catalogue. We are brought back up to date with “Awaken the Master” from the latest album.

The standout moment of the evening was during “Endless Sacrifice” when John
Petrucci and John Myung take centre stage. The duo are joined by Jordan Rudess sporting a keytar. The performance is breath-taking and earns them a standing ovation from the audience.
It’s an hour into the set before LeBrie stops and talks to the audience about how much they missed playing live and how this is the best audience.
The melodic “Invisible Monster” is a personal favourite of mine from the new album and is a crowd pleaser with it’s big vocal hook. They bring the set to a close with the twenty-minute opus “A View from The Top of the World” There’s a short break before the band return to perform their encore “The Count of Tuscany”. It’s a perfect end to the evening.

As you would expect from the touring, Dream Theater are a well-oiled machine. The musical craftsmanship is flawless. It’s a joy to watch these masters do what they do best. The large screen and visuals gave the whole performance a cinematic feel which enhanced the overall experience.

Set List
The Alien
Awaken the Master

Endless Sacrifice
Bridges in the Sky
Invisible Monster
About to Crash
The Ministry of Lost Souls
A View From the Top of the World

The Count of Tuscany


Philip Goddard

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