Dream Theater with Arch Echo State Theater Minneapolis – February 18th, 2022
Review and photos by Kate Klaus
Progressive metal band Dream Theater is currently on their “Top of the World” tour, and on Feb 18th, made a stop at the beautiful State Theater in Minneapolis, MN. They are currently joined on tour by Arch Echo, who opened the evening with an exciting instrumental set that incorporated elements of progressive rock, jazz, metal, and even EDM. Their opening song, “To The Moon” was entrancing with tight rhythms, new-age sounding keyboard riffs, and beautifully harmonic leading guitar lines. They effortlessly fused complex rhythms and sounds to create an intricate blend of tones which was both unique and captivating. Despite being a fully instrumental group, the absence of lyrics didn’t detract from the excitement, as the music was so hypnotizing in its intricacy, and their ability to wrap so many different elements of sound into each song was fascinating. They seamlessly delivered the perfect opening mood for this tour.
After a short break, the theater darkened and the screens behind the stage flashed video imagery of many “Top of the World” views, including hot air balloons, bridges, and panoramic scenes through the eyes of an observation tower viewer, accompanied by booming ceremonial music. The band took the stage and launched into the heavy intro for their opening song, “The Alien”. The instrumental prelude to this song showcased the depth of their musical complexity, with drummer Mike Mangini’s thundering rhythms cascading into John Petrucci’s beautifully melodic guitar riffs. Singer James LaBrie’s vocals perfectly complemented the musicality, with depth, power, and razor-sharp precision. Their set then took a step back in time, to animated 1994 hit “6:00”, and as the night progressed, they oscillated between songs from their recent album “A View From The Top Of The World” – including “Awaken the Master” and “Invisible Monster”, to classic favorites like “Endless Sacrifice” (2003), which again showcased LaBrie’s powerful and flawless vocals, and “About To Crash” (2002), opening with Jordan Rudess’s breathtaking keyboard solo. The acoustics of the State Theater added to the perfection of the evening, with John Myung’s deep bass tones reverberating through the room. Closing the night with the title track, “A View From The Top of the World”, they concluded an evening that could only be described as a journey through auditory and artistic storytelling, complete with an encore of “The Count of Tuscany” that demonstrated why they solidly sustain their position on top of the world of progressive metal.