Dream Theater - Live in Tokyo/5 Years in a LIVEtime
Progressive Metal
Disc 1: 11 songs (1:30:00) Disc 2: 25 songs (2:00:00)
Release year: 2004
Dream Theater, Rhino
Reviewed by Keegan

The wait for the double-DVD reissue of Dream Theater’s two home video releases, Images and Words: Live in Tokyo and 5 Years in a LIVEtime is finally over. These releases, recorded and originally issued in the mid and late nineties document the band’s journey beginning before the recording of their third album, Awake, to the tour in support of one of their most controversial works, Falling Into Infinity. Both discs showcase completely different sides of the band and offer significant insight into the world of the reigning kings of progressive metal.

Highlighted by songs from their 1993 Music in Progress tour, Live in Tokyo features Dream Theater in their early 20’s and at the height of their popularity. Each member gives an extremely energetic performance; bassist John Myung, known for particularly laid back performances, is especially animated, headbanging at stage front while guitarist John Petrucci jumps and kicks like Vai. Fans of early Dream Theater will be glad to hear that the majority of Images and Words is represented; save for Metropolis, Learning to Live, and Another Day, which were most likely edited out of the video to conserve time. Thankfully, remaining on the video are excellent performances of Ytse Jam, and A Fortune in Lies, from the band’s debut. Additionally, the three videos made to support Images and Words: Pull Me Under, Take the Time, and Another Day are scattered throughout the live clips. For those who remember, these videos are horrendously cheesy, and are very entertaining.

More of a band documentary than a concert video, 5 Years in a LIVEtime features clips from several shows including the Once in a Livetime show in France, an acoustic performance, and a cover-laden jazz club performance that included guests such as Steve Howe of Yes. In addition is behind the scenes footage of the making of the Awake and Falling Into Infinity albums. This disc contains the last three videos the band will most likely ever make: Lie, The Silent Man, and Hollow Years.

Although much of the video was recorded in the early nineties, the quality of the live and video clips are great, and show no signs of damage due to age. As far as audio goes, both Dolby 2.0 and 5.1 configurations sound huge; unfortunately there is no DTS 5.1 option, this isn’t a huge problem since the digital 5.1 mix is fine as it is. The only extra on the set is audio commentary with the band’s current lineup, including keyboardist Jordan Rudess, who is not featured on either disc. Unlike the dull commentary from the Metropolis 2000 DVD, the band is lively and amusing, discussing events in their career from the departure of original keyboardist Kevin Moore, to battles with their record label and management.

Fans of early albums such as Images and Words, or anyone new to Dream Theater should most definitely pick this double-DVD up. If you already own the videos, there’s really nothing new here, besides better audio and commentary. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic and inexpensive retrospective of a great band, on to Budokan.

Killing Songs :
Ytse Jam, A Fortune in Lies, Take the Time, 6:00, Voices, Lifting Shadows off a Dream
Keegan quoted no quote
Other albums by Dream Theater that we have reviewed:
Dream Theater - Distance Over Time reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Dream Theater - Dream Theater reviewed by Rob and quoted 79 / 100
Dream Theater - Live At Budokan reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn of Events reviewed by Crash and quoted 73 / 100
Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
To see all 18 reviews click here
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