A great show. It was a little hard to see the performance as The Rave is a large dance hall so the floor has no seats or inclination. The band was right on the money. This was my first time seeing Jordan in the band and he put on an excellent show. This concert was everything that I expected it to be and a ton more. A++.
- Overture 1928
- Strange Deja Vu
- Through My Words
- Fatal Tragedy
- Beyond This Life
- Through Her Eyes
- The Dance of Eternity
- One Last Time
- The Spirit Carries On
- Finally Free
- Peruvian Skies
- Austin Powers
- Paradigm Shift
- Pull Me Under
- Under A Glass Moon
- A Fortune In Lies
- Only A Matter Of Time
- Take The Time
The following is a minute by minute description of the events that happened on 02-12-00…
The beginning 2:30pm
We left Green Bay and headed for The Rave in Milwaukee (about 2 hours away). Immediately after merging on to the highway, my girlfriend, Lori, realized that we forgot the tickets and I had to swing around to go get them. 20 minutes later we were back on our way. The trip went relatively fast as we listened to some Mike Sweet demos and DT tunes from my vast collection of bootlegs.
We arrived in Milwaukee between 4:30-5:00pm. We headed straight for The Rave to check the place out and maybe get a glimpse of DT at sound check. As soon as we walked in the front doors I noticed Mike Portnoy walking down the stairs that led from the main stage to the lobby (if we hadn’t forgot our tickets, we would have missed him by about 20 minutes). I approached him, said, “Hi, Mike!!” and shook his hand. About 3 years ago, I picked up some ACoS record flats from a killer hard rock store in Appleton, WI. Luckily they were still in mint condition, so I brought them along, just in case I had the opportunity to meet any of the guys. I handed the flats to Mike and we asked if he could give us a couple of autographs and pose for a couple of pictures. He said sure and quickly signed our flats and posed.
Of all of the members of DT, I heard that Mike was the kindest and most appreciative of the fans, always stopping to sign things and talk with his followers. In my encounter he seemed really short and not too interested in us. My friend Brett asked if there was any chance of a drum solo and Mike replied, “Nawww, I’m getting tired of those things.” I was kinda disappointed but I was still extremely excited and a bit star struck.
Mike then went about his business and walked through the lobby to the other end of the building. We then walked around a bit more looking at the collages of pictures on the walls and browsing the posters of the future concerts at this venue. As I was studying one of the collages, Brett nudged me a bit and said, “Dude!… DUDE!!” I turned to see John Myung quickly make his way up the stairs towards the main stage. He noticed Brett nudging me and fumbled for his cell phone and placed it to his ear as to say ‘Please don’t bother me.’ I made no attempt to approach him and just stood in awe. We waited about 20 more minutes and decided to leave to get some food and maybe search the tour bus area for other band members.
We went back to my car and I fumbled around a bit trying to get my mics ready and in a secure spot in my jacket as not to crush or damage them. This took about 20 more minutes because my hands were freezing from the cold Wisconsin weather (Winter is the best 9 months out of the year here :) ). We then headed to the back of the building to see if the tour buses were back there yet. As we walked up to the first bus, I saw James LaBrie opening the door. We said Hi and he asked us to wait a few seconds while he locked up the Crew and Band Member buses. He did just that and came back to talk to us. We had a short conversation but James was so unbelievably kind and genuine with us, he was very honest and very enthusiastic to speak with us. He signed our flats and posed patiently, even though he was admittedly tired and cold. He shook all of our hands, thanked us politely and said, “Now I can go in and take a shower” smiled and winked. My first impression of him was amazing… he is definitely my favorite member of DT… now.
We now had two signatures and a sighting, we’re off to a terrific start and the show hasn’t even begun yet!! We now headed for my car and stopped at a nearby Taco Bell for a little sustenance before the show. We ate quickly and paged through some old Metal Edge Magazines that Brett had looking for DT pictures. Brett and Lori had never seen DT before and were relatively new to the DT scene. They wanted to see some pictures of them live.
After eating and a lot of DT related conversation, Brett and I decided to test out the mics to make sure they were going to work and try to set a record level on my MD recorder so we would have less things to worry about before the concert begins. We accomplished our task, collected all of our belongings and started for The Rave once again.
We parked about a block away from the venue near the back of the building. We started for the main doors but then realized that our parking spot was not the greatest and we forgot a few items. Just as we turned around, the car right behind the venue and very close to the tour buses pulled out to leave. Brett and Lori stood in the parking space and waited for me to get the car. We now had a great parking spot so we could just sit in the car and wait for the guys to come out to the buses after the show.
We now had to somehow get the mics and Minidisc in without being caught. This was a difficult thing to do as security was checking all jacket pockets. Here is what we did to out wit security: Lori and I bought some shirts and a tour book. Brett took our new merchandise back to the car and put the mics and the Minidisc recorder in his shoes… yes, his shoes!! He put the bass filter and extra Minidisc in his jeans pocket. He then carefully tiptoed his way back into the venue, headed into the bathroom and moved the equipment from his shoes to his jeans pockets. He met Lori and I in at the bar by the main stage and we proceeded to push our way through the crowd. We made it to about 20 feet from the stage. Brett then wired himself up and got all ready for the show.
By this time, the Dregs were in the middle of their set.
DT took the stage. All I can say is, SIMPLY INCREDIBLE! The show was awesome and I even came about 2 inches from grabbing one of Mike’s drum sticks. He threw it right at me, but the dude in front of me went nuts trying to get it. The stick rolled right under my foot and I bent over to get it but “Mr. Crazy” stomped on my foot and pushed me away snatching the prize. Oh well, maybe next time :)
The show ended and security quickly tried to herd everyone out of the venue. Brett and I made our way to the front and asked some of the crew to grab us a set list. They looked around but couldn’t find anything, then I realized that DT probably didn’t have one as they all knew what songs were on the album… duhh.
I went back over by Lori while Brett starting talking to one of the tech guys. A few seconds passed and Brett came over and handed me three bass strings. My jaw dropped… how friggin’ lucky can I get?
We all went back to the car to talk about the concert and wait for the guys to come out and start signing autographs. We also took a quick listen to the recording that Brett made. It turned out perfectly… no distortion and the bass is outstanding.
John Myung was the first to emerge from the back door of The Rave. Lori got her t-shirt signed, I got my tour book signed (stupid me didn’t open the book before handing it to him and he signed the back so it’s super hard to see :( ) and Brett got the flats signed.
James was the second one to appear. Lori got her t-shirt signed, I tried to get my book signed but there was this moron taking up all of James’ time by asking him really stupid questions about singing Winger songs or something. Thank you, Wingerman, we really appreciate your idiocy. We had the flats signed earlier so it wasn’t too bad.
Mike, Jordan and John Petrucci all came out together and started signing. I made my way to Jordan but again there was some idiot talking to him about how he played piano once. Jordan looked like he really wanted to get away from this guy so I kinda handed him my tour book (opened to a nice bright page this time) and he quickly signed it and thanked me. Lori was right behind me and got her shirt signed. Brett was next to get the flats signed.
We then headed for JP. John seemed really nice and took his time signing our stuff and he even took special care to dot the “i” in Petrucci! He made eye contact with everyone and was overall a great guy.
By now Mike had already gone inside so we couldn’t get any close up pictures of him signing. Lori had all of the signatures on her shirt except for Mike so she was kinda miffed. Overall, though, it was a great experience.
We headed home.