jakub | July 7, 2023

Dream Theater brings their DreamSonic 2023 Tour to Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport Connecticut June 30, 2023


 

 

Prog Rock reigns supreme over Bridgeport Connecticut’s Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater June 30. Upon arriving at the venue, I was wondering if the smoke in the air from the Canadian wildfires would affect the singers or not. Last month there was one show that had to be postponed due to the unhealthy levels of smoke in the air. There was an excitement in the air as Dream theater has never played in Bridgeport before. The doors opened a few minutes late and the fans funneled in to get their merch and get some food and drinks from some of the many great local food vendors.

 

Animals as Leaders in an instrumental progressive metal band formed by Tosin Abasi in 2007. They are a three-piece band consisting of 2 guitarists with 8-string guitars and a drummer. They hit the stage playing “Ectogenesis” off of their 2016 album titled The Madness Of Many. Playing a 9-song set, they kept the mostly 50-something year old Prog Metal fans enthralled. The band has five albums out with the most recent having been released in March of 2022. Tosin is a fantastic guitar player and even has his own brand of guitars called Abasi concepts. The latest release, the EMI 7 Masters Series has Abasi’s unique shape and is available in 6 and 7 string versions, and an 8-string version has been announced. This three-piece band has a distinct bluesy sound to their amazingly tight progressive metal arrangements.

 

Animals as Leaders is:

Tosin Abasi – Lead Guitar

Javier Reyes – Rhythm Guitar

Matt Garstka – Drums

 

 

Setlist:

1.Ectogenesis

2.Gordian Naught

3.Red Miso

4.Micro-Aggressions

5.Thoughts and Prayers

6.The Brain Dance

7.Physical Education

8.The Woven web

9.CAFO

 

Devin Townsend came out on stage and immediately showed his comedic personality. “How’s your balls?… Mine are older and saggier than they once were, but this is a Prog-Metal show, so I’m sure I’m not the only one.” Then, after introducing each band member and rating their tautness, they started the set with “Lightworker”, off of their 2022 album, Lightwork.

Devin is a Canadian singer, songwriter, musician and producer that has released about 28 albums throughout his career. His first band was called Strapping Young Lad. He has done projects with Ginger Wildheart, Jason Newstead, and at one point was asked to sing for Judas Priest

Townsend continued on with his lighthearted comedy in between songs using the phrase “eat shit” multiple times and again making ball references throughout the show. He, laughingly, let us know that he paid $400 for his Theremin. Between his comedic ramblings and amazing talent both on the guitar and vocals, he kept the fans on their feet for the entire show. They played an 8-song set ending with “Bad Devil” for which they donned orange foam cowboy hats. I am amazed and embarrassed that I had never heard of Devin Townsend before this show. He and his band have an amazing talent, so if you don’t know of them you absolutely have to give them a listen!!

 

Devin Townsend is:

Devin Townsend – Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals

Mike Keneally – Guitar, Keyboards

James Leach – Bass Guitar

Darby Todd – Drums

 

 

Setlist:

1.Lightworker

2.Kingdom

3.Dimensions

4.Deadhead (The Devin Townsend Band Cover)

5.By Your Command

6.Deep Peace

7.Truth

8.Bad Devil

 

At 9:30 p.m. it was time for one of the most well-known Prog-Metal bands to hit the stage, Dream Theater. I saw them back in the early 90’s and again in the early 2000’s, so it was a treat for me to get to see them this year. With John Petrucci and John Myung in the band since the beginning and Jordan Rudess, James LaBrie, and Mike Mangini joining in the 90’s, these guys form one tight and well-oiled machine. 

They started the night with “The Alien” off of 2021’s A View from The Top of The World. James’ vocals still sound as amazing as the last time I saw them. And of course, John Petrucci kills it on the guitar. They played songs spanning their career such as “Answering the Call” and “The Count of Tuscany”, and “Pull Me Under”, which was the crowd favorite and had everyone singing along. 

Ending their set with “The Spirit Carries On”, they invited some guests on stage to help make this song a standout encore act. The amazing Devin Townsend helped out on vocals, Mike Keneally jumped in on keyboards, and Tosin Abasi got to show off his awesome talent on guitar once again. What a way to end an evening of legendary progressive metal music in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

 

Dream Theater is:

John Petrucci – Guitars, Backing Vocals

John Myung – Bass Guitar

James LaBrie – Lead Vocals

Jordan Rudess – Keyboards

Mike Mangini – Drums

 

 

Setlist:

1.The Alien

2.Sleeping Giant

3.Caught in a Web

4.Answering the Call

5.Solitary Shell

6.About to Crash (Reprise)

7.Losing Time/ Grand Finale

8.Pull Me Under

9.The Count of Tuscany

Encore

10.Act II: Scene Eight; The Spirit Carries On

(With Tosin Abasi, Devin Townsend, Mike Keneally, and Darby Todd)

 

 

 

 

 

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