By ANYA SANTOS
Progressive rock band from Boston, Dream Theater, is in Manila today for a concert at Kia Theatre. This leg of their current tour, “Images, Words & Beyond,” which celebrates the 25th year of their wildly successful album “Images and Words” (1992), had a good start with several dates in Japan.
Dream Theater, which was formed in 1985 by several students from Berklee College of Music, has seen several lineup changes (including the much-talked about departure of another founding member and drummer Mike Portnoy), label concerns, and many challenges along the way. Their music has taken them all over the world but for the first time they venture out here – a fact the band is excited about since it’s the first time they will play for their Filipino followers after one show in Taipei.
Catching up with the band as they finished with their second tour stop in Korea and about to fly into Australia, bassist and founding member John Ro Myung speaks to Bulletin Entertainment to share his thoughts on touring, music, and what it takes to make it this far, for this long.
“Last night we played the Olympic Hall in Seoul, Korea. And it was a fantastic evening in Seoul,” the soft-spoken Korean-American Myung shared. “(The tour has been) going great. Every night has been selling out.”
Myung pointed out this Southeast Asia tour isn’t completely new, but to fans here in the Philippines, this should be something to look forward to. “Our fans have been with us for a long time, and that’s worth celebrating.”
This tour is made more special as it marks a milestone for the band – not just in terms of longevity in the business but when it comes to enduring songs as well.
“Our second album, ‘Images And Words,’ was our biggest one to date. It is great that a lot of people are coming out since seeing us, so you kinda relive that period… It just feels really good to be doing it.”
He added thoughtfully, “There was something really special and unique about that record. It has a lot of magic quality to it… At the time, you don’t really realize what’s happening. You don’t really realize you’re in that moment when that’s taking place. But looking back on it now, you get a clear picture of what happened. And that’s the way I see it, it was a period when everything was just perfect, and everything fell into place, and we recorded a phenomenal record.”
Myung also noted the album marks “such a pivotal point in our career,” so this tour highlighting that period in the band’s life is only fitting. “It just feels right to be going back and to kind of celebrate that moment with (the fans). But we do more than that (in the show); we kinda go a step further beyond just playing that one album in its entirety. We play a bit of other old materials.”
With their set list comprising of older songs, a series of tracks from “Images And Words,” and a lineup of newer materials, concert attendees can expect a night that encompasses the best of Dream Theater’s discography.
“Images And Words” also gave the band one of their most enduring hits in “Pull Me Under,” a song that caught the attention of more than just fans. Their subsequent records, including the acclaimed “Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory,” continued to build a solid fan base for Dream Theater.
“Our sense of purpose is to write music,” Myung stated. “It’s like our mission. We wake up each day I just feel privileged to do what we do. And it’s something that we don’t take for granted.”
So they will continue making music and connecting with people – whether it’s by putting out records or flying over oceans to keep playing for those that want to see them. “Without the loyalty of the fans, it wouldn’t be possible,” he said of his band’s success.
Luckily, their Filipino fans won’t have to dream of seeing them live for too long.
The band comes to Manila courtesy of the people who requested for the band through MyMusicTaste.com. Tickets available at TicketNet.