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Dream Theater - Chaos In Motion 2007-2008

After an outstanding label debut with Systematic Chaos on Roadrunner Records and an impressive world tour (read my review of their show in Rotterdam here), I was dying to get my hands on the new Dream Theater DVD Chaos In Motion 2007-2008. Looking at the catalogue of these Americans, releasing a DVD after a “special” tour is nothing special. With Chaos In Motion they handled it a bit different though. Instead of putting just one concert on a disc, they now present us a DVD following the band ‘Around The World In 180 Minutes’ plus a second disc with the documentary ‘Behind The Chaos On The Road’ and other bonus material.

Disc 1

Just as during their tour, ‘Around The World In 180 Minutes’ starts with some clips showing the history of Dream Theater before kicking off with ‘Constant Motion’. Just as what we expect from Dream Theater the sound is great, the footage is well-shot and the music is as tight as an underage virgin. For the fans who were present at one of their concerts on this tour this might seem as a useless release, but it’s not. For starters it’s a nice souvenir when you attended a show were they filmed some songs, but also the fact Dream Theater didn’t play the same set every evening contributes to the value of this DVD. the DVD features approximately 30 minutes more music than their average show.

Besides music, ‘Around The World In 180 Minutes’ also futures a couple of short interviews, some footage of different crowds, advertisements for their world tour and backstage footage. This sounds as if it’s a very big thing, but it isn’t. The footage from the different venues is mixed very well and you almost get the feeling you’re watching one show, but that feeling is disturbed by an insignificant little interview for example. When there would be more interviews it wouldn’t be irritating, ‘cause you wouldn’t have the feeling you’re watching a whole concert, but now it’s just annoying. The footage isn’t that bad on its own, but they should have saved it for the documentary. Also the info showed is not totally chronological, ‘cause when there is stated: “With North America having been totally rocked it was now time to travel overseas and rock Europe for 2 months!” the viewer already saw footage from their show in Rotterdam.

Worth mentioning: besides footage from their own world tour, they also show us some images of the Progressive Nation 2008 tour with Opeth, Between The Buried And Me and Three. This footage contains a nice jam session with the drummers of all four bands on Mike Portnoy’s (huge) drumkit and the song ‘Repentance’ featuring Mikael Akerfeldt on vocals.

Disc 2

The main thing on the second disc is the documentary ‘Behind The Chaos On The Road’. This documentary is split up in four parts. The first part is about the band and they tell us what they think of touring, being away from home, what they think of each other, what they would have done as a profession if Dream Theater wouldn’t be and so on. It’s especially nice to hear something coming out of John Myung’s mouth, ‘cause he rarely does interviews.

The second part introduces the viewers to the men behind the band, the crew. They show how they build up the stage, how the transportation of every equipment works how the crew works with the band and how the band deals with the crew. It’s interesting to see what’s necessary to pull such a big world tour off and it’s a good thing the band decided to give some attention to their crew, ‘cause without them they couldn’t have done these major events.

n the third part we can see what happens just before the show. The band members tell about the value of a sound check and you can see how much Mike Portnoy wants to control everything that happens during their set. The band and the crew also discuss what could go wrong during a show. A very nice piece of this part is the meet and greet with a boy, who is able to meet Mike Portnoy due to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Although the band has a tight schedule, they still know who have made their success possible and therefore they maintain very loyal to their fans.

The last part of the documentary focus on the last minutes before the start of the show and the show itself. The band and the crew talk about (non-)verbal signals and codes which they use on-stage and you’ll get some more insight in the work of the different technicians and engineers. Every show is different than its predecessor, but this oiled machine can participate perfectly on possible failures.

Just as the little stage and backstage tours of Mike Portnoy that are on this disc, this documentary is interesting for the die-hard Dream Theater fan, but I doubt if a regular fan of just their music will think this is worth paying their attention to. The four promo videos and the live screen projection films are nice, but a bit standard bonuses. The photo gallery isn’t interesting, ‘cause almost all photos are the same except for the location where they were shot. Almost all photos show the band bow in honor for a big, cheering crowd.

For someone who just wants to hear Dream Theater’s music he or she probably will be better off with buying one of their previous released DVDs, but when you’re interested in what happens behind the band this is a must-see. Chaos In Motion helps you to understand what it’s like to be on the road and what is necessary to achieve such big concerts. This DVD is a nice peek into the world of Dream Theater, but it will not be that accessible for everybody.

Disc 1

'Around The World In 180 Minutes' live concert footage:
01. Intro / Also Sprach Zarathustra
02. Constant Motion
03. Panic Attack
04. Blind Faith
05. Surrounded
06. The Dark Eternal Night
07. Keyboard Solo
08. Lines In The Sand
09. Scarred
10. Forsaken
11. The Ministry Of Lost Souls
12. Take The Time
13. In The Presence Of Enemies
14. Schmedley Wilcox:
1. Trial Of Tears
2. Finally Free
3. Learning To Live
4. In The Name Of God
5. Octavarium

Disc 2
  • ‘Behind The Chaos On The Road’ Documentary
  •  Promo Videos:
    1. Constant Motion
    2. Forsaken
    3. Forsaken (In Studio)
    4. The Dark Eternal Night (In Studio)
  • Live Screen Projection Films:
    1. The Dark Eternal Night (N.A.D.S)
    2. The Ministry Of Lost Souls
    3. In The Presence Of Enemies Pt. 2
  • ‘Mike Portnoy Stage Tour’
  • ‘Mike Portnoy Backstage Tour’
  • Photo Gallery