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Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 12:01AM
On July 10, 2010, the Dream Theater tour came to the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts with Charred Walls of the Damned and Don Jamieson opening. Now, I am not a big Dream Theater fan, but since I was home in Connecticut and my wife and kids were visiting family in California, I decided to join my friends and go to the show. Now, please do not misunderstand my statement regarding Dream Theater...I certainly appreciate their ability as musicians, and considering I am a drummer, watching the phenom known as Mike Portnoy was intriguing, but I just would not call myself a "fan." I had seen Dream Theater in Hartford years ago, but walked out half way through their set, as the sound was terrible at the club and it destroyed the ability to fully appreciate what they were doing as musicians. I was hoping for better this time.
My review here on BBG! is more a review of the venue than the show, as that is what stood out to me most at the end of the night. The Palladium is a large, general admission venue (probably about 2500 total capacity), with a tiered main floor and a balcony above. By the time I made my way in (we had a few beers across the street beforehand and hung out with Don Jamieson for a while at the bar), the place was packed. Make no mistake about it...the "music nerds" come out of the woodwork for Dream Theater. I would estimate that the show was close to a sell out (as there was plenty of room on the balcony). So, in a word, here is my review...HOT! Upon entering the venue, I went down to the floor where it was overcrowded and about 20 degrees hotter than it was in the lobby. It was so crowded and uncomfortable, that I decided to check out the balcony, but since heat rises, it was just as hot up there. I stayed up there for Don Jamieson's act and the first couple of CWOTD songs, but then could not stand the heat any longer, so I went back to the floor. I suffered through the rest of the CWOTD set on the floor, and then waited for Dream Theatre to take the stage. Here is where the story gets sad. I could only stand the heat through about four songs and then made the decision to duck out the show and go back to the bar across the street to wait for my friends. Honestly, at this stage in my life, I am not inclined to be completely uncomfortable and miserable just because I paid for a ticket.
I left completely baffled, as I do not understand why the Palladium would not keep their venue at a tolerable temperature. It was perhaps the worst concert experience of my life, and I am not inclined to ever return to that venue (unless it is a show I NEED to see and would willingly suffer through the heat). Bottom line, I have now walked out on two Dream Theater shows. I do not think I will ever witness a full set, which is a shame, because they were putting on a great show.
So my brief show "review" is as follows: Don Jamieson was funny and is a great guy; CWOTD was not very memorable and their songs were average (and I am a huge Stern fan, so I was looking forward to watching Christy drum); and Dream Theater were technically amazing and were putting on a great show.
The silver lining of leaving the show early was that I went back across to the street to the bar I was at earlier that day, and stumbled upon a cover band playing. While the majority of the band was good, there was one player who was exceptional. The band is called "Under the Coverz" and their guitar-player (Darlene) was phenomenal. I spent the rest of my night in Worcester amazed by her ability to both shred on the guitar and to nail the songs on which she was singing lead.
So am I just being too much of a wuss, leaving a show because it was too hot? Have you done the same thing?