There are a few bands who’s music was introduced at a very pivotal point in my life, but none so important as the sonic powerhouse that is Dream Theater. It happened at a young age, maybe eleven or twelve years old at the time. Rock music had always been a part of living ever since I was a baby bouncing around to Van Halen.
My brother and brother in-law shared a similar taste in music, and would frequently venture out into the driveway where a car would provide the only privacy one could get in a busy household. Being a very inquisitive little bastard, it was often my duty to follow and observe their behavior. They never minded my presence much, but little did they realize what an impact their musical tastes would have on my future.
I sat in the back seat, and a guitar sound burst out of the speakers with intense ferocity. The drums were soon to follow, with a snare drum like a machine gun that kept your focus locked in place. After a few minutes of epic introduction, the band progressed into a riff that blew my mind, and quickly gave meaning to the word “heavy”. The song was “Under a Glass Moon“, and the band was Dream Theater. It was the single drop of water that didn’t cause ripples, it created tsunami waves of inspiration that would forever guide my musical direction.
It didn’t take long to immerse myself in everything related to this band, and I have since looked up to them as both teachers and musical mentors. Later in their career, the band went through several keyboard players, and began to show signs of instability. Many of their fans were starting to believe the end was near, but none of us saw what was coming next.
Dream Theater released “Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory” in 1999, and upon first listen it became one of my top three albums of all time. The album was a sonic roller coaster that explored every element the band encompassed over the years.
I’ll never forget seeing them play live in Boston, thinking they would play some of their hits from the more popular albums. Im sure I was one of many who were stunned to see that the band played the entire Scenes From a Memory album, front to back with no stops. It was one of the most memorable live experiences in my life, and only got better halfway through the show when they finished the album and continued playing older material.
To this day there is not one band who accomplished what Dream Theater has over the years. Their musicianship, songwriting, and overall camaraderie has been so influential towards thousands of musicians careers. For me personally, they never taught me how to be the fastest most technical player. They taught me how to create songs that were all my own, and craft a unique sound that would never adhere to over saturated trends.
One of the greatest aspects of music, is that it will outlive all of us. The amount of people Dream Theater has inspired is small in comparison to the legacy they leave, which will continue to inspire millions of musicians throughout history.