John Petrucci Discusses Dream Theater’s 2019 Tour Celebrating Metropolis Pt. 2 and Distance Over Time
Dream Theater are kicking off their 2019 North American spring tour tonight (March 20th) in San Diego, California, and the unique trek will not only support their new LP, Distance Over Time, but also celebrate the 20th anniversary of their concept album, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory.
Distance Over Time has been receiving critical acclaim since its release last month, including a very favorable review right here at Heavy Consequence, while Scenes From a Memory is considered one of the prog-metal band’s greatest achievements.
We recently sat down with Dream Theater’s John Petrucci to discuss the new album, and during that conversation, the virtuoso guitarist also reflected on Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory, while giving us some details about what to expect on the tour. That portion of our interview can be read below, followed by a list of tour dates.
Distance Over Time can be ordered here, while tickets for the spring tour are available at this location or at StubHub for shows that sell out. Vinyl copies of Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory are available at Reverb LP.
On the 20th anniversary of Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory
That was a big record for us. We’re celebrating the 20th anniversary, which is crazy. That was the first record [keyboardist] Jordan Rudess recorded with us when he joined the band, so it was monumental that way, and it was the first record where we self-produced — every record before that, we had an outside producer. And it was our first concept album, which was a big undertaking for us.
As a progressive band, you’d think it’s a very natural thing to fall into, but some of our favorite bands made some of the most incredible concept albums of all time — like [Pink Floyd’s] The Wall, and [The Who’s] Tommy, and [Queensrÿche’s] Operation Mindcrime. So, we were like, “Are we ready to do this? We don’t want it to be some hack concept. We want to do it right.” So, it ended up being something our fans really loved, and felt really close to — and 20 years later, it turned out to be one of our band’s favorites. So we’re happy to celebrate the [anniversary of] its release.
On what the band has rediscovered about Metropolis Pt. 2 while rehearsing for their spring 2019 tour
Right now, we’re preparing for rehearsals for the tour, and this is something that nobody really thinks about, but as musicians, you don’t just automatically remember the music you wrote. You have to go back and learn it — “What the hell was I playing there?” — and try to figure out and remember the fingerings, and the sounds, and then try to practice that stuff and make sure you can perform it. Yeah, there’s some crazy stuff [on that album]. Like in the songs “Beyond this Life” or “The Dance of Eternity”, there’s some insane playing, so it takes some work to get that back into play.
On how the band plans to present the new Distance Over Time songs alongside the Metropolis Pt. 2 tracks on tour
So, we’re doing “An Evening With” — it’ll be two sets with an intermission. The first set is focused on songs from the new record, of course, and some older songs, and then the second set is Scenes From a Memory in its entirety. So, that’s the way we’re breaking it up. Yeah, it should be a fun night.
Dream Theater 2019 North American Tour Dates:
03/20 – San Diego, CA @ Balboa Theatre
03/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
03/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
03/24 – San Francisco, CA @ The Masonic
03/26 – Denver, CO @ Paramount Theatre
03/28 – St. Paul, MN @ The Ordway
03/29 – Chicago, IL @ The Chicago Theatre
03/31 – Milwaukee, WI @ Miller Theater
04/02 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
04/04 – Toronto, ON @ Sony Centre
04/05 – Montreal, QC @ Place Des Arts – Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
04/06 – Quebec City, QC @ Theatre Capitole-Cabaret Du
04/08 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
04/09 – Oakdale, CT @ Toyota Presents Oakdale
04/10 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Center for the Arts
04/12 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
04/13 – Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theater
04/15 – Washington, D.C. @ Warner Theatre
04/17 – Nashville, TN @ TPAC
04/22 – Charlotte, NC @Ovens Auditorium
04/23 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
04/26 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Mahaffey Theater
04/27 – Jacksonville, FL @ Moran Theater
04/29 – Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory
04/30 – Houston, TX @ Revention Music Center
05/01 – Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall