Dream Theater Delivers an “Astonishing” Performance at the Hard Rock Live Orlando

Progressive metal giants Dream Theater have been touring the U.S. in support of their thirteenth studio album release, The Astonishing (2016).  Released in January, The Astonishing is a double-disc concept album, centered around a story written by the band’s guitar player, John Petrucci.

Only performing in seated venues and accompanied by a series of rear projections designed to immerse the crowd in the narration of the story, the band has been constantly touring throughout the year, performing the concept album in its entirety.  Luckily, MusicFestNews was able to catch one of their last shows of the year at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando FL on December 2nd.

Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino

As scheduled, the first set (of two) promptly began at 8:00pm, and considering that the band is playing their new, two-disc album, I did not know what to expect from the crowd. To my surprise, the mostly adult crowd well received the entire experience, to the point where I could not spot a single cellphone, as we have become accustomed to in recent years during live shows. I guess this is what you can expect to see when you have five of the best musicians in the world playing on one stage and the crowd really cares about the experience and the music rather than watching the show through a tiny phone screen in order to capture bad-quality video.

Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino

From the impressive vocals of James LaBrie to the virtuoso guitar playing of John Petrucci and the insanely fast drumming hands of Mike Mangini, the band delivered a performance nothing short of amazing, and the crowd loved every second of it. After the songs from The Astonishing were finished, the band closed with a three-song encore of some classic songs, concluding with “Pull Me Under,” the song that helped them propel their second studio album, Images and Words (1993), to earning a gold certification by the RIAA.

By the time the band left the stage, the show had lasted for over two and a half hours.

Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino

Very few acts can come close to the level of musicianship of Dream Theater, and even fewer can match their overall performance. This is a band who puts out double-disc album with over 30 tracks, and they play it live, not only for one night but for an entire tour! With The Astonishing live, Dream Theater delivered an act nearly impossible to follow.

Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino

The Setlist:

Act 1:

  • Descent of the NOMACS
  • Dystopian Overture
  • The Gift of Music
  • The Answer
  • A Better Life
  • Lord Nafaryus
  • A Savior in the Square
  • When Your Time Has Come
  • Act of Faythe
  • Three Days
  • The Hovering Sojourn
  • Brother, Can You Hear Me?
  • A Life Left Behind
  • Ravenskill
  • Chosen
  • A Tempting Offer
  • Digital Discord
  • A New Beginning

Act 2:

  • 2285 Entr’acte
  • Moment of Betrayal
  • The Path That Divides
  • Machine Chatter
  • The Walking Shadow
  • My Last Farewell
  • Losing Faythe
  • Hymn of a Thousand Voices
  • Our New World


  • Power Down
  • Astonishing

Encore 2:

  • As I Am
  • The Spirit Carries On
  • Pull Me Under
Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino
Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino
Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino
Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino
Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino
Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino
Dream Theater / Photo by Juan Jusino

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