Last night, I went to the opening concert of Dream Theater's US tour in SF. It was nothing less than spectacular.
We lined up outside the Warfield a bit early. There were a number of tables set up where people were playing chess and speed chess (for money, apparently). I watched a game, and the players weren't particularly good - they missed a free rook several times. I chose not to play.
Now, the cover band (Trivium) was...not my kind of band. I couldn't understand a word they were saying (shouting?) over the excessive amplification of the drums. In fact, I couldn't hear the guitars over the drums either. I should have brought earplugs for this section of the evening.
Once Dream Theater came out, though, everything was awesome. They opened with "Bridges in the Sky" and fed that directly into "These Walls." The crowd responded with a standing ovation and thunderous cheering. LaBrie said "now THAT is the warmest welcome we have EVER had in San-Fran-Cisco."
The setlist included (I can't say I remember the particular order):
Interestingly, no songs with lyrics by Mike Portnoy, who left the band in September 2010.
I sang at the top of my lungs and drummed along to every song I knew. It was awesome and amazing and joyful, and I was thrilled to be there. Those guys are incredibly skilled.