Dream Theater bring ‘The Astonishing’ Live tour to Wilkes-Barre’s Kirby Center
WILKES-BARRE — Not many albums have a plot, let alone characters, setting and backstory. Dream Theater’s newest effort “The Astonishing” is a musical tale told in two acts, and the band will perform it in its entirety at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.
“The Astonishing” fast forwards 269 years into the Northeastern United States’ future. The Great Northern Empire of the Americas is a nation devoid of music — save for the noises created by Noise Machines. When word of a man with the ability to create and play music reaches the ruling family, it sets off a chain of events that changes the empire forever. On Oct. 7, Dream Theater will deliver the album to audiences with a multi-sensory concert experience — something keyboardist Jordan Rudess said is different than any of the band’s previous live productions.
“What we try to create is an immersive kind of feeling,” Rudess said. “Those people who have seen Dream Theater before, you’ve never seen us like this. It’s kind of a bigger, broader presentation and the show is in two acts. The thing definitely has momentum and it heats up as things move towards kind of the climax. Really, it’s more of a ride. It’s like going to a musical or a rock opera.”
After “The Astonishing” released on Jan. 29, it became Dream Theater’s first album to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s rock chart. The two-hour record was written by Rudess and guitarist John Petrucci from a story conceived and written by the latter. Rudess said he thinks “in terms of music,” so when Petrucci approached him with the concept, the keyboardist’s imagination immediately went to work.
“The reason I knew it was going to really work from a composition perspective was because it hit me that way — I was getting inspired, I’d read it and walk over to the piano and start playing my thoughts and my emotions,” Rudess said. “The way that this music was written was very much to drive the story.”
A novelization of “The Astonishing” is currently underway, as well as a game scheduled for future release on Mac, PC, iOS and Android.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
Who: Long-running progressive metal act Dream Theater
What: ‘The Astonishing’ Live tour, featuring its new concept album
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 7, doors open 6:30 p.m.
Where: F.M. Kirby Center, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
How Much: Tickets range from $34.75 to $69.75, plus fees. To purchase tickets, visit the Kirby Center’s on-site box office, call 570-826-1100 or go to KirbyCenter.org.