Sunday Rocktober 9, 2022
Concert Review & Photos: Joseph Suto
John Petrucci hit the Town Ballroom Sunday evening for what was billed as his first ever solo tour. Joining him for the occasion were longtime “don’t leave home without him” collaborator and bassist Dave LaRue and longtime friend Mile Portnoy on drums. Portnoy, for those who may be out of the loop met Petrucci when they were 18 years old and formed some band named Dream Theater. This tour marked the first time the two of them played live together since 2010. Incidentally, to date that was the last time Dream Theater played Buffalo and it also took place at the Town Ballroom as well.
Touring in support of his second solo album 2020’s Terminal Velocity, Petrucci felt now was the time to take to the road. Not too many artists can play a whole show of just instrumentals and keep the crowd into the show throughout. Petrucci is the exception. Playing seven of the nine tracks from Terminal Velocity and sprinkling in four from Suspended Animation was the perfect mix. The Ballroom was configured with about 40 seats on the main floor as well as the normal general admission. When Petrucci spoke for the first time he won the crowd over by simply saying “how about #17?” referring to Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen and the great game he had a few hours prior.
Some of the songs that really stood out were a simply stunning “Out of the Blue” which was an amazing moment during the show. Starting out as a slow blues number before finishing strong it had an almost Zeppelinesque vibe to it. “Jaws Of Life” lifted from Suspended Animation received one of the loudest ovations of the night. On such songs as “Gemini” and “Snake In My Boot” it was like watching a clinic. This was easily one of the best sounding shows I’ve witnessed at this venue.
It was simply hard to believe that these three guys were able to make everything sound so full and rich and make it look so easy. Sadly, Petrucci while revered by many of his peers and other musicians, he still to some extent is vastly underrated with the mainstream. Many know of his talent through Dream Theater as well as other projects he’s been involved in including being a participant during many G3 tours. He has made an unbelievably fantastic record and has followed up with a great tour to match. Anyone on the fence about seeing this tour need to remember Petrucci, LaRue and Portnoy are three world-class musicians making this a must see performance. You will not be disappointed.
The Happy Song
Jaws of Life
Out of the Blue
Snake in My Boot
Temple of Circadia