For almost the first two decades of my life, I was living under a rock. I grew up listening to what my parents played on the radio, Disney songs, oldies, Michael Learns To Rock, Backstreet Boys, etc.. and then Linkin Park and all the other emo bands when they were super popular at the turn of the millenium. It wasn't until I was 17, where I was introduced to Dream Theater by one of my best friends. That opened up a whole new world for me! (cue: Aladdin)
I learnt of Rush, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Steve Vai, Dave Weckl, Tenacious D, Sonata Artica, and the list goes on. But I really fell in love with Dream Theater and how they sound, their energy, and how they can just keep one song going for what seems like eternity. My wife and I fell in love with their music and we caught our first Dream Theater concert in 2008, where they played at Fort Canning Park. It was their second time in Singapore and part of their Chaos In Motion tour and since then, we have always tried to catch them when we can.
In 2011, we had that opportunity when we were both in the States! Our Fall breaks aligned during mid-October, and we flew to Boston to meet each other and to catch DT for that weekend! They were doing their Dramatic Tour Of Events after releasing their Dramatic Turn Of Events album, following the departure of Mike Portnoy but welcoming Mike Mangini.
And then I returned to Singapore for my second semester and if it wasn't dramatic enough, DT was touring Asia and was stopping at Singapore doing the SAME tour! Of course I went for it!
They went on to produce their self-titled album after that, as well as their "The Astonishing" album and tour. We got an email about their tour dates and you guessed it - Baltimore was one of their destinations! It was probably the quickest buy we ever made, and only 2 weeks after the birth of our son! It was an extremely memorable concert and our only regret was not listening to the album more to sing along during the concert..
Earlier this year, when LAMC announced Singapore's date, we knew we were going for it! While some lament the departure of Portnoy and ultimately stopped listening to DT, I feel that Mangini offers a more sophisticated and musical approach to the music. And I personally love watching Mangini live compared to Portnoy - not that one is betted than the other, but I just prefer Mangini's personality, charisma, and goofiness when he performs. If only there weren't so many phones in the air though.. it felt like we were watching a sea of phones than the band itself..
Well, that has been our Dream Theater following and adventure so far! There are so many couples (married or not, including friends) that have completely different musical tastes from each other, and I'm just so grateful that my wife shares the same musical tastes as I do (for the most part at least). I think differences are great and they help a lot with growth and understanding, but the key to that is also open-mindedness and acceptance. Taking the initiative to understand and (at the very least) try to learn just a bit of your partner's work and taste helps indefinitely in any relationship. For us, I know my wife doesn't really like when I blast Zakir Hussain or baroque music with lots of harpsichord playing, so I use earphones instead and it actually works so much better for me. Likewise, I know next-to-nothing about her work, but I attempt to learn a thing or two from her because her work really is interesting! And honestly, if I wasn't a musician, I'd probably spend my time learning it. Unfortunately though, there's just so many musical things I want to do and accomplish that it's hard to find time to do other things (speaking about finding time, I might write a post about it in the near future).
This post has been a very personal one, and I hope you enjoyed reading it! Thanks again for your time and if you have a similar following or adventure with a group/band/orchestra you enjoy watching and listening to, do let me know! I always love hearing great stories from friends :) Stay safe and well this week!