Dream Theater Cover songs
Dream Theater has been known for covering other artists’ work throughout their career. They took this practice to a new level during the promotional tour for Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. At three special gigs, one each in Barcelona, Chicago and New York City, they covered Metallica’s Master of Puppets album in its entirety after a full set of Dream Theater material. This came as a surprise to fans, as there was no sign that this was to occur, other than it being announced that the gigs involved, which were on the second night of a two-night stand in each city, would be “extra special”. This tradition can most likely be traced back to one of Mike Portnoy’s favorite bands, Phish, who began a series of performing “musical costumes” of entire albums from other artists each Halloween beginning in 1994. Portnoy devised this “album cover” as the first in a series of gigs to be played as tributes to bands that had been influential in the formation and development of Dream Theater. The covers set divided many fans who attended the shows, with some people saying that they went to a Dream Theater concert to see original music and not another artist’s work. Others, however, said that it was a bonus and not a replacement for a normal Dream Theater concert, since an ordinary gig had been played the night before.
On the next leg of the tour they covered Iron Maiden’s The Number of the Beast and received a similar reaction to Master of Puppets, although it was already known that a cover was to be performed that night because the tour itinerary included two successive gigs in a single city. On October 11, 2005, Dream Theater covered Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Dream Theater’s official webpage stated that the second sets of the second nights in Amsterdam, London, Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Tokyo (October 11, October 25, December 4, December 11 and January 13 respectively), and also the second set of the January 15 show in Osaka, would be a classic album covered in its entirety. The Dark Side of the Moon was played again on October 25 in London. However, in Buenos Aires (December 4) and São Paulo (December 11) the ‘classic album’ played was Dream Theater’s own Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, to make up for not having visited Argentina and Brazil in their Metropolis 2000 tour. On January 13, 2006 (Tokyo) and on the 15th (Osaka), Dream Theater covered Deep Purple’s live album Made in Japan. Portnoy says that he has one more cover show planned, but refuses to reveal when it will occur, or what album will be covered.
During Gigantour 2005, Dream Theater did a cover of Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates” as a tribute to “Dimebag” Darrel Lance Abbott. As an added bonus, they had Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, and Russell Allen of Symphony X do guest vocals and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, do the main solo for the song.
In March 2006, Dream Theater played the rare Rush song “Jacob’s Ladder” at a show in Toronto. John Petrucci said a few days later in Asbury Park, New Jersey, prior to the night’s show, that Rush “wouldn’t play it, so we thought we’d play it for them.”
In addition, Dream Theater released several live cover songs on their EP A Change of Seasons, including songs from Elton John, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Journey, Kansas, and Dixie Dregs.
In 2008, they recorded a version of Iron Maiden’s “To Tame a Land” for a Kerrang magazine compilation entitled Maiden Heaven.
Dream Theater announced that with the Special Edition of Black Clouds and Silver linings a CD of cover songs will be released. The first of these covers is Rainbow’s Stargazer, and it became available in Amazon by May 19. Also, Roadrunnerrecords.com released download codes every week for one of the 6 newly recorded cover tracks off the deluxe edition of Black Clouds & Silver Linings, for anyone who preordered the Box Set or the Limited Deluxe edition.
Dream Theater played “Hava Nagila”, the traditional Jewish song, during “Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper” at a sold-out concert in Tel Aviv, Israel on June 16, 2009.
On August 14, 2009 during a Toronto show, Dream Theater played the Rush song “The Camera Eye”, which was originally released on Rush’s Moving Pictures album.