Made the three hour trek to Seattle yesterday to see the Trivium/Dream Theater show. Normally I seem to be catching shows after you guys on the east coast, but this time I got to see them first. In Portland if you show up an hour before show time there's hardly anybody around. In Seattle, I learned, if you show up an hour before show time there's a line for 3+ blocks. It was a 1400 seated venue, all general admission. I ended up in the 2nd balcony, not ideal, but had a good view and the sound was good. No booze allowed at the seats either, which was a bummer. Trivium was fine. Not my thing. The mix sounded very bass heavy, so much so that the bass drums were drowning out the toms and the snare. They played for about 35 minutes. Dream Theater's stage setup at first appeared pretty spartan. There were three video screens in a hexagonal shape overhead. They played an cartoon-ish intro with a grim reaper-like character trying to get the band members on stage. Throughout the show they had cartoon-like characters mimicking the band and sometimes close-up shots of the performers. The close-up shots were nice, could watch Petrucci's fingers through some of the solos, etc, which I couldn't see well from where I was sitting. This is the third time I've seen DT live. Last year opening for Iron Maiden and then prior to that not since 1997! DT had a pretty impressive light show too. Seemed their lights were brighter than typical (LED maybe?) and there were lots of them and they did lots of different things: flashes, strobes, swirling patterns, etc. Kind of hard to describe lighting but it was one of the better ones I've seen in awhile. And like everybody else they had a bright white light aimed directly at the audience. Those really bug me, maybe my eyes are just sensitive. The sound overall was very good. The drums in particular were crystal clear. Petrucci and Rudess came through the mix well too. I had a hard time picking out some of the intricacies of Myung's bass work, unfortunately, unless he played higher notes which came out clearly. Seems Trivium's bass overdose was backed away maybe a bit too much. They opened with Bridges in the Sky from the new album. Played quite a selection, I think hitting every album except I don't recall any songs from A Change of Seasons or Falling Into Infinity. Played 3 or 4 songs from A Dramatic Turn of Events, so would be helpful to give the new album a few listens before going to the show. Ytse Jam was totally awesome live, I'm really glad they played that. Mangini did a fantastic drum solo about half way through the show. Not only was it technically impressive but musically very interesting. He must have had about 20 cymbals on his drum rack, 4 bass drums, and about a zillion toms. Hands down the best drum solo I can remember. Musicianship, as expected, was top notch. James, however, was a bit of a disappointment. It really sounded like he was struggling with the higher notes and his voice sounded strained. I noticed on the older songs he seemed to have more issues, perhaps the melodies were higher. During the slower, lower passages, on the other hand, he sounded great. The more acoustic songs like The Silent Man and Beneath the Surface came across really well. There were several vocalists at PP this year who I'd say sounded better live than James did. Encore was Under A Glass Moon (edit: originally wrote Pull Me Under). Only one song in the encore, but the entire set was right about 2 hours. Overall, really really great show, highly recommended. Well worth the 6+ hours of driving.