TVD Live Shots:
John Petrucci with Meanstreak at the
House of Blues, 11/5

Fans of progressive music were treated to one hell of a show on Saturday night as Dream Theater’s John Petrucci blew the roof off of one of Southern California’s premier concert venues, the Anaheim House of Blues. Joined by former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and Flying Colors bassist Dave Larue, Petrucci crushed an 11-song set that highlighted why he is considered by many to be one of the most talented guitarists on the planet today. 

I’ve been a fan of progressive music as far back as I can remember. Bands like Yes and Rush were always on my shortlist of favorites growing up, and it was an easy jump to the new wave of prog with bands such as Queensrÿche and Dream Theater. Listening to these legends touched my soul as the musicianship of these acts was second to none. On Saturday night, I was treated to an extension of those legacies as Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci headlined his first ever solo tour here in Anaheim. Let’s dig in.

Opening for John Petrucci on Saturday was an all-female thrash band from the ’80s called Meanstreak. While these ladies haven’t toured in quite some time, you never would have known by the amazing chemistry each exhibited on stage during their 45-minute set.

I was immediately captured by their opening song “Giant Speaks,” and held captive until their final curtain call after they offered Anaheim “The Dark Gift.” Walking away from the pit, I couldn’t help but smile as I’m rarely dazzled by opening acts. However, these ladies—Bettina France (vocals), Martens Myung (bass), Yael Rallis (drums), Marlene Portnoy (guitar), and Rena Sands (guitar)—were solid on all levels and their musicianship was second to none.

After a brief intermission and stage change out, it was now time for the Terminal Velocity Tour to begin. As lights dimmed, the crowd jumped to their feet as John, Mike, and Dave took center stage and launched into (you guessed it), “Terminal Velocity.” It was 6+ minutes of pure unadulterated music mastery and an opening jam I will never forget.

Over the next few hours, fans from all over California were treated to 11 incredible songs that highlighted Petrucci’s sheer wizardry. His Majesty six-string was on fire all night long, leaving nothing but scorched earth in his path on songs like “The Oddfather,” “Damage Control,” and one of my favorites, “Temple of Circadia.” The show wrapped with a blistering rendition of “Glasgow Kiss,” sealing the deal on what might possibly have been the best pound for pound musicianship I have seen on stage in recent memory. Hats off to Petrucci, Portnoy, and Larue.


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