Atlanta Ytse-Gathering

Dream Theater: Dec. 16th, The Masquerade -- All Ages

Last updated 11:20 EST Dec. 17th, 1997

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Summary | Ytsejammerz who attended | Contacting me (e-mail, phone) |

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Gathering Summary:

I'm writing this on the morning afterward ('twould seem that my illness has lasted two days, imagine that) and some of the details are a bit foggy. If I forgot someone or left something out, please let me know. It was, after all, the busiest day I've had since Dragon*Con this past summer. :)

On the day of the show, Phil Carter arrived from Athens at my place at about noon, and then we went to go pick up Ross ("Thrak") where he was staying with friends, at Emory University (only got lost twice on campus, too!) Despite getting lost we had time for me to stop by at a TicketMaster location and get an emergency backup ticket for whichever deadbeat friend of mine showed up without a ticket. :)

So we arrived at the venue right at 2pm as scheduled. My friend Chris, affectionately called "Onionhead" (from when he had a mohawk :)) was already there; Curtis "Sticks" Toler and Eric Desobe arrived not too long afterward. Curtis' vehicle has an excellent sound system, so we serenaded ourselves (and the roadies inside the venue) with DT boots, Superior, Angra and Symphony-X until the band arrived in a cab (or cabs). James and John M. stopped and signed autographs while Derek begged off ("I'll come back out"); Mike went onto the bus and we're not really sure how Petrucci got there. :)

After a while James, John M. and Derek re-emerged and walked up North Avenue, presumably to find something to eat (not a good direction to walk, really); meanwhile Mike slipped into the venue through another entrance. We continued to wait around in the front and the three returned from ?eating? (John M. got ambushed and signed some more autographs :)). By this time other fans, non-ytses, had arrived, and the line began to grow......and grow.... I went down the line a couple of times to see if I could spot any other Ytses (and to show my shirt so they could find me). I found Brian "Soundchaser" Kelley that way and dragged him up to the front. :) I also amazed the waiting fans with our Ytse-knowledge (telling them to listen up between bands for the studio outtakes, and after the show for the lounge version of UaGM). :)

Finally the box office opened and I checked at the window to see if the passes and tickets I'd requested were there. To my surprise they were.... They allowed us beyond the entrance and up into the club a bit too early, as Big Wreck were still getting ready and soundchecking, so they booted us back out into the top-floor lobby for a bit. (So there was a group of about 20 of us "on hold" up there, and another pile of people down below, pretty weird.)

Then they opened the doors again and we all flowed like a happy ooze over to the stage. In the ensuing reshuffling my friend Chris and Phil Carter ended up a bit to the right of stage-center, while Wes/Beavis and I ended up on the left. Brian Kelley was a few people to our right and apparently Adam Pye was a few "rows" behind us. Not sure where Eric Desobe ended up. And the waiting begins.....
--But the waiting wasn't too bad because the house PA was playing Liquid Tension Experiment, which sounded excellent. It's due out in February or so, I think. There was a major problem with one of Derek's keyboards that required reassembly onstage, and when they finally got it back on its feet the crowd cheered lustily. :)

Big Wreck were....okay. About the same as in Chicago although this time the lead singer's stage-patter was a little less galling. They got a decent reception from the crowd and before their last song, notCornell the lead singer :) thanked us for it. I might even buy their CD at some point.

After their set the DT outtakes started. I still think the best of the bunch is "The Way Things Used To Be," but I want to hear them without the crowd drowning them out before I pass final judgement. :) The delay here was less than in Chicago (there were no songs played before the outtakes) and after the guitar giveaway (which Wes didn't win, amazingly enough) and right on cue -- right after I yelled "Rooster" :) -- on comes that gem from AiC.

DT's show was terrific. There will be many reviews posted to the Jam, so I'll just hit a few highlights.... James dedicating "Just Let Me Breathe" to confused Atlanta music reviewer Mitchell Foy; Portnoy several times acknowledging my old Ytsejam shirt (tastefully modeled by Wes "Beavis" Foll :)); John Myung and the Stick (someone behind me yelled "What the HELL is that?" in disbelief :))....
"Peruvian Skies," "Metropolis Pt 1," "Pull Me Under," the intense bit from "One" with Mike on vocals. So many great moments....

After the show we all gathered in a "big, evil Ytse-bunch" in front of the stage. This is when many people found us -- Mark "Bigswifty" Peters, Eric "NuggetMan" Moegling, etc. I had one extra backstage pass which, after some soul-searching and hand-wringing, I awarded to my friend Chris K. because he had had all of his DT CDs stolen -- all of his CDs, actually. Some of us gravitated toward the backstage area while others went outside to wait by the bus. As it turned out, the backstage passes weren't needed; all of DT except John Myung and Derek came out to the barricade where we were waiting and signed as long as needed. Finally I got to talk to Mike P. and hand him the much-heralded Superior behind promo. :) The venue security people never actually threw us out until it was time to start locking up.

Then we all kinda wandered downstairs to the bus, where a sizeable crowd had gathered. Mike was still autographing, and John P. signed some autographs on the way out to the bus. John Myung popped out of the bus and signed some more, but told us that Derek was sleeping on the bus (!). After a while, since I still had to take Thrak and his friend Steve back to Georgia Tech and Phil's car was back at my place (he had a 70-min. drive to Athens still ahead of him and he was visibly fading), we went ahead and left the venue, about twelve hours after arriving. :)
I didn't see Curtis Toler at this time; he'd been slated to crash at my place that night but as Eric Moegling's party was already getting a room I'd been hoping to get them together. Dunno what happened there; maybe they got linked up anyway.

All in all, it was a terrific show and a lot of fun to meet Jammers -- and several others who are prog-inclined. Thus did ProgWeek Atlanta conclude, and it was a great success.

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Dramatis Personae

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Summary | Ytsejammerz who attended | Contacting me

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