Liquid Tension Experiment brought their 10 anniversary reunion tour to Chicago on 6.26.2008 - last night. This is one of those concerts I have been waiting for a long time ... they only did a handful of shows when they released their 2 jam releases. I have seen Dream Theater many times, and Iron Maiden did a great show this year, but I would have given up both just to see LTE.
The show starts. The for guys, Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, and Tony Levin, start jamming. They play about 60 minutes. They ripped out some killer LTE tunes, such as:
Freedom of Speech
John and Jordan did something from their "An Evening With ..." CD and we got something I did not know.
All of a sudden, Jordan stops playing his keyboard. He walks over to Mike, says something, and then heads off stage. Mike goes on to tell us Jordan is having keyboard problems. So Mike, John, and Tony start jamming. And jamming. For over 90 minutes! At one point, Mike has to stop playing, get on the mike, and say to John "Hey John, how much Starbucks did you have today ... let's slow it down and let Tony lead us ..."
Tony's comments from his blog:
June 26, Chicago
Big surprise tonight, at the Park West, Chicago show. After 2/3 of the show (my guess here...) Jordan's keyboard went out of order. The other three players jammed awhile while techs and Jordan worked on it. But couldn't get it fixed. The jam took epic proportions... it turned out Jordan had been on the phone to Japan, where a panel of people from the keyboard company was trying to determine the problem. But still, no keyboard, and we couldn't move back to the written material without it.
Anyway, Jordan ended up the night's hero, not by having his keyboard fixed, but by joining in the jam, on guitar, with a rocking solo. Then.. more jamming... and we had to end the night without playing any more of our prepared pieces.
Certainly out of the ordinary, and a blast for us. I can only hope the audience enjoyed it. Good thing this is a band that loves to jam!
I have never, ever witnessed something like this. The three guys just jammed and it was amazing. I have never ever seen John Petrucci play like he did last night. He was the shredding master ... and did a 15 minute guitar solo that made some of the guitarists in the room just weep. It was breathtaking to watch.
As Tony mentions, Jordan did come back, and grabbed the guitar. John grabbed a bass and Tony was playing the Chapman Stick. Then, Charlie Benante of Anthrax took over drumming, Mike played bass, and John watched and laughed. These guys were having fun and laughing and just enjoying themselves. No pressure of the Dream Theater show. Just musicians enjoying making music.
As I talked with Nathan Freeman last night, he told me he was jealous. I got too see 4 masters at their craft just create on the fly. I do not think something like this will ever happen again. Wow.
Thanks you LTE ... that was one hell of an evening experience!