A Walk Beside The Band
DTFCDVD 001 – 2005
- Mike Portnoy – Drums
- John Petrucci – Guitar
- John Myung – Bass
- Jordan Rudess – Keyboards
- James LaBrie – Vocals
- Kim Arthur Sakariassen – Director, Project Supervision, Artwork
- Sebastian Beloch – Editor and DVD programming
- Darko Böhringer, Richard & Kerry Parker, Ingalill Jegtvik Bjørgan and Scott Hansen – Photos
- Kim Arthur Sakariassen, John Raaness and Emil Mogstad – Oslo Segment
- Sebastien Demay, Morgan Rivalin and Kevin Pandele – Paris Segment
- Sebastian Beloch, Darko Böhringer and Michael Bitter – Düsseldorf Segment
- Kasper V. Kristensen, Richard & Kerry Parker and Tom Manning – London Segment
- Emiliano L. Maiello, Marco Petrini and Simone Fabbri – Rome Segment
Oslo, Oslo Spectrum, 30 Sept.
- Interview with John Petrucci
- Panic Attack
Paris, Le Zénith, 06 Oct.
- On stage with John Petrucci
- Never Enough
Düsseldorf, Philipshalle, 07 Oct.
- Backstage tour with James LaBrie
- A Fortune In Lies
- Peruvian Skies
Londres, Hammersmith Apollo, 25 Oct.
- Interview With Mike Portnoy
- Extrait de Money (reprise de Pink Floyd)
- The Spirit Carries On (avec Theresa Thomason en invitée au chant)
Rome, Palaeur, 31 Oct.
- Interview with Jordan Rudess
- These Walls
- Pull Me Under / Metropolis
About the album
Since Mike Portnoy had announced that he didn’t want to provide an annual gift for the fan clubs, the fan clubs proposed to create the gift themselves. I suggested that we could make a tourography DVD with interviews, backstage tours and live shots, with some shots with fans and venue setup added in. Since I made the suggestion, I got the responsibility of pulling it together.
I worked closely with Mike Portnoy in setting up the rules for filming and which cities should be filmed. We were, at that time, 5 remaining active fan clubs who were interested in participating in the project, so each of us took responsibility to film a segment for our respective city. The demands were: local shots, shots with fans, shots in the venue, interview and song for each city. Since we were five clubs filming five cities, our hope was to get one member each. But John Myung declined to participate, so John Petrucci took two cities.
Our initial rules was to use one camera for filming – but I quickly realized that would not be good for a live shot. So I asked for permission to use two, which was okayed. Later on, we would add one or two more cameras to. We learned along the way, so there’s a noticable increase in quality from the first segment to the last.
For the menus of the DVD, and for segments in the film itself, we got Jordan Rudess to improvise a couple of tracks for us. It was a great decision, because it made the project completely unique. Since the sound is soundboard only, there’s no audience audible.
The quality is like a cool little home video or bootleg video, and it retains a very special place in my heart due to the execution of the project.
Recorded in Oslo, Paris, Düsseldorf, London and Rome, this DVD represents a view of Dream Theater on the road as seen through the eyes of the fans. The crews consisted mostly of amateurs with only a couple of video cameras, and the sound was basically a stereo recording mix from the soundboard. This obviously means that the quality isn’t as professional as Live at Budokan or other releases are, but we’ve done the “best we could do with what little we had”.
Our thanks goes to Dream Theater for taking the time to do the tours and interviews, Ray Amico the production manager and Rikk Feulner the tour manager for being there for us and assisting us with setting up filming, setting up interviews and a lot more! And thanks to all the crew for their patience for having a bunch of people running around in the way filming them doing boring (but necessary) stuff. Featuring new music by Jordan Rudess. Jordan Rudess would like to thank his technical advisor, Richard Lainhart.
My personal experience with creating this DVD
10 years ago, I was very busy with a project that was to be one of the most exciting experiences of my life. I had, at that point, been involved in DT matters by being an active moderator on the DT.net irc-channel since SFAM came out (I remember talking to Mike on the irc channel about the album weeks before its release) – and because of this a few years later I became a core member of the norwegian DT fan club (right around the time SDOIT came out).
In 2004, Mike Portnoy more or less announced the end of the fan club cd program he had started in 1996. So the fan clubs were scrambling for ideas. I brought up the idea of making a special DVD with backstage tours, concert footage and interviews, along with shots with fans and other stuff. 4 other fan clubs agreed, and since it was my idea, I took on the project as a project leader. In July 2005, we sent the proposal for the project to Mike, and 16th of July we received feedback that “I think it’s a great idea and I’m gung-ho!” – and we were off planning. We were five clubs, and we were planning to make five segments focusing on one city each. Interview with a band member, venue setup, fan interviews and fan club events, along with an excerpt of a song. We were given permission to bring one camcorder. I asked if it was okay to bring two, and luckily they agreed.
Oslo was first up, so I brought with me a kid with media interest and an okay camera. We filmed at the DTNorway pre-party (which is something we’ve done for all headlining shows in norway to date), filmed around Oslo, and filmed the setup of the stage in the venue itself. Then we were invited backstage, where the production manager at that time took us on a guided tour in the dressing rooms. Then we were placed in John Petrucci’s dressing room, and we made the first interview happen. Unfortunately, due to a major blunder by us, the audio for this interview was pretty bad – it was thin and hard to hear. We tried to salvage it as much as we could.
We were invited to dinner afterwards, and the whole experience was just surreal. Here I was, eating with the band and crew… Did I mention this was the first time I’d met -any- of them?
Then came time to do the show. I was unsure as to where to place the cameras. I placed one by the soundboard, which was hooked directly into the audio feed from the soundboard. This gave me a good shot of the entire stage.
Then i place myself with a zoom a bit up in the seated area. I shouldn’t have done that, and I regret it to do this day; I should’ve gone down into the pit before the stage. Unfortunately, there was a security guard that wasn’t informed that I was actually allowed to stay there. He tried to remove me just as the song started. I shouted at him to call his boss, cause he was screwing up my shot! I pointed at my “working crew” pass that they’d given me that day, and told him to call his boss (which I had just talked to a bit before, and who was informed about what to do). He scurried away, and I didn’t see him again.
I managed to film the entire Panic Attack with the two cameras, but the quality for the video wasn’t good. I was so unhappy. Two mistakes – audio was screwed up in the interview, and video was screwed up in the song. But, I thought, maybe this will be the charm of this project. This is, after all, a fan made tour documentary, bootleg style.
I brought my experience on to the rest of the team, so they could prepare for how to handle the shows. And the further into the project we got, the more professional and well shot the stuff was. We ended up with some killer footage, with one of the shows we shot later being released as the official DSOTM dvd, and the other was released the following year as the second fan club DVD.
The project was nearing completion with editing and all that stuff in december of 2005. I’d insisted that every city have its own editorial supervision over their segment, but I’d be the project director.
I also made the cover art for the project, with photos from the different concerts that year. I decided to keep the cover in a CD tray style, to fit the fan club collection. I also made another version which I made available online for people to print themselves:
I sent it for approval to Mike, and he thought it looked great, and approved the DVD and the artwork. I organized with a print shop to have them print the DVD and the artwork, paid the cost out of pocket. I organized with the copyright institution to get the correct rights for actually producing the DVD with audio. We paid this cost out of pocket. This was $12500 we had to pay, half of which was copyright! Anyways, a few weeks later, a pallet with 5000 DVDs appeared on my doorstep! I repackaged, and sent these out to the other fanclubs. We started shipping the DVD out to members all over the world. 5000 copies. I’d been a part of a project that produced 5000 DVDs for Dream Theater. Insane. While I was writing my masters thesis no less.
Oh, and the german fan club had the idea to ask Jordan for some special songs that we could use in the interstitial segments. Jordan provided us with several clips, that we could use freely in the DVD menus and the movie.
I’ve dug up these clips, and edited them together to a 10 minute piece which you can listen to here: https://soundcloud.com/dtnorway/walkbesidetheband
Due to copyright, I can’t link actual footage from the DVD here. There’s a lot of it on youtube though…
Since it’s now 10 years ago – I’ve decided to dig up 3 copies from my storage, and give them out here. Give me a damn good reason why I should give it to you – and you’ll might just get lucky. No PM’s though, keep it here!
The DVD was pressed in Norway, with 5000 copies. It is currently out of print. It has never been re-released.