Dream Theater live Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York


Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York is a DVD by American progressive metal band Dream Theater released in 2001 by Elektra Records. It's the live performance of the entire concept studio album Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes from a Memory, released in 1999.  The live performance captured on DVD was the final concert of the Metropolis 2000 tour in New York.



LIVE SCENES FROM NEW YORK
(live album, 2001)

Live Scenes from New York is a 3 disc live album and the audio counterpart to the Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York DVD. Coincidentally, the live album was originally released on September 11, 2001, but when it was noticed that the logo on the cover artwork depicted the skyline of New York, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center in flames, it was recalled and re-released a short time later with the Majesty symbol instead. Some copies with the original artwork still exist, and are now a rare collectors item. The logo was based on a previous album cover (Images and Words, 1992), that had depicted a heart in flames. Since the concert was recorded in the Big Apple, the logo was changed to a flaming apple with New York City on it. 

Live Scenes from New York original cover (live album)

Live Scenes from New York re-released cover (live album)


METROPOLIS PT.2: SCENES FROM A MEMORY
(studio album, 1999)

The Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York DVD and the album Live Scenes from New York are both the live performances of the Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes from a Memory entire concept studio album released in 1999, which was Dream Theater's 5th studio album and the first to feature Jordan Rudess on keyboards. In 2012, the readers of RollingStone.com have voted the Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory album into the #1 position of their "Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time" poll.

Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes from a Memory cover (studio album)


Concept

The concept album deals with the story of a man named Nicholas and the discovery of his past life, which involves love, murder, and infidelity as Victoria Page. At the show in New York City the band actually hired actors to perform the narrative elements of the album whilst they played.

Nicholas and the Hypnotherapist

Characters

Present Time:
Nicholas
The Hypnotherapist
The Old Man

1928:
Victoria Page
Edward Baynes
Julian Baynes 

Act 1
Scene One: Regression

The album opens with Nicholas relaxing to the sounds of the Hypnotherapist's voice and entering a hypnotic state in the pursuit of regression therapy. A part of "The Spirit Carries On" and "Home" can be faintly heard in the background at one point. The track ends with Nicholas greeting a girl named Victoria.

Scene Two: I. Overture 1928

Nicholas is in a hypnotic trance and marvelling at the surreal peace and comfort. As he settles into his trance, he begins to focus on the subject of his regression therapy, a girl named Victoria and a life that feels strangely similar to his own. In this song, there are many parts included from other songs from the album. At the beginning of "Overture 1928" and at the guitar solo there are riffs from the Metropolis Pt.1 song  from the Images and Words album. The intro riff is later used in "The Dance of Eternity" and the "Strange Déjà Vu" chorus appears. The main theme from "One Last Time" is used also and a part from "The Dance Of Eternity" is sampled as well.

Scene Two: II. Strange Déjà Vu

We hear a little more about previous dreams that have led Nicholas to his therapy, and also continue deeper in the current trance. We learn that every time he closes his eyes, he is taken to this very vivid, recurring dream of another (yet just out of reach of conscious understanding) life. We understand that it is what he's been dreaming previously that has led him to his regression therapy. The dream is as follows: there is a pathway to a house. Inside the house and upstairs is a room where a girl appears in a mirror. All of this seems very familiar to him, but it logically shouldn't. In this dream, probably because this is actually a hypnotic trance and not just a regular dream, some things seem clearer than ever before. He can see the face of a young girl and poses the question, "Young child, won't you tell me why I'm here?" He sees that she has something to share with him, that there is a reason she is leading him here, a story to be told, and this story is of something terrible. Victoria now expresses her first hint at why she is haunting Nicholas. She has been searching for a way to reveal the truth about her murder. She also expresses great lament. This along with the next line, "I'm not the one the Sleeper thought he knew", is her guilt that Julian Baynes never knew about her relationship with his brother, Senator Edward Baynes, which we learn about much later. She feels guilty for what she did to Julian. Now Nicholas is out of his therapy and back in real life. Even though he is awake, the thoughts and events of this other life are beginning to permeate every second of his day, and this is the beginning of his obsession with resolving this whole thing. He desperately wants to know why this is happening and would cross over to this other world consciously if he knew how. Nothing in the current day matters to him, only learning more about his new obsession. It is here that he has his first inclination that he may have actually lived in the world of which he dreams. He knows that this dreamland holds the key to his peace, and he will not rest until he unlocks that door.

Scene Three: I. Through My Words

Nicholas realizes that he was Victoria in a past life. He now knows why he feels so drawn to her and her world as they share the same soul.

Scene Three: II. Fatal Tragedy

It starts with Nicholas 'alone at night.' He knows who Victoria is now, but not why she is so torn or how he is involved. Sometime later he goes to visit an older man. The importance of the older man is that he knows of a murder that happened a long time ago and shares what he knows with Nicholas. We learn that a girl was murdered. Nicholas sits and listens to the older man's tale and finds that exactly what happened still remains a mystery. Nicholas then realizes that until he unveils the truth about what happened to Victoria, he cannot live his current life. He is stuck in this obsession and cannot turn back. We learn then that Nicholas understands that without faith and hope, 'there can be no peace of mind'; therefore, Nicholas encourages himself to be strong and have faith that he will find the truth, because without the truth he will never rest. This song ends with the Hypnotherapist speaking and taking Nicholas back to the night of the murder from Victoria's memories.

Scene Four: Beyond This Life

We learn the newspaper account of what happened in 1928. An anonymous witness heard a horrifying sound, searched for the noise, and discovered a woman shot and lying on the ground next to a man holding a gun, supposed to be her murderer. The witness tried to help, but the man shot himself. The newspaper account talks of a sad close to a broken love affair, indicating that others were aware of the relationship between the victim and reported murderer. At this point the song shifts voice, indicating a change in narration away from the newspaper. It is explained that Victoria had recently broken up with her lover over his waywardness, though she could have forgiven him. Additionally, it is speculated that the reported murder was premeditated. The narration returns to the newspaper article to inform us of a switchblade found on the scene, suggesting Victoria expected the encounter, in addition to a suicide letter with no indication of the suspect's intention to kill Victoria. The presentation of this new information is inconsistent with the rest of the article, which is explained by the later context that the article is a forgery of the truth.

Scene Five: Through Her Eyes

Nicholas is awake again. He has learned that Victoria was brutally murdered in 1928. He feels compelled to visit Victoria's grave. He expresses the sorrow he feels for her, and how helpless and innocent she was. Not only that, but since he's learning about his life by looking through her eyes, he realizes that this happened to him also and the unfairness of it begins to nag him. Upon reaching her grave, he is overcome with sadness. Even the words on her stone indicate that she was a sweet innocent girl who had her life brutally taken from her at a very young age. He is startled by how much her death feels like his own. He continues to let images of her wander through his mind as he just wallows in his sadness for a while. He thinks of how much more he's lived and again is stricken by the injustice of her young death. As the song ends, Nicholas begins to regain his composure and is comforted by the realization that by facing this tragedy and mourning the loss, he can now move on. This time of pain was necessary to accept his death in a previous life and fully comprehend why this other life has beckoned him.

Act 2
Scene Six: Home

We hear Julian talk of his obsession with decadence and how he is only living a charade. Victoria ultimately leaves him because of his alcoholism and gambling. Next we hear Edward, giving his account of Victoria crying on his shoulder over her breakup with Julian. He finds himself falling for her, and at first even feels guilt over deceiving his own brother. But his obsession for her becomes stronger than his guilt and he seduces her in her vulnerable state. He soon becomes violently possessive as well. Lastly we hear from Nicholas again, back in present day, and awake. So far he only knows what the older man told him, and what he learned about the newspaper article in his last therapy session. He knows there must be more to the story and he is obsessed with solving this mystery. He yearns for regression and cannot wait for his next therapy session so that he can get back to solving the mystery. There are several lyrical similarities between "Home" and "Metropolis Pt.1" from the Images and Words album. Also, in the last several seconds of the song, the beginning of "Metropolis Pt.1" is sampled.

Scene Seven: I. The Dance of Eternity

The track could refer to Julian and Victoria being together in death, particularly that Julian fell onto Victoria and died with her. At the beginning of the song a backwards sample of the instrumental section of Part 1 can be heard, as well as a sample from the instrumental break. The song includes a keyboard riff used in "Metropolis Pt.1."

Scene Seven: II. One Last Time

This song begins with Nicholas going over it in his head. He is not convinced, from the evidence given so far, that the newspaper account is the truth. He also appears to have heard some rumors, most likely rumors of Victoria's affair with Edward. Did Victoria wound Edward's soul and bid him farewell? Then we see Victoria, in the past again, saying "One last time, we'll lay down today." This may be Nicholas hearing Victoria telling Edward goodbye, that this will be their last meeting. Nicholas visits Edward's house, where Victoria and Edward had their affair. The house seems to hold many clues and he feels that he is finally shown some confirmation of what he's been thinking. Though he is now awake, as he enters the bedroom, he experiences a sort of revelation, almost as though he's slipped right out of consciousness. The cold returns, as he felt in his recurring dreams before, and he's suddenly outside and hears a woman screaming and a man pleading forgiveness. It is possible that Nicholas at this point suspects Edward and Victoria were having an affair. That is the suspicion to which the home holds many clues. In his current state of dual consciousness, he is seeing Victoria's memories of the fatal meeting, but he doesn't get enough info yet and the scene fades to black.

Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On

Nicholas is awake again, and for the last time, under hypnosis and reiterating his belief that his soul will transcend, and that he need not fear death. He believes now that Edward was involved in the murder. He plans to expose the truth behind a crime that happened over 70 years ago. Victoria pipes up, in the present this time, and tells Nicholas that he should move on now, she has revealed the truth to him, but he should never forget her. At this point he basks in the peace that he feels as he has appeased Victoria's nagging and his own obsession. Nicholas now feels that the reason all of this happened, the ultimate message, is that death is not the end, but only a transition, as the Hypnotherapist has already pointed out.

Scene Nine: Finally Free

The last scene holds information Nicholas is not aware of, because the Hypnotherapist brings him out of his last hypnotic trance and we hear him get in his car and leave as the music takes a dark turn and thunder begins to roll in the background. What we learn is that Victoria and Julian meet by chance and decide to meet up later in secret so they can talk. Julian has discovered that his love for Victoria has allowed him to "break free" from his addictions. He is "no longer torn in two" and has chosen Victoria over his vices. She is obviously excited because Julian is the one she has always loved, and she's going to break it off with Edward. She is no longer torn between Edward and Julian, who she would rather have been with. But she knows Edward would "kill his brother if he only knew" of her affair with him. They meet without anyone knowing, or so they think. Edward shows up and begins struggling with Julian, who drops a bottle of liquor out of his coat pocket and pulls out the knife. Edward shoots Julian. Victoria screams. Edward tells her "Open your eyes, Victoria," and shoots her also. Julian crawls over to her, collapses on top of her and utters his last lines "One last time...". Edward writes the suicide note, leaves it in Julian's pocket and then runs for help to play his part as the witness. We then are transferred back to Nicholas. He's driving home and thinking about how he is free of the haunting that has plagued him. Also he has learned about his life, that it will carry on after death, through Victoria's presence in his life. Nicholas arrives home, begins listening to the news and pours himself a drink to relax. Soon another car pulls up. The Hypnotherapist enters the room and startles him by saying "Open your eyes, Nicholas." The phonograph gets bumped as Nicholas is startled by the Hypnotherapist. Then we hear static noise, which fades to black. The album recording leaves things unclear as to what happens, but it's revealed on the live DVD that the Hypnotherapist, Edward's reincarnation, has killed Nicholas and has completed the cycle yet again. This could be further interpreted in relation to Victoria, whose goal might've been to forewarn Nicholas of a murderous cycle, rather than to ease his uncertainty about the afterlife.

The static from the phonograph marks the beginning of what has been called a meta-album (also known as an album cycle) where the last note or noise of one album is the same or similar to the beginning of the next. The Dream Theater meta-album spans 4 albums: Scenes from a Memory, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought and Octavarium. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence opens with the same static sound, and ends with a long orchestra chord. Train of Thought opens with the same orchestra chord, and ends with a piano note. Octavarium ends the meta-album by having the same piano note in the beginning and in the end (in fact the piano note is followed by the start of "The Root of All Evil", Octavarium's first song), with the last lyrics stating "This story ends where it began."


METROPOLIS 2000: SCENES FROM NEW YORK DVD (2001)

Act I
1. Scene One: Regression
2. Scene Two: I. Overture 1928
3. Scene Two: II. Strange Déjà Vu
4. Scene Three: I. Through My Words
5. Scene Three: II. Fatal Tragedy
6. Scene Four: Beyond This Life
7. John & Theresa Solo Spot 
8. Scene Five: Through Her Eyes
Act II
9. Scene Six: Home
10. Scene Seven: I. The Dance of Eternity
11. Scene Seven: II. One Last Time
12. Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On
13. Scene Nine: Finally Free

Bonus live tracks:
14. A Mind Beside Itself I: Erotomania
15. A Mind Beside Itself II: Voices
16. A Mind Beside Itself III: The Silent Man
17. Learning to Live
18. A Change of Seasons

Feature-length commentary track by all five members of Dream Theater
Behind-the-scenes documentary
Photo gallery of the Metropolis 2000 world tour


Personnel



















Dream Theater:
John Myung-bass guitar
John Petrucci-guitar, backing vocals
Mike Portnoy-drums, backing vocals
James LaBrie-lead vocals
Jordan Rudess-keyboards

Guests:
Theresa Thomason-additional vocals
Gospel Choir: Mary Canty, Shelia Slappy, Mary Smith, Jeanette Smith, Clarence Burke Jr., Carol Cyrus, Dale Scott-additional backing vocals
Jo Marno-choir oordinator
Kent Broadhurst-the hypnotherapist


This is the live performance of the entire album Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes from a Memory at the Roseland Ballroom, New York on August 30, 2000. contained in Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York DVD.