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Dream Theater Guitarist John Petrucci Discusses ‘Live at Luna Park’ DVD and Upcoming Tour

John-Petrucci
Robert Cianflone, Getty Images

Dream Theater‘s new DVD ‘Live at Luna Park’ recently entered at No. 1 on the Soundscan music DVD chart. Filmed in Argentina during the final leg of their A Dramatic Tour of Events in 2011, the DVD / Blu-Ray release comes in a variety of editions including a deluxe set that features a 60-page hardback photo book. Loudwire recently had the chance to speak with the band’s guitarist John Petrucci about the new release, as well as their plans for their 2014 tour.

John, congratulations on the DVD reaching No. 1.

Thanks a lot. It feels amazing and it is a total testament to the dedication and passion of our fans.

Once again, Dream Theater sort of sneaks up and winds up at the top of the charts.

It’s funny, isn’t it? Like you said, here we are again seemingly under the radar and it never ceases to amaze me. It really is good to feel loved and appreciated by our fans. They are always there to support us and make things happen. I think they are unlike any other audience out there. These are people who really love the music and have, for the most part, followed us for long time.

Where you shot this DVD, in Buenos Aires, really seems to be a hotbed of Dream Theater fanatics.

It really is. We’ve done a bunch of other live DVDs, from Europe and Asia and in the United States, but never in South America so we thought it was finally time. They are just such an incredible audience down there. We’ve been going down there for a long time and South American fans are kind of famous for the amount of energy they deliver back to you while you’re on stage. It’s always kind of insane for us down there. Since we’ve never done a DVD in South America, we told our director before heading down there that we really wanted him to capture the full experience.  That’s why there’s so much content of the DVD. You get the entire experience, from our performance to the fan interaction to everything in between. Mike Leonard did a really terrific job shooting this DVD. He captured everything.

The fans down there truly do seem to go crazy for you guys. What is it about South America, do you think, that makes your kind of music so popular?

I think about that a lot. It’s hard for me to say for sure why our music is embraced or accepted in certain parts of the world more than others. I’m just not totally sure. Our music tends to be more demanding than straight ahead rock or pop. Maybe culturally there are just more complex rhythms and demanding music that a lot of these kids hear while they are growing up. Metal tends to be so much a part of the youth culture in South America, which probably makes it a little bit easier for them to get into what we do. I remember when we played Chile for the first time. There were 20,000 people there! We’re always selling out arenas down in South America so it does become like another world for us. And I’d love to bottle all of that up and sprinkle it all over the globe (laughs). The bottom line is, they recognize our passion for sure and so we’re really happy that we finally have had a chance to document all of the magic that we experience down there.

John, you’re in the midst of planning the world tour that kicks off this coming January. How is it coming so far?

Really well. Were calling it “An Evening with Dream Theater” and it will be two full sets with an intermission. Just a ton of music. Our goal is to make it the best Dream Theater live experience ever and when you enter the venue, our plan is to just take you into our world. In addition to the music, there will be a complex video and lighting component that really will create this kind of parallel universe where we live. There will be many musical surprises. The goal is always to raise the bar from the previous tour but this time I think were really going little bit crazy. I have to add to that it’s been extra exciting for our drummer Mike Mangini because there’s plenty of music in our back catalog that he’s never played before so for him a lot of this really is going to be a new experience. But I promise you this will be unlike any other Dream Theater show you’ve ever seen or experienced and it’s going to be very special.

Our thanks to John Petrucci for taking the time to talk with us. Dream Theater’s 2014 tour kicks off Jan. 15 in Portugal. See a full list of dates and purchase tickets here. You can also pick up the band’s ‘Live at Luna Park’ in one of a variety of editions here.

Watch the Trailer for Dream Theater’s ‘Live at Luna Park’ DVD

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