Last Friday (June 16), Dream Theater kicked off their Dreamsonic 2023 tour, for which they’ve recruited the supporting services of Animals As Leaders – and it wasn’t long before the two bands’ resident electric guitar heroes were sharing the stage.
On paper, a tour that includes both John Petrucci and Tosin Abasi is absolutely ripe for awe-inspiring guitar action, and those in attendance on the first night got exactly that when Abasi joined Dream Theater for a set-closing rendition of The Spirit Carries On.
With their two Ernie Ball Music Man models in tow, the pair were also joined by Abasi’s fellow support act Devin Townsend, who opted to abstain from guitar duties, instead sacrificing the six-string spotlight to Trooch and Abasi.
Abasi and his radical Kaizen model, which he developed with EBMM back in 2022, spend much of the time locked into rhythm duties, while Petrucci – with his guitar “high and nerdy” and knee up on a foot rest – takes his Majesty signature guitar for a spin during the song’s guitar solo.
The Abasi Concepts creator soon gets in on the lead action, though, sonically aligning his own outro melody with that of Trooch’s, resulting in a goosebump-inducing harmonized exchange between the pair.
It turned out to be a hair-raising finale to the 11-song setlist, which had previously seen Dream Theater perform songs such as Solitary Shell, The Alien, Sleeping Giant and The Count of Tuscany.
Indeed, the Kaizen proved to be the perfect sonic foil for the Majesty, both of which were wielded with utmost efficiency as their respective players squeezed out lashings of vibrato and feel for the mesmerizing curtain closer.
“Touring with @dreamtheaterofficial is sick enough but getting to share the stage, harmonizing with @johnpetrucciofficial is beyond words,” Abasi wrote on Instagram after the show. “You guys gotta make to sure come out to this tour.”
Unsurprisingly, a handful of guitar stars were just as enamored with the team-up as fans were: “Ahhhhh yesssssss this is so amazing,” commented Nita Strauss. “Beautiful,” wrote Rick Beato.
Fortunately for those with an eye on attending a Dreamsonic 2023 show – and for those eagerly following developments online – the whole performance wasn’t just a one-off. According to Setlist.fm, Abasi and Townsend have both featured for the finale for all three shows so far.
Now we just need to see Trooch cameo on an Animals As Leaders track and take a swing at some thumping lines. There are still 26 shows left of Dreamsonic 2023, so never say never.
For a list of upcoming tour dates, head over to Dream Theater’s website.