I just got back from an absolutely amazing concert (so refreshing!)
I missed the first two bands of Progressive Nation 09, but did get to see Zappa Plays Zappa & Dream Theater ... Zappa was beyond incredible ... first of all, there was this girl in the band playing Flute, Saxes, Keys & Singing ... A Drummer, A percussionist, Dweedle (sp?) & another guitar & bassist. Second, the giant variety of musical styles within their music is all kinds of awesome ... It really blew me away .. I can't believe how much I've been missing not having listened to them.
Dream Theater was great ... they've improved tremendously as a live band since I last saw them ... full of energy & doing a lot of great musical things w/ a well put together set-list & great transitions ... lots of jamming this time. They're so inspirational technically, but also as composers because of what they do w/ form/orchestration ... so amazing to watch & listen to.
I'm really glad to have gone to that concert, though I wish I had gotten to see Scale the Summit & BigElf ... oh well, I did get a Porcupine Tree sticker for my cello case! It's yet another affirmation for me of how much better progressive rock & heavy metal are than classical. I say better because there is more in them and they are so much more interesting & developed & have so much more sounds. And in terms of presentation there is so much more to experience at a concert ... it's a multi-media thing that really encompasses so many different areas, where as classical is this really narrow kind of setting, and while it's really expressive within its area ... we're still talking about a small area. Also, classical music was groundbreaking & transforming 200 years ago ... we've moved so far forward since then.
That being said, I'm planning to do some hardcore analysis/score reading of both Dream Theater & Classical stuff (starting w/ Bach/Mozart/Beethoven piano stuff).
There's some more I want to write, but now is not the time...