17. Dream Theater, Zippo Encore Stage on Sunday, 19:00 - 20:10

Ahhh, Dream Theater! The thinking person’s Metal band. The band that the terms pompous, overblown and convoluted were invented for and believe me that they are all meant as high compliments. This is Metal as its most complex, self-indulgent and mind-blowing. Dream Theater don’t make songs, that would be far too simple and passé. They create musical movements that are built on layers upon layers of intricate and sumptuous musicianship. Live it is as much a recital as a gig and you have to stand in wonder at the amount of notes, flourishes and ideas within each piece. There is something perverse about putting them on just before Slayer (a band for whom simplicity and directness has been a calling card) but Dream Theater, for all their musical complexity, are a damn fine live band and they will produce a set that will enthrall and invigorate. So reserve your spot for Slayer and enjoy the band who put both the Prog and the Metal into the term Progmetal.

By Stewart Lucas