The Astonishing, which released in January this year, is being described by the band as the next stage in Dream Theater’s growth as a band.  

“This is the next natural step in our evolution,” frontman James LaBrie says on the band’s website. “This is a pinnacle moment for us. This is something we had to do.”

The album is set in a dystopian future where a musically gifted hero challenges a despot ruler. The tracks are organized into a narrative which features different characters’ interwoven stories. The band’s website gives more insight into the world Dream Theater, particularly its guitarist John Petrucci, has constructed, with a map, character bios, and the promise of a video game.

The upcoming live shows will be full performances of The Astonishing, with visuals and lights to create a unique sensory experience. The shows start in Bethlehem, Penn., Oct. 5 and continue for two months, until Dec. 4 in Atlanta.

Dream Theater’s original members met at Berklee College of Music and knew they were onto something early, so they dropped out to focus on the band. For 25 years the founding core of John Petrucci on the guitar, John Myung on the bass and Mike Portnoy on the drums remained intact. In 2011 Portnoy left and was replaced by Mike Mangini. LaBrie and Jordan Rudess, the keyboardist, now round out the band.

Most members of Dream Theater have been recognized by recognized for technical ability by various publications, but the band said it has made a real effort to take its songwriting to the next level with The Astonishing. The band is promising a “unique and unparalleled experience,” even for longtime fans, at the upcoming.

Here is the routing:

Oct. 5 – Bethlehem, Pa., Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Oct. 7 – Wilkes-Barre, Pa., F.M. Kirby Center For Perf. Arts
Oct. 8 – Hershey, Pa., Hershey Theatre
Oct. 10 – Concord, N.H., Capitol Center for the Arts – Chubb Theatre
Oct. 18 – Worcester, Mass., Hanover Theatre For Perf. Arts
Oct. 19 – Newark, N.J., Prudential Hall
Oct. 21 – Portland, Maine, Merrill Auditorium At City Hall
Oct. 22 – Port Chester, N.Y., The Capitol Theatre
Oct. 24 – Grand Rapids, Mich., DeVos Performance Hall
Oct. 25 – Lakewood, Ohio, Lakewood Civic Auditorium
Oct. 27 – Toledo, Ohio, Stranahan Theater
Oct. 28 – Louisville, Ky., The Louisville Palace Theatre
Oct. 29 – Merrillville, Ind., Star Plaza Theatre
Oct. 31 – Indianapolis, Ind., Old National Centre
Nov. 1 – Milwaukee, Wis., Riverside Theatre
Nov. 9 – San Antonio, Texas, The Tobin Center For The Performing Arts
Nov. 15 – Tucson, Ariz., Centennial Hall
Nov. 16 – Anaheim, Calif., City National Grove Of Anaheim
Nov. 19 – Reno, Nev., Grand Sierra Resort Theatre
Nov. 20 – San Jose, Calif., City National Civic
Nov. 27 – Durham, N.C., Durham Performing Arts Center
Dec. 2 – Orlando, Fla., Hard Rock Cafe / Hard Rock Live
Dec. 4 – Atlanta, Ga., Symphony Hall – Woodruff Arts Ctr.
Tickets to most of the October shows are on sale now. A presale for most of the November shows start Aug. 25 and continues until Aug. 26. Visit for more on the band.