Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,085

    Dream Theater Opens For Self but Blows Away Opening Act

    Saw three hours plus of Dream Theater in their first Toronto appearance last night. They played two one-and-a-half hour sets. The band is just stunning. There cannot be a live act that has more talented musicians than this group (their ability to write songs is a different matter). They got off to a slow start in my opinion with about forty minutes of prog-fusion bombasticism that was amazing to watch, but left a lot to be desired musically. I suppose this was stuff from their new album, which I am not familiar with. Then they did about twenty minutes or so from Scenes From A Memory, with a few scattered things from their other albums. The first set was not overly audience friendly, but highly enjoyable, with the audience standing for most of the performance.

    As good as the band was in the opening set, the second set uped the ante by at least 50% with an outstanding selection of songs with more melodic vocal lines. At one point Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci played about a three minute, simultaneous, note-for-note, shredding and keyboard solo. No matter who you think is the best guitar player you've ever seen live, you aint seen nothing until you've seen petrucci. It was friggin' amazing! Myung and Portnoy were solid and outstanding. La Brie was in good form, and usually left the stage after the vocal parts leaving the four other members to solidly rock and entertain with their high energy and impossibly complex playing skills.

    The encore was the 20 minute A Change of Seasons suite.

    I was glad to see that they gave Jordan Rudess much more time in the spotlight than I recall from seeing them about a year ago.

    The band is not for everybody, but if you've never seen them, pick up their DVD and be prepared to be amazed. See what a bunch of Juliard Music grads can do when they decide to push the frontiers of modern music.

    It's just like nothing on earth!

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lawrenceville
    Posts
    1,112
    I think the rest of the band overshadows that singer dude.

    They are much better when he isn't howling, he brings the overall quality of that band down.

    Just my opinion, based on watching the dvd several times.

    By the way that damn dvd wears me out.

    But I bet that was a great gig, thanks for the review, maybe someday I will see them.

    My good friend is flying in to YYZ tonight to go see The Musical Box tomorrow night.

    Dave

  3. #3
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Fumbuck
    Posts
    2,630

    Ya.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_G
    I think the rest of the band overshadows that singer dude.

    They are much better when he isn't howling, he brings the overall quality of that band down.

    Just my opinion, based on watching the dvd several times.

    By the way that damn dvd wears me out.

    But I bet that was a great gig, thanks for the review, maybe someday I will see them.

    My good friend is flying in to YYZ tonight to go see The Musical Box tomorrow night.

    Dave
    Based on watching the 2000 DVD, the singer has virtually no bidness being in that band. Not only can he barely sing with any sort of melodic capability, his on-stage personality is severely lacking. It's funny how he just totally leaves the stage sometimes when he's not singing. I guess a tambourine and a shaker just don't cut it for every song, eh? I sure hope he's not getting the same pay as the rest of the guys.

    Barry, you hit the nail/head with several of your comments. Thanks for the review!

    ep

  4. #4
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Cortland NY
    Posts
    444

    Thumbs down Agreed, Labrie is the weakest link.

    I've never been particularly fond of James Labrie. It's not that he can't carry a melody (he can); it's just that, for all his vaunted technical prowess, he sounds too much like a torch singer. Dream Theater is a prog-metal band, for chrissakes. Having Labrie front Dream Theater is almost like having Celine Dion front Metallica (okay, maybe not that obnoxious, but same principle).

    Melodic vocalists can work with hard prog or prog-metal, take for example Maynard James Keenan (Tool); he's got a very melodic voice. However, the difference is that Maynard also has the capacity to unleash a seriously vitriolic scream. Anybody who's heard "Ticks And Leeches" from Lateralus knows exactly what I'm talking about here. A wimp like Labrie can't pull that sort of thing off. His voice is well-suited to MOR ballads, but who wants to hear those?

    Nowadays, I've also noticed that Dream Theater frequently uses electronic effects on Labrie's voice to fit the heavier songs. Why not just find a better singer for that sort of thing? I've got the perfect solution: Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth). Clean singing, growling, screams--man, that guy can do it all.
    "...and then at the end of the letter I like to write <i>'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.'</i> "


    <b>_R.I.P. Mitch Hedburg 1968-2005_</b>

  5. #5
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Fumbuck
    Posts
    2,630

    Whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    I've never been particularly fond of James Labrie. It's not that he can't carry a melody (he can); it's just that, for all his vaunted technical prowess, he sounds too much like a torch singer. Dream Theater is a prog-metal band, for chrissakes. Having Labrie front Dream Theater is almost like having Celine Dion front Metallica (okay, maybe not that obnoxious, but same principle).

    Melodic vocalists can work with hard prog or prog-metal, take for example Maynard James Keenan (Tool); he's got a very melodic voice. However, the difference is that Maynard also has the capacity to unleash a seriously vitriolic scream. Anybody who's heard "Ticks And Leeches" from Lateralus knows exactly what I'm talking about here. A wimp like Labrie can't pull that sort of thing off. His voice is well-suited to MOR ballads, but who wants to hear those?

    Nowadays, I've also noticed that Dream Theater frequently uses electronic effects on Labrie's voice to fit the heavier songs. Why not just find a better singer for that sort of thing? I've got the perfect solution: Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth). Clean singing, growling, screams--man, that guy can do it all.
    Whatever it takes to break Opeth up, I'm in favor.

    Is Opeth Latin for 'sucks'?

    fp

  6. #6
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Highway 6, between Tonopah and Ely
    Posts
    2,318
    Nice one Barry.

    Ya know, I've tried a bunch of different DT CDs over the years, but have never been able to get past that singer. The band seems to fit the mold of the overwrought wankfest too many notes too fast without any feeling progressive metal band. They feel like a cliche.

    I tend to enjoy the individual players from that band when they perform with others or make solo albums, but when they are all together, it becomes too much.

    I have a friend that gets fatigued with complicated music. I went to see Porcupine Tree with him once and he had to walk out of the show to the lobby for a while because the music was too dense and intense for him. I chuckle to myself about what a lightweight he is, but you know, that is exactly the way I feel about DT. Like the Geezer says, it's exhausting, not exhilarating.

    That said, I will go and see these guys when they come to town, I promise.

    And what DVD is this you guys are talking about? Gimme a title and I'll seek it out.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,085

    Scenes From A Memory: Live in NYC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Nice one Barry.

    Ya know, I've tried a bunch of different DT CDs over the years, but have never been able to get past that singer. The band seems to fit the mold of the overwrought wankfest too many notes too fast without any feeling progressive metal band. They feel like a cliche.

    I tend to enjoy the individual players from that band when they perform with others or make solo albums, but when they are all together, it becomes too much.

    I have a friend that gets fatigued with complicated music. I went to see Porcupine Tree with him once and he had to walk out of the show to the lobby for a while because the music was too dense and intense for him. I chuckle to myself about what a lightweight he is, but you know, that is exactly the way I feel about DT. Like the Geezer says, it's exhausting, not exhilarating.

    That said, I will go and see these guys when they come to town, I promise.

    And what DVD is this you guys are talking about? Gimme a title and I'll seek it out.
    What's the difference between a Reply and a Quick Reply? I thought with a quick reply you didn't get the quote, but that's not it 'cause I see your quote.

  8. #8
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Fumbuck
    Posts
    2,630

    No tit le.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    That said, I will go and see these guys when they come to town, I promise.

    And what DVD is this you guys are talking about? Gimme a title and I'll seek it out.
    Duh. Dream Theatre. Wank, wank, wank.

    fp

  9. #9
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Cortland NY
    Posts
    444

    Lightbulb Heh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Nice one Barry.

    Ya know, I've tried a bunch of different DT CDs over the years, but have never been able to get past that singer. The band seems to fit the mold of the overwrought wankfest too many notes too fast without any feeling progressive metal band. They feel like a cliche.

    I tend to enjoy the individual players from that band when they perform with others or make solo albums, but when they are all together, it becomes too much.

    I have a friend that gets fatigued with complicated music. I went to see Porcupine Tree with him once and he had to walk out of the show to the lobby for a while because the music was too dense and intense for him. I chuckle to myself about what a lightweight he is, but you know, that is exactly the way I feel about DT. Like the Geezer says, it's exhausting, not exhilarating.
    Agreed on the wankfest thing. Dream Theater do have a tendency to slip into that mode fairly often in a live setting, which is why I don't care for their live stuff much. Their studio albums are a bit more restrained, and more entertaining to listen to. However, I don't find Dream Theater's flash exhausting--just boring. You want exhausting, complicated music? Try Dillinger Escape Plan or Spiral Architect. One hour of that and my brains are splattered on the freakin' wall.
    "...and then at the end of the letter I like to write <i>'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.'</i> "


    <b>_R.I.P. Mitch Hedburg 1968-2005_</b>

  10. #10
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Hey! Over here!
    Posts
    2,746

    If it were performance art or parody, then Labrie fits in

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_G
    I think the rest of the band overshadows that singer dude.

    They are much better when he isn't howling, he brings the overall quality of that band down.

    Just my opinion, based on watching the dvd several times.

    By the way that damn dvd wears me out.

    I agree completely.

    I've listened to two albums from this band, and I'd say that I felt fatigued by the end of either one. Sure, a singer like Labrie would fit in a nostalgia act like The Darkness, just because of the ciche factor, but seriously, this style of singing never went over well, even in the hieght of heavy metal. a talented group of guys like DT might be more successful with a better, more visceral lead singer.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,158

    Thanks Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    Saw three hours plus of Dream Theater in their first Toronto appearance last night. They played two one-and-a-half hour sets. The band is just stunning. There cannot be a live act that has more talented musicians than this group (their ability to write songs is a different matter). They got off to a slow start in my opinion with about forty minutes of prog-fusion bombasticism that was amazing to watch, but left a lot to be desired musically. I suppose this was stuff from their new album, which I am not familiar with. Then they did about twenty minutes or so from Scenes From A Memory, with a few scattered things from their other albums. The first set was not overly audience friendly, but highly enjoyable, with the audience standing for most of the performance.

    As good as the band was in the opening set, the second set uped the ante by at least 50% with an outstanding selection of songs with more melodic vocal lines. At one point Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci played about a three minute, simultaneous, note-for-note, shredding and keyboard solo. No matter who you think is the best guitar player you've ever seen live, you aint seen nothing until you've seen petrucci. It was friggin' amazing! Myung and Portnoy were solid and outstanding. La Brie was in good form, and usually left the stage after the vocal parts leaving the four other members to solidly rock and entertain with their high energy and impossibly complex playing skills.

    The encore was the 20 minute A Change of Seasons suite.

    I was glad to see that they gave Jordan Rudess much more time in the spotlight than I recall from seeing them about a year ago.

    The band is not for everybody, but if you've never seen them, pick up their DVD and be prepared to be amazed. See what a bunch of Juliard Music grads can do when they decide to push the frontiers of modern music.

    It's just like nothing on earth!

    Great review..........FA offered your ticket to me but, I could not make the trip.

    I agree 100% with you on the abilities of formally trained musicians -- they are an awesome talent. As you can read for yourself from the DT website, they did not attend Julliard..........Myung and Petrucci met Portnoy in Boston at the Berklee school of music, which is a bit more liberal in their acceptance of rockers. They formed a band called "Majesty" and discovered that they all grew up together in Long Island without ever knowing each other. LaBrie came from a Canadian band (you should have known that) called "Winter Rose"............you can read the rest here if interested.....

    http://www.dreamtheater.net/info_biography.php


    Thanks again.........wish I could have joined in the fun and amazement.

  12. #12
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    Posts
    9,025
    Geez, somebody's got to stick up for the guy. LaBrie ain't that bad guys. He's definitely not the main attraction in that band (Pertrucci and Portnoy), but he's no worse than Myung, or any of keyboard players. If anything, LaBrie makes DT a bit more distinguished. Guys like Maynard Keenan and Mikael Akerfeldt, though great vocalists in their own right, would make DT sound like every othe prog-metal band. Trust me, spend a few years in Europe, and they all sound the same after awhile (well, except for maybe Therion).
    That being said, DT isn't prog metal, they're prog rock. Sure they can play metal, but they're at their best when the melody and harmony are there, not when they're loud for the sake of being loud. Ever notice how Keenan sounds pretty much the same on every Tool album? At least LaBrie mixes it up a bit.
    I will concede, sometimes LaBrie does approach Micheal Bolton territory in cheesiness, but hey, nobody's perfect.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lawrenceville
    Posts
    1,112
    If they want to sell more records then they will have to can the singer.

    But my guess is they have $ a-plenty so there is probably little motivation to change a successful business.

    Progressive rock? Maybe.

    I call them hard rock.

    I still think they should hire another frontman (like the dude currently with Arena) to push them to another level.

    Dave

  14. #14
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    9,769
    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like LaBrie's voice. I admit that it's not the best out there, but I think that he does a pretty good job given DT's music. Does he do a great primal scream? Maybe not. But does DT's music require a great primal scream? No. Not in my opinion anyway.

    What you're all missing here is the need for a focal point in a live performance. LaBrie adds that focal point when you aren't staring in awe at Petrucci's flying fingers. He's got stage presence. He's a large guy (in comparison to Petrucci and Myung), he's got good hair, and he fills the stage in a way that the rest of the guys in the band don't. Well, with the exception of Portnoy...he has his own stage presence.

    While the rest of the band have all eyes on them during the instrumentals, LaBrie leaves the stage and doesn't try to upstage. But when the music steps back a bit and the vocals are the main focus, LaBrie adds to that focus by his presence alone. Could someone else do this? Sure. Is LaBrie holding the band back? I'm not so sure about that. There are lots of bands with bad singers out there who are getting a lot more attention than Dream Theater. Are they more talented musicians? Absolutely not. Is the music more commercially accessable? You bet it is!

    A few of you have pointed out that DT's music has a tendancy to be too complicated; too fast; exhausting . I would argue that that's the reason for their lack of commercial success. The general public just isn't interested in this type of music. They want mediocrity and pretty faces. They don't want music that makes them think. They don't care about talent and skill. Most people hear music. But they don't want to have to listen to it.

    So, is LaBrie the problem? He may be a problem. But I don't think that he's the problem.

    Besides, if DT were more successful, the musical snobs around this place would stop listening.
    Last edited by ForeverAutumn; 03-29-2004 at 02:54 PM.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,158

    yep

    I cosign with FA; she has them figured out.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lawrenceville
    Posts
    1,112

    !

    He paid ya'll to say those nice things.


    Good thread, enjoyed it.

    Dave

  17. #17
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,085

    I Can't Let Facts Get In The Way

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterCylinder
    Great review..........FA offered your ticket to me but, I could not make the trip.

    I agree 100% with you on the abilities of formally trained musicians -- they are an awesome talent. As you can read for yourself from the DT website, they did not attend Julliard..........Myung and Petrucci met Portnoy in Boston at the Berklee school of music, which is a bit more liberal in their acceptance of rockers. They formed a band called "Majesty" and discovered that they all grew up together in Long Island without ever knowing each other. LaBrie came from a Canadian band (you should have known that) called "Winter Rose"............you can read the rest here if interested.....

    http://www.dreamtheater.net/info_biography.php


    Thanks again.........wish I could have joined in the fun and amazement.
    Good for you for doing the research. Apparently I just made that stuff up or have a memory like a sieve.

    I look forward to Yes in about 6 weeks time, and hopefully King's X in a little club on Church street also in May.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,158

    wow

    You Dog ! You're gettin' all the good gigs.

    I've seen YES 14 or 15 times.............lost count.

    King's X is from my home state of Texas.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,085

    I was just in San Antonio

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterCylinder
    You Dog ! You're gettin' all the good gigs.

    I've seen YES 14 or 15 times.............lost count.

    King's X is from my home state of Texas.
    Was there a few weeks ago. Went to the Alamo. Saw the IMAX. Did the Riverwalk thing. Had dinner at The Palms. Damn trains kept going through the middle of the city all night! I thought the weather would be warmer. Really enjoyed the pecan pie at Bill Millers...two lunches in a row!

    Ya gotta love Texas! I proudly wear my Alamo t-shirt (well, I haven't actually worn it anywhere yet).

  20. #20
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Fumbuck
    Posts
    2,630

    Hmmm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_G
    But my guess is they have $ a-plenty so there is probably little motivation to change a successful business.
    Dave
    Have you noticed how small a place they were playing in the DVD? They're stingy with the crowd shots, but when they show them, it's smalllllllll.

    I'm sure they wouldn't turn down more $$. They probably won't can the singer cuz he doesn't get in their way, and he makes them look better.

    Wankwankwank.

    I looked at Performance for you today. There's a bike there that might work, but until they take $1000 off, it won't be in your ball park. All XTR *drooool* ...nothing else has come in.

    ep

  21. #21
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    1,158

    Texas

    Barry...............

    Glad you enjoyed San Antonio. I'm from Arlington, which is in the middle of the whole DFA metro area. King's X is out of Houston. As you can see, the state is as big as those Canadian provinces.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Dream Theater is coming! Dream Theater is coming!
    By ForeverAutumn in forum Rave Recordings
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-02-2004, 08:04 AM
  2. My Dream Theater
    By RushM3 in forum Home Theater/Video
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 01-22-2004, 04:34 PM
  3. TRAIN OF THOUGHT -- Dream Theater
    By MasterCylinder in forum Rave Recordings
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-20-2003, 06:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •