Been a fan since forever, they're one of the earliest metal bands I've started to listen to.
Utmost respect, praise and admiration for them, it's just that being a fan since 20 years and more some side effects appear:
- I'm sick of the older songs, I don't listen to them anymore just like I don't listen anymore for the 400.000th time The Trooper or The Number of the Beast;
- I've seen them live quite a lot and they've never been like Portnoy in approaching the shows, so half of the set kinda bores me (but they tour rarely enough for each time to be a treat).
Furthermore, I repeat my total admiration and appreciation also for that genius that is Hansi Kurch, but let me tell you that for all the slack James LaBrie gets with DT, you should try to be a Blind Guardian fan with that same mindset, you'd want Hansi's head on a spike for his live performances and his continuing loweing of an octave of 50% of all the vocal lines.
Still, I dearly love them, also for personal reasons (being a regular at their forum made me have a lot of friends, both italian and foreign - I owe to Blind Guardian all the friendships that allowed me to visit Germany several times) will forever call them one of my favorite bands, and I look forward to see them again all the future times I will get!
Hansi (the band) does frequently alter a melody to suit his vocal capabilities more, but musicially it is usually sound. Not all songs work this way though, especially in Imaginations, Opera, and Nightfall songs. But in older BG bootlegs (around Nightfall/Opera), the band often sang out of tune which, to my ears, is much worse. I enjoyed the live feeds of Wacken 016 and Rock Hard 016 (there is a proshot out there) and thought Hansi sounded good.
I am very fond of Labrie in general, but to me his mumbling and out of tune notes can severly impact my enjoyment of a DT concert. Thus far I have been fairly lucky in that regard, only the first Astonishing show I saw was a bad Labrie. But looking at the bootlegs of this tour, I really wish DT would take the approach of BG in this regard, because some songs absolutely don't work anymore.
I've seen them 3 times now, most of the setlist was the same all three times.
Looking at setlist.fm, the overlap between my two shows was 7 songs out of 20ish (granted, this was a 5 year difference). The other two shows here were decently different as well (one was of the same tour and had a couple of other songs and the other one was where they played Imaginations in full).
I do agree with you guys on this though. While I absolutely love hearing Mirror Mirror, the Bard's song etc. live, I would like it if they visit some more songs that weren't (prominent) in their live repretoire before. Usually when they change up a setlist it seems to mean they pick from their usual live song pool we all know from their live releases.
This is one aspect of DT I do really like, every show/tour I have seen had 0 overlap.