I caught the Upper Darby show last weekend and I found myself enjoying parts of it, but it left me wanting a little more overall. First, the separated screens is not so much my thing. I find myself trying to piece together the graphics through the gaps between the screens, especially when they're showing character's faces. Other parts, like when they displayed trees or a moon on the screens, I felt like it worked better. But, to me, one giant screen like the last tour would've been the way to go. Since this was a musical, I also felt like physical props would've been a nice touch. Like, they could've physically transformed the stage into Heaven's Cove or other settings and JLB could've walked around and atop the props as he delivered his lines in theatrical fashion -- like an actual musical.
Also, I found the story hard to follow live. It's been a couple months since I'd listened to The Astonishing because I've been hooked on the new Redemption album, so I didn't really recall the intricacies of the storyline. That left me relying on JLB's lyrics and the animations to refresh my memory, but unfortunately I found JLB hard to understand in many cases and the animations did not further the story as much as I had hoped. If I were someone who had never heard the album, I probably would've been totally lost.
Lastly, the band was spot on but JLB did not really deliver his vocals with a passion like was needed for this type of performance, in my opinion. I felt like he was strolling around the stage and acting very casual, but since this is a musical I was hoping for a little more acting and fire in his movements and delivery. Instead, he performed like it was a regular concert with a t-shirt and ripped jeans.
I know this sounds critical, but it's only because I expect the best from DT. I'm still proud of their effort and ambition. Long live, DT.