A couple of things:
I always enjoyed his vocal parts. There is only one I can think of that didn't really work for me (the "rooooooaaaaarrrr!" in ANTR).
I find it funny people complain about DT using backing tracks, but forget they used them on PoW live with the backing vocals in the verses, those awesome high pitch MP vocals, which I expected him to do live.
- Those particular vocals would be impossible to recreate live, due to it being so many voices. Just about all other live vocals they ever did in those days were always live.
- Nobody was lip synching to that backing track so nobody tried to pass it off as live, when it wasn't. Which is what they do these days
As much shit as some people give MP's vocals, for the most part I thought he was an excellent backing vocalist. And his insistence to always to it proper live was always something that I respected. I don't really respect Petrucci when he's lipsynching but all I hear are layers of Labrie vocals. Or even worse, a single Labrie vocal seemingly coming out of Petrucci's mouth. (The Mirror on Breaking The Forth Wall.)
Fair point if you prefer the past way of doing things where all
of the backing vocals were done live. But I have to vigorously disagree with your point about lip synching and, as you put it, "trying to pass it off as live, when it wasn't." They don't do that, and this has been gone over in detail in other threads. Yes, they are piping in triggered backup vocals that are clearly James' layered backing tracks. That isn't in dispute. And if you don't like that, that's perfectly fine and is your prerogative. But JP is positively NOT lip synching. I know this for two reasons:
1. When I saw them on the DT12 tour, I was right up against the stage and close enough that I could hear him singing (even though I could not hear him coming through the PA). And I was especially listening to hear whether he was singing because it was already being discussed on the forums at that point in time that people thought he might be lip synching (and if I am not misremembering, I believe some of that discussion was in connection with Luna Park because it had been released by that point and the same issue appeared to be going on there).
2. I asked him. And I mentioned the same thing--that on LP, it looked like he was not actually singing because there was no vocal track where you could actually hear him, but it looked like he was mouthing the words, and you could hear the JLB backing track. And I told him about the forum speculation that he was lip synching. And he told me that, no, he is indeed singing and not lip synching, but that he does not consider himself nearly the singer James is, so while they wanted his voice added to the backing vocals for texture, he was very low in the mix.
Now, is it possible he was not being truthful with me? Sure. But given that I was able to verify for myself at the show I was at that he was actually singing, and given that I am not aware of any time he has ever been untruthful with me in the past, the most reasonable conclusion is that he was telling the truth and that he does not lip synch. I don't know whether his backing track on the two live releases in question is missing from the final mixes, or whether it is just buried so low in the mixes that you can't hear it. But all credible information suggests that he is singing in harmony with the trigged JLB backing track and not lip synching. So it is annoying to say the least to have to continually see people continuing to perpetuate the incorrect facts about the supposed lip synching.