Author Topic: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward  (Read 5769 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lucasembarbosa

  • Posts: 166
  • Gender: Male
  • Pale Rider of No Tomorrow
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2017, 08:47:53 AM »
I can't think of any other vocalist with the same voice timbre as James. His tone is VERY singular. It's not like Allen/Lande/Dio where you can find similar tones and styles...

Offline gzarruk

  • Posts: 452
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2017, 10:35:06 AM »
Once Chris left, one of the glaring problems of QR were not as good vocal melodies. This is an opposite example to DT, but it shows that vocal melodies need to be an effort of both the singer AND songwriter, IMO.

I think their biggest problem after the first few albums was their singer  :biggrin:

I can't think of any other vocalist with the same voice timbre as James. His tone is VERY singular. It's not like Allen/Lande/Dio where you can find similar tones and styles...

Agree. James's voice is unique. Even though there's lots of amazing vocalists out there who could nail the DT songs, a similar timbre is very difficult to find.
I was listening to a couple TA songs yesterday while I was walking and, oh man, James sounds perfect on the album. He was able to give each character a unique tone, while still sound like him. I'm astonished  :D
"I believe the sacrifices in life give more than they take"

Offline cramx3

  • Chillest of the chill
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 14211
  • Gender: Male
    • The Home of cramx3
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2017, 03:51:02 PM »
Another thing, not every song HAS to be played live. There are such things as "album tracks".

But that hasn't been the DT way and one reason I love DT, they play everything.  Maybe that will change, but it would really suck to love one of those "album tracks" and never see it live.... Iron Maiden I am thinking of you  >:(

Offline gzarruk

  • Posts: 452
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2017, 04:02:16 PM »
Another thing, not every song HAS to be played live. There are such things as "album tracks".

But that hasn't been the DT way and one reason I love DT, they play everything.  Maybe that will change, but it would really suck to love one of those "album tracks" and never see it live.... Iron Maiden I am thinking of you  >:(

Usually, the tracks that don't get played live are the ones the fans aren't too crazy about. Having said that, I'd rather have them play most of their songs live.
Like you said, DT has almost played everything in their catalog and that's what makes their tours all different and interesting. I never understood how some bands, even when they're touring in support of a new album (Megadeth, for example), play the same old songs on every tour, every concert, every single time (Holy wars, Symphony of Destruction, etc) and just include a couple of new tracks on the set. Imagine if DT played Pull Me Under on all their concerts...

Just to mention them, if I'm not wrong, the only songs DT has never played live are: Don't Look Past Me, The Best of Times, Raw Dog, The Bigger Picture and Surrender to Reason.
"I believe the sacrifices in life give more than they take"

Offline MirrorMask

  • Posts: 2706
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2017, 01:04:42 AM »
Have they ever played Hell's Kitchen exactly as it is on the album?

EDIT: Checked Setlist.fm, they did, but mainly in the all acoustic shows.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 02:26:15 AM by MirrorMask »

Offline ariich

  • sexin' you later
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 19349
  • Gender: Male
  • Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #40 on: January 04, 2017, 02:39:26 AM »
Another thing, not every song HAS to be played live. There are such things as "album tracks".

But that hasn't been the DT way and one reason I love DT, they play everything.  Maybe that will change, but it would really suck to love one of those "album tracks" and never see it live.... Iron Maiden I am thinking of you  >:(
Well, actually it's always been the DT way, since 1994 anyway. They never played Space Dye Vest until a couple of years ago, and now they will (probably) never play The Best of Times.

Offline MirrorMask

  • Posts: 2706
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2017, 02:46:16 AM »
Well, the reasons why they were never played are very specific and personal, it's not that they wrote many songs over the years adding duets, odd instruments, three guitar lines and two keyboards because "who cares, it's not that we will play it live anyway". Or, to make a less extreme example, had an habit of never ever playing some songs from each album like for example Iron Maiden do.

Offline noxon

  • Fan Club Professional
  • Posts: 832
  • Gender: Male
    • DTNorway
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2017, 06:01:50 AM »
Eh, well, there are plenty of songs that aren't played from every album.. Sure, they probably got some play during the initial tour (especially when MP was doing the setlists, because he made sure they covered most of the ground). But after the initial tour, only the best hitters with the audience are played - so from each album theres a large portion that hasn't been heard live since the original tour.
There will be a reckoning.

Offline cramx3

  • Chillest of the chill
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 14211
  • Gender: Male
    • The Home of cramx3
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2017, 08:11:08 AM »
Eh, well, there are plenty of songs that aren't played from every album.. Sure, they probably got some play during the initial tour (especially when MP was doing the setlists, because he made sure they covered most of the ground). But after the initial tour, only the best hitters with the audience are played - so from each album theres a large portion that hasn't been heard live since the original tour.

But that's more so due to only having a certain amount of songs that can be played per tour with an ever increasing amount of catalogue of music.  DT has played plenty of songs after the initial album tour that many would consider not a big hit off the album but that's also IMO because DT's fan base is so diverse and the music is diverse that it's very disputed about which songs are the best anyway.

Offline Tony From Long Island

  • Posts: 170
  • Gender: Male
  • No Day But Today
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2017, 09:03:17 AM »
The fact that at any given DT show, you can hear almost ANY song in their catalog is something I love about them.

Of course, as they get older, there are just things JLB won't be able to do anymore.   I have a shitload of respect for JLB for the quality of his voice at age 53.    I had a HUGE drop off between 35 and now (42).  I just recorded a version of "It's Not Love" by Dokken that I would have absolutely killed 10 years ago.  Now it was really tough and sounds pretty strained  {   https://soundcloud.com/user-831858763  }  A few years ago, I did a pretty bad version of GLASS MOON  (that I decline to post!!!! yuck). Now, I doubt I could even get through it.

Of course DT should continue writing music with soaring operatic vocals, but they just need to keep range and key in mind..
https://soundcloud.com/user-831858763       Listen to my mediocre recordings!

Offline jsbru

  • Posts: 956
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2017, 10:03:20 AM »
I don't know if James being with the band forever is a given.  He might decide that it's too much work, or that for age or health problems, he just doesn't think he can go on singing such challenging vocals.  Anderson did something similar with Yes.

I vaguely remember some band interviews where it was suggested that around the middle of the 2000 decade, James wasn't really keeping up with his vocal conditioning, etc., he was sounding inconsistent at live shows, and the band was wondering if they were going to have to replace him.  And they eventually had to have a talk with him.  I think they worked things out, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see James lose interest once again at some point.  TA was, of course, an opportunity for him to really shine, and he did so.  But I could see after one or two more albums, him wanting to at least take a break or something.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline DarkLord_Lalinc

  • pr0nman extraordinaire
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 11233
  • Gender: Male
  • Hostages love me
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #46 on: January 05, 2017, 10:11:21 AM »
I don't know if James being with the band forever is a given.  He might decide that it's too much work, or that for age or health problems, he just doesn't think he can go on singing such challenging vocals.  Anderson did something similar with Yes.

I vaguely remember some band interviews where it was suggested that around the middle of the 2000 decade, James wasn't really keeping up with his vocal conditioning, etc., he was sounding inconsistent at live shows, and the band was wondering if they were going to have to replace him.  And they eventually had to have a talk with him.  I think they worked things out, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see James lose interest once again at some point.  TA was, of course, an opportunity for him to really shine, and he did so.  But I could see after one or two more albums, him wanting to at least take a break or something.
I get what you say, but it's pretty safe bet to say that the day James LaBrie leaves Dream Theater is the day Dream Theater will cease to be.
Quote from: TioJorge
MAN FUCK YOU KUJA.
Quote from: hefdaddy42
The Darklord is amazing

Offline jsbru

  • Posts: 956
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #47 on: January 05, 2017, 10:19:32 AM »
I'm not sure about that, either.  DT had a tough time finding someone as good as James when they were a no-name regional talent.  But if they had auditions now, some of the world's best vocalists would probably show up.  They could go with someone younger ala Jon Davison that would allow them to belt out soaring vocals for another 20 years.

I never thought Yes would be able to replace Anderson with someone who sounded even remotely as good, but Davison is fairly awesome.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Tony From Long Island

  • Posts: 170
  • Gender: Male
  • No Day But Today
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2017, 10:40:18 AM »

I get what you say, but it's pretty safe bet to say that the day James LaBrie leaves Dream Theater is the day Dream Theater will cease to be.

Some might have said the same thing about Mike Portnoy
https://soundcloud.com/user-831858763       Listen to my mediocre recordings!

Offline mikeyd23

  • Posts: 3300
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2017, 11:07:15 AM »
Eh, I don't know. For me, if either James or JP left, I'd kinda want DT to to hang it up. DT without either of those guys to me just wouldn't be DT.

Offline MirrorMask

  • Posts: 2706
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2017, 11:30:54 AM »
DT is James' livehood, I can't see him quitting it. I want him and everyone else to ride into the sunset and hang it up all together.

Offline Samsara

  • Queensr˙che (original lineup) Archivist
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 3179
  • Gender: Male
  • AnybodyListening.net
    • AnybodyListening.net
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2017, 02:24:45 PM »
The main issue is the primary songwriters leaving. But the singer is vital to the overall accessibility and familiarity of the band's sound.

DT's primary songwriter is JP. Without him, it doesn't sound like DT. Second in that line is JLB, because his voice is synonymous with Dream Theater. You can probably get away with not having JR (he'd be third, because he is the second major songwriter), but I agree, without JLB, it becomes a different animal entirely, even if he doesn't write anything.

This Samsära guy doesn't post too much, but he's pretty much always right.  :tup


Online rumborak

  • DT.net Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 25879
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2017, 03:03:29 PM »
It's all about the replacement. If they found someone who could pull off the vocals live, and at the same time engage the crowd (something JLB essentially doesn't do), I could see a lot of people not minding.
"I liked when Myung looked like a women's figure skating champion."

Offline MirrorMask

  • Posts: 2706
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2017, 03:11:29 PM »
Ripper pulled off the vocals live in Judas Priest amazingly, how many people cried over his departure? after 20 years and countless albums Rob Halford was the one and only voice of Judas Priest.

Sure, maybe one of the most iconic and beloved metal singers of all time is not the best example to pick, but my point was that after so many years and album with a band, a vocalist becomes the facea and voice of the band and anything else would sound just wrong. As good as that wrong may be (See the insane live vocals of Ripper).

Offline Mosh

  • For I have dined on honeydew!
  • Posts: 3008
  • Gender: Male
  • (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2017, 09:50:47 PM »
If JR leaves they're done. Him joining basically changed the band at a vital time and he has probably shaped their post-Scenes sound more than anyone else. Portnoy was a big part of it too but as far as I know he hardly contributed tangible musical ideas. It was more on the arrangement side of things. JP would have to hire someone who could be a writing partner in addition to keyboard player and, if the Mangini stuff is any indication, he wouldn't be interested in doing that. There's also the roadblock of finding someone who can play all of JR's keyboard parts. I'm sure there are people out there who can do it, but do they also have the same composing abilities? Doubtful.

JLB I can see going either way. It basically does depend on who replaces him and what the intention of the band is going forward. I think this I&W tour will be a litmus test for the band's future either way. They've had a long string of albums with mixed receptions and The Astonishing not widely being hailed as a masterpiece or selling out small theaters might be enough for them to decide to dial back the new music a bit. Yes has made a career in the past few years touring on their classic albums, if JLB announced he was leaving tomorrow, DT could go the Yes route too and hire some young guy who can hit the F# every night. The other (and more appealing) possibility is that they use the vacancy to go in a new direction. Then they maybe try something different which either works and extends the band's life for a few years or falls flat. But I think if there was a situation where JLB had to leave they would at least entertain one of those two options instead of hanging it up.

Offline Stewie

  • Evil Baby
  • Posts: 93
  • Gender: Male
  • Football for a head
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2017, 10:28:29 PM »
It's all about the replacement. If they found someone who could pull off the vocals live, and at the same time engage the crowd (something JLB essentially doesn't do), I could see a lot of people not minding.

I've got to say; I've never really understood this criticism against JLB. I've seen it before, just don't get it. I can understand people criticizing his singing, but as far as his stage presence is concerned, I've never had a problem with it. People say he's not a good frontman, or that he doesn't engage the crowd. What would make him more engaging?
Trapped inside this sit-com-va-ri-um!

Offline jsbru

  • Posts: 956
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #56 on: January 05, 2017, 11:14:53 PM »
I just want to make it clear, though, that I don't necessarily want JLB to leave.  He is an amazing talent, and pretty much nobody else could do what he does.

But he's entering that age where he's going to be fighting against nature.  I mean, some opera singers sing into their 70s, even, but I don't think they play as many shows as DT does on tour, nor are they required to both sing a high F# and then growl on the next song.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Vakaren

  • Posts: 42
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #57 on: January 06, 2017, 01:06:14 AM »
After doing my LaBrie sampler and seeing how many TA songs I put in there, I think that DT should ditch the 1990s soaring vocals after the Images, Words and Beyond tour and focus on exploiting the range of emotions and styles that JLB showed in TA for their future studio records. He's not getting any younger and he has so much more vocal arsenal other than hitting  high notes. Given how well he did Awake songs in the AFTR tour, maybe they can still do angry vocals. But I hope there would be less belting I&W style in the future.
What is your LaBrie sampler?  Re: ditching the 90s soaring vocals - do you mean live, or in the studio?  I agree with you about his vocals on The Astonishing and would have no problem with them continuing down that vocal path going forward.  I really don't think they've had a lot of 90s soaring vocals on recent albums anyway, but live I guess it is a different story because they'll probably always want to play at least something from their back catalog.  I'd probably be fine with less I&W material in favor of some more Mangini-era songs myself, but I'd still like them to do I&W stuff from time to time. 

I really hope he takes care of himself on the upcoming tour and doesn't push too hard if the high stuff just isn't coming for him.  I know they aren't going to down tune, but I wouldn't have a problem with rearranging some of the highest vocal melodies to help him out.  Most likely, it'll be there for him some nights, and some nights it won't.  I wonder what folks would prefer - would you rather he went for the F#, for example, and risked that he doesn't pull it off in order to have the chance that he does?  Or would you rather him just forego it in favor of something that's guaranteed?  I'm not sure how I'd answer my own question.  Thinking logically, it would make more sense for him to arrange it so he doesn't have to reach that high and so that what he does sing will sound really good.  On the other hand, I've seen him hit the F# and it's awesome.  I've also seen him miss, kind of screaming it, and while it's not great... it doesn't ruin it for me either.  I suppose as long as he isn't hurting his vocal cords, I'd be game for him to try it.  But if he's really just struggling throughout the whole I&W set - then he should come up with something that'll sound good and that helps him out (and the band should support him in that).

Which (sort of) leads to the discussion of whether the band should write really high vocal melodies on future studio albums, even if they know it can't be reproduced live.  I would say yes, but.  He should be able to hit it pretty reliably in the studio, it shouldn't be used extensively (as you said, there are so many facets to his voice), and again they should be willing to rearrange it live if need be.  As someone else mentioned, I too love that you can expect to hear just about any DT song at one of their shows and I don't want them to do "album only" tracks, but would be fine if some tracks are different live than on the album.

Offline Vakaren

  • Posts: 42
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #58 on: January 06, 2017, 01:42:22 AM »
It's all about the replacement. If they found someone who could pull off the vocals live, and at the same time engage the crowd (something JLB essentially doesn't do), I could see a lot of people not minding.

I've got to say; I've never really understood this criticism against JLB. I've seen it before, just don't get it. I can understand people criticizing his singing, but as far as his stage presence is concerned, I've never had a problem with it. People say he's not a good frontman, or that he doesn't engage the crowd. What would make him more engaging?
I'm with you.  Some of the complaints I've heard are that he leaves the stage too much and that he looks pissed off/doesn't want to be there.  I actually like that he leaves the stage during the instrumental parts and leaves the focus on the rest of the guys during those moments.  Some singers run around from musician to musician playing air guitar, and sometimes it's silly and sometimes it fits with the band's dynamic.  For DT, I prefer to be able to watch everyone else.  I never agreed with the pissed off comments - I always thought he looked "serious" a lot of the time but that was appropriate.  Also he doesn't talk to the crowd too much, which I like as well. 

I really don't want there to be a Dream Theater without LaBrie.  Agree with those who said his voice is unique (it is) and that while others could hit the same notes, it wouldn't sound right.  If he were to quit tomorrow, and JP and company wanted to continue, I wouldn't begrudge them that and I'd try to support them and their new singer with an open mind.  On the other hand, if he came to them and said "OK, now that I&W 25th anniversary is done, I want to go on an indefinite hiatus from singing super high notes," I think they should support that and agree to do what needs to be done to keep him in the band.

Last comment, and I'm too lazy to quote previous posts - I like the idea of LaBrie being more involved with the vocal melodies if that's what makes sense, but I have no problem with the vocal melodies in DT to this point.  I think JP wrote just about all of them on The Astonishing, with some slight tweaking by JL here and there, and those melodies are incredible.

Offline Architeuthis

  • Posts: 698
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #59 on: January 06, 2017, 01:43:57 AM »
JLB is the voice of Dream Theater! They wouldn't be the same without him. It's like the equivalent of Journey without Steve Perry or Yes without Jon Anderson, both of those bands have now got different singers but it's just not the same. Granted, Arnel Pineda does a fantastic job but Journey fans would be delighted to have SP back even if for a song or two. YES may be a better example, the New Yes without Jon Anderson isn't even Yes to me. I just saw the Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman
tour and it was fantastic, that was the true Yes to me and they are for real. Jon's vocals are as good as ever. Yes would sell more tix with J.A. in the line-up. 
  Point being, James Labrie is equally as important to DT as a integral part of the band. A great frontman with an amazing powerful voice!  Imagine the controversy that would cause in the DT community if JLB was missing, let alone here in this forum. Lol!  I couldn't Imagine DT without him.
You can do a lot in a lifetime if you don't burn out too fast, you can make the most of the distance, first you need endurance first you've got to last....... NP

Offline mikeyd23

  • Posts: 3300
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2017, 07:19:03 AM »
JLB's stage presence has literally never bothered me either way, in fact over the years I've found it to be a refreshing approach. He understands that at certain times, the focus should be on other guys during a DT show, and he embraces that by not trying to front man it up every second.

Offline cramx3

  • Chillest of the chill
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 14211
  • Gender: Male
    • The Home of cramx3
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #61 on: January 06, 2017, 12:42:32 PM »
JLB stage presence hasn't bothered me, but he isn't the most crowd engaging or best frontman out there.  But that's part of DT, it's not all about the singer and also, the entire band is pretty much like that as well.  MP was really the only one to ever really try to engage the crowd.

Offline gzarruk

  • Posts: 452
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #62 on: January 06, 2017, 04:46:41 PM »
I don't know if James being with the band forever is a given.  He might decide that it's too much work, or that for age or health problems, he just doesn't think he can go on singing such challenging vocals.  Anderson did something similar with Yes.

I vaguely remember some band interviews where it was suggested that around the middle of the 2000 decade, James wasn't really keeping up with his vocal conditioning, etc., he was sounding inconsistent at live shows, and the band was wondering if they were going to have to replace him.  And they eventually had to have a talk with him.  I think they worked things out, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see James lose interest once again at some point.  TA was, of course, an opportunity for him to really shine, and he did so.  But I could see after one or two more albums, him wanting to at least take a break or something.

Indeed. I see things the same way. None of us is saying "James should leave, he can't sing anymore", but let's be realistic, his voice isn't always going to deliver as it did back in the 90's, nor he should be expected to. Let's remember that James's instrument is part of his body and he just can't "change vocal cords" and be ready to go. That's why I see him leaving in the future, not because his singing is bad or anything like that, but I assume he would like to have a well deserved break after decades of touring or he could badly damage his voice. That's not something a singer would want, if you ask me.

As of Jordan, I don't see him as a member of DT untill the end either, not because of not being able to play the parts anymore or anything like that, but rather due to his age (he's like 10 years older than JP) and he seems like the guy who would like to work with other people and explore different musical styles before retiring, and there's nothing wrong with that.

With either case, I see the band continuing anyway. Imo, if there's JP and JM, DT will still exist no matter what. I mean, just look at JP's solo career. He always says he's so focused and inmersed with DT that he never finds time to record his second solo album. It's no surprise that DT is his priority and he will probably try keep it alive untill he decides to retire himself.

And, for those people saying that DT could not work without either Jordan or James, I'm sure lots of people said the same thing of Portnoy and look where are we now  :biggrin:

And, just to clarify again, by no means I want either James or Jordan to quit, it is just how I think things could go in a few years.
"I believe the sacrifices in life give more than they take"

Offline Stewie

  • Evil Baby
  • Posts: 93
  • Gender: Male
  • Football for a head
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #63 on: January 06, 2017, 10:26:32 PM »
James seems very happy in DT, always has, and The Astonishing was basically his crowning achievement. Will he have to adjust as he ages? Sure. They all will. Does that mean he'll leave or be replaced? I find it highly unlikely. If he hasn't left or been replaced by now, I doubt he will in the future, unless due to health reasons or family reasons. I certainly don't think it'll be due to the simple fact that he can no longer sing the way he did twenty years ago. It isn't at all difficult to think that he'll be in the band until they retire, especially if things continue to sail smoothly.

Besides, can any of you really picture JP saying "James, we're family, we've been thru everything together, but since you can no longer sing the high over-the-top parts from our older material, we're bringing in this other guy who is way younger, and can get the job done." Seriously? I can't. That's like telling your wife "Hey babe, I know we've been thru a lot together, but...you really aren't hot anymore, so, I'm going to start banging this other chick, but don't worry - we can still be friends."  I just don't see this kind of scenario happening.

Honestly, if any of them were to leave at this point, I think the most likely would be JR or MM. And, between those two, I'd say MM. You can tell that it's basically just a job for him. I'm not saying he doesn't enjoy it or take it seriously, but compared to the others, he hasn't spent over half a lifetime cultivating this band, turning his vision into a reality. Of all of them, he's the guy who has invested the least amount of time and effort. Dream Theater is obviously much more special and meaningful to JP, JLB, and JM than it is for Mangini. So, for that reason, I definitely wouldn't be surprised (at all) if he were to call it quits after a few more albums/tours; maybe even sooner.

Jordan for the most part seems to enjoy being in DT, but is hard to read sometimes. The problem is, he's such a monster player, and he doesn't really get to use or explore his full potential in DT. His joining the band certainly took them to a whole new level, but since then, he has still had to work within certain set parameters. For this reason, and also due to his stern hard-to-read nature, I've often wondered if he really is happy in DT. I definitely wouldn't be surprised if he eventually decided he'd like to retire from the band in order to pursue other avenues. Sort of like "Okay guys, I've really enjoyed it, we've had a great run, but I think I'm ready to move on while I still can." Anyway, that's my take on things.
Trapped inside this sit-com-va-ri-um!

Offline Madman Shepherd

  • Posts: 2063
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #64 on: January 07, 2017, 11:48:22 AM »
JLB's stage presence has literally never bothered me either way, in fact over the years I've found it to be a refreshing approach. He understands that at certain times, the focus should be on other guys during a DT show, and he embraces that by not trying to front man it up every second.
It's all about the replacement. If they found someone who could pull off the vocals live, and at the same time engage the crowd (something JLB essentially doesn't do), I could see a lot of people not minding.

I've got to say; I've never really understood this criticism against JLB. I've seen it before, just don't get it. I can understand people criticizing his singing, but as far as his stage presence is concerned, I've never had a problem with it. People say he's not a good frontman, or that he doesn't engage the crowd. What would make him more engaging?

EXACTLY!

Do people want him running to each side of the sage saying, "Scream for me, Long Beach!" or pull out an "I can't hear ya!"?

He's not the greatest "frontman" per say, but having an Ozzy (or even a Steve Stone) as a frontman just wouldn't work.  Besides, like James's voice, he has a unique stage persona, too.  Dry Canadian wit, laid back attitude when he needs it, saves up energy for passionate vocal performances...I think how he is as a frontman is perfect. 

Online dodido253

  • Posts: 73
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2017, 12:37:42 PM »
I would be very happy if Labrie will perform in this tour like 2011:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49w2D8c0ldo

Offline Samsara

  • Queensr˙che (original lineup) Archivist
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 3179
  • Gender: Male
  • AnybodyListening.net
    • AnybodyListening.net
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2017, 01:40:56 PM »
In regard to James engaging the crowd and being a "frontman," he doesn't need to do more. Dream Theater has been, and always will be, about the musicianship. It's not a frontman-driven band. It's a music-driven band. And when you have that kind of band, the singer just needs to do his job.

I'm not saying James should ignore the audience. He should just do what he does. I think any expectation placed on him by fans to be something more misses the point to a degree. Dream Theater is not, and never was, a band predicated on the charisma of their singer. They let the virtuoso performances speak for themselves. And still do. And James, at 54(?) does that. He sings, he enjoys it, and the band amaze. That's what they've always done, and been pretty successful at it.

Sure, I like a commanding frontman (sorry about the QR references, but its hard not for me to use them as a comparison). Geoff Tate from the early years through Promised Land was a compelling frontman. Huge presence. Bruce Dickinson -- another huge presence. James isn't like those guys. And he fits Dream Theater perfectly just the way he is.
This Samsära guy doesn't post too much, but he's pretty much always right.  :tup


Offline Slipknot

  • Fuck it all, fuck this world!!!
  • Posts: 20
  • I AM THE GREAT BIG MOUTH!!!
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2017, 04:53:51 PM »
What is this crazy place?
PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE FUCKING AIR AND JUMP DA FUCK UP MOTHERFUCKER!!

Offline CoT67

  • Posts: 153
  • Gender: Male
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2017, 07:00:23 PM »
It's all about the replacement. If they found someone who could pull off the vocals live, and at the same time engage the crowd (something JLB essentially doesn't do), I could see a lot of people not minding.

I've got to say; I've never really understood this criticism against JLB. I've seen it before, just don't get it. I can understand people criticizing his singing, but as far as his stage presence is concerned, I've never had a problem with it. People say he's not a good frontman, or that he doesn't engage the crowd. What would make him more engaging?

Totally agree.

I've been at the Rome gig on the 30th and he was as engaging as he could be, asking people to sing the choruses and the choirs, encouraging the crowd in the theatre to stand up, having his little bits of small talk.

Best part was during Take The Time, where he asked everyone to speak the italian line right after "I can see much clearer now I'm blind". He even smiled when the crowd replied.

He was also a lot more theatrical in the I&W songs, and tried to play around with the vocal parts and gestures a bit.

I feel like he generally tries to give meaning to the things he sings, whether via vocal interpretations or theatrical gestures, and often seeks the crowd's feedback. He's not trying to steal the show, overshadow the other components or anything, he's just a perfect fit for DT.
People in Tuscany are never going to lure you into their wine cellars and drown you in wine barrels, you know.
Or that’s what they’ll make you think.

Offline Stewie

  • Evil Baby
  • Posts: 93
  • Gender: Male
  • Football for a head
Re: JLB's vocals in DT moving forward
« Reply #69 on: February 02, 2017, 07:38:49 PM »
It's all about the replacement. If they found someone who could pull off the vocals live, and at the same time engage the crowd (something JLB essentially doesn't do), I could see a lot of people not minding.

I've got to say; I've never really understood this criticism against JLB. I've seen it before, just don't get it. I can understand people criticizing his singing, but as far as his stage presence is concerned, I've never had a problem with it. People say he's not a good frontman, or that he doesn't engage the crowd. What would make him more engaging?

Totally agree.

I've been at the Rome gig on the 30th and he was as engaging as he could be, asking people to sing the choruses and the choirs, encouraging the crowd in the theatre to stand up, having his little bits of small talk.

Best part was during Take The Time, where he asked everyone to speak the italian line right after "I can see much clearer now I'm blind". He even smiled when the crowd replied.

He was also a lot more theatrical in the I&W songs, and tried to play around with the vocal parts and gestures a bit.

I feel like he generally tries to give meaning to the things he sings, whether via vocal interpretations or theatrical gestures, and often seeks the crowd's feedback. He's not trying to steal the show, overshadow the other components or anything, he's just a perfect fit for DT.

I was at the Rome gig too, and I agree, he seemed pretty into it - especially as the night went on.
Trapped inside this sit-com-va-ri-um!