Author Topic: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen  (Read 3728 times)

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Offline bosk1

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2015, 02:55:47 PM »
Except that even 25 year-old JLB couldn't really sing Another Day either.
This is pretty spotless, man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uMGJFdIGLU

Okay, I stand corrected.  That was pretty legit.  :tup  Even though I still don't like the song, I may have to concede that that may be the best vocal performance of his life right there.  Flawless.
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Offline jjrock88

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2015, 03:11:03 PM »
Except that even 25 year-old JLB couldn't really sing Another Day either.
This is pretty spotless, man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uMGJFdIGLU

Rob Halford was pretty good in Belgrade in 2011 (not just the live goggles, believe me) but I wouldn't know about the state of his voice right now.

That was an impressive performance

Offline TAC

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2015, 03:23:33 PM »
Michael Kiske definitely deserves a mention.  Yea, he's only 47 but damn some of the highs he can still nail are just insane.  For example, the final long "Freeeeeeee" in I Want Out.  Just crazy.  :metal
Biggest Kiske fan here and that "free" is UN freaking believable. But I would say that Kiske has a great advantage in that there are not nearly as many miles on his voice as there are on the others in this thread.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline jjrock88

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2015, 03:34:45 PM »
Michael Kiske definitely deserves a mention.  Yea, he's only 47 but damn some of the highs he can still nail are just insane.  For example, the final long "Freeeeeeee" in I Want Out.  Just crazy.  :metal
Biggest Kiske fan here and that "free" is UN freaking believable. But I would say that Kiske has a great advantage in that there are not nearly as many miles on his voice as there are on the others in this thread.

Didn't he go many many years without any type of touring or live performances?

Offline bosk1

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2015, 04:44:05 PM »
Can someone send me a link of a good one?  I am not familiar with him.

EDIT:  Never mind.  I just found this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_8ubYz9GhY  Pretty good.  I never heard of these guys, but I might have to check them out.
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Offline TAC

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2015, 05:05:48 PM »
Bosk find the original to Helloween's I Want Out. 3/4 of the way through he sings the line "Leave me aloooooooooooooooooooone". I lose my breath just listening to it.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Online bl5150

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2015, 06:11:27 PM »
I am shocked that nobody has mentioned Kip Winger  ;)
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Offline bosk1

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2015, 06:17:01 PM »
:spitcoffee:
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline ErHaO

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #43 on: July 10, 2015, 10:56:31 AM »
Daltrey and Townsend of the Who still kicked ass when I saw them in 2013.
2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5OSqa_ZYE Daltrey is 71 here.
2013 tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QhB411bMuU

Barry Hay and George Kooymans from Golden Earring (in fact, Golden Earring as a whole are kicking ass with the same formation since 1970).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0v-44vNxlM Great singing by George, he's 66 here (2015).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlL5c3QAcqA Hay rocking Radar Love when he was 61 (2010). Not the easiest song.




Aaand if we are counting <50 guys, the fanboy in me wants to leave this one:
Hansi, 48 here, absolutely nailing some classic harsh vocals and screams (1:51 for example) in the song guardian of the blind (warning: phone bootleg quality).https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ub4VzJR5NDU#t=0m35s Even though the are more melodic nowadays, Hansi is king at those raw speed metal vocals.





« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 11:14:44 AM by ErHaO »

Offline McNugg

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2015, 12:26:03 PM »
Not buying it. You don't destroy your voice for decades like he did and then all of a sudden see your voice improve when you are well into your 60s.  That is simply not realistic.  I suspect these reports are by fans with live ear goggles, ya know, the ole "He sounded awesome live," and then you hear a bootleg and it was like someone else was singing.  I have seen similar reports about JLB and Geddy Lee in recent years, and all of those bands have the advantage of being so rocking live that when you are at the live show, it is so easy to get swept up into the euphoria that you think everything looks and sounds awesome.  Been there, done that. :lol :lol

*cough*  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pZtS_IcSfM

Why are you coughing?  Him talking through much of the song in that deep voice and then shrieking at the end of nearly line didn't impress me at all.  If anything, that video supports my "he is a shell of his former self" statement.

Well I liked it  :'(  :'(   Personally prefer his current grunty voice to his nasally voice of the past

Offline KevShmev

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #45 on: July 11, 2015, 02:36:58 PM »
To each his own. :)

I saw Priest on the tour where they did all of British Steel ('09?), and it got to a point where I was bracing my ears, almost turning my head down so I wasn't facing dead forward, whenever I knew a scream of his was coming.  It started to hurt after a while, which wasn't helped by the fact that that show was ear-splitting loud (easily one of the 3-4 loudest shows I've ever been to).

Offline Stadler

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2015, 02:42:17 PM »
Opinion, only, but for my money there are three guys that sound almost identical to their "heyday", and since one of them has a "heyday" that is almost ten years before the other two, well...

Steven Tyler
Gene Simmons
Paul McCartney

Billy Joel might be on the list, but since he hasn't put out anything fresh since 1876 I can't tell if it is really that his voice is the same or it's just the way he sounds live (he's always been a little rougher live even back in the day).

I know, I know, no one will ever accuse Gene of being a "singer", but I like his voice, and when he sings "Deuce" live, well, it sounds like 1974.

As for McCartney, his set at the Wachovia Center in Philly in '08 (I think) was, to this guy who has seen over 400 concerts in his day, possibly the single greatest vocal performance I've ever seen.  Not only did he do "Helter Skelter" 2.5 hours into the set, it was about the 30th song, it was immediately after a performance of "Yesterday" that made me cry, literally, and immediately before eight more of some of the most iconic music ever created.  Almost 40 songs in over three hours, and he sang 'em all.  No John to help, no George, and no Ringo. 


Offline jjrock88

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2015, 02:44:35 PM »
John Bush deserves a mention

Offline AngelBack

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #48 on: July 11, 2015, 02:51:02 PM »
Maybe they were never A listers but Paul Rogers and Sammy Hagar are both in their 60's and are probably 80 % of their prime.
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Offline jclrascal

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2018, 12:15:18 AM »
I know this thread is over 3 years old but I am a new member of this DTF forum now and I'm going back through some old threads to see where I might be able to contribute.  I have been a lurker on this forum for the last 5 years or so but have been a DT fan since 1992 shortly after IAW was released.  i have seen DT a total of 3 times now including on both TA tour(2nd row center) as well as the IAW 25th Anniversary tour(front row).

In addition, I have seen live all  but 2 of the bands whose vocalists I have listed below, most of them multiple times.  In fact, I have seen most of these guys in the last 3 or 4 years plus heard many different versions of You Tube clips so my opinion is based primarily upon recent shows rather than what these guys were doing in the 70's/80's/90's.

I tend to pay particular attention to the quality of the vocals when I go to these shows and focus not only on if the vocalist can still hit the high notes but also whether or not they are "flat" in their regular register. 

For the record, I only am including bands who are still doing shows fairly regularly("Active") so that wouldn't include someone like Glenn Hughes who isn't with a touring band.


BEST-SOUNDING HARD ROCK VOCALISTS(Actively Touring)--April 18, 2018

1.  Dennis DeYoung(ex-Styx)
2.  Dave Meniketti(Y & T)
3.  CJ Snare(Firehouse)
4.  Klaus Meine(Scorpions)
5.  Robin Zander(Cheap Trick)
6.  Steven Tyler(Aerosmith)
7.  Bruce Dickinson(Iron Maiden)
8.  James LaBrie(Dream Theater)
9.  Rob Halford(Judas Priest)
10. Tommy Shaw(Styx)
11. Udo Dirkschneider(ex-Accept)
12. Alice Cooper
13. Phil Mogg(UFO)
14. Sammy Hagar
15. Biff Byford(Saxon)

The top 3 guys listed all still sound as good now as they did 30 to 40 years ago but even the other 12 guys listed are still at 85% of their game IMO which is amazing as all but one(JLB who is the youngster and will only be 55 next month) of these guys are 60 or older(Bruce will be 60 in 4 months).

I hope that this produces some discussion here on the board during this slow time of waiting for another DT album...


Offline Bertielee

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #50 on: April 18, 2018, 02:55:30 AM »
Ralf Scheepers anybody? The guy is 53 and can still belt it out like a mofo (his highs are incredible).

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Offline TAC

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #51 on: April 18, 2018, 09:24:11 AM »


BEST-SOUNDING HARD ROCK VOCALISTS(Actively Touring)--April 18, 2018

1.  Dennis DeYoung(ex-Styx)
2.  Dave Meniketti(Y & T)
3.  CJ Snare(Firehouse)
4.  Klaus Meine(Scorpions)
5.  Robin Zander(Cheap Trick)
6.  Steven Tyler(Aerosmith)
7.  Bruce Dickinson(Iron Maiden)
8.  James LaBrie(Dream Theater)
9.  Rob Halford(Judas Priest)
10. Tommy Shaw(Styx)
11. Udo Dirkschneider(ex-Accept)
12. Alice Cooper
13. Phil Mogg(UFO)
14. Sammy Hagar
15. Biff Byford(Saxon)

The top 3 guys listed all still sound as good now as they did 30 to 40 years ago but even the other 12 guys listed are still at 85% of their game IMO which is amazing as all but one(JLB who is the youngster and will only be 55 next month) of these guys are 60 or older(Bruce will be 60 in 4 months).

I hope that this produces some discussion here on the board during this slow time of waiting for another DT album...

That's a good list, rascal. Biff Byford sounds amazing, in studio and live. And I'm with you on Dennis DeYoung as well.



Being maybe the biggest UFO and definitely the biggest Alice Cooper fan on the forum, what Alice and Phil Mogg have done is find a sweet spot where they can maintain their strength. They have each lost loads of range, but their experience has helped them manage to still be effective.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline bosk1

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #52 on: April 18, 2018, 09:28:30 AM »
I'm as big a Dave Meniketti fan as we have on this board, but I have to say that he has lost A LOT in the last decade or so.  Not that he doesn't still bring it.  But I could never say that he sounds as good now as he did 30 to 40 years ago. 

Speaking of whom, wow, I just realized it has been over a decade since that one infamous show.  Man, where does the time go?!   :eek
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Offline Kattoelox

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #53 on: April 18, 2018, 09:41:27 AM »
James isn't very good these days. He just isn't. He's good at singing ballads and soft stuff but literally anything that requires more than that sounds painful to me. It's been noticeably bad since the Chaos In Motion DVD. At least with Dream Theater. His solo albums sound great and he sounds good on Ayreon but man Petrucci just sucks at writing stuff that really brings out his strengths on the heavy stuff. Somehow Matt Guillory can, though.

Offline Samsara

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2018, 09:47:29 AM »
I am a Stryper and Michael Sweet fan, but I completely disagree. His high end is completely shot. He sounds great on the band's newer material, because it is dropped a bit. But when I saw Stryper do the THWTD anniversary tour a year or so ago, he sounded downright horrid on the live performance of that record. But he sounded GREAT on all the other stuff they played.

Normally, I would have chalked it up to a cold or something. But the start difference between performing THWTD in its original tuning, and the rest of the set was pretty eye-opening.

Very few singers have translated well into their 50s and beyond. Michael Sweet sounds good, but he doesn't have the same ability he once did. Same goes for James, and many others. They are all still good. But they clearly don't have what they used to have (at least live, perhaps they can do it in-studio).

The exceptions I have seen recently are Glenn Hughes (freak. of. nature), and Corey Glover. I'd also like to add Myles Kennedy. Dude isn't 50, but he's in his late 40s, and after seeing an incredible performance by him with Alter Bridge back in December (I was at the Spokane show where they did Words Darker Than Their Wings, and he hit and held the high note at the end with incredible power), that man is at the top of his game. Gary Cherone comes to mind as well...

But all I am referencing here is range. Most of these guys are all technically better singers than they were in their 20s. It's pretty obvious most of them really focused on maintaining what they have. James struggles with that old stuff, but he really works at his craft, and I respect the hell out of the effort he puts in.
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Offline Architeuthis

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #55 on: April 18, 2018, 05:45:58 PM »
Jon Anderson is in his seventies and still sounds as good as ever.
Roger Daltery, David Gilmour, and Tommy Shaw are all still at the top of their game.. 😎
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Offline TAC

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #56 on: April 18, 2018, 05:53:44 PM »
Jon Anderson is in his seventies and still sounds as good as ever.


Yeah, he was terrible in his 20's too.  ;D
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #57 on: April 18, 2018, 06:34:21 PM »
He'll hit puberty one of these days!
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Offline TAC

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #58 on: April 18, 2018, 06:41:09 PM »
He'll hit puberty one of these days!

Is that when his periods stop?
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #59 on: April 19, 2018, 12:54:17 AM »
You guys got that one WRONG!  Jon Anderson is an amazing singer/songwriter and we'll rounded musician.  Show a little respect damn trolls.  :biggrin:
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Offline Bertielee

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #60 on: April 19, 2018, 03:03:44 AM »
You guys got that one WRONG!  Jon Anderson is an amazing singer/songwriter and we'll rounded musician.  Show a little respect damn trolls.  :biggrin:

I always pay John Pemberton respect. Wait, it's the wrong guy, right?  :biggrin:

Back to topic, Jorn Lande is almost 50 and is still kicking ass! :metal

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Offline ReaperKK

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #61 on: April 19, 2018, 04:28:28 AM »
I have one to add to the list, however he is not quite 50 (he is currently 49)

Pat Monahan from Train. My gf is a big Train fan so I've seen them live a bunch and the guy is an animal when it comes to singing. I saw them cover all of Led Zep II live and it was as perfect as it can get.

Offline Lethean

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #62 on: April 19, 2018, 05:03:28 AM »
James isn't very good these days. He just isn't. He's good at singing ballads and soft stuff but literally anything that requires more than that sounds painful to me. It's been noticeably bad since the Chaos In Motion DVD. At least with Dream Theater. His solo albums sound great and he sounds good on Ayreon but man Petrucci just sucks at writing stuff that really brings out his strengths on the heavy stuff. Somehow Matt Guillory can, though.

Totally disagree with this.  I think Matt Guillory is a fine song writer, but I think JP is better in every way, and that includes the vocal melodies. The heavy stuff on the last 3 DT albums sounds awesome (and prior to that too, when someone else wasn't trying to ruin it with his backing vocals...)

Offline Kattoelox

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #63 on: April 19, 2018, 07:08:11 AM »
James isn't very good these days. He just isn't. He's good at singing ballads and soft stuff but literally anything that requires more than that sounds painful to me. It's been noticeably bad since the Chaos In Motion DVD. At least with Dream Theater. His solo albums sound great and he sounds good on Ayreon but man Petrucci just sucks at writing stuff that really brings out his strengths on the heavy stuff. Somehow Matt Guillory can, though.

Totally disagree with this.  I think Matt Guillory is a fine song writer, but I think JP is better in every way, and that includes the vocal melodies. The heavy stuff on the last 3 DT albums sounds awesome (and prior to that too, when someone else wasn't trying to ruin it with his backing vocals...)

You know what else sounds totally awesome? No more of those backing vocals  :lol

Offline Lethean

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #64 on: April 19, 2018, 07:38:08 AM »
I'll drink to that. :)

Offline rumborak

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #65 on: April 19, 2018, 07:54:33 AM »
Danny Bowes of Thunder still sounds great at 58.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPfXDwBVTGY
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Offline bosk1

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #66 on: April 19, 2018, 08:38:16 AM »
I am a Stryper and Michael Sweet fan, but I completely disagree. His high end is completely shot. He sounds great on the band's newer material, because it is dropped a bit. But when I saw Stryper do the THWTD anniversary tour a year or so ago, he sounded downright horrid on the live performance of that record. But he sounded GREAT on all the other stuff they played.

Normally, I would have chalked it up to a cold or something. But the start difference between performing THWTD in its original tuning, and the rest of the set was pretty eye-opening.

Very few singers have translated well into their 50s and beyond. Michael Sweet sounds good, but he doesn't have the same ability he once did.

I haven't seen them in quite awhile (last time was the show you and I went to, actually).  But a lot of YouTube clips I have seen have been pretty solid.  Not all--he definitely has his struggles at times.  But even though he may have lost some range, as all singers do, I still think that, overall, he sings better now than he has.  His studio performances are STILL out of this world.  I don't really knock him for not being able to nail the crazy parts in The Way.  (although this performance ain't bad at all:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SRo5TRzuQY [epicness at 3:26])

I mean, I hear what you are saying, and I can't really argue that anybody who pushes the limits of what they do and is at the ages Michael and a lot of these other guys are haven't lost a step from where they were in their 20s.  But still, there are plenty of them (Michael included, IMO) that are still outstanding, even if they may have lost some range or, at minimum, at least the ability to hit all parts of their range at will.
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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #67 on: April 19, 2018, 09:55:59 AM »
bosk,

I wouldn't dare say that Michael is not as good a complete singer - he is. Better, even. I am just saying that his range has declined. We saw them on The Covering tour. He was sick then. I just saw them on the THWTD anniversary tour, and I mean, like I said, there was a shocking difference between hearing that record live, and hearing the rest of the set. Michael just couldn't do it. The other stuff - excellent. But THWTD? No.

And range-wise, that's life. I don't begrudge the man. Like I said, I think he's a better singer now technically than he's ever been. But that high end is seriously on the decline. Frankly, I hope they drop the older stuff so he can sing it better (if it doesn't sound like mud - it really depends on the song).

I have a ticket to see them in the fall. Looking forward to it.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #68 on: April 19, 2018, 10:13:26 AM »
Yeah, and I'm not really disagreeing.  Just offering a slightly different take notwithstanding the things you mention.

But, yeah, there are a lot of things they could do to help him out with some of the harder older stuff.  Maybe tune one or two songs down, like you said.  Maybe let Oz sing lead on a couple during strategic points in the show. 

I had forgotten about that show in the Fall.  I may go to that as well.  I'll have to see how the budget/time shake out.
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Offline lucasembarbosa

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Re: James LaBrie and Other A-List "Elder Statesmen" Frontmen
« Reply #69 on: April 19, 2018, 04:49:28 PM »
I'd say I prefer Joey Belladonna's voice nowadays rather than during his first period with Anthrax. His lines in Worship Music and For All Kings are amazing!