Author Topic: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?  (Read 100670 times)

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Offline KevShmev

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #175 on: August 18, 2015, 08:45:53 PM »
The Mangini drum solos were something that were cool on his first world tour with the band (like when Portnoy did them on the I&W world tour with the band's first major world exposure). But that's really the only situation I see where they can do a drum solo and it doesn't take away from the rest of the show. It's basically "We have a new drummer and he's going to show what he can do."

I generally agree.  But I don't mind a short solo tied into a song.  For example, I thought the short solo spot he had on the last tour in the middle of Enigma Machine worked well.  It fit well in that part of the song, and it wasn't so long that it took the place of an entire song.  I am fine with stuff like that.

Even though I am not a big live album guy, the problem with that is sometimes you end up where the only and/or best live version of a song is one with a drum solo stuck in the middle.

Case in point: Ytse Jam from Live in Tokyo.  That remains by far my favorite version of that song, but it has that damnable drum solo in the middle (beginning with that stupid "Let's get ready to rummmmmbbbllleeee!" :facepalm:).  Fortunately, thanks to the wonder of the internet, I was able to rip the audio from it and then seamlessly edit the drum solo out, and my version sounds totally natural, but every time I get to that "spot," I always know that it is unnatural since it wasn't played like that, damn it. :lol :lol

Offline bosk1

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #176 on: August 18, 2015, 09:11:45 PM »
I would not have a problem with that, but I see where you are coming from.
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #177 on: August 18, 2015, 10:46:30 PM »
And on the eighth day, God created the drum solo.  And it was not good.

Offline Cyclopssss

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #178 on: August 19, 2015, 12:51:51 AM »
Yeah, damn John Bonham....
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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #179 on: August 19, 2015, 01:41:10 AM »
I agree with people that drum solos are usually mind-numbingly boring. However, something like this I will watch all the way through: https://youtu.be/_quRW8IKZ5Q

Didn't like the rest of the music at all (which is not surprising), but that is a really cool video as it forced me to focus on the drumming, which was just...incredible.  Very technical, but also just a really nice groove and feel to it.  Fantastic.  I really just wish he played for a different band.  :lol

Well he does now :P

He's released an album of big band covers of PT songs that sound almost nothing like the originals.

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #180 on: August 19, 2015, 07:46:35 AM »
Album sales, concert attendance, grammy nominations

None of these really have anything to do with why they parted ways, so why even make it a part of the conversation.

They're part of the conversation because it's not just about the parting of ways, but whether or not Mike was "right", and each of these are ways of measuring Dream Theater's success since the split.  Some may not consider any or all of them to be proper ways of measuring success, but they are objective at the very least.  People can argue all day about which albums are better or worse or average, before or after the split, etc.  Album sales and concert attendance tell you how "big" a band is.

I think Orbert is 100% right.  Because we all know One Direction is a better band than Dream Theater.

I kid, of course, and I don't think anyone would argue that they aren't at least a more financially successful band than DT, but it really does matter what the measure is.  I would personally love to ask Mike about this some day.  Some were looking at AMob as a stab towards that arena rock success (ala Disturbed, Staind, A7X, though for someone as smart and savvy as Mike, I can't believe that he would've put all his eggs into something as hokey as AMob) but really nothing he's done since was blatantly with an eye toward Grammy's and 100,000 seat metal festivals.   

I wasn't using sales to compare Dream Theater to some other band, and I wasn't arguing that more popular means better.

My point is that people can argue all day whether the two post-Portnoy albums are better or worse, but those are just opinions.  Did they sell more?  Do they now sell more concert tickets than they used to?  Those are more objective measures of how popular Dream Theater is, and in that sense how well they are doing.  It has nothing to do with comparing them to some other band; it's about comparing Dream Theater now to Dream Theater five years ago.  That was original question.

Well, perhaps I confused the issue by using a different band, but my point was that I think that is a bad standard to use.   Or at the very least, misleading.    "Selling more" is, or can be, a singular thing.   What's a better album:  "Toys In The Attic" or "Get A Grip"?   More importantly, what's a better indicator of a band at the height of their creative powers?   I don't really care if a band sells one record or a million, I think if the band is fresh and motivated and exploring new ideas, then it makes sense.   If they don't, it doesn't.  I wouldn't say the two new albums are "bad" per se, but they do seem rather safe.  Frankly, with one exception ("This is The Life") I think James NEEDS to be with the band, needs to have someone like Mike saying "NO".   Not every one, but many many great bands have a creative tension, and I'm struggling to see where that creative tension is in Dream Theater right now. 

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #181 on: August 19, 2015, 07:48:05 AM »
Yeah, damn John Bonham....

But at least John (and Phil Collins, and sometimes Neil Peart) had the decency to craft (or have crafted) songs specifically around their drum solos, so you don't get that phenomenon happening. 

With very few exceptions (two of whom are named above, another is named "Portnoy"), count me in on the group that will listen to a drum solo once for curiosity sake and then likely hit "SKIP" every time after. 

Offline 425

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #182 on: August 19, 2015, 02:30:17 PM »
Honestly, with a few exceptions, I don't really like any dedicated solo sections in concerts. John's Luna Park solo was alright, but I would personally much rather hear another song than a solo on any instrument. That's because, for me, it's all about the songs, not about the technical virtuosity of anybody in the band.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #183 on: August 19, 2015, 02:36:28 PM »
Honestly, with a few exceptions, I don't really like any dedicated solo sections in concerts. John's Luna Park solo was alright, but I would personally much rather hear another song than a solo on any instrument. That's because, for me, it's all about the songs, not about the technical virtuosity of anybody in the band.

Agreed, but I think bands use the solos as a way for the other members to take a break, or in Van Halen's case, to drink more.

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #184 on: August 19, 2015, 02:48:37 PM »
If I played drums (seriously), I'd probably be interested.

And to Stadler's point, there are ways to make it musical.  What would attract my attention would be drummers that play some beats that aren't from their genre, such as non-Western beats.

Guitar solos that literally aren't running up and down scales or arpeggios can be somewhat interesting.  I like it much better when it is a lead as opposed to a solo.  When Petrucci plays lead over the rest of the band's live backing track, it is usually enjoyable.

Offline cramx3

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #185 on: August 19, 2015, 03:10:22 PM »
I like it much better when it is a lead as opposed to a solo.  When Petrucci plays lead over the rest of the band's live backing track, it is usually enjoyable.

Agreed, something like what DT did on BTL from Budokan works for me.  Lots of soloing going on there, but its within the band playing together.  I find that much more interesting than just a single musician doing a solo.

A different example was Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo, his solo is really just a mix mash of all his solos from their albums so in a way he i s actually playing album tracks but doing it in a solo.  That also works for me too although I'd still rather hear a song.

Offline 425

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #186 on: August 19, 2015, 07:38:28 PM »
Honestly, with a few exceptions, I don't really like any dedicated solo sections in concerts. John's Luna Park solo was alright, but I would personally much rather hear another song than a solo on any instrument. That's because, for me, it's all about the songs, not about the technical virtuosity of anybody in the band.

Agreed, but I think bands use the solos as a way for the other members to take a break, or in Van Halen's case, to drink more.

Yeah, I mean, I pretty much get why they do it. I just don't really enjoy lengthy interludes played on just one instrument with no real song structure.

I have no experience as a touring musician, so for all I know it is absolutely necessary to punctuate a three hour show with solo sections. But it seems to me that you could rest the bassist, drummer and guitarist by playing Wait for Sleep, you could rest the keyboard player, bassist and drummer by playing The Silent Man, and you could rest the singer by playing Stream of Consciousness. I don't know, maybe that's totally not feasible at all, but that's what I'd rather hear than individual solos if there was an option.
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Offline deslock

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #187 on: August 19, 2015, 08:07:47 PM »
I, personally, shut off DT after SDOIT, and for quite some time. I was very happy with the 6.5 (gotta include Change of Seasons in there) albums. Heard Train of thought.. ugh.. Then I bought Octavarium and pulled it out after 2 songs (I seriously never finished listening to the whole thing). I Didn't want to hear any more. The band was heading in a "too heavy" direction for me. Being a fan since WDADU, I was turned off by the too heavy sound.

Now, I have gone back through the catalog in the past several months, and safe to say Portney leaving has breathed some sort of new life into the band. The last 2 releases have far exceeded the previous 4. I can't get into the depth, lyrics and all that. I just know what I personally like and where they were heading was no it. DT12 and ADTOE have jumped past SDOIT, for me.
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Offline ResultsMayVary

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #188 on: August 19, 2015, 09:50:58 PM »
The Mangini drum solos were something that were cool on his first world tour with the band (like when Portnoy did them on the I&W world tour with the band's first major world exposure). But that's really the only situation I see where they can do a drum solo and it doesn't take away from the rest of the show. It's basically "We have a new drummer and he's going to show what he can do."

I generally agree.  But I don't mind a short solo tied into a song.  For example, I thought the short solo spot he had on the last tour in the middle of Enigma Machine worked well.  It fit well in that part of the song, and it wasn't so long that it took the place of an entire song.  I am fine with stuff like that.
In that sense, I can agree. I primarily was talking about the longer solos that would exceed 4-6 minutes or so. I felt the shorter solo in Enigma Machine worked well, too.
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Offline mikeyd23

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #189 on: August 20, 2015, 06:16:29 AM »
Agreed, something like what DT did on BTL from Budokan works for me.  Lots of soloing going on there, but its within the band playing together.  I find that much more interesting than just a single musician doing a solo.

This. BTL at Budokan was incredible and honestly, very interesting and entertaining. I usually can't say those things about a simple solo spot, regardless of whether its drums, guitar, etc... The one thing I will say, I really enjoy when JR plays extended piano intros to songs that start with piano (I think he has been doing this summer with ATC, he did it before Surrounded on Luna Park I think). I could listen to JR play piano all day...

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #190 on: August 20, 2015, 06:38:36 PM »
Honestly, with a few exceptions, I don't really like any dedicated solo sections in concerts. John's Luna Park solo was alright, but I would personally much rather hear another song than a solo on any instrument. That's because, for me, it's all about the songs, not about the technical virtuosity of anybody in the band.


Agreed fully, with regard to solo spots/songs/big chunks of time. I cannot say I equally dislike drum solos compared to bass solos, guitar solos, trumpet solos, keytar solos, vocal solos, timpani solos and so on. But I really dislike them all, and prefer not to have them.

Thats not to say don't let it rip- Jazz gets it spot on IMO. I might not know what is going on harmonically, and I don't find myself listening to it a lot, but the 1-3 minutes per instrument is just solid. And in almost all rock songs, a written solo usually doesn't last more than that time too I feel.

Drum soloing for 6 plus minutes. ZZZZzzzzzZZZZzzzz. That said, I agree with Stadler about Peart and Collins. More so Collins- he really planned out the duel solos at the end of his career (at this point), and to me they were not all about how fast I can let it rip.
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Offline amatteroflight

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #191 on: August 29, 2015, 04:09:06 PM »
Re: the original topic:

I think it's best to just listen to the great music DT are still making rather than reminisce about the "What if this, what if that?" scenarios.

For me personally, I love Mike Mangini and what he has contributed to DT.
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #192 on: August 30, 2015, 06:34:23 PM »
Exactly.. And, besides that, we'll never know the circumstances regarding those "what if.."..

Was Portnoy right?.. We'll never know that, because what he wanted didn't happen; only if it would've happened we could value the decision.. Regarding the facts, impossible question-impossible answer..
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Offline pcs90

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #193 on: September 04, 2015, 11:57:05 AM »
MP was most definitely wrong. In my opinion, their last 2 albums are better than quite a few with Portnoy. There is just more emotion overall, LaBrie sounds amazing, the drumming is much more musical, Jordan's parts are much more varied again, and there are no more of his silly metal vocals. The mixes are a bit weird (especially the self-titled album) but I just try to look past that, as the music is some of the best they have ever done in my opinion.

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #194 on: September 04, 2015, 12:08:26 PM »
My take on the subject in my most objective point of view:

Pros:
The music feels different, and somewhat more inspired than their last 2 Portnoy efforts (SC and Black Clouds).
The band seems happier now.
The band doesn't feel anymore like a monarchy.
No more 'forbidden' songs. The band's catalogue is available for live performance anytime.
JLB stepped up as the true frontman of the band. This was necessary.

Cons:
Fan interaction has suffered. Greatly. It's been months since we had any true updates or anything new to discuss about, and that makes me forget about DT for a while (thing that never happened in the Portnoy days).
The setlists don't feel as smart and as well thought out as Portnoy's. BTFW's setlist is nice and the inclusion of songs like SDV was amazing, but the flow isn't as nice as a SDOIT era setlist, for example.
The 30th anniversary setlist sucked mostly, which is kind of a wasted landmark. Their 20th Anniversary World Tour was so amazing in all aspects that this mini-tour was extremely underwhelming. I get it was a festival tour, but it wasn't what I imagined it would be. Some of the least representative songs of each album were played with no flow whatsoever between the songs, which would never have happened with Portnoy me thinks.
The band feels more like any other rock band nowadays, and doesn't feel as special as I felt they were back in 2006, for example.
Sound quality of their albums. There hasn't been a truly amazing album production-wise (both live and studio) since the Portnoy days.

I'm kind of 50/50, and I love Mangini but I do feel the band lost something deeper than its drummer. I will still see them live any time I can and buy their albums, but I'm not as crazy about them as I was back in 2010.
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #195 on: September 04, 2015, 01:36:30 PM »
No more 'forbidden' songs. The band's catalogue is available for live performance anytime.

I'll believe this when they play The Best of Times. But it was nice to hear Space Dye Vest. Now bring Disappear on tour and I'll be okay if they never play TBOT.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #196 on: September 04, 2015, 04:02:09 PM »
I never liked what they did with SDV. To a good degree, it drove home the point for me that current DT is not capable of understanding why people loved SDV so much, and thus we will never have such a song again.
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Offline 425

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #197 on: September 04, 2015, 04:21:10 PM »
No more 'forbidden' songs. The band's catalogue is available for live performance anytime.

I'll believe this when they play The Best of Times. But it was nice to hear Space Dye Vest. Now bring Disappear on tour and I'll be okay if they never play TBOT.

I think The Best of Times should be off limits. :-\ Personally, if I was in the band, I would feel very uncomfortable playing that song without Mike. Especially if I was in James's position.
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #198 on: September 04, 2015, 04:52:00 PM »
I never liked what they did with SDV. To a good degree, it drove home the point for me that current DT is not capable of understanding why people loved SDV so much, and thus we will never have such a song again.

I loved it. JP's guitar solo was one of the best I've ever heard.
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Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #199 on: September 04, 2015, 06:31:59 PM »
No more 'forbidden' songs. The band's catalogue is available for live performance anytime.

I'll believe this when they play The Best of Times. But it was nice to hear Space Dye Vest. Now bring Disappear on tour and I'll be okay if they never play TBOT.

I think The Best of Times should be off limits. :-\ Personally, if I was in the band, I would feel very uncomfortable playing that song without Mike. Especially if I was in James's position.

I agree as much as I would love to hear that guitar solo live. Those lyrics are so personal to Portnoy that it would just feel wrong if they played it without him.
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Offline Darkstarshades

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #200 on: September 04, 2015, 06:34:57 PM »
I don't see how the hell is SDV and TBOT even a logical and fair comparison.
It's as if you compared a family member's decease with a breakup, seriously guys.
SDV was not even close to being as emotionally an personally meaningful to KM as TBOT is to MP.
While the same should apply to ACoS, it really doesn't. Simply because MP has stated that his mother's death is not the only thing that inspired it. ACoS's lyrics are more poethical and unspecific, while TBOT is straight to the point and direct.
So yeah, I don't think they ever play it, pretty sure Jordan would refuse to do so, as well as JP. And even if they did, we can expect the largest MP outrage yet.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 06:45:34 PM by Darkstarshades »
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #201 on: September 04, 2015, 07:19:19 PM »
When was MP ever right in his decision?
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Offline rumborak

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #202 on: September 04, 2015, 07:39:59 PM »
I'm pretty sure I've heard TBOT live.

No wait, that was at a Rush concert. Different song.
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #203 on: September 04, 2015, 08:46:04 PM »
Ah, dang. You're right, didn't think on The Best of Times when I wrote my post.

But yeah, we're not losing anything big here. If it never gets played live, life goes on.

Also, I'm also not too happy with the new arrangement of SDV, but I kinda get it. We, the die-hards love the song for what it is, in its 7 minutes of darkness and moody atmosphere (also probably it has to do with the unhealthy amount of love Kevin Moore gets 'round these parts), but for the average 'fan' I get that listening to that live every night can be tiresome. I used to hate the song for many years until it finally 'clicked', and although I prefer the original arrangement I was super excited when they began playing the song and even when JLB hits the higher octave.
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #204 on: September 04, 2015, 09:40:12 PM »
I never liked what they did with SDV. To a good degree, it drove home the point for me that current DT is not capable of understanding why people loved SDV so much, and thus we will never have such a song again.

Thank god. One SDV is already one too many.
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Offline ToT-147

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #205 on: September 04, 2015, 10:20:33 PM »
Cons:

1- Fan interaction has suffered. Greatly. It's been months since we had any true updates or anything new to discuss about, and that makes me forget about DT for a while (thing that never happened in the Portnoy days).

2- The 30th anniversary setlist sucked mostly, which is kind of a wasted landmark.

3- The band feels more like any other rock band nowadays, and doesn't feel as special as I felt they were back in 2006, for example.

1- I agree, but that is something relative.. For instance, I like that silence.. In fact, I would prefer they don't give any information at all until the day of the release..
Personal advice: (I'm not going to say "You should listen to other bands", because I'm pretty sure no one listen to just one band, and less when that band is DT, but) sometimes you have to 'forget' a band you like, in order to give yourself a breath from it, and then go back to it.. You'll see how it gets even better..

2- No, it didn't.. It was great.. Except for the MM's era repetitive songs, all the other were excellent choices..

3- Rock band? No fckng way!.. They're still prog and metal, and yeah, sometimes the thing gets very hardrock, but rock band?  :-\
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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #206 on: September 05, 2015, 02:17:14 AM »
I never liked what they did with SDV. To a good degree, it drove home the point for me that current DT is not capable of understanding why people loved SDV so much, and thus we will never have such a song again.

Thank god. One SDV is already one too many.

We have two !

Space Dye Vest & Strange Deja Vu !!

i know which one i'd rather hear live and it isn't about a hippy blouse :neverusethis:

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #207 on: September 05, 2015, 03:49:42 AM »
I never liked what they did with SDV. To a good degree, it drove home the point for me that current DT is not capable of understanding why people loved SDV so much, and thus we will never have such a song again.
As someone whose favourite song on Awake is SDV and who loved what they did with it live, I can't agree at all.

Ariich is a freak, or somehow has more hours in the day than everyone else.
I be am boner inducing.

Online hefdaddy42

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #208 on: September 05, 2015, 04:22:41 AM »
I never liked what they did with SDV. To a good degree, it drove home the point for me that current DT is not capable of understanding why I loved SDV so much, and thus I will never have such a song again.
Fixed that for you.
Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: 5 years later, was Portnoy right?
« Reply #209 on: September 05, 2015, 07:17:30 AM »
I never liked what they did with SDV. To a good degree, it drove home the point for me that current DT is not capable of understanding why people loved SDV so much, and thus we will never have such a song again.
As someone whose favourite song on Awake is SDV and who loved what they did with it live, I can't agree at all.

When I first saw a YT clip of Space Dye Vest live, I'll admit I was a bit bummed, but when I saw it live twice in a week, them rocking it up a bit live at the end was pretty freaking awesome.