Author Topic: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?  (Read 1454 times)

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Offline dreamthr

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Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« on: June 27, 2018, 12:29:02 PM »
First, about me:
I've attended 49 DT concerts in four countries, 12 Meet & Greets, met with members of the band (not at a concert), my alias on many web sites is dreamthr and my car license plate reads DREAMTHR. I have the best tattoo with the Majesty logo and "To Live Forever" written beneath it. I have every recording and video they ever made, and own many personal autographs from the band including an "Images and Words" LP signed by all.

When I met James LaBrie after a concert, I told him that I listened to his "Elements of Persuasion" more than "Octavarium" (they both were released the same year). He was amazed. There are many other magical moments with the band, too much to describe in this forum. Dream Theater has changed my life forever. Only a few individuals rate that statement from me (my father is not one). But something has been bothering me for quite a while and I need to know that I can't be the only DT fan who feels the same way.

It's been eight (8) years since Mike Portnoy left Dream Theater.

When it happened, I couldn't believe it. Just like the Boston Celtics trading Paul Pierce; Steven Wilson ending Porcupine Tree. I know nothing stays the same forever, especially rock bands and sports teams. Artists and athletes get replaced by the missed all-star and they move on. Sometimes it seems as if nothing happened. Sometimes it makes things better.

But not Dream Theater without one of the original members, Mike Portnoy. A great drummer, but he's not the greatest. His replacement Mike Mangini is technically a better and more skilled player. But when Mike left, Dream Theater lost a piece of them that wasn't replaced. Mike Portnoy's chemistry, which was the heart and soul of Dream Theater, is not there anymore. They may still play great and release good albums, but there is something missing. Particularly on stage when they perform. Something is missing that has changed how I feel inside emotionally when I see them.

I know Mike Portnoy left the band by his own decision. He wasn't fired or traded. Dream Theater still exists. But Dream Theater was never the same ever since the day Mike left. Am I the only person that feels this way?

Online SystematicThought

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2018, 12:32:01 PM »
I don't feel the same way but many do.
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Online MirrorMask

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2018, 12:34:26 PM »
I wish it didn't happen. It happened. I moved on and so did the band. I still enjoy them.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2018, 12:37:43 PM »
I don't feel the same, but I understand how you feel.  In many ways, I enjoy the music and some other aspects of the band even more now than before MP left.  But there are also many aspects of the band that I miss as well.  And you are right that the band DOES feel different.  But I don't think that means "worse"--just "different."  And of course you aren't the only one that feels that way.  There are many that do.  Thank you for being one of the ones to express your opinion respectfully without any negativity toward the current lineup of the band.
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Offline Kattoelox

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2018, 12:39:14 PM »
I feel like I've read this a thousand different times, not only about MP/MM, but KevMo/Derek/Rudess (pick your two keyboardists and fill them in the OP in place of the drummers).

Of course it's not 'the same.' Mike Portnoy is not there anymore. But Dream Theater is still Dream Theater, just as it was when Kevin Moore, the original keyboardist, left. Just as it was when Jordan joined after two previous keyboardists were in (more former members in the keyboardist position than any other slot in the band).

MP was a big part of the band... but not the be all end all. Yeah, we got a new transmission, but it's still the same ol' reliable car.  :metal

Online SystematicThought

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2018, 12:44:04 PM »
Actually, I gotta say, for the first time since MP left, this new album cycle feels like old Dream Theater. We're getting updates, there's behind the scenes videos, fun posts like them standing in line at Five Guys, etc. I would love if JR would post updates on his Facebook like they did during the BC&SL sessions.

All in all though, these new updates make me excited again and finally feel like we're getting the behind the scenes footage that we're used to
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Offline Bertielee

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 01:02:03 PM »
MP is gone. Dt have moved on, let's do the same. And this comes from a very nostalgic guy.

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Offline cramx3

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2018, 01:17:13 PM »
I think most of us have moved on.  Doesn't mean things aren't the same, but that's OK.  I think DT is realizing that with the new album.  They are reconnecting with the fans, something they needed to do because they lost that connection when MP left to some degree. 

I will say that the live show energy is a bit different without MP.  I think I miss that the most.  The actual drumming is fantastic from MM so I don't think anything is really missed from that, but that live feel.  Like when MP stands up and gets the crowd into it.  The unexpectedness of what song was going to be played next, the possible instrumental extension, who knows.  I feel that is what is missing.  I kind of forget that feeling until I saw the MP TSF show.  I forgot what it was like to see DT material live with such energy and power, not playing to a click, using backing vocals, and just putting on a rock n roll show. 

Having said what I miss the most, I will say I still love DT and what they are doing.  Loved TA and the two TA shows I went to as well.  I think they've done a great job of their static setlists, a healthy selection of songs each tour.  They tried to spice things up near the end of the last tour with the rare songs and even the last show getting a taste of LTE during JR"s solo.  I felt that was close to coming back to where they used to be with the live show.

Offline Indiscipline

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2018, 02:10:20 PM »
I'm reading you genuinely bothered and, while you are understandably searching for people feeling the same way, maybe I could offer a little solace from the other side of the troubled waters.

I never was a hardcore fan like you. I discovered and fell in love with DT in 1992 and they've been my favourite band for the happy time life gave me the privilege to care about bands. I never "followed" them, yet they kept gravitating around my life and I never stopped  buying their albums and going to their shows whenever they visited the armpit I lived in. That's what you do when unparalled talent happens in your lifetime. I loved them, but at the same religious and unpersonal distance you love Mozart, Verdi or The Beatles.

Yet the split hit me hard. Spoilering a chapter from a silly forum thread I'm never going to be able to complete, I was having a divorce at the time and, in such a state of chaos and dismay, DT was offering me the same sense of loss instead of the usual solid ground.

When the storm calmed down I discovered a couple of things. Of course things change, but nobody can steal the past. Furthermore, divorces have a way to set a lot of energy, often positive, free. BC&SL was an extremely unsettling and uneven album for me and the band I saw live in 2009 was tired and tense compared to the one I saw havig a ball at the Velvet Club in 1995. Regardless of the nature of the split, I'm now convinced DT wouldn't have been able to give us three incredible albums full of enthusiasm without weathering that crisis. When I saw them live during the TA and the I&W 25 tours I found them incredibly joyful and open on stage like I hadn't since 2006. Mike gave me the same feeling on a Whirlwind show. Also, we can be grateful for the opportunity to experience DT with a different line-up, being it "better" or "worse".

In the fullest respect of your opinions and feelings.




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Offline TAC

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2018, 03:18:26 PM »


Yet the split hit me hard. Spoilering a chapter from a silly forum thread I'm never going to be able to complete, I was having a divorce at the time and, in such a state of chaos and dismay, DT was offering me the same sense of loss instead of the usual solid ground.


Hah...so MP used a marriage analogy for a band split, and you're using a band analogy for a marriage split.

Ironic. :lol


Don'tcha think?

Saved you the trouble. ;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 Dublagent66

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2018, 03:36:02 PM »
People can be very frightened of change because it's not always for the better.  Maybe it worked out better for the band.  Maybe it works better for newer fans, but for most long time fans, maybe not so much.  Of course, we all moved on in some way because we had no choice.  Honestly, I just don't like DT as much as I used to.
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Offline ZirconBlue

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2018, 10:28:29 AM »
I feel like I've read this a thousand different times, not only about MP/MM, but KevMo/Derek/Rudess (pick your two keyboardists and fill them in the OP in place of the drummers).



Heck, I remember people on the old ystejam mailing list lamenting the change from Charlie to JLB.

Offline nattmorker

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2018, 11:06:08 AM »
Short answer: I was devastated back in 2009 when everything happened, I thought they wouldn't be able to continue without MP. Now I love the band even more, I became a fan in 2007, so ADTOE & TA have been the first really great albums that I have seen released in "real time". I love SC & BCSL but the new albums have been incredible for me. Besides the band seems more happy/liberated/relax in the live setting.

Plus, we got "Similitude of a dream" on the other side, so it's a win-win situation for me.
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Offline Skeever

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2018, 04:10:59 PM »
I was actually optimistic when MP left because I had been disappointed with the last two albums with him and felt like the band needed a shakeup. But here we are in 2018 and I have been disappointed with the last two albums the band have done, so I'm very much in the same spot. Some kind of shakeup would probably make more curious.

Offline TheGreatPretender

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2018, 04:20:12 PM »
To be honest, no. I mean, of course, there's always a change in dynamic and sound whenever a band member leaves, especially when a band has a distinct sound and writes their songs collaboratively. But to be honest, in terms of how the band sounds and how they're functioning, I think they feel a lot more consistently like DT, than they had with any other lineup change. I mean, Charlie, Kevin, Derek, when those guys left, the overall sound changed significantly. But when MP left, I don't feel like the overall vibe of the band changed much. I guess if you're more attuned to drums, that change is more perceptible, but still, if 1999 - 2009 had established a standard "DT sound", then I feel like that sound hadn't deviated much at all. Except in the vocal department, where we don't have MP's vocals anymore, but that's for the best, if you ask me.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2018, 05:11:10 PM »
No they aren't the same. The only thing that really matters is "Does it still feel like Dream Theater?" to you.

In the Yes thread I asked what it was like to be a Yes fan with all the line-up changes and if it makes it hard to be a fan of the band. It's not like being a fan of the Yankees, because you are a fan of the team more than the players in the pinstripes. Or is it?

DT never stopped feeling like DT to me. A little different here and there, some good, some not as good. But it was always DT, because the guys in the band never lost track of who the band was and how they got there, and who they wanted to be.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2018, 06:25:32 PM »
For this fan, it was mostly positive. Portnoy's leadership of the band had taken a lot of the fun out of being a fan of the band.  His personality was too dominant, in interviews, in videos, in making of's, etc, and as someone who often finds Portnoy to be obnoxious and overbearing, it was tiresome and eye-rolling way too often. I saw the band four times from 2000-2004 (twice traveling to other cities), but zero times from 2005-2009.  Some of that was the material not being as good on albums 8-10, but that "man, I love this band and will travel to see them" feeling just wasn't there anymore (and they didn't come to my hometown once in that time span).

Now, it feels like a real band again.  And I have seen them three times since Mangini joined the band (traveling to different cities twice in the same week to see them on the Along for the Ride tour).

So yeah, while there are certainly times when I miss Portnoy's drumming (it is more loose and fun than MM's), I am a big fan of all three albums with Mangini, and it is fun to be a fan of the band again. :coolio :hat

Offline Madman Shepherd

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2018, 10:00:27 PM »
I feel like I've read this a thousand different times, not only about MP/MM, but KevMo/Derek/Rudess (pick your two keyboardists and fill them in the OP in place of the drummers).

Of course it's not 'the same.' Mike Portnoy is not there anymore. But Dream Theater is still Dream Theater, just as it was when Kevin Moore, the original keyboardist, left. Just as it was when Jordan joined after two previous keyboardists were in (more former members in the keyboardist position than any other slot in the band).

MP was a big part of the band... but not the be all end all. Yeah, we got a new transmission, but it's still the same ol' reliable car.  :metal

I agree with all of this.

Except I find myself enjoying the band more now.  Mangini is a much more exciting guy to watch live.  I love his stage presence more and I like the band dynamics more. 

I miss some stuff with Portnoy but there is some other stuff I like more with the other Mike behind the kit. 

Offline rumborak

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2018, 08:39:44 AM »
People seem to forget that many of the criticisms levied against modern DT were already happening when MP was still there.
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Offline Skeever

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2018, 10:17:05 AM »
People seem to forget that many of the criticisms levied against modern DT were already happening when MP was still there.

I think MP created a lot of the high-profile examples that people could use as scapegoats to articulate their disappointment with the band's post-Scenes music. The distasteful lyrics in Never Enough, the rap vocals in Prophets of War, "Day After Day, Night After Night", SUCKING ON HIS PIPE, etc. The late 2005-2009 MP/DT lowlight reel would be quite a thing to behold.

But if I think about those albums and try to mentally remove all the baffling MP moments from them, I'm still left with a lot of material that's uninteresting to me. Stuff like The Answer Lies Within, schlopics like Sacrificed Sons and The Ministry of Lost Souls, lyrics on Black Clouds that just completely fail to resonate me at all. So I hear you. Overall I do think things have gotten better, but many of the reasons I began to drift from the band toward the end of MP's reign haven't gone away.

Offline Bertielee

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2018, 11:58:23 AM »
People seem to forget that many of the criticisms levied against modern DT were already happening when MP was still there.

I think MP created a lot of the high-profile examples that people could use as scapegoats to articulate their disappointment with the band's post-Scenes music. The distasteful lyrics in Never Enough, the rap vocals in Prophets of War, "Day After Day, Night After Night", SUCKING ON HIS PIPE, etc. The late 2005-2009 MP/DT lowlight reel would be quite a thing to behold.


Are you sure the "sucking on his pipe" line is from MP? I thought those were JP's lyrics.

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Offline Lethean

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2018, 12:07:35 PM »
Going off some of the recent posts - the change from MP to MM was mostly positive for me as well.  However, I didn't have that much of a problem with MP when he was in the band.  I didn't like his singing at all and wished that he wouldn't do it, but tried to grin and bear it, so to speak.  Unlike Skeever, I really liked what they were doing musically; even SC, which is one of my least favorites, is a really good album in my opinion and I would have liked it more without MP's vocals and some of JP's lyrics.  I also thought MP was a little bit overbearing at times, and didn't appreciate some of the things he said about JL in the biography, but for the most part I thought he was essential to the band and as he was always cool to me in person, I liked him and defended him.  When he left, I was very upset, to put it mildly.  Not mad at him for leaving, not mad at the band for not waiting, just upset that he would no longer be part of the band and concerned that a lot of the things he did would fall by the wayside.  As time went on after the split, I didn't care for the way he conducted himself, but chalked it up to him perhaps feeling that he'd made a mistake and was suffering for it, so I had compassion. 

When ADTOE came out, I absolutely loved it and that was when I started feeling better about the split.  I'd heard reports that the band seemed happier on stage, and when I saw them, I didn't really want to believe it, but after the 2nd show on that tour, I agreed that JP seemed a little and JL was a little more - maybe happy, upbeat, relaxed, something.  MM wasn't MP behind the kit, but he brings his own personality to it and I think he's every bit as exciting to watch as MP was; it's just different.  Both subsequent releases and tour solidified all of that for me, and so while I won't say that MP was "holding them back" as others have said, I do think he was pushing too hard and it resulted sometimes in an unnatural kind of heaviness (and imo of course, poor poor vocals from him).  Whereas now, when they go heavy, it feels right. 

It seems everything worked out for the best, and I'm happy with the split and hope MM stays with the band until they decide to hang it up.

Offline Elite

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2018, 01:06:58 PM »
I accept the reality of things as they are with regards to MP leaving Dream Theater and have never felt sad about it. If you want DT with MP, there's 10 album's worth of material (not even counting bootlegs, live albums/videos and ACoS) for you to enjoy. He's not going to come back. Times have changed.
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Offline LudwigVan

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2018, 07:03:06 PM »
I'm okay with MP not being in the band anymore. Subjectively , I think he is a better drummer than MM, but I like the last 3 albums with Mangini than the last 3 DT albums with Portnoy.
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Offline JLa

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2018, 05:28:14 AM »
I always thought it was kind of 'special' that the core of the band met ages ago when they were still in school / students. I liked to think of the three as really close friends and that the band would always be those three + keys and vocals. It really bummed me out when MP decided to leave. If I recall correctly he asked for a 'hiatus' for a while? I didn't fully get why the others objected so hard to the idea - the music had become rather stale for a few albums. I guess it could be down to pure economics, the 4 needed their income and couldnt' go along with being "out of work" for as long as MP did his thing? I don't know and it's been so long I don't really care anymore either.

From a pure musical perspective - I enjoyed MP's style more than MM's, but they're both great drummers and I'll leave it at that. Music is a matter of taste anyway. When watching the 'auditions' I had Minnemann down as my favourite - I've heard rumours he was offered the gig but eventually turned it down? Don't know if that is true or not, it probably isn't. The guys seem super happy with Mangini anyway.

My enthusiasm for DT faded quite a bit when MP left.

Offline Peter Mc

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2018, 10:49:39 AM »
I was absolutely shocked and devastated when he left the band as I think that, in my head, Iíd made him largely responsible for everything the band did. This was a band who cared about fans, who did not make albums full of filler material but seemed to put their all into every song. A band that went against the industry and made these huge epic songs and showcased their playing ability with awesome solos. In my head, Mike Portnoy was the guy behind all this, the guy who steered the ship, the guy who refused to sell out and work with outside writers, the guy who told the record company to stay the fuck out of their business and let them have full creative control. I was very concerned then what direction the band would go without him.

The drummer audition videos did a lot to make me feel better, I still think that was an awesome idea to allow us to get to know Mangini a little and how much he cared about being in the band, just meant that I was rooting for him to do well rather than resenting him for replacing our hero. I think Mike acting like a bit of a dick to the band helped me as well, I began to think he was not as great a guy as Iíd previously thought. That doesnít take away all the stuff he did though while he was there, he was a fans dream, a guy who used to be a fan himself and gave us what he would have wanted his favourite bands to do for him.

The real clincher though was simply hearing OTBOA for the first time, instantly it sounded like DT, you couldnít even see the join, in fact it sounded like a return to form, to classic DT. Loved the album when it was released, much better imo than BC&SL and Mangini live was jaw dropping, not in an attention grabbing 2nd frontman way but just mesmerising to watch, I couldnít take my eyes off him.

If you asked me for sentimental reasons would I like MP to return, Iíd say yes but I donít think they miss him musically at all.

Offline ytserush

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2018, 12:12:50 PM »
I was more bummed when Kevin Moore left, actually. I understood it after hearing his solo stuff though. Portnoy?  Felt bad for him, but I was OK with it.

Offline Mladen

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2018, 12:37:15 PM »
Portnoy's departure was a bummer at first, but after a while I became accepting of the fact that one of the crucial members of a band I love decided to pursue something else. He had every right to do what he felt was right, and so did the rest of the guys, so I decided not to be emotional about it.

I also remember being confident that the band was going to be just fine, which was confirmed by the documentary and the brilliant album that was A Dramatic turn of events. I saw them live quite a few times with Mangini and also adored The Astonishing.

I look back fondly on the looseness and the energy that was a bit more prevalent during the Portnoy era, but the recent years showcased a band that looks and sounds more focused, with their image and stage presence being very well balanced for the most part. The band is different now, sure. They're still good, though.

Offline TAC

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2018, 06:53:35 PM »
M, as usual, great post!
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Volante99

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2018, 08:00:09 PM »
...But Dream Theater was never the same ever since the day Mike left. Am I the only person that feels this way?

Yes. You are the only person who has ever felt this way. I've never heard any other fan ever express this.  :facepalm:

Offline Scottjf8

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2018, 11:29:08 PM »
I kinda wanna see a pic of the majesty and TLF tattoo now.

Offline wolfking

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2018, 06:08:56 AM »
Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?

Why is this thread all about you not me?


Seriously though;

Personally, I don't care, and never really did.  We can't control what's happening with the band, so just accept it and be grateful they are still a band making music and touring.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2018, 08:39:22 AM »
But not Dream Theater without one of the original members, Mike Portnoy. A great drummer, but he's not the greatest. His replacement Mike Mangini is technically a better and more skilled player. But when Mike left, Dream Theater lost a piece of them that wasn't replaced. Mike Portnoy's chemistry, which was the heart and soul of Dream Theater, is not there anymore. They may still play great and release good albums, but there is something missing. Particularly on stage when they perform. Something is missing that has changed how I feel inside emotionally when I see them.

I know Mike Portnoy left the band by his own decision. He wasn't fired or traded. Dream Theater still exists. But Dream Theater was never the same ever since the day Mike left. Am I the only person that feels this way?[/size]
When Portnoy left they lost all that made them unique. While most here have moved on with Mangini some of us simply moved away. So no, you're not the only one that feels this way, though you won't find many on this forum.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2018, 08:47:50 AM »
I hadn't seen this cut of the drummer documentary with all the additional Mangini footage, but if I wasn't already sold on the guy in the band, this absolutely would have done it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tZ-go2CXqo
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Offline Kattoelox

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Re: Does Anyone Else Feel Like Me?
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2018, 08:49:43 AM »
But not Dream Theater without one of the original members, Mike Portnoy. A great drummer, but he's not the greatest. His replacement Mike Mangini is technically a better and more skilled player. But when Mike left, Dream Theater lost a piece of them that wasn't replaced. Mike Portnoy's chemistry, which was the heart and soul of Dream Theater, is not there anymore. They may still play great and release good albums, but there is something missing. Particularly on stage when they perform. Something is missing that has changed how I feel inside emotionally when I see them.

I know Mike Portnoy left the band by his own decision. He wasn't fired or traded. Dream Theater still exists. But Dream Theater was never the same ever since the day Mike left. Am I the only person that feels this way?[/size]
When Portnoy left they lost all that made them unique. While most here have moved on with Mangini some of us simply moved away. So no, you're not the only one that feels this way, though you won't find many on this forum.

Not true whatsoever. MP was unique but only 1 of 5 important pieces of the puzzle. The band is still uniquely Dream Theater.