Author Topic: The "A View from the Top of the World tour is awesome!" thread (spoilers)  (Read 30053 times)

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Offline Madman Shepherd

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It's embarrassing  :facepalm: and terrible :loser: for a band of their caliber. GO GET ANOTHER SINGER! :metal

Wow, after 30 years and 14 albums, the solution is to just can 'the voice' of the band? :-\

Look, I don't mean to single you out, but as the years go by, 'this' particular kind of post never ceases to amaze me.

In an effort to keep this conversation productive, I would like to ask you (and anyone else who shares this opinion), let's assume they 'go get another singer,' what happens next?

Do they get a known name, like Russell Allen? Let's say they do, do you think this leads to chart success? A multi-platinum album? A sold-out world tour? Many bands have gone this route, and few have managed to acquire anything other than diminshed returns.


Also, let's hear Russell sing Pull Me Under. I guarantee it's not going to sound how a lot of the JLB haters think it will. A lot of the "Get Russell in the band!" voices have died out over the years but I would bet you if that ever happened, no matter how good his performances are, you're going to have 90% of the fanbase saying they should get James back. And even if Russell sounded great at first (which I doubt he would), I doubt he could do a DT catalog justice, night after night.

Offline gzarruk

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Not trying to keep the thread going in that direction, but there's a lot of other people who actually could do the DT catalog justice and better than Russell (and present day James). Just ask Arjen Lucassen and he can come up with the ultimate vocalist options list for DT :P :lol
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline WilliamMunny

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Not trying to keep the thread going in that direction, but there's a lot of other people who actually could do the DT catalog justice and better than Russell (and present day James). Just ask Arjen Lucassen and he can come up with the ultimate vocalist options list for DT :P :lol

Sure, but I think the point that I (and many others) are trying to make is that when you make that proverbial change, you no longer have DT. No different than how a large portion of fans felt about VH with a 'better' but different vocalist (Hagar).

It's this whole idea of franchising...you could replace Paul Stanley with a younger, better, more capable vocalist, and tour for another twenty years, but I have no interest in seeing that band.

Online hefdaddy42

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They have actually only physically played the Metropolis Pt. 1 intro one time, at the SCORE show.  Every other time, it's the pre-recorded/from the album intro.
For the record, that is wrong Hef. There have been other times where they did perform the intro, although very few in number.
BLASPHEMY
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Offline pg1067

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Not trying to keep the thread going in that direction, but there's a lot of other people who actually could do the DT catalog justice and better than Russell (and present day James). Just ask Arjen Lucassen and he can come up with the ultimate vocalist options list for DT :P :lol

Sure, but I think the point that I (and many others) are trying to make is that when you make that proverbial change, you no longer have DT. No different than how a large portion of fans felt about VH with a 'better' but different vocalist (Hagar).

It's this whole idea of franchising...you could replace Paul Stanley with a younger, better, more capable vocalist, and tour for another twenty years, but I have no interest in seeing that band.

This is an interesting concept.  In 1991, Yes released a video called YesYears.  It was sort of a combination of the band's history and a chronicle of the Union tour.  There was a bit where Rick Wakeman was talking about Yes still being around in 50 or 100 years.  He likened it to an orchestra where the members are constantly changing.  Of course, it's a very imperfect analogy, but it's still an interesting concept in theory, and it's particularly relevant to a band like KISS that performs more as characters than individual.  If I understand correctly, I think this is something like what the band Ghost does.
"There's a bass solo in a song called Metropolis where I do a bass solo."  John Myung

Offline Setlist Scotty

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They have actually only physically played the Metropolis Pt. 1 intro one time, at the SCORE show.  Every other time, it's the pre-recorded/from the album intro.
For the record, that is wrong Hef. There have been other times where they did perform the intro, although very few in number.
BLASPHEMY
https://youtu.be/eAVa6t1c4Eo?t=273

https://youtu.be/6tGmYdtlu-Y?t=5792

 :-*
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Offline Setlist Scotty

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Do they get a known name, like Russell Allen? Let's say they do, do you think this leads to chart success? A multi-platinum album? A sold-out world tour? Many bands have gone this route, and few have managed to acquire anything other than diminshed returns.

But then, I will ask you this: what happens when the 'new' guy starts to have issues? (Cue Steve Augeri)

Case in point: Todd LaTorre was hailed by many as a savior when he joined Queensryche, but as soon as the tour-dates started to mount, he began to show signs of wear and tear live. Subtle at first, but as time has gone on, this chatter has grown. Obviously, it's not a huge deal, and Todd still sounds great live, but given the recent upturn in quality from Tate's live performances, you'd have a hard time convincing me that Geoff wouldn't be able to slide right back in and reassume his position in the band.

My point with all of this is, it's easy to say 'fire that guy,' but the litany of questions that would follow are way more difficult to answer.
Obviously this is all completely hypothetical and I don't foresee it happening, but if it were to happen, I imagine that they would probably do something similar to what they did to replace MP: audition mostly well known, well established vocalists. Besides making sure that the vocal style would be what they wanted and knew would fit for their catalog of material, as well as the right type of personality, I'm sure that a big consideration would be the person's track record in performing live. So I doubt they would end up in a situation like what has happened with QR. After all, in that case, TLT was not established as a vocalist, but more as a drummer, and even that was limited. Yeah he might have been the vocalist for Crimson Glory, but I don't think they even did any live shows with TLT, and if they did, it was probably only a handful. I get the impression that the guys in DT (particularly JP) are way more business savvy than the guys in QR, so the chances of them falling into a similar trap would be pretty unlikely.
 
 
Sure, but I think the point that I (and many others) are trying to make is that when you make that proverbial change, you no longer have DT. No different than how a large portion of fans felt about VH with a 'better' but different vocalist (Hagar).

It's this whole idea of franchising...you could replace Paul Stanley with a younger, better, more capable vocalist, and tour for another twenty years, but I have no interest in seeing that band.
For argument's sake, I realize that it's only one album, but WDaDU *does* exist and definitely *is* DT. Likewise, before Sept 2010, you would have had the vast majority of the fan base say that if MP were to leave DT, "you no longer have DT" and yet here we are over 11 years later. Sure you can argue that JL's voice is more distinctive than MP's drumming, and I wouldn't argue that, but I would argue that MP was probably more the face of the band than JL or maybe even JP, given the prominent role that he had within the band and the fact that DT draws more of a musician-type fan base than the average band. If they were to replace JL, there's no doubt there would be a certain subset of the fan base that would lose interest in DT, but I'd wager that the band would still manage to continue on and perhaps even gain other fans, especially if the vocalist is already well known, respected and had their own fan base. It happened with an extremely popular member of the band already, so it's not hard to imagine it happening again if it ever came to that.
As a basic rule, if you hate it, you must solely blame Portnoy. If it's good, then you must downplay MP's contribution to the band as not being important anyway, or claim he's just lying. It's the DTF way.

Offline MoraWintersoul

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Now they indisputably are canning more of their performance but it is still a fraction of a percent. I typically don't like the argument, "If you don't like it don't listen to it" because I feel there should be more room for nuance and constructive destruction, but some of the comments here really have me wondering why people care so much.
Dunno how much of your comment is directed at me, but I'll just respond personally by saying that it's because they are my favorite band (even with MP gone), and for the most part I still enjoy their more recent albums - especially the latest two - but it's disappointing and frustrating to see what the band is turning into in the live setting, given what they used to be beforehand.
Sorry for barging in late, but I feel like people are talking past each other in these discussions precisely because we don't acknowledge what in Dream Theater's fraction of a percent of the show not being live is bothersome. Yes, this isn't anything new for Dream Theater, and yes, if they don't have four hands and two singers to replicate the lines exactly as they are on the album, a part of it has to come off the tape... if they want to play things exactly as they are on the album. And that part bothers me.

On the instrumental side, the fact that it's just a few parts that they could work around if they wanted to but choose not to, it grinds my fucking pepper. That's the part someone else will call unimportant or irrelevant, but I just don't understand why they do it, and yes I've heard John Petrucci explaining how he envisions the shows now. He can go on explaining until his open jar of beard wax turns to stone, I still don't agree. To take TCOT for an example, they're not saving themselves any workload either by using the tape, it just sounds less cool in both theory and practice, it doesn't have the same kind of dramatic effect as the band coming in after the Metropolis intro. All they're doing is "hey, look how cool a Dream Theater intro sounds with more than one guitar!" and it would sound exactly as cool with a keyboard. An iPad gadget, a looper, idk, something.

Same goes for vocals. Yes, of course bands that record harmonies by the lead singer on the albums also use backing tapes, but running through my mental list, most of the ones I listen to use them sparingly, for maybe just the chorus or an important bridge or last chorus, and there is also always at least one person trying their darnedest to be heard next to the tape at some point. In Dream Theater, vocal harmonies are not as important, so why do I feel like I'm hearing every single line that is doubled on the albums coming off the tape live as well? That's more of a rhetorical question now, they're there because James actually needs the support now, but if it's that important, other people in the band that also have a mouth and decent-to-perfect pitch can try and support James too.

Idk guys, being musically challenged comes in different forms, and while it's true that people come to Dream Theater shows to see the instrumentalists play some badass stuff and not to hear JP singing backing vocals, having Dream Theater turn into a band that can play 99% of the album live is just... I already know they can do that. I want to see what they do with the 1% (and on the vocal side, more than the 1%) that they can't play live, as unimportant and miniscule as it is to others, that's still what I want to see. The View tour is awesome because any assortment of people playing Dream Theater music is awesome, including Dream Theater themselves, no one is taking that for granted here. But imagine them actually going beyond that, like they used to. If it's challenging to do that and still deliver a consistent show, well, why not do that challenge?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2022, 02:24:17 AM by MoraWintersoul »

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Offline Ben_Jamin

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There is one singer that I can see doing these Dream Theater songs justice, that person is Mike Mills.

He has a big range and the only thing to consider from him would be the touring and the effect it would have on his vocals in the long run.

Dream Theater songs are not easy to sing and it's why I give JLB props for going out and singing these complex songs as much as he does. It's also why I do not give him flack because he is out there night after night singing away.

I find it comical how people are complaining about one small section of a song and saying things like, "They should play another song."

For reason unknown to us, they decided to do it. Even at that, they have no obligation to tell us fans why. They could, but then people won't be satisfied with the response and will still continue bashing the band.

It's not like the situation with Prophets of War and MP not wanting to do his spoken word parts or the high range vocals and instead had his vocals piped in. Knowing how MP was adamant about backing vocals live, I was surprised he did that and chose not to perform those vocals harmony parts live. It's likely he didn't want to strain his voice from even doing those high parts. But seeing as he was also one that wanted to play every song at least once, he compromised his live vocals to piped in vocals to play Prophets of War.

I for one see no harm in the compromise of one line of vocals in a 10 minute song to help JLB rest and gain breathe to sustain the last note for as long as he does.

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Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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James is irreplaceable.

Some of the most legendary front-men in Rock history have proven to be replaceable. Some of the most legendary drummers too.

Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Also, I am barely following this but the problem here is that they played a recorded version of the Count piezo/clean guitar intro and who-a vocal part at the end? Seems fairly immaterial in the context of the whole show, no?

Offline Trav86

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Also, I am barely following this but the problem here is that they played a recorded version of the Count piezo/clean guitar intro and who-a vocal part at the end? Seems fairly immaterial in the context of the whole show, no?

Correct. But not to some.
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Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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If this is because approximately 20 seconds of music in a 2 hour show wasn't 100% live, I think people need to let it go. I would understand if JP faked a guitar solo or JLB lip synched an entire song or even a chorus. 

Also I think the last 2 measures or so of the Count intro are not in the prior bars, so I don't think the intro is something a loop could cover at 100%.

Offline Trav86

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If this is because approximately 20 seconds of music in a 2 hour show wasn't 100% live, I think people need to let it go. I would understand if JP faked a guitar solo or JLB lip synched an entire song or even a chorus. 

Also I think the last 2 measures or so of the Count intro are not in the prior bars, so I don't think the intro is something a loop could cover at 100%.

Gonna say this again for the people in the back
Can't we find the minds
to lead us closer to the heart?

Offline gzarruk

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To be fair, these kinds of comments, at least for the current tour, started happening when it became evident that James was relying heavily (to put it nicely) on the backing track for the "and at last the time has come" section from BITS. Even worse, he seems to be purposefully turning away from the crowd for these sections so that no one notices this, but they did. Multiple fan-recorded videos from different angles and different shows/dates confirm that.

Now, speaking only for myself, I have no problem with them using backing tracks to enhance their live performance for stuff that they can't recreate live all at once. But when it turns into what I just talked about, it becomes a real problem, for me at least.

It's not that "20 seconds of music in a 2 hour show wasn't 100% live", it's that they're actively trying to trick the audience into believing something is happening that in reality isn't. Also, when does it stop? Now it could be 20 seconds, but later it could turn into "it's only 1 song out of 10, relax guys". I'd say there's lines a band like this shouldn't cross, and one of those is lip syncing any part of their performance.

Still love DT like no other band, btw :tup
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline bosk1

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Even worse, he seems to be purposefully turning away from the crowd for these sections so that no one notices this, but they did.

That's a stretch.  He's turned sideways, not away (at least at the show I was at and the first video I saw).  And what would "turning away" supposedly accomplish?  If he is "faking it" instead of singing as a few people have said, why bother turning away if he is moving his mouth as if singing and isn't actually singing?  That makes no sense.
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Offline geeeemo

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My opionion is. This is really nitpicky. I noticed something, but whatever. The show is great and I had a blast. Twice. Third coming on Friday. Sheesh.

Offline Deadeye21

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Practically, I think weíre more mad that itís done in a way designed to deceive us into not realising itís happening.

Iím actually fine with the fact that heís using the track. If it leads to him not shying away from the moment after this with the ďbig noteĒ of the song, then fine.
But itís the way that James is trying to turn as if to not show it off. Keep moving, performing, anything other than planting yourself in an odd spot that kinda gives it away.

For Petrucci using the tape underneath the solo in Tuscany, heĒs been doing that since the first time they performed the song. Iím cool with it, itís just part of the song. But, it would be cool if Jordan got to p,as the intro guitar, since he has been playing guitar more and more over the course of this tour, and I think it would be great to see him use that on stage. I donít want him to have a shred off against JP necessarily, but to let him open Tuscany would be awesome. Hell, Iíd even be really keen on them revisiting Killing Hand and letting Jordan play the opening lead.
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Offline jimgolf

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The prerecorded stuff is an interesting discussion, and at the end of the day it is what it is. However, the one issue i do legitimately have with the last 2 DT Tours is how dang loud it is. It kind of takes the punch out of the concert because I have to wear ear protection(and even the better types of ear protection take away some level of ďpunchĒ to the mix). And if I try to listen for a bit without the ear protection, the volume is so high that it starts distorting and losing a level of quality in the music. If there was one thing I wish they would do and nothing else it would be just to turn down the volume a bit at the live shows.

Offline KevShmev

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The prerecorded stuff is an interesting discussion, and at the end of the day it is what it is. However, the one issue i do legitimately have with the last 2 DT Tours is how dang loud it is. It kind of takes the punch out of the concert because I have to wear ear protection(and even the better types of ear protection take away some level of ďpunchĒ to the mix). And if I try to listen for a bit without the ear protection, the volume is so high that it starts distorting and losing a level of quality in the music. If there was one thing I wish they would do and nothing else it would be just to turn down the volume a bit at the live shows.

That seems to vary from show to show.  I saw them twice in six days on the Along for the Ride tour in 2014. The Chicago show on the weekend was perfect volume, and the Kansas City show nearly a week was ear-splitting loud to the point where the show wasn't even that enjoyable even though I had ear plugs in and two of us moved up to the balcony, where there were some empty seats, to try and get a reprieve.  I have joked before that when I am near-deaf some day, I will have four shows to blame and that one is at the top of that list of four (the others being Metallica, Foo Fighters and Judas Priest).

Offline Dream Team

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Yesterday I was listening to Live at Budokan on headphones. Beautiful. No backing tracks, just JP and MP authentically doing backing vocals. I believe that changed on the very first tour after MP left, so I guess I have to lay my grievances at JP's feet.  :-[

Online hefdaddy42

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Yesterday I was listening to Live at Budokan on headphones. Beautiful. No backing tracks, just JP and MP authentically doing backing vocals. I believe that changed on the very first tour after MP left, so I guess I have to lay my grievances at JP's feet.  :-[
I guess so, yeah. 

I would just say that of the two, MP has the better backing voice, by far.  JP is OK, I guess, but definitely in a support role.  He's not a lead vocal, and he's not a lead backup, either.
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Offline cramx3

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Yesterday I was listening to Live at Budokan on headphones. Beautiful. No backing tracks, just JP and MP authentically doing backing vocals. I believe that changed on the very first tour after MP left, so I guess I have to lay my grievances at JP's feet.  :-[

This, from what I can tell, definitely falls on JPs feet.

I don't have any issue with the opening of TCOT being played through PA.  Lots of bands do this.  To me, it's part of dramatic effect of coming back out for the encore.  Maybe it gives the band a little extra breather after doing a 20 minute song and about to do another.  I don't know, I'm not a musician.

The piped in backing vocals bother me much more.  Maybe the mix or where I sat, it didn't bother me at all at the CT show, but it was much more noticeable in NJ.  I didn't let it get to me, I was enjoying the show too much. But it does kind of suck IMO for such an awesome live band to do these things. I'd rather no backing vocals at that point.  I know this is nothing new either, but is it just more noticeable now?

Offline Lax

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Honestly, after having this debate on sevenstring forum, my opinions are :
-Firing Labrie was the solution but like 20 years ago, not now, it would make no sense.
-Searching for a new singer could be the death of DT
-I'm ok with part lip syncing.
-I'm not ok with labrie screaming like a madman hoping to land on the right note, like he does sometimes. I'm for a workaround for his range loss, he already has a monotoneous voice on new albums.
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Offline Madman Shepherd

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Practically, I think weíre more mad that itís done in a way designed to deceive us into not realising itís happening.

Iím actually fine with the fact that heís using the track. If it leads to him not shying away from the moment after this with the ďbig noteĒ of the song, then fine.
But itís the way that James is trying to turn as if to not show it off. Keep moving, performing, anything other than planting yourself in an odd spot that kinda gives it away.

For Petrucci using the tape underneath the solo in Tuscany, heĒs been doing that since the first time they performed the song. Iím cool with it, itís just part of the song. But, it would be cool if Jordan got to p,as the intro guitar, since he has been playing guitar more and more over the course of this tour, and I think it would be great to see him use that on stage. I donít want him to have a shred off against JP necessarily, but to let him open Tuscany would be awesome. Hell, Iíd even be really keen on them revisiting Killing Hand and letting Jordan play the opening lead.

Ya know what? I agree. Especially considering James would compensate for the difficulty in getting enough air by yelling "Sing it!" and not singing the end part himself in 2011. Just own up to it. People will still bitch but whatever.

I also agree about the intro tape. Some songs it's just weird.

I know Sons of Apollo isn't incredibly well regarded around here but they use an intro tape for Goodbye Divinity which is a huge missed opportunity. I get it that it lets things build but how much cooler would it be to have the lights out completely and just Derek walks on stage, starts playing, then Portnoy comes on and joins in, then Bumblefoot and Sheehan or whatever order it was, and then of course Soto. That would be a cool intro.

Offline hunnus2000

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Well, I don't understand why bands pipe in intros to songs either. For instance, on Rush's Headlong Flight, I never understood why they piped in the intro to the song. It was just a bass intro after all.....

As far singing goes, I can understand with the multilayering of vocals on the albums and wanting to recreate that in a live environment.  Rush did this for many years but it never ever took away from the final musical presentation.

But I agree that I wish that DT would come up with alternatives. For instance, TCOT, JR could play the acoustic part while JP solos over that.

Oh well - enjoy DT while you still have them......

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Practically, I think weíre more mad that itís done in a way designed to deceive us into not realising itís happening.

Iím actually fine with the fact that heís using the track. If it leads to him not shying away from the moment after this with the ďbig noteĒ of the song, then fine.
But itís the way that James is trying to turn as if to not show it off. Keep moving, performing, anything other than planting yourself in an odd spot that kinda gives it away.

For Petrucci using the tape underneath the solo in Tuscany, heĒs been doing that since the first time they performed the song. Iím cool with it, itís just part of the song. But, it would be cool if Jordan got to p,as the intro guitar, since he has been playing guitar more and more over the course of this tour, and I think it would be great to see him use that on stage. I donít want him to have a shred off against JP necessarily, but to let him open Tuscany would be awesome. Hell, Iíd even be really keen on them revisiting Killing Hand and letting Jordan play the opening lead.

Ya know what? I agree. Especially considering James would compensate for the difficulty in getting enough air by yelling "Sing it!" and not singing the end part himself in 2011. Just own up to it. People will still bitch but whatever.


I had to listen to and analyze Luna Park to see how he did this part. And there are moments where he doesn't complete the sustain of the notes. In, "The piece of me that died, will return to live again." he doesn't sustain that last note in "again", he immediately tells the audience to "sing it with me."

And then here...https://youtu.be/QKC3kOyRk1Y?t=563 he doesn't turn around. He faces the audience while singing that part. It's only in that part of the song, during that section of the chorus where he turns around. You can also hear how loud the backing vocals are before the time-stamped video where he stops holding the note to "all my pain" to spit.

This to me, states that there are backing vocals he is harmonizing with, to give the effect of doubled vocals. Like how JP is using his new toy to enhance the guitars to sound as if two guitars are playing.

That didn't bother my enjoyment one bit of the 10 min song, being played. And I do not know why people are giving him flak when it's more obvious in other songs like About To Crash that he is harmonizing and doubling with backing vocals.
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Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Ideally to 'keep it real' there would be no backing vocal track, but if it's there or not, I don't think it's helping the listener much. He is clearly not singing this exactly like the studio version-- intentional or not.

To be honest, I didn't even notice if he was getting any help or not when I saw the show. I thought he did a nice job but that it was broadly in line with his performances over the last decade.

Offline geeeemo

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Ok. Am fresh from the Houston show. 2 things.
1. JP's cool solo toward the end of TCOT, he played some Rhapsody in Blue. And it was Fantastic.

2.  During James  little talk, it happens after Bridges in the Sky.. He says. "For those who say I am lip syncing. Fu#@ you." So there you have it.

It was awesomeness as usual. TMOLS and Endless Sacrifice has really been fantastic for this tour and the crowd was waay into it.
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2.  During James  little talk, it happens after Bridges in the Sky.. He says. "For those who say I am lip syncing. Fu#@ you." So there you have it.

Haha damn!
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Online The Letter M

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I mean, if it's piped in and you aren't mimicking it, it's not lipsynching. You're just singing along with a playback of harmonies or backup vocals, which I don't think he or anyone else could deny, if that is what is happening on the tour.

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Offline crystalstars17

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2.  During James  little talk, it happens after Bridges in the Sky.. He says. "For those who say I am lip syncing. Fu#@ you." So there you have it.

Woohooo!!!! SMACKDOWN!!!!!  ✨💥✨🔥✨

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Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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 :lol :lol :lol

he's clearly not. If he were, all of these performances would sound strangely close to the recorded versions, which they don't.

I am impressed they found out about this so quickly.

Offline KevShmev

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:lol :lol :lol

he's clearly not. If he were, all of these performances would sound strangely close to the recorded versions, which they don't.

I am impressed they found out about this so quickly.

Not necessarily.  Roger Waters, for example, has clearly lip synched in recent years, and often the track you hear live is a new one he did, most likely in tour rehearsals where they probably took the best take he could deliver and made that the "live" one that he lip synched.

Offline IgnotusPerIgnotium

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Even worse, he seems to be purposefully turning away from the crowd for these sections so that no one notices this, but they did.

That's a stretch.  He's turned sideways, not away (at least at the show I was at and the first video I saw).  And what would "turning away" supposedly accomplish?  If he is "faking it" instead of singing as a few people have said, why bother turning away if he is moving his mouth as if singing and isn't actually singing?  That makes no sense.

That's not a stretch at all. What are we talking about here really..how here turns away or sideways to hide his performance that is being lip synced..That's insulting the common sense of people..Is there a doubt that he is NOT faking it..just trust your ears and compare the videos..his voice isn't singing. As I see it the problem with JML's voice is not going to get better..either you keep him and watch the value of your live production go downhill or you comprise a replacement -it's that simple..