Author Topic: The "A View from the Top of the World tour is awesome!" thread (spoilers)  (Read 30061 times)

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Offline romdrums

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Like Star Wars, nobody hates on Dream Theater like Dream Theater fans.  Personally, I think a lot of it is ridiculous.  I think the last two albums are as good as anything else they've done, and I'm enjoying them having fun this far into their career.  I've been a fan for almost 30 years at this point, and I'm happy they're still making music and seem to be as good as they ever were.  And honestly, I never really cared about all of the things MP "did for the fans."  They seem to be in a good place and I'm "along for the ride" as it were.
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Online Ben_Jamin

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If people expect perfect vocals, why not utilize technology that makes that possible? If people expect a live performance to be 100% played by the musicians, don't expect an intricate show and for it to be flawless.
We don't and we don't, so that's a moot point.

I would say the band and James "deserve" not to be subject to pointless negativity in their own corners of the internet, but this is our corner. Sure, it's a bit unfortunate that the one thread where we're discussing the tour as a whole is titled "The View tour is awesome!" but that's just the thread name. DTF rules about discussing DT and its members respectfully exist to protect them and their sensibilities, but I can respect those rules and still type out "I wish they wouldn't rely on technology with the vocals to the point where metal press is discussing whether James is lip-syncing a section". I'm not sure what other more respectful route I can take in order not to create bad press for the guys other than discussing my opinions on a low traffic site with a few other people who have all bought tickets?

The questioning of other members about why they can't just leave the topic alone is a bit puzzling. We all know the guy who should lay off Dream Theater who hasn't heard one note by them in the past ten years who is still in every comment section talking about how much they sucked since [insert random time point]. None of us here are that guy.

There's a reason why MP decided to get rid of the forum as an official forum and then got rid of his entire forum entirely. The reason why music media discussed this was likely because someone posted a Youtube video directly proclaiming JLB is lip singing. And personally, That's who I feel JLB's "Fuck You" was geared at. Someone who took their time to clip an audience recording and make a video proclaiming something that is not true. Many people watch YouTube and news journalists mention and talk about Youtube videos because ratings, and they can convince people that he is. When it is obvious he is not lip singing, he is singing along with a backing track. That's conspiracy theory shit right there...

Backing Vocals are things I do not mind. For myself, Either pipe them in to fill out the sound, or the audience can at least sing those parts out loud to fill out that sound. Take The Time is a fantastic example of this. It sounds weird listening to songs that should be audience singing moments be silent during the song on live recordings.

Musicians and Singers love when an audience can sing along loud enough to be heard. That crowd choir is powerful and that tone is the tone of the human voice when gathered into one harmony. Blind Guardian performing The Bard's Song is entirely about that very thing. The Bard's Song is meant for this purpose of that crowd harmony.

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Online Ben_Jamin

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Like Star Wars, nobody hates on Dream Theater like Dream Theater fans.  Personally, I think a lot of it is ridiculous.  I think the last two albums are as good as anything else they've done, and I'm enjoying them having fun this far into their career.  I've been a fan for almost 30 years at this point, and I'm happy they're still making music and seem to be as good as they ever were.  And honestly, I never really cared about all of the things MP "did for the fans."  They seem to be in a good place and I'm "along for the ride" as it were.

Fandom, is a reason why I find this Simpsons clip hilarious...

You're a lifesaver, Homer.
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Offline cramx3

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Like Star Wars, nobody hates on Dream Theater like Dream Theater fans.

Yup.  Dream Theater fans can be pretty harsh on the band, I've had my own complaints over the years, but like you I'm still "along for the ride". 

Just for amusement and general mockery, the following is an actual post on the Dream Theater "sub" on Reddit yesterday:

"I went to see DT the other night and.....
I absolutely hated it, they only played new songs that no body knew too well. I would've loved it if they played classics but not even Pull Me Under was played, like c'mon. I get that they're trying to advertise their new ok album but just give the fans what they want..."

 :lol

Newbie......or troll -  :hat

You can't make everyone happy with the setlist choices. That's just a fact really when a band has so much music to choose from.  But considering how they recently did the entire I&W album and you can be pretty certain PMU will come back to the set, I think that's not a fair criticism even if PMU is their biggest "hit".  They've made it known for the last 30 years that PMU is not a song they will play every show or every tour. 

Offline crystalstars17

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TAC, my apologies for the poor word choice with "deserve". It was my choice of words first, not MinistroRaven's, so I'm sorry if it was offensive. I only meant it in the plainest dictionary definition of deserving, which is having done something worthy of praise. I think we can all agree that they have done so and more, but I do respect your point of view.

won't stop me from loving Dream Theater.

I think we all agree on this as well 🙂


Offline 425

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Just for amusement and general mockery, the following is an actual post on the Dream Theater "sub" on Reddit yesterday:

"I went to see DT the other night and.....
I absolutely hated it, they only played new songs that no body knew too well. I would've loved it if they played classics but not even Pull Me Under was played, like c'mon. I get that they're trying to advertise their new ok album but just give the fans what they want..."

 :lol

For all the Iron Maiden fans who've spent years asking why they don't play Alexander the Great... this mindset is why.
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Online TAC

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TAC, my apologies for the poor word choice with "deserve". It was my choice of words first, not MinistroRaven's, so I'm sorry if it was offensive. I only meant it in the plainest dictionary definition of deserving, which is having done something worthy of praise. I think we can all agree that they have done so and more, but I do respect your point of view.

won't stop me from loving Dream Theater.

I think we all agree on this as well 🙂

Oh no worries at all. That word just sent me over the edge. :lol

I have said plenty about the James' vocals thing. I don't plan on beating a dead horse mentioning it again, unless there's a relevancy.

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
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline KevShmev

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Like Star Wars, nobody hates on Dream Theater like Dream Theater fans.  Personally, I think a lot of it is ridiculous.  I think the last two albums are as good as anything else they've done, and I'm enjoying them having fun this far into their career.  I've been a fan for almost 30 years at this point, and I'm happy they're still making music and seem to be as good as they ever were.  And honestly, I never really cared about all of the things MP "did for the fans."  They seem to be in a good place and I'm "along for the ride" as it were.

Many times, we criticize what we love. 

I will use this analogy: say two brothers were always fighting as kids, and they were out front arguing one day and the older brother was knocking the younger one around a little, and then a neighbor kid comes by and makes fun of the younger one.  The older brother then instantly stops fighting with his brother and turns his attention to the outsider.  "I can make fun of my brother and knock him around a little, but YOU cannot."

Not the exact same thing, but I think you get what I mean.  For those accused of being too critical of live James lately, I suspect that if you threw most of us on a big internet forum and non-fans were making fun of James and/or DT, we'd be quick to jump in and defend them.  Non-fans cannot criticize "our" band, but we can.

Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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The nitpicking just comes with the territory. They are a famous band with fans all over the world in an age where everything gets posted on the internet the next day.

I think JLB could have handled it better but I get the anger. He's been dealing with a disproportionate amount of criticism about his abilities for decades, and now heap onto that another controversy about a very taboo subject. I get it, given the context-- the rest of the band members continue to be among the best in what they do with no signs of age, yet we are still talking about whether or not the singer can perform his basic duties competently and consistently in a live setting after like 20 years.

I was personally satisfied by the live vocal performance all things considered. It was a little rough in a few spots, but nothing outside the bounds of what we've been hearing for a long time. Did the backing track kill it for me? No, and I don't think it was used as a crutch, but rather as a sort of textural enhancement. I hope next time they just forgo it in order to avoid an unnecessary distraction. As far as the 'find a new singer' thing is concerned, I think that is silly at this point. There was a time for that and it's long gone; for better or worse depending on your view, JLB is here until he says he quits.

Offline KevShmev

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As he does not strike me as being a delusional narcissist on any level (quite the contrary actually), I have little to no doubt that James realizes what he has lost and what his certain limitations are now, and it has to be frustrating for him to see and read that many see it as well, so lashing out a bit is understandable for sure.  I get it.

And definitely hell no to a new singer ever.  I listened to Answering the Call and Awaken the Master on the way home from work today and both still sounded great, as did JLB in both, so as long as he can still deliver in the studio, this fan is good.  :coolio :coolio

Offline Stadler

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Well, I don't think that all backing vocals were triggered but I'm sure a good 80% were triggered by the band members. As an example, during the Counterparts tour Alex would sing the backing low octave parts during the chorus and one time he wasn't where he was supposed to be and you heard all Geddy. He made back to the mic and it made me wonder if his voice triggered the sound effect or that was the sound guy.

It could be that the backing vocals are programmed like JR programs his keyboard and that's why the need a click but I see no difference between DT and Rush as to their approach of how they present the backing vocals. I mean, doesn't Matti have the ability to punch a certain pedal if JP doesn't make it back in time?

I'm not the Rush expert some are, but wasn't there at least one tour where Alex made a sort of joke of "singing" the "Superconductor" part of... what's the name of that song.... :) :) :)

Offline Stadler

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Like Star Wars, nobody hates on Dream Theater like Dream Theater fans.  Personally, I think a lot of it is ridiculous.  I think the last two albums are as good as anything else they've done, and I'm enjoying them having fun this far into their career.  I've been a fan for almost 30 years at this point, and I'm happy they're still making music and seem to be as good as they ever were.  And honestly, I never really cared about all of the things MP "did for the fans."  They seem to be in a good place and I'm "along for the ride" as it were.

Other than the things MP did, which I liked, I want to be clear that any complaints I had aren't enough to chill my love of the band.  I was really impressed with their live show this last tour, and I still get as much joy from the band as I ever did.

Offline Cool Chris

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People have posted about how the band is putting on more of a performance, and want to have all the lights, video, and music synced up properly. While commendable, I cannot imagine leaving a rock concert and thinking "boy, it really bugged me those couple times the music wasn't perfectly synced with the lights/video."
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Offline geeeemo

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People have posted about how the band is putting on more of a performance, and want to have all the lights, video, and music synced up properly. While commendable, I cannot imagine leaving a rock concert and thinking "boy, it really bugged me those couple times the music wasn't perfectly synced with the lights/video."

I went to a Kamlot concert. They had a fantastic light show. I loved the concert; the music, hearing the songs I like. When I tell others about it, I always talk about the light show they put on.
Now I dont need a light show to love a rock concert, but when its done well, its a great add on.

Offline axeman90210

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I did end up catching the last night of the North American tour on Monday night in Austin, some thoughts below

- Arch Echo were great as an opening band. I saw them a couple of years ago opening for Tony MacAlpine in a much smaller venue and came away from that show impressed with them. I was glad to see them get this shot at playing on a much bigger platform and I think they brought it. Sure, the songwriting could probably use a little bit of refining, but the playing and energy were both off the charts. They got an enthusiastic reaction from the Austin crowd at the end of their set (though I think the replacement drummer is from Texas, which helped :lol)

- I enjoyed the more stripped down stage design, and by and large thought the sound was well-mixed. I also didn't find it to be detrimentally loud, which I know was feedback from people at a few different shows.

- I thought the new songs all came across fine. By and large View has landed as being consistently average for me, and seeing them live didn't change things one way or another. I have to say that of the four songs they played Invisible Monster was my least favorite, but improved the most in a live setting. Some of the 8 string riffage in Awaken the Master sounded a little bit muddier than it had to.

- I was very happy to get 6:00 in the set this tour, it's one of my favorites from Awake and one that I don't think I've seen live yet. It got a pretty solid reaction from the crowd as well. Endless Sacrifice though definitely got the crowd going more than just about anything else in the setlist.

- I really hope this scratches their itch to play TMOLS for the foreseeable future. It's less of a slog live than it is on the album, but that's a low bar to clear.

- The band was on point pretty much all night. JP was a rock star as always and MM was a monster behind the kit. Jordan was doing his wizard things, and I really got to appreciate JM in particular since I was up close on his side. I thought JLB was by and large solid given some of the discussion around him pretty much since the tour started. Some noticeable melody adjustments and some moments where he forewent enunciation to focus on hitting the note that he wanted to. Nothing where it seemed like he was trying to turn his back to the crowd and let piped in vocals do all the work (and I was looking for it during BitS in particular). There were a couple times where he wasn't even holding the mic near his mouth though where you could hear the piped in vocals though, which I thought was weird. The "whoa"s  at the end of TCOT were one instance, he was holding the mic out to the crowd but you could also still hear him. There was one other similar instance earlier though, can't remember what it was.

- The overall crowd energy was awesome, almost everyone on the floor was on their feet the whole night and enthusiastic throughout. It did seem like it was amateur hour right in the area I was sitting. First, I had a group of guys split between the row in front of me who seemed to be there primarily to drink and record themselves drinking. They would take turns going out and buying rounds of four drinks for the group, which always involved passing the drinks around and then reaching across my row/general area to cheers each other. One guy kept on filming and then panning around to get everyone in the shot and then had to play back what he had recorded. There was also a guy in the row in front of me who kept on telling people how he had been to 13 shows on this tour and met the band a bunch of times and was on the tour bus hanging out with Mangini's drum tech earlier in the day. Clearly he'd been around a lot, he got a couple nods/fist bumps from various band members over the course of the night, but he just also did some stuff that I found distractingly disrespectful. Turned his back to the stage repeatedly to jam out on air guitar, and also yelled things loudly at inappropriate times (e.g. in that soft piano and vocals only section towards the end of TMOLS). Come on my guy, act like you've been there before  :tdwn




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Offline Cool Chris

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Sure, definitely, if that works for the show, then go for it! I just don't think a band like DT needs to have a Pink Floyd level light/video/laser show, if the potential downsides (lack of spontaneity, use of backing tracks/vocals, lip-syncing?...) creates a stir for the fans, as it seems to be doing here. My point was if not all the light cues are pinpoint precise, is that going to hamper anyone's experience? Maybe it will. And that's fair. I just don't think it would for me.
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Axeman....Those drunk guys are probably the people JLB was taking about when saying..."Are you drunk already?"....

I could see the front row and a couple rows behind. I probably saw you and passed by you, but didn't even know.

Also, the drummer that was playing for Arch Echo is their actual drummer. That was neat when he handed the bass player his drum stick to hit some cymbals and then picked up a new stick to continue playing. I thought that was neat.

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Offline Dream Team

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The different reactions to Endless Sacrifice and Ministry of Lost Souls are interesting since they are structured very much the same and suffer from the same criticisms (wacky instrumental section shoe-horned into a "serious" song).

Offline Madman Shepherd

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People have posted about how the band is putting on more of a performance, and want to have all the lights, video, and music synced up properly. While commendable, I cannot imagine leaving a rock concert and thinking "boy, it really bugged me those couple times the music wasn't perfectly synced with the lights/video."

That's funny because I mentioned earlier in the thread that DT's show before Mangini joined always seemed a bit low budget. I mentioned it at the time too. I just figured they were doing the best they could given their budget but now it seems that having a much better produced show was possible just not a priority.

I still enjoyed all those pre-Mangini shows but enjoy them much more post-Portnoy

The different reactions to Endless Sacrifice and Ministry of Lost Souls are interesting since they are structured very much the same and suffer from the same criticisms (wacky instrumental section shoe-horned into a "serious" song).

Scandalous! Same structure?! :o

Offline Buddyhunter1

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The different reactions to Endless Sacrifice and Ministry of Lost Souls are interesting since they are structured very much the same and suffer from the same criticisms (wacky instrumental section shoe-horned into a "serious" song).

Because one of them kicks ass and the other is a total slog.

Just for amusement and general mockery, the following is an actual post on the Dream Theater "sub" on Reddit yesterday:

"I went to see DT the other night and.....
I absolutely hated it, they only played new songs that no body knew too well. I would've loved it if they played classics but not even Pull Me Under was played, like c'mon. I get that they're trying to advertise their new ok album but just give the fans what they want..."

 :lol

Newbie......or troll -  :hat

Yeah, no real DT fan would be upset at the band for NOT playing PMU. :lol It's a great song, but there's no reason for them to play it every tour.
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Offline Herrick

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I thought the same thing about JP's vocals on When Day and Dream Reunite but at the time, I hadn't heard much of their live stuff and didn't realize how much backing vocals Portnoy did. Now I am wondering if that's mostly Portnoy we are hearing on The Ones Who Help To Set The Sun. Can anyone clarify?
Nope. It's JP:
https://youtu.be/j72Q0WiyoBc?t=298

Portnoy is also shown singing that part too at around 5:13.
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Offline Deadeye21

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Just for amusement and general mockery, the following is an actual post on the Dream Theater "sub" on Reddit yesterday:

"I went to see DT the other night and.....
I absolutely hated it, they only played new songs that no body knew too well. I would've loved it if they played classics but not even Pull Me Under was played, like c'mon. I get that they're trying to advertise their new ok album but just give the fans what they want..."

 :lol

Newbie......or troll -  :hat

Yeah, no real DT fan would be upset at the band for NOT playing PMU. :lol It's a great song, but there's no reason for them to play it every tour.

I mean, itís great, but after seeing the full Images and Words, Iím kinda good to not see that one again. It didnít fit in on the Distance tour, I donít think it would fit in on this one. To be honest, much like Spirit Carries On, itís been overplayed and Iíd be fine if it doesnít pop back up and other songs get a chance to see the light of the stage.
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Offline EPIC Outro

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If I recall right, the big "Woah!" section at the end of The Count of Tuscany at my show was not a recording of James singing from the album, but an all new choir-sounding version. Was that a backing track or something Jordan was performing live on his keyboard?

Online TAC

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Oh, and another thing. Since MP left, DT and their product has been more "transactional" than ever. Gone are the little extras for the fans.

And just to illustrate this point, (AND THIS IS NOT ABOUT MP!!!), I've been checking the band's Instagram.
Now that the US leg has ended, there is no short video about thanking the fans for coming out and supporting the band. But there is a post pimping the new LNF album.
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
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Offline Jinx

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Oh, and another thing. Since MP left, DT and their product has been more "transactional" than ever. Gone are the little extras for the fans.

And just to illustrate this point, (AND THIS IS NOT ABOUT MP!!!), I've been checking the band's Instagram.
Now that the US leg has ended, there is no short video about thanking the fans for coming out and supporting the band. But there is a post pimping the new LNF album.

Literally their post before the LNF thanked the fans for coming out and seeing the band. Has a few pics of the band on that leg of the tour. BUT at the same time they do go on to promote the next leg too so you're still kinda right  :yarr

Online TAC

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Oh then I take it back. So if I blinked I missed it?

Iíve been trying to hit their instagram link each day to see whatís new.
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
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline cramx3

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Oh then I take it back. So if I blinked I missed it?

Iíve been trying to hit their instagram link each day to see whatís new.

Even if you missed it, they aren't very savvy with social media IMO. Bands these days really need to be on top of their social media game.

Offline Cool Chris

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Oh then I take it back. So if I blinked I missed it?

Iíve been trying to hit their instagram link each day to see whatís new.

Even if you missed it, they aren't very savvy with social media IMO. Bands these days really need to be on top of their social media game.

First off, a band trying to connect with TAC via social media is all sorts of hilarious.

Second, I don't generally follow any band via social media. But then I see all those short YouTube videos from Ghost around the release of Impera, and think "Why can't other bands do that? It's a 30 second video just to pimp the new album." I get that they have this lore they build up but it's such a creative way to keep your web presence active and get the buzz going around new material.
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Offline RaiseTheKnife

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Last week I made a last minute decision to jet over to Dallas to see DT on this tour after all.  It was a solid show and an enthusiastic crowd.  Nice city, too.  Highlights included Endless Sacrifice and The Ministry of Lost Souls.  I dug the way the band used the tempo ritard in About to Crash to segway into Ministry's pace.  Nicely conceived. 

I must be getting up in my years, because I think they'd sound much better if they lowered the volume, but I guess that's always been their live preference.  But all in all, a fun trip and killer show.

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Bummer about the volume. Like the Daily Doug guy said, it detracts from the intricacies of the music when itís boosted to such ridiculous levels. Maybe they figure no one will notice if James is struggling?

Offline gmillerdrake

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Bummer about the volume. Like the Daily Doug guy said, it detracts from the intricacies of the music when itís boosted to such ridiculous levels. Maybe they figure no one will notice if James is struggling?

Thatís my only gripe as well and Daily Doug is correctÖ..JP just drowns out everyone on multiple occasions. Itís a real bummer.
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Offline crystalstars17

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Maybe they figure no one will notice if James is struggling?

I doubt that is their reason. It doesn't make sense, unless they turned themselves up and him down, but I heard him just fine in CT, where his performance was for the most part flawless.

Offline Madman Shepherd

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Volume varies drastically from venue to venue and often from seat to seat.

Offline cramx3

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Bummer about the volume. Like the Daily Doug guy said, it detracts from the intricacies of the music when itís boosted to such ridiculous levels. Maybe they figure no one will notice if James is struggling?

That's been my thought for a long time.  Most people don't leave DT concerts thinking JLB struggled, they realize it after when watching a video. 

Having said that, I didn't think either of the shows I attended this tour were too loud like they had been in the past.

Offline bosk1

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Just for amusement and general mockery, the following is an actual post on the Dream Theater "sub" on Reddit yesterday:

"I went to see DT the other night and.....
I absolutely hated it, they only played new songs that no body knew too well. I would've loved it if they played classics but not even Pull Me Under was played, like c'mon. I get that they're trying to advertise their new ok album but just give the fans what they want..."

 :lol

Newbie......or troll -  :hat

Yeah, no real DT fan would be upset at the band for NOT playing PMU. :lol It's a great song, but there's no reason for them to play it every tour.

I mean, itís great, but after seeing the full Images and Words, Iím kinda good to not see that one again. It didnít fit in on the Distance tour, I donít think it would fit in on this one. To be honest, much like Spirit Carries On, itís been overplayed and Iíd be fine if it doesnít pop back up and other songs get a chance to see the light of the stage.

Yeah, anyone who would want that just hasn't paid attention to the band's history from day 1.  They have never been a band to consider anything to be a "must-play" song.  I remember getting a bootleg from a show way back in the early days (might have been a copy of one of the fanclub CDs--I don't remember, but Scotty will probably know) where Mike addressed the crowd at one point and basically said, "Look, I know some of you want to hear Take the Time, but get over it.  We're not playing it." 

They have NEVER been a band that felt obligated to play Pull Me Under, or The Spirit Carries On, or anything else every show.  And that's perfectly fine.

That being said, I do wonder though whether they might bring in more of the casual non-prog fans if they had a reputation for playing it all the time.  I mean, look at Maiden.  If you go to an Iron Maiden show, you pretty much KNOW the final four songs of any given set on any given tour are going to be pulled from a short list consisting of:  Iron Maiden, Hallowed, Running Free, Sanctuary, Run To the Hills, and NOTB (if not played earlier in the set).  Yeah, they do occasionally deviate from that, but it's a very safe bet that 4 songs from that list (or 3 at the very least) will be the final 4 songs played.  It's kinda their signature.  And although it's repetitive, it's fine, and most fans seem to either love it or at least be cool with it.  I don't think most DT fans would be too upset if DT ever did a similar thing and just made PMU their expected closer all the time to satisfy those who come to the shows for that specific song. 
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