Author Topic: The "A View from the Top of the World tour is awesome!" thread (spoilers)  (Read 30125 times)

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Offline SeRoX

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This seems a bit of an overreaction, no? I read an article a few months back that concert attendance numbers are down in a lot of places, even for some big time popular artists, and I can't imagine things things have changed that much between then and now.  Many are still hesitant to go to concerts because of COVID.

This and I think the current setlist affects too. I, for one, will go to Istanbul concert but it's because it's my fav band and I wanna support but the setlist is a huge letdown for me.
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Online TAC

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I can understand a person deciding not to go because of the setlist, but I can't buy that it's a factor for the low attendance in general.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline Madman Shepherd

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I can understand a person deciding not to go because of the setlist, but I can't buy that it's a factor for the low attendance in general.

I almost didn't go in March because of Covid and I live in a place that pretty much treated covid like it was just a cold. Europe was serious about it. So yeah, restrictions are lifted but it's gonna take some time for them to get more comfortable with it. I'm just now starting to be ok being in crowded places and I'm still considering masking up when I do.

Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Unpopular setlist isn't a reason for attendance to be meaningfully down across the board. I didn't even like the setlist but there is no way for me to know if that is a popular view.

Offline MirrorMask

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And I'm back from my, if I counted right, 13th DT show in Milan!!!  :metal

Venue wasn't packed, lot of free seetings, and enough people in the parterre to make it look crowded from down there (I was in the front, 7th row or so on Jordan's side). I've seen DT fill that place way better than yesterday, but it wasn't a sad sight by any means.

Devin Townsend was ok, I never really got into him or even bothered to check his stuff to be honest, not my style, but his show was cool and he was in big form - I'm sure people that love him had a blast and enjoyed his 60 minutes performance!

DT's show was great.... I didn't even realize they played "only" 10 songs, so caught up in the moment of living the show, enjoying the scenery, the performances, seeing them close to me once again surrounded by people having a great time.... aaaah how much I missed this!!!

The musicians were outstanding as always. James was, between two gigantic brackets, "perfect"? or, "perfect as it can be reasonably expected"? I mean, we know his range by now at 59 and how his enunciation sounds live, but aside from that, he had a very, VERY solid performance. If I listen now, at home, to a youtube video of his performance would I spot things he could have done better? probably yes. Yesterday, then and there, when I was in the midst of the concert and seeing him perform, did I thought "ew, James, you could have done better on this part"? no, not once. So I completely applaud his performance, and also his stage presence - he seemed more into it, he walked around a lot, tried to get the crowd going, he was even more energetic moving along to the music, sometimes in the past it was "singing, then get the hell away from the stage the moment an instrumental comes in" but this time he put some more effort to be "around" a bit more, and it was absolutely great!!!

I also liked the visuals, it seemed a more stripped down production but even without being over the top and bombastic, it was a very nice show to see.

Since they played only 10 songs, I guess I can do a very quick review...

Alien was nice, good enough opener.
Anything off Awake is welcomed in my book.
Awaken the Master sounded ok I guess, not a big fan of the song, I would have played Answering the Call instead.
Endless Sacrifice was a welcomed return. James was a bit "over acting" in the first stanza but it was ok. Jordan with the keytar made people go nuts!
Bridges in the Sky was awesome, everyone singing along to the bombastic chorus!!!
Invisible Monster was ok, not a big fan of the song but hey, you can't only play 10 minutes song...
About to Crash was great, can't even remember the last time I heard it, or if I even ever heard it live! James was quite good on this one.
Ministry... eh, I still think it's a great song derailed by a completely random solo section. People around me seemed VERY into it, maybe on the first rows you find people that love everything. People singing along the initial melody, a dude so moved next to me singing passionately the chorus..... great stuff! the solo section flew faster than I remembered, I probably spaced out during it  :lol
View was FANTASTIC, the song grew more and more on me, and seeing it live I finally appreciated its greatness. Amazing performance and rendition.

And finally, I got to hear The Count of Tuscany live, whohoo!!! great song and the final part was breathtaking, I was so moved at the uplifting melody and everyone singing along the final refrain that I shed a tears or two, now that I finally got back the life I had before Covid. Awesome way to end a great concert!!!

With a catalogue so big, we all could have written a completely different setlist. I'm just happy they're still at the top of their game, yes, James included as far as I'm concerned, and that being finally free of anniversaries and albums played in full they had a "anything can happen" setlist and they dusted off songs I haven't heard in YEARS.

To think I wasn't even sure to go.... I mean, it's not that I don't like DT anymore, it's more that I'm currently lukewarm to their music. Distance Over Time came and gone and I rarely returned to it, I kinda like the latest album but it's never a top priority with all the other stuff I listen to. But seeing once again the guys there in front of me, enjoying their musicianship, listening to old song, seeing that James all things considered still has it.... I remembered why it's 23 years I'm seeing them. And I remember why I will have to see them again next time. I love those guys. I just can't let them go  :heart

Thank you Dream Theater!!!!  :metal
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Offline Kram

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And I'm back from my, if I counted right, 13th DT show in Milan!!!  :metal

Venue wasn't packed, lot of free seetings, and enough people in the parterre to make it look crowded from down there (I was in the front, 7th row or so on Jordan's side). I've seen DT fill that place way better than yesterday, but it wasn't a sad sight by any means.

Devin Townsend was ok, I never really got into him or even bothered to check his stuff to be honest, not my style, but his show was cool and he was in big form - I'm sure people that love him had a blast and enjoyed his 60 minutes performance!

DT's show was great.... I didn't even realize they played "only" 10 songs, so caught up in the moment of living the show, enjoying the scenery, the performances, seeing them close to me once again surrounded by people having a great time.... aaaah how much I missed this!!!

The musicians were outstanding as always. James was, between two gigantic brackets, "perfect"? or, "perfect as it can be reasonably expected"? I mean, we know his range by now at 59 and how his enunciation sounds live, but aside from that, he had a very, VERY solid performance. If I listen now, at home, to a youtube video of his performance would I spot things he could have done better? probably yes. Yesterday, then and there, when I was in the midst of the concert and seeing him perform, did I thought "ew, James, you could have done better on this part"? no, not once. So I completely applaud his performance, and also his stage presence - he seemed more into it, he walked around a lot, tried to get the crowd going, he was even more energetic moving along to the music, sometimes in the past it was "singing, then get the hell away from the stage the moment an instrumental comes in" but this time he put some more effort to be "around" a bit more, and it was absolutely great!!!

I also liked the visuals, it seemed a more stripped down production but even without being over the top and bombastic, it was a very nice show to see.

Since they played only 10 songs, I guess I can do a very quick review...

Alien was nice, good enough opener.
Anything off Awake is welcomed in my book.
Awaken the Master sounded ok I guess, not a big fan of the song, I would have played Answering the Call instead.
Endless Sacrifice was a welcomed return. James was a bit "over acting" in the first stanza but it was ok. Jordan with the keytar made people go nuts!
Bridges in the Sky was awesome, everyone singing along to the bombastic chorus!!!
Invisible Monster was ok, not a big fan of the song but hey, you can't only play 10 minutes song...
About to Crash was great, can't even remember the last time I heard it, or if I even ever heard it live! James was quite good on this one.
Ministry... eh, I still think it's a great song derailed by a completely random solo section. People around me seemed VERY into it, maybe on the first rows you find people that love everything. People singing along the initial melody, a dude so moved next to me singing passionately the chorus..... great stuff! the solo section flew faster than I remembered, I probably spaced out during it  :lol
View was FANTASTIC, the song grew more and more on me, and seeing it live I finally appreciated its greatness. Amazing performance and rendition.

And finally, I got to hear The Count of Tuscany live, whohoo!!! great song and the final part was breathtaking, I was so moved at the uplifting melody and everyone singing along the final refrain that I shed a tears or two, now that I finally got back the life I had before Covid. Awesome way to end a great concert!!!

With a catalogue so big, we all could have written a completely different setlist. I'm just happy they're still at the top of their game, yes, James included as far as I'm concerned, and that being finally free of anniversaries and albums played in full they had a "anything can happen" setlist and they dusted off songs I haven't heard in YEARS.

To think I wasn't even sure to go.... I mean, it's not that I don't like DT anymore, it's more that I'm currently lukewarm to their music. Distance Over Time came and gone and I rarely returned to it, I kinda like the latest album but it's never a top priority with all the other stuff I listen to. But seeing once again the guys there in front of me, enjoying their musicianship, listening to old song, seeing that James all things considered still has it.... I remembered why it's 23 years I'm seeing them. And I remember why I will have to see them again next time. I love those guys. I just can't let them go  :heart

Thank you Dream Theater!!!!  :metal
Great review.  I feel the same.

Online WilliamMunny

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Man, I so appreciate everyone who has posted an in-depth review.

I NEVER get sick of reading reactions from attending fans...I'm bummed I missed this tour, but thanks to this thread, I feel as though I've vicariously experienced a fraction of the experience.

Offline MirrorMask

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Glad to have been of service  :hat
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Offline DreamerTV

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I was yesterday in Padova (north-east of Italy)

The guys were almost perfect.
Sure James is very conservative, but nowhere struggling as it was at the beginning of the US tour.

Thing is the show missed some magic.
Was it the all seating configuration, was it the setlist, the lack of improvisations, all the old people surrounding me, the almost half empty arena or maybe all these combined. Maybe it was just me.
I'm glad i went though, i really am.

Offline jadiggerdt

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I was yesterday in Padova (north-east of Italy)

The guys were almost perfect.
Sure James is very conservative, but nowhere struggling as it was at the beginning of the US tour.

Thing is the show missed some magic.
Was it the all seating configuration, was it the setlist, the lack of improvisations, all the old people surrounding me, the almost half empty arena or maybe all these combined. Maybe it was just me.
I'm glad i went though, i really am.

a mix, the setlist, covid fear, expensive tickets, + that DT does not get hold of the youngest audience. Are usually the regulars (old) :) who go to the concerts now. Too bad they have to play for gritty halls yes

Offline MirrorMask

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I was yesterday in Padova (north-east of Italy)

The guys were almost perfect.
Sure James is very conservative, but nowhere struggling as it was at the beginning of the US tour.

Thing is the show missed some magic.
Was it the all seating configuration, was it the setlist, the lack of improvisations, all the old people surrounding me, the almost half empty arena or maybe all these combined. Maybe it was just me.
I'm glad i went though, i really am.

As I said I was in the middle of the crowd, 7th row or so, I am sure that I if was sitting on the not-exactly-full seats, I would have felt more detached from the "action". Being in the middle of everyone who is hardcore enough to try to be as close as possibile to the stage surely made a difference for the overall experience.
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Online Chino

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Thing is the show missed some magic.
Was it the all seating configuration, was it the setlist, the lack of improvisations, all the old people surrounding me, the almost half empty arena or maybe all these combined. Maybe it was just me.
I'm glad i went though, i really am.

This is one of things I miss the most about modern DT. I get that the sync'd up light show complicates things, but still. Thinking back to the ToT tour ... We had the instumedley, the extended Hollow Years, Beyond This Life with that 8 minutes of chaos thrown in.. it was wonderful and exciting. The last thing I can remember that was like that was on The Astonishing tour when A New Beginning got the extended guitar solo outro. Unless I'm just not remembering, I don't recall any song on this tour deviating from the studio version.

Online Buddyhunter1

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Endless Sacrifice was a welcomed return. James was a bit "over acting" in the first stanza but it was ok. Jordan with the keytar made people go nuts!

I'd have to see a list of all of the "keytar moments" across all of the tours, but this had to be one of the very best. :metal :metal :metal
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Offline tnphelps

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I can understand a person deciding not to go because of the setlist, but I can't buy that it's a factor for the low attendance in general.

I almost didn't go in March because of Covid and I live in a place that pretty much treated covid like it was just a cold. Europe was serious about it. So yeah, restrictions are lifted but it's gonna take some time for them to get more comfortable with it. I'm just now starting to be ok being in crowded places and I'm still considering masking up when I do.

I wish they would tour the South FL area. They haven't played South FL since I moved here 8 years ago. Yea Orlando is only a 3 hour drive and Tampa a 4 hour drive but both shows were during the week so it made it impossible for me to go. Plus the cost of hotels in Orlando during snowbird season is extremely high. I have heard people say it's the promoters down here but I just went to see Dragonforce in Ft. Lauderdale a few weeks ago plus Satriani and Vai are coming here in addition to all of the other metal acts that play here. So I'm to believe it's DT decision not to come here not the promoters. South FL does have a vibrant metal scene. I see it every weekend at clubs in Broward and Palm Beach counties so I am not sure the reason they don't tour here. Still hoping next American leg they come here.

Offline Setlist Scotty

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I can understand a person deciding not to go because of the setlist, but I can't buy that it's a factor for the low attendance in general.
I almost didn't go in March because of Covid and I live in a place that pretty much treated covid like it was just a cold. Europe was serious about it. So yeah, restrictions are lifted but it's gonna take some time for them to get more comfortable with it. I'm just now starting to be ok being in crowded places and I'm still considering masking up when I do.
I wish they would tour the South FL area. They haven't played South FL since I moved here 8 years ago. Yea Orlando is only a 3 hour drive and Tampa a 4 hour drive but both shows were during the week so it made it impossible for me to go. Plus the cost of hotels in Orlando during snowbird season is extremely high. I have heard people say it's the promoters down here but I just went to see Dragonforce in Ft. Lauderdale a few weeks ago plus Satriani and Vai are coming here in addition to all of the other metal acts that play here. So I'm to believe it's DT decision not to come here not the promoters. South FL does have a vibrant metal scene. I see it every weekend at clubs in Broward and Palm Beach counties so I am not sure the reason they don't tour here. Still hoping next American leg they come here.
I feel your pain, and I don't know for certain why they rarely hit south Florida, but I do think it's largely down to the promoters - certainly that's what the band has said in the past. If the band is already has shows lined up in the Orlando and Tampa areas, then it would make much more sense for them to hit south Florida than it would for them to skip it and go right on to Texas or Atlanta (or further north) since it would be closer and therefore much less travel expense. But if the promoters aren't willing to shell out enough money to make it worth their while, then they're going to skip it - that's just good business sense.

Keep in mind that (AFAIK), DT has a higher profile and (I would imagine) can command and therefore expects more money than Dragonforce; just as you probably aren't willing to take a pay cut to do job unless you were desperate for work, neither does the band. Regarding the other acts that do hit south Florida, it's hard to say how DT compares. I don't whether a Satch/Vai package is at the same level as DT in south Florida (they might differ depending on the city/market) and you don't specify "all of the other metal acts that play here" so I can't comment on them. Not only that, but the band relies on their booking agents and management to put together the tour - their job is to make the most money for the band given the parameters the band and management specify.

With all that said, hopefully with the stripped down approach to their current touring setup, they will make a stop closer to you next time they swing through North America. But even if they don't, with enough advanced planning, if all goes well you can still hit one of the shows in central Florida. I hope it all works out for you!
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Offline hefdaddy42

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I'd say less than 500 capacity and no seats would constitute a club, at least in CT.

It has to be 750; Toad's is the quintessential American rock club, and it's 750.

I'm not sure there's a hard number here.  The Whiskey A Go Go is 500 capacity.  That's kind of what I was thinking as my example (although I've never been).
Just to circle back on this a little, there is a venue here in Raleigh called The Ritz, and I wouldn't call it anything other than a "club" - the entire floor is SRO GA, with a small balcony around the top with a few tables and chairs 9for a $40.00 upcharge), and it has a stated capacity of 1400.  I mean, I've never been to a show there that actually had 1400 people, but I'm sure I've been there with around 1,000, easy.
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Offline me7

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Regarding the low attendance, I simply wasn't aware that DT was playing in my home town. The album was such a letdown that I don't care for DT related news.
I saw someone in the subway with a DT shirt who left the train at the cities biggest concert venue. I googled and found that DT was playing that night. Too late to get tickets and to attend.

Blame it on the lackluster album.

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Blame it on the lackluster album.
Dang!   :mehlin   
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Blame it on the lackluster album.
:\
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Offline Stockpot

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Yesterday i went to Vienna for the first time since i came back home to Slovakia from the UK to see my second DT gig - i mean, both DT's were my second time seeing live  ;D - and i'm more than pleased by performance of both bands. Devin's show was cool and he totally slayed with SYL's Aftermath (neck-breaking headbanging!) and Dream Theater were instrumentally absolutely phenomenal. James LaBrie is the weakest link, that's no discussion - but on the other hand, seeing Mike Mangini behind battery enjoying playing was satisfying enough  ;) Setlist was OK to me, new songs like Awaken the Master or title track worked very fine live. Especially instrumental part of A View... was very beautiful and screen projection fitted fine. Bottom line, lovely prog metal evening with two of my favourite prog metal acts.  :D

Offline 425

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Blame it on the lackluster album.

Whether you thought the album is lackluster is one thing, but I don't think there's any reason to think that that's the general opinion. On RateYourMusic and Sputnik, it has the highest rating of the Mangini era, and on ProgArchives, it's behind only ADTOE. Yeah, you could argue that those sites are not representative of the whole of the audience, but they give us more information than one person's opinion.
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Offline Volante99

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Blame it on the lackluster album.

Whether you thought the album is lackluster is one thing, but I don't think there's any reason to think that that's the general opinion. On RateYourMusic and Sputnik, it has the highest rating of the Mangini era, and on ProgArchives, it's behind only ADTOE. Yeah, you could argue that those sites are not representative of the whole of the audience, but they give us more information than one person's opinion.

I think itís a combination of things coming all together-
1. The COVID factor- not only are some people nervous about super spreader events; I think all the postponement, cancellations etc over the last two years have put a bad taste in peopleís mouth

2. Ticket prices- money is tight for a lot of people- prices are up everywhere for food and gas- people have less and less money for entertainment. $80-120 is a tough sell for a lot of people, especially for an event that might get postponed for 6 months.

3. I love DT but letís face it; at this point they arenít bringing in huge numbers of new fans. Thatís not strictly DTís fault- rock/metal music has been in the commercial toilet for ohh, twenty years now. Frankly, itís a testament to the band they can fill anything bigger than small clubs. BUT it may be a case where if youíre not growing, then youíre dying (which isnít necessarily a huge negative for a band like DT at the tail end of their career). I think Astonishing cost them some fan equity, and the biggest buzz the band has had in the last decade was their star drummer (and main PR/hype man) leaving the band. DT has enough die hard fans to keep the ship afloat but it may be tougher and tougher to generate enough interest to fill these theatres every 2-3 years.

Offline Madman Shepherd

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Blame it on the lackluster album.

Whether you thought the album is lackluster is one thing, but I don't think there's any reason to think that that's the general opinion. On RateYourMusic and Sputnik, it has the highest rating of the Mangini era, and on ProgArchives, it's behind only ADTOE. Yeah, you could argue that those sites are not representative of the whole of the audience, but they give us more information than one person's opinion.

I think itís a combination of things coming all together-
1. The COVID factor- not only are some people nervous about super spreader events; I think all the postponement, cancellations etc over the last two years have put a bad taste in peopleís mouth

2. Ticket prices- money is tight for a lot of people- prices are up everywhere for food and gas- people have less and less money for entertainment. $80-120 is a tough sell for a lot of people, especially for an event that might get postponed for 6 months.

3. I love DT but letís face it; at this point they arenít bringing in huge numbers of new fans. Thatís not strictly DTís fault- rock/metal music has been in the commercial toilet for ohh, twenty years now. Frankly, itís a testament to the band they can fill anything bigger than small clubs. BUT it may be a case where if youíre not growing, then youíre dying (which isnít necessarily a huge negative for a band like DT at the tail end of their career). I think Astonishing cost them some fan equity, and the biggest buzz the band has had in the last decade was their star drummer (and main PR/hype man) leaving the band. DT has enough die hard fans to keep the ship afloat but it may be tougher and tougher to generate enough interest to fill these theatres every 2-3 years.

Pretty good post. There was a recent interview where James commented about this. He said there was one venue in America they normally did pretty well at and it was poorly attended. The next night it was sold out or nearly so. This is a weird time for the world and markets are making things unpredictable.

Offline Setlist Scotty

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Blame it on the lackluster album.
How many times have you listened to it? Because if you only wrote it off after a couple of spins, I think you might be selling yourself short.

When I first heard The Alien and Invisible Monster, neither did anything for me. Same with the rest of the album. But after a several spins, the album started to click and now I think it's the best of the MM-era albums.

So I encourage you to give it at least a couple more listens before writing it off as lackluster.  :)
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Online TAC

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I honestly don't understand what people are looking for from Dream Theater if this album isn't it.
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 EPIC Outro

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I am a fan of AVFTTOTW, but if there is one thing lacking for me, it would be the lack of personal emotional stakes in the songs. Whereas on DOT songs like Barstool Warrior, Out of Reach, and At Wits End felt like they were about people dealing with emotional situations, a lot of the songs on A View deal with subject matter I find more abstract. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But I feel DOT had a better balance. Both albums rock.

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That's fair. Personally, I think Out Of Reach is one of their worst songs ever, but I understand your point.
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 EPIC Outro

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Out of Reach may not be for everyone, but I think it's hard for anything on View to come close to the emotional weight of something like At Wits End.

Online TAC

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Out of Reach may not be for everyone, but I think it's hard for anything on View to come close to the emotional weight of something like At Wits End.

Can't disagree with that. It's a phenomenal track.
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 Madman Shepherd

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I am a fan of AVFTTOTW, but if there is one thing lacking for me, it would be the lack of personal emotional stakes in the songs. Whereas on DOT songs like Barstool Warrior, Out of Reach, and At Wits End felt like they were about people dealing with emotional situations, a lot of the songs on A View deal with subject matter I find more abstract. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But I feel DOT had a better balance. Both albums rock.

I never thought of it that way. You're right (about everything). I think I do have a tougher time connecting with AVFTTOTW songs that the DoT songs but both albums are killer. I think DoT gets the edge here though

Offline Logain Ablar

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I am a fan of AVFTTOTW, but if there is one thing lacking for me, it would be the lack of personal emotional stakes in the songs. Whereas on DOT songs like Barstool Warrior, Out of Reach, and At Wits End felt like they were about people dealing with emotional situations, a lot of the songs on A View deal with subject matter I find more abstract. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But I feel DOT had a better balance. Both albums rock.

I never thought of it that way. You're right (about everything). I think I do have a tougher time connecting with AVFTTOTW songs that the DoT songs but both albums are killer. I think DoT gets the edge here though

Agreed. A View doesn't have those emotional touchpoints that BW and AWE give you, but I think the average overall quality and consistency of A View puts it ahead of DOT for me.

Having said that, I don't think any individual song on AVFTTOTW is better than At Wits End. Possibly Barstool too, but that's not as clear cut for me.

Offline cramx3

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I don't think any individual song on AVFTTOTW is better than At Wits End.

This.  And that's why DOT is rated higher for me. 

Offline Madman Shepherd

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I think Answering the Call is a really personal and relatable song. It's a declaration of what we can do as a world society to improve this place.

On the flip side, the title track, as cool as it is, is about mountain climbing and spelunking. JP has a knack for making some simple topics sound more emotionally fascinating but at the end of the day, it's still a song about mountain climbing and spelunking.

Offline geeeemo

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I think Answering the Call is a really personal and relatable song. It's a declaration of what we can do as a world society to improve this place.

On the flip side, the title track, as cool as it is, is about mountain climbing and spelunking. JP has a knack for making some simple topics sound more emotionally fascinating but at the end of the day, it's still a song about mountain climbing and spelunking.

I only see that reference in the video. I think the words are more a metaphor. Getting to the top of your game. The sacrifice to get there. How its only  our mind that holds us back from accomplishing crazy hard things.

Offline Setlist Scotty

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I think Answering the Call is a really personal and relatable song. It's a declaration of what we can do as a world society to improve this place.

On the flip side, the title track, as cool as it is, is about mountain climbing and spelunking. JP has a knack for making some simple topics sound more emotionally fascinating but at the end of the day, it's still a song about mountain climbing and spelunking.
I only see that reference in the video. I think the words are more a metaphor. Getting to the top of your game. The sacrifice to get there. How its only  our mind that holds us back from accomplishing crazy hard things.
What geeeemo said is correct, based on various comments JP has made in interviews.
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.