Author Topic: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?  (Read 20345 times)

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Offline Glasser

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #105 on: September 01, 2022, 02:20:23 PM »
Bosk, this one is for you. First off, I love James' voice for the record. That said, do you think the band would or should call it quits if James couldn't tour anymore? AND, would you still be a fan if they did replace him? I'm genuinely curious.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #106 on: September 01, 2022, 02:33:21 PM »
Bosk, this one is for you. First off, I love James' voice for the record. That said, do you think the band would or should call it quits if James couldn't tour anymore?

No idea.  Whether they would, it's hard to say.  JP is the driving force, and it seems like he would want to keep making music and touring regardless.  But if the day came where they parted ways with James for whatever reason, I have no idea what they would do.  As for whether they "should," not necessarily.  Bands continue with new singers all the time.  Sometimes it works out great.  Other times it doesn't. 

AND, would you still be a fan if they did replace him? I'm genuinely curious.

I couldn't possibly answer that without first knowing who the hypothetical replacement would be and hearing that person in the band.  I had no idea who Steve Augeri or Arnel Pineda were prior to them being hired in Journey.  Same with Todd LaTorre in Queensryche.  I did know who Michael Sweet was prior to him singing with Boston and I knew who Floor Jansen was prior to her singing with Nightwish.  But in none of those cases would/could I have told you whether I would have continued to be a fan of those bands with replacement singers prior to knowing who the replacements were and then hearing how they sounded in those bands.  With DT, I suspect if they were to ever bring in somebody new, it would be someone that was capable of doing the material justice, so I suspect that I would continue to be a fan.  But I couldn't tell you for sure because, at present, it is such a wildly speculative scenario, and I can't possibly predict how (or IF) it could ever play out.
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Offline Samsara

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #107 on: September 01, 2022, 03:24:48 PM »
To Skeever and Samsara, just so you know I'm with you. I'm a fan of James, he's the reason I became a DT fan to begin with, and as I said I thought he was excellent when I saw them a couple months ago.

Here's an interesting thing:  Paul Stanley.  I'm not comparing him to James, so don't misunderstand me, but over the years, I think he's sung about five different versions of Detroit Rock City. That's one of their signature tunes, and as far back as 1980 in Australia, he has sung different melodies for the verses of that song.  As I said, with all the live stuff I have of Kiss, I think I have about five or six different versions of the song.  Some are, arguably, BETTER than the original even if they are quite different and maybe hard to get comfortable with.

Yeah, that's a good point, I mean, just change the arrangements. Hell, play stuff acoustically. I feel like Dream Theater has gotten very...sterile in its approach over the years. Why not take some chances? Let me hear an acoustic version of some of those tracks from I&W and Awake, etc. Change it up so James is put in the best position to succeed. And if it just isn't right, as much as it would suck, drop the songs from the set. The nice thing about DT is they have so much material now that is beloved by the fanbase, particularly from the last 20 years, they'd be fine.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #108 on: September 01, 2022, 03:29:59 PM »
Hell, play stuff acoustically. I feel like Dream Theater has gotten very...sterile in its approach over the years. Why not take some chances? Let me hear an acoustic version of some of those tracks from I&W and Awake, etc. Change it up so James is put in the best position to succeed. And if it just isn't right, as much as it would suck, drop the songs from the set. The nice thing about DT is they have so much material now that is beloved by the fanbase, particularly from the last 20 years, they'd be fine.

I thought them doing the three epics at the end of this tour's shows was a great idea. Pace him so he finishes strong. I'd be cool for a little acoustic set. Add some instrumentals.

would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline geeeemo

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #109 on: September 01, 2022, 04:23:21 PM »
Hell, play stuff acoustically. I feel like Dream Theater has gotten very...sterile in its approach over the years. Why not take some chances? Let me hear an acoustic version of some of those tracks from I&W and Awake, etc. Change it up so James is put in the best position to succeed. And if it just isn't right, as much as it would suck, drop the songs from the set. The nice thing about DT is they have so much material now that is beloved by the fanbase, particularly from the last 20 years, they'd be fine.

I thought them doing the three epics at the end of this tour's shows was a great idea. Pace him so he finishes strong. I'd be cool for a little acoustic set. Add some instrumentals.

They should do 3 epics every tour! ;D

Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #110 on: September 01, 2022, 04:31:24 PM »
One thing is for sure in my mind: if they ever replaced JLB, it would be with a far more technical vocalist-- similar to the drummer search.
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Offline Glasser

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #111 on: September 01, 2022, 07:28:07 PM »
Bosk, this one is for you. First off, I love James' voice for the record. That said, do you think the band would or should call it quits if James couldn't tour anymore?

No idea.  Whether they would, it's hard to say.  JP is the driving force, and it seems like he would want to keep making music and touring regardless.  But if the day came where they parted ways with James for whatever reason, I have no idea what they would do.  As for whether they "should," not necessarily.  Bands continue with new singers all the time.  Sometimes it works out great.  Other times it doesn't. 

AND, would you still be a fan if they did replace him? I'm genuinely curious.

I couldn't possibly answer that without first knowing who the hypothetical replacement would be and hearing that person in the band.  I had no idea who Steve Augeri or Arnel Pineda were prior to them being hired in Journey.  Same with Todd LaTorre in Queensryche.  I did know who Michael Sweet was prior to him singing with Boston and I knew who Floor Jansen was prior to her singing with Nightwish.  But in none of those cases would/could I have told you whether I would have continued to be a fan of those bands with replacement singers prior to knowing who the replacements were and then hearing how they sounded in those bands.  With DT, I suspect if they were to ever bring in somebody new, it would be someone that was capable of doing the material justice, so I suspect that I would continue to be a fan.  But I couldn't tell you for sure because, at present, it is such a wildly speculative scenario, and I can't possibly predict how (or IF) it could ever play out.

Impressive and thorough response, thank you!!! Ideally I prefer James for the remainder of their career but I think if they did go that route it would be an even more involved process than the MP replacement. In the end I believe they would choose a stunner, all hypothetical of course. Its just good to know their ARE fans that would be open minded to it if it were to happen. Thanks Bosk man  :)

Offline TAC

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #112 on: September 01, 2022, 07:35:09 PM »
It's less about being open minded, as not having a choice. If I want to continue listening to Dream Theater, I have to like or at least tolerate their new singer. He may turn out to be awesome.

But it's one thing to be an awesome singer, and another thing to convey emotion. I've always considered James to actually be DT's secret weapon. If they had just a technical singer, I just don't think it'd translate. Dream Theater is the genre leader because their fans are emotionally invested in their music. There are a million bands that play like maniacs, but Dream Theater are great songwriters, but by bringing these songs to the surface through James, I think that's always been their sneaky advantage.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Glasser

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #113 on: September 01, 2022, 08:59:29 PM »
It's less about being open minded, as not having a choice. If I want to continue listening to Dream Theater, I have to like or at least tolerate their new singer. He may turn out to be awesome.

But it's one thing to be an awesome singer, and another thing to convey emotion. I've always considered James to actually be DT's secret weapon. If they had just a technical singer, I just don't think it'd translate. Dream Theater is the genre leader because their fans are emotionally invested in their music. There are a million bands that play like maniacs, but Dream Theater are great songwriters, but by bringing these songs to the surface through James, I think that's always been their sneaky advantage.

I agree 100%. If this were to happen I'm sure it wouldnt be a generic dude hitting all the notes like a clone and basically being a JLB jukebox. It would not be an easy task and I truly hope it never comes down to it. My gut feeling is they make this work until its time. Realistically how many more albums and tours do you really think James can pull off before its a "Weekend At Bernies" situation?  :lol

Offline crystalstars17

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #114 on: September 02, 2022, 04:47:52 AM »
At a show I was at, he said something like "Yes I'll be singing Images and Words when I'm 70"

And there's no real reason why he shouldn't. Age does not affect the trained professional voice to the extent or in the ways that many think it does. Yes, the cords can thicken and/or become less flexible, but this is managed by the singer reworking their technique as the body changes. There have been many singers at the Met singing well way into their 70's - including high sopranos singing the Queen of the Night.

This is not to say that James can do no wrong as I don't dispute that I've heard him struggle but something else is going on there that has nothing to do with his age. His having been through a vocal injury may have something to do with it, or failure to rework technical issues as they arise (as they will for singers of all ages, because it's a physical instrument), but it's not simply his age. The voice changes throughout life, and about every ten years it's a singer's responsibility to check in with a vocal coach and rework how they approach certain things (I don't know him so maybe he has done this). A singer never stops learning and relearning. At the very least, even if everything technical is online, a vocal coach can help a singer at any level to catch bad habits before they either sound bad or even become physically detrimental. I really wish people would stop using this "well he's 30 years older" excuse because it's just not grounded in fact.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2022, 06:28:15 AM by crystalstars17 »
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Offline crystalstars17

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #115 on: September 02, 2022, 06:49:40 AM »
I might be completely off base here, but i feel that apart from the natural decline of his voice, he hasn't done much (apart from his routine) to work with a vocal coach or something in the recent years. Starting from the Astonishing tour, his voice has been on a steady decline, and i've seen probably all sorts of bootlegs that exist from every tour.

I don't know if a new vocal coach could help him regain some of his ability, and i still admire the hard work he has put for the band all these years.

Yes! I do think a good vocal coach could help him, as I said in my above post.

I too see the "decline" happen coinciding with the Astonishing tour and I think there are reasons for that, and all having to do with the setting in of bad vocal habits. James had to create several character voices for Astonishing -with which he did an amazing job! - and some of them were, perhaps to re-create on tour, more brutal to his voice than others. Especially Lord Nefaryus with that sneering, almost nasal tone and over-the-top delivery of the lines. The character calls for this, but I really think all this voice acting allowed bad habits to come in, such as a too-forward placement, a raised larynx, and a disconnection from the breath, the latter being the undoing of any (even the greatest) singer's healthy, sustainable technique. There are literally times when I'm watching a post-Astonishing live clip and I hear that over-the-top-ness sneaking in (we all know what that sounds like by now) and my face is in my hands, shaking my head saying, "Oh heavens, he's doing Nefaryus again". And that's the last thing I want to hear during Scenes from a Memory. I 100% think a vocal coach could definitely help him out of this!

That said I love James, he is my favorite singer of all time and like others have already said I wouldn't want to see him replaced. I would rather see DT retire as DT if James needed to retire and see the rest of the band continue on as LTE.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2022, 06:55:18 AM by crystalstars17 »
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Offline Samsara

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #116 on: September 02, 2022, 08:24:19 AM »

But it's one thing to be an awesome singer, and another thing to convey emotion. I've always considered James to actually be DT's secret weapon. If they had just a technical singer, I just don't think it'd translate. Dream Theater is the genre leader because their fans are emotionally invested in their music. There are a million bands that play like maniacs, but Dream Theater are great songwriters, but by bringing these songs to the surface through James, I think that's always been their sneaky advantage.

 :metal

Exactly this. He always has been. That said, I wouldn't call JLB a "non-technical" singer. He clearly follows certain techniques. He's a rock singer though. Not a clinician.


And there's no real reason why he shouldn't. Age does not affect the trained professional voice to the extent or in the ways that many think it does. Yes, the cords can thicken and/or become less flexible, but this is managed by the singer reworking their technique as the body changes. There have been many singers at the Met singing well way into their 70's - including high sopranos singing the Queen of the Night.

This is not to say that James can do no wrong as I don't dispute that I've heard him struggle but something else is going on there that has nothing to do with his age. His having been through a vocal injury may have something to do with it, or failure to rework technical issues as they arise (as they will for singers of all ages, because it's a physical instrument), but it's not simply his age. The voice changes throughout life, and about every ten years it's a singer's responsibility to check in with a vocal coach and rework how they approach certain things (I don't know him so maybe he has done this). A singer never stops learning and relearning. At the very least, even if everything technical is online, a vocal coach can help a singer at any level to catch bad habits before they either sound bad or even become physically detrimental. I really wish people would stop using this "well he's 30 years older" excuse because it's just not grounded in fact.



Absolutely. My point in using age in the original post is not to use it as an excuse, but to point out exactly what you described - every decade or so, things change. And as you said, rightly so, checking in with a vocal coach (which, to be honest, I'd be surprised if JLB DOESN'T do that that) helps smooth some of those things out. Bottom line, every singer is different. Some roll with those changes well (Myles Kennedy and Corey Glover come to mind immediately), some it takes a lot more effort, and some just can't/won't do it.
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Offline ZirconBlue

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #117 on: September 02, 2022, 08:59:41 AM »
It's less about being open minded, as not having a choice. If I want to continue listening to Dream Theater, I have to like or at least tolerate their new singer. He may turn out to be awesome.

But it's one thing to be an awesome singer, and another thing to convey emotion. I've always considered James to actually be DT's secret weapon. If they had just a technical singer, I just don't think it'd translate. Dream Theater is the genre leader because their fans are emotionally invested in their music. There are a million bands that play like maniacs, but Dream Theater are great songwriters, but by bringing these songs to the surface through James, I think that's always been their sneaky advantage.


Yeah, I've checked out several so-called "DT Clones" over the years, and the vocals are always lacking, IMO. 

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #118 on: September 02, 2022, 11:53:38 AM »
It's less about being open minded, as not having a choice. If I want to continue listening to Dream Theater, I have to like or at least tolerate their new singer. He may turn out to be awesome.

But it's one thing to be an awesome singer, and another thing to convey emotion. I've always considered James to actually be DT's secret weapon. If they had just a technical singer, I just don't think it'd translate. Dream Theater is the genre leader because their fans are emotionally invested in their music. There are a million bands that play like maniacs, but Dream Theater are great songwriters, but by bringing these songs to the surface through James, I think that's always been their sneaky advantage.

LOVE this post.  :tup

Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #119 on: September 02, 2022, 12:37:36 PM »

But it's one thing to be an awesome singer, and another thing to convey emotion. I've always considered James to actually be DT's secret weapon. If they had just a technical singer, I just don't think it'd translate. Dream Theater is the genre leader because their fans are emotionally invested in their music. There are a million bands that play like maniacs, but Dream Theater are great songwriters, but by bringing these songs to the surface through James, I think that's always been their sneaky advantage.

 :metal

Exactly this. He always has been. That said, I wouldn't call JLB a "non-technical" singer. He clearly follows certain techniques. He's a rock singer though. Not a clinician.


And there's no real reason why he shouldn't. Age does not affect the trained professional voice to the extent or in the ways that many think it does. Yes, the cords can thicken and/or become less flexible, but this is managed by the singer reworking their technique as the body changes. There have been many singers at the Met singing well way into their 70's - including high sopranos singing the Queen of the Night.

This is not to say that James can do no wrong as I don't dispute that I've heard him struggle but something else is going on there that has nothing to do with his age. His having been through a vocal injury may have something to do with it, or failure to rework technical issues as they arise (as they will for singers of all ages, because it's a physical instrument), but it's not simply his age. The voice changes throughout life, and about every ten years it's a singer's responsibility to check in with a vocal coach and rework how they approach certain things (I don't know him so maybe he has done this). A singer never stops learning and relearning. At the very least, even if everything technical is online, a vocal coach can help a singer at any level to catch bad habits before they either sound bad or even become physically detrimental. I really wish people would stop using this "well he's 30 years older" excuse because it's just not grounded in fact.



Absolutely. My point in using age in the original post is not to use it as an excuse, but to point out exactly what you described - every decade or so, things change. And as you said, rightly so, checking in with a vocal coach (which, to be honest, I'd be surprised if JLB DOESN'T do that that) helps smooth some of those things out. Bottom line, every singer is different. Some roll with those changes well (Myles Kennedy and Corey Glover come to mind immediately), some it takes a lot more effort, and some just can't/won't do it.

Technical doesn't really mean does or does not follow SOME techniques or good vs. bad.

John Petrucci is a technical player. BB King was not though he obviously adhered to some techniques or else he wouldn't have been able to play well. That's to say nothing at all about how good the latter was at playing the genre he excelled in.

JLB is certainly not a technical vocalist, since for one he consistently misses notes all over the place-- it's just a contradiction in concepts.
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Offline Samsara

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #120 on: September 02, 2022, 03:17:49 PM »
Just because someone misses notes doesn't mean they aren't a technical singer. Shit happens. It's a concert.

JLB has a certain way that he's been taught and that he's developed, and he follows it logically. That is, by definition, a "technique." I don't think we differ there. But if someone follows that technique, and applies it to a task, whether the result is good or bad, they are being "technical." That's how I understand it.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #121 on: September 02, 2022, 03:39:18 PM »

But it's one thing to be an awesome singer, and another thing to convey emotion. I've always considered James to actually be DT's secret weapon. If they had just a technical singer, I just don't think it'd translate. Dream Theater is the genre leader because their fans are emotionally invested in their music. There are a million bands that play like maniacs, but Dream Theater are great songwriters, but by bringing these songs to the surface through James, I think that's always been their sneaky advantage.

 :metal

Exactly this. He always has been. That said, I wouldn't call JLB a "non-technical" singer. He clearly follows certain techniques. He's a rock singer though. Not a clinician.

Maybe I threw everyone off with my comment about being a technical singer. The emphasis should've been on the word "just". I wasn't trying to refer to James as a non technical singer, but that he brings more to the table than someone who just sings really good.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline CDrice

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #122 on: September 02, 2022, 05:24:10 PM »
No matter what are your thoughts on his voice or live performances, I think we can all agree that James is technically a singer.

Offline Skeever

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #123 on: September 02, 2022, 06:14:53 PM »

But it's one thing to be an awesome singer, and another thing to convey emotion. I've always considered James to actually be DT's secret weapon. If they had just a technical singer, I just don't think it'd translate. Dream Theater is the genre leader because their fans are emotionally invested in their music. There are a million bands that play like maniacs, but Dream Theater are great songwriters, but by bringing these songs to the surface through James, I think that's always been their sneaky advantage.

 :metal

Exactly this. He always has been. That said, I wouldn't call JLB a "non-technical" singer. He clearly follows certain techniques. He's a rock singer though. Not a clinician.

Maybe I threw everyone off with my comment about being a technical singer. The emphasis should've been on the word "just". I wasn't trying to refer to James as a non technical singer, but that he brings more to the table than someone who just sings really good.

I think I know exactly what you mean. Bosk1 mentioned Live Scenes from New York which is one of my favorite releases from any band. If you ask whether I'd want to listen to that performance or the album performed by peak Adam Lambert, I would choose James every time.

Offline LCArenas

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #124 on: September 07, 2022, 08:38:43 PM »
Replying to the original question... Yeah, they should drop the tuning (AAMOF, didn't they do just that with I&W in the past years?). No shame in doing that since I reckon the vast majority of rock bands with really talented singers do it eventually. Heck, even Def Leppard did it right after releasing Hysteria in 1987 so... Yeah.

I guess James didn't have much vocal coaching in his early DT years. You can hear it in the live bootlegs of that era: Forcing his voice to a more coarse sound in order to secure the high notes in nights where he wasn't too well would eventually catch up to him. He was pretty much the best rock singer alive back then so that didn't take its toll at the time, but I think it worsened his vocal injury in 94.

I'm not sure if he has a personal vocal coach right now (I think he has, or at least has had one in the past) but if he isn't, he probably should get one. He is and always will be one of my favorite singers of all time and a source of inspiration for me personally, and the whole lip-syncing thing in the current tour just saddens me. I'm sure he wouldn't do it unless in extreme circumstances, and I really hope he gets back in form.

Offline Bentower

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #125 on: September 07, 2022, 11:04:20 PM »
the whole lip-syncing thing in the current tour just saddens me. I'm sure he wouldn't do it unless in extreme circumstances, and I really hope he gets back in form.

The bit in BITS isn't lip-synced; he is audibly singing the line an octave lower, albeit in an unusually quiet tone. Which is sort of what I assume JP does when he's on the mic.
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #126 on: September 08, 2022, 07:52:02 AM »
Replying to the original question... Yeah, they should drop the tuning (AAMOF, didn't they do just that with I&W in the past years?). No shame in doing that since I reckon the vast majority of rock bands with really talented singers do it eventually. Heck, even Def Leppard did it right after releasing Hysteria in 1987 so... Yeah.

Wait... "really talented singers"... "Def Leppard"... what?   :) :) :)

I love Joe Elliott, and I'm a huge fan of Leppard, at least up to Adrenalize, but he always struck me as one of those guys that could scream on key in the garage, and so got the singer gig, at least until he blew his voice out on tour.  Hetfield is another one.  Maybe he's different now (he's a smart guy and takes his band VERY seriously) and has a vocal coach to keep himself in shape, but he never struck me as a very "technically savvy" singer in the same way that James is now, with hot tea, medium tea, cold water, whatever it is he does in his routine.

Offline TAC

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #127 on: September 08, 2022, 03:48:27 PM »
the whole lip-syncing thing in the current tour just saddens me. I'm sure he wouldn't do it unless in extreme circumstances, and I really hope he gets back in form.

The bit in BITS isn't lip-synced; he is audibly singing the line an octave lower, albeit in an unusually quiet tone. Which is sort of what I assume JP does when he's on the mic.

Why JP even bothers is beyond me. It's such a fake move. And yes, I know there is actual sound coming out of JP's mouth, but you can't hear it in the mix, and it looks ridiculous.
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 wolfking

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #128 on: September 08, 2022, 04:20:02 PM »
This is one area where MP was a MASSIVE loss.
Everyone else, except Wolfking is wrong.

Offline TAC

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #129 on: September 08, 2022, 04:20:59 PM »
This is one area where MP was a MASSIVE loss.

I agree.
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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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #130 on: September 08, 2022, 05:10:03 PM »
This is one area where MP was a MASSIVE loss.

I agree.

I actually don't, because there were too many live instances where Portnoy tried to sing too loud, almost like he was trying to sing over James rather than supporting him with a backup vocal.  Even on the live acoustic version of Cover My Eyes from 5 Years in a Livetime, which I am a big fan of, Portnoy booms out the last "Have I lost my mind!" so loud that he almost drowns out James. 

The problem is just that James' voice isn't what it used to be, so the overreliance on backing tracks just magnifies it. 

Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #131 on: September 11, 2022, 12:34:35 PM »
Just because someone misses notes doesn't mean they aren't a technical singer. Shit happens. It's a concert.

JLB has a certain way that he's been taught and that he's developed, and he follows it logically. That is, by definition, a "technique." I don't think we differ there. But if someone follows that technique, and applies it to a task, whether the result is good or bad, they are being "technical." That's how I understand it.

It's not a one-time or rare thing. It's nearly every single show that is a mess. Look at videos from the most recent South America leg. The execution is just not there vocally and it's very apparent. It has nothing to do with my preference of style or feelings about his place in DT's legacy.

Also, your definition of technical doesn't really mean anything and is hyper-literal and outside of a commonly understood idiomatic meaning. If all 'technical' means is that someone follows a technique then nearly every single person who sings or plays anything at all after one lesson would be technical. That is very obviously not the meaning. The example I provided earlier perfectly illustrates what most understand: JP is a technical guitarist and BB King is/was not (though they both follow some techniques). It's not even a bad thing, per se, and BB is obviously a legendary and prolific musician. It just precludes membership if someone literally can barely sing a basic song in tune in a live setting, since executing pitches is a core function of any musician. That was my point.
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #132 on: September 11, 2022, 02:32:49 PM »
I definitely would not consider James LaBrie to be a very technical singer.
Hey dude slow the fuck down so we can finish together at the same time.  :biggrin:
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Offline crystalstars17

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #133 on: September 12, 2022, 04:40:25 AM »
I definitely would not consider James LaBrie to be a very technical singer.

He would not have been able to give us the music we know and love all this time if he were not.

As one who comes from a classical background, his level of proficiency for someone outside the classical genre is what initially impressed me about him. I knew this was a well-trained singer who took his art very seriously. And as DT is a band that is levels above all others, this aspect was a perfect fit.

I've written many posts about what I think has been going on with him in recent years, so I won't repeat myself here. I will say that fixing technical issues takes time and, as I'm certain the rest of the band understands, we need to have patience with whatever he's going through. The voice is a physical instrument, it's not something you can practice ten hours a day with. It's about building (or in his case rebuilding) flexibility, coordination, and muscle memory. As one of my own teachers always said, a singer is a type of athlete.

Slow improvement is still improvement. I don't think we're that far off from the day when he can once again consistently stick the landing.
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Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #134 on: September 12, 2022, 08:39:18 AM »
I definitely would not consider James LaBrie to be a very technical singer.

He would not have been able to give us the music we know and love all this time if he were not.

As one who comes from a classical background, his level of proficiency for someone outside the classical genre is what initially impressed me about him. I knew this was a well-trained singer who took his art very seriously. And as DT is a band that is levels above all others, this aspect was a perfect fit.

I've written many posts about what I think has been going on with him in recent years, so I won't repeat myself here. I will say that fixing technical issues takes time and, as I'm certain the rest of the band understands, we need to have patience with whatever he's going through. The voice is a physical instrument, it's not something you can practice ten hours a day with. It's about building (or in his case rebuilding) flexibility, coordination, and muscle memory. As one of my own teachers always said, a singer is a type of athlete.

Slow improvement is still improvement. I don't think we're that far off from the day when he can once again consistently stick the landing.

You're saying he must be technical because we love DT's music? That does not make a whole lot of sense. One could be a very earthy, gritty and untrained even and still make great music that we love.

Also, I do not agree he is improving on this tour relative to any tour in the past 10 years. He sounded better on DoT when I went to see them and I've watched enough videos from that tour to hear that this year is no better than any on DoT or Along for the Ride etc. You are kidding yourself if you think he is on an upward trajectory. To your point, the voice is a physical instrument; given that age takes a toll on everyone he is fighting an uphill battle. If he were in tip top peak performance shape this entire time I might feel more optimistic but we are starting on the back foot and battling an inevitability that affects every vocalist, good or bad.

The best case outcome for the next 10 years - if we are so lucky - is that the performances stay the same. This scenario would be a huge victory against mother nature, if you ask me. If he can't sing PMU now, there is no reason to think he will really stick the landing next year. He has been singing that song for 30 years.  If he can't nail the Alien - a melody he wrote himself less than a year ago - he isn't going to do it in a couple years when he is in his 60s.

I am frustrated by the live shows but I have come to accept them over the years. If off-pitch out-of-breath singing bothers you and you want to enjoy the band's shows, acceptance is the key-- not a promise of a miraculous turn around in the future. Again, what we are experiencing now is nothing new.
Disclaimer: All opinions stated are my own unless otherwise specified. I don't personally know any present or former members of Dream Theater. From time to time where the context is obvious, I may state an opinion without clearly labeling every single part of it as such. I cannot predict the future.

Offline Samsara

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #135 on: September 12, 2022, 10:52:44 AM »
This thread has really taken a turn for the worse. It was meant as something to applaud Labrie's effort and perhaps suggest something that could help him be more consistent. Instead, many of you have taken it as a bash JLB thread, or take veiled shots at the guy.

It's not my board to run, but positive thought in which this thread was started has been missed by many of the responders. So if the mods could do us all a solid and lock it, it would be appreciated. Know-it-alls and negative commentary start to get ridiculous in a thread that was meant to be constructive and positive.

Thanks.
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Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #136 on: September 12, 2022, 11:06:23 AM »
This thread has really taken a turn for the worse. It was meant as something to applaud Labrie's effort and perhaps suggest something that could help him be more consistent. Instead, many of you have taken it as a bash JLB thread, or take veiled shots at the guy.

It's not my board to run, but positive thought in which this thread was started has been missed by many of the responders. So if the mods could do us all a solid and lock it, it would be appreciated. Know-it-alls and negative commentary start to get ridiculous in a thread that was meant to be constructive and positive.

Thanks.

So because you are upset by the criticism, the Mod should step in and shut down the discussion? The opinions must be 100% positive or else it is by definition bashing or taking shots? No one on this page has taken shots at anyone. The conversation is strictly about his performance, which is totally related to the original post. Some of you are taking this criticism entirely too personal on JLB's behalf.
Disclaimer: All opinions stated are my own unless otherwise specified. I don't personally know any present or former members of Dream Theater. From time to time where the context is obvious, I may state an opinion without clearly labeling every single part of it as such. I cannot predict the future.

Offline Samsara

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #137 on: September 12, 2022, 11:35:21 AM »
Thanks for your opinion.
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Offline crystalstars17

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #138 on: September 12, 2022, 12:48:57 PM »
You're saying he must be technical because we love DT's music? That does not make a whole lot of sense.
You're right, it doesn't at all, and obviously there's some misunderstanding of my intent. Let me rephrase myself: His excellent vocal technique has allowed him all this time to contribute his part of the music we love. Isn't this true of all the band members? That doesn't mean that a singer has to be technical in order to do that, but with him, and the high-level music he sings, it has always been the case.

Also, I do not agree he is improving on this tour relative to any tour in the past 10 years.
You're entitled to your opinion, of course, and I am entitled to respectfully disagree!

You are kidding yourself if you think he is on an upward trajectory.
Is he? I hope he is. Only he, and his teachers/coaches, really know that for sure. I just hear less in this recent tour of the problems he's displayed since The Astonishing.

To your point, the voice is a physical instrument; given that age takes a toll on everyone he is fighting an uphill battle.
I've explained many times why "age" all by itself is not the issue everyone thinks it is. Yes, it does affect the voice, but 1. not in the ways that everyone is thinking/saying, and 2. not at his age *yet*. And even as he gets older, it's more about the way those changes are handled. There are great opera singers who sang well at 70 and 80. If they can do it, then I have every faith in James.

The best case outcome for the next 10 years - if we are so lucky - is that the performances stay the same.
And if that actually happens, then, it's his choice! Vocal decline is not some inevitable thing. Maybe if things do not change, it's because he's doing nothing. Or he is just happy to stay as things are. But I really doubt that coming from him.

not a promise of a miraculous turn around in the future.
No, not "miraculous". Such things take a lot of work. Please don't underestimate this. As much practice as it takes for an instrumentalist, it takes for a singer - and then, on top of that, extreme management of all the other factors (health, etc) that can affect how the voice sounds. Get one less hour of sleep, and you might not sound as good the next day. Eat something that causes acid reflux, and, wham - unclear cords the very next night. And, catch a head cold? Forget it. Everything, I mean everything, affects the voice.

This is not some blind hope that a miracle would happen. This is my opinion as someone who understands how the voice works having faith in my #1 vocal hero that he will put in the work and do the right thing.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2022, 12:54:08 PM by crystalstars17 »
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #139 on: September 12, 2022, 05:13:39 PM »
This thread has really taken a turn for the worse. It was meant as something to applaud Labrie's effort and perhaps suggest something that could help him be more consistent. Instead, many of you have taken it as a bash JLB thread, or take veiled shots at the guy.

It's not my board to run, but positive thought in which this thread was started has been missed by many of the responders. So if the mods could do us all a solid and lock it, it would be appreciated. Know-it-alls and negative commentary start to get ridiculous in a thread that was meant to be constructive and positive.

Thanks.

So because you are upset by the criticism, the Mod should step in and shut down the discussion? The opinions must be 100% positive or else it is by definition bashing or taking shots? No one on this page has taken shots at anyone. The conversation is strictly about his performance, which is totally related to the original post. Some of you are taking this criticism entirely too personal on JLB's behalf.

Agree with this.
Everyone else, except Wolfking is wrong.