Author Topic: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?  (Read 20355 times)

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Offline Samsara

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #140 on: September 13, 2022, 08:23:29 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.

Agree with this.

I stand corrected on "taking shots." No one is doing that, at least not directly, and my apologies for insinuating that.

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Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #141 on: September 14, 2022, 05:22:20 PM »
No problem.

Most of us love the music he helped make over the years. We are just frustrated by the performances and that is all-- nothing personal about him. I am not even negative on the studio work, which still is fine to my ears.
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #142 on: September 21, 2022, 08:04:32 PM »
I'm not even sure which thread to put this..
I was watching the Amsterdam show tonight..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpsiXS_iUG8

It's brilliantly shot. Very steady and the sound is amazing.

So I want to highlight that but....


It's a brutal show for James.


Now I'm going to try and say this as...uninsulting as I can BUT.....
What is going on? This has not been a great tour for him.
Maybe he was sick. OK..But then hes been sick a lot.

I feel like this is simply not being prepared. I know the voice is an instrument and yadayadayada. But supposedly James is a PROFESSIONAL VOCALIST. Why can't he simply find a pocket to operate within? Does he not practice? It shouldn't be a crapshoot if the singer can sing when you buy a ticket to a concert. It's like he has NO strength. ZERO control.

I mean, Alice Cooper has a pocket and he still sounds pretty strong at 70something. Granted he's not singing the range needed for Dream Theater, but still. Professional. And does a hell of a lot more touring than DT does.

I don't know. It's just disappointing. I love James, and DT's music wouldn't be the same without him. But I have to ask...why is he where he is and is he really doing enough to master his craft? Some of the parts literally sounds like karaoke.

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 #143 on: September 21, 2022, 08:09:18 PM »
WOW! Not a good look for DT. It saddens me honestly. How would the band respond if asked if they are going to let this continue?  :sad:

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #144 on: September 21, 2022, 08:26:37 PM »
I do not know anything about performing music, but I can't help but think James could do something to deliver a solid performance without trying to be 100% James, as he is in the studio.
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #145 on: September 21, 2022, 08:27:32 PM »
I do not know anything about performing music, but I can't help but think James could do something to deliver a solid performance without trying to be 100% James, as he is in the studio.

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying.
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 #146 on: September 21, 2022, 08:34:54 PM »
Yeah, I am at a loss for words to explain it as well.  I will reiterate that he is one of my all-time favorite singers, but he sounds like a guy whose voice is shot.  It is sad to see. 

Offline Glasser

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #147 on: September 21, 2022, 08:36:20 PM »
I do not know anything about performing music, but I can't help but think James could do something to deliver a solid performance without trying to be 100% James, as he is in the studio.

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying.

Its probably pride. It seems he would rather try to sing them as they are recorded rather than modify them to his capable register. And just maybe the band doesn't want that. It doesn't make sense.

Offline wolfking

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #148 on: September 22, 2022, 04:43:13 AM »
I'm not even sure which thread to put this..
I was watching the Amsterdam show tonight..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpsiXS_iUG8

It's brilliantly shot. Very steady and the sound is amazing.

So I want to highlight that but....


It's a brutal show for James.


Now I'm going to try and say this as...uninsulting as I can BUT.....
What is going on? This has not been a great tour for him.
Maybe he was sick. OK..But then hes been sick a lot.

I feel like this is simply not being prepared. I know the voice is an instrument and yadayadayada. But supposedly James is a PROFESSIONAL VOCALIST. Why can't he simply find a pocket to operate within? Does he not practice? It shouldn't be a crapshoot if the singer can sing when you buy a ticket to a concert. It's like he has NO strength. ZERO control.

I mean, Alice Cooper has a pocket and he still sounds pretty strong at 70something. Granted he's not singing the range needed for Dream Theater, but still. Professional. And does a hell of a lot more touring than DT does.

I don't know. It's just disappointing. I love James, and DT's music wouldn't be the same without him. But I have to ask...why is he where he is and is he really doing enough to master his craft? Some of the parts literally sounds like karaoke.

He's voice is cooked mate.  It's sad to see.

I keep saying it but I'd rather they play songs like TDEN or Rite of Passage where the vocals aren't challenging and James should be comfortable singing.  I'd rather a set filled with odd choices or less favourited choices and not listen to him sing like this.  Or tune down a fuckload.
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Offline Deadeye21

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #149 on: September 22, 2022, 05:20:52 AM »
Would tuning down even work? Bridges in the Sky, the song we’ve much derided his performance of throughout the course of this tour, is already a 7-string song. Endless Sacrifice which it seems like he’s still having issues with is in D standard instead of E. It actually seems like he’s having more success with songs like Alien that are actually in standard but sung in a range that suits his current abilities. Maybe tuning isn’t the problem? Maybe he needs to swallow pride before it swallows him and just sing lower.
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #150 on: September 22, 2022, 06:02:54 AM »
Would tuning down even work? Bridges in the Sky, the song we’ve much derided his performance of throughout the course of this tour, is already a 7-string song. Endless Sacrifice which it seems like he’s still having issues with is in D standard instead of E. It actually seems like he’s having more success with songs like Alien that are actually in standard but sung in a range that suits his current abilities. Maybe tuning isn’t the problem? Maybe he needs to swallow pride before it swallows him and just sing lower.

I think song selections probably a safer bet.

Not sure what tuning they are playing ES live at the moment in but the original was in D standard mate, not E.  Playing it in C or something would at least help him with the end part.
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Offline Deadeye21

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #151 on: September 22, 2022, 06:46:50 AM »
Would tuning down even work? Bridges in the Sky, the song we’ve much derided his performance of throughout the course of this tour, is already a 7-string song. Endless Sacrifice which it seems like he’s still having issues with is in D standard instead of E. It actually seems like he’s having more success with songs like Alien that are actually in standard but sung in a range that suits his current abilities. Maybe tuning isn’t the problem? Maybe he needs to swallow pride before it swallows him and just sing lower.

I think song selections probably a safer bet.

Not sure what tuning they are playing ES live at the moment in but the original was in D standard mate, not E.  Playing it in C or something would at least help him with the end part.

My point is that it is already lower than standard tuning, man. I could’ve made that a bit clearer, I agree.
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #152 on: September 22, 2022, 06:53:46 AM »
Would tuning down even work? Bridges in the Sky, the song we’ve much derided his performance of throughout the course of this tour, is already a 7-string song. Endless Sacrifice which it seems like he’s still having issues with is in D standard instead of E. It actually seems like he’s having more success with songs like Alien that are actually in standard but sung in a range that suits his current abilities. Maybe tuning isn’t the problem? Maybe he needs to swallow pride before it swallows him and just sing lower.

I think song selections probably a safer bet.

Not sure what tuning they are playing ES live at the moment in but the original was in D standard mate, not E.  Playing it in C or something would at least help him with the end part.

My point is that it is already lower than standard tuning, man. I could’ve made that a bit clearer, I agree.

I get where you were going with that but DT have songs in all keys.  No matter what key the song is in, taking down is going to take down the highs he has to hit.  I'm not telling you anything you don't already know though.
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #153 on: September 22, 2022, 06:57:02 AM »
Tuning of the instrument and the key of the song/melody are not necessarily linked in that way—a song played on a guitar in D standard can have a melody that is in a higher register than a song played on a guitar in E standard.

Yes, tuning the guitar lower is the 'easiest' way to transpose a melody, but it is not required.

I would argue (and have in the past) that rather than dropping the tuning of any particular song, James should just choose a lower melody. For example, that entire final section of "Endless Sacrifice" that seems to be giving James fits could easily be remedied if he just sang the whole thing a 5th lower, or even an octave. Yes, it would lose some of it's 'oomph,' but it would be so much easier to control.

As for the backing tracks—I've posted before that they didn't bother me, but I take it all back. They are distracting as hell and since James is a fan of playing with the cadence of his melodies, they just don't work.

Offline emtee

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #154 on: September 22, 2022, 07:29:05 AM »
Might be a silly question but do you think the band ever watches vids of their performances? You know like a football team watching film to study and learn. If they did and they were all sitting in the film room there would be some grimacing going on.

Not sure how or if JP addresses this. Maybe he doesn't think it's an issue.

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #155 on: September 22, 2022, 07:40:45 AM »
Might be a silly question but do you think the band ever watches vids of their performances? You know like a football team watching film to study and learn. If they did and they were all sitting in the film room there would be some grimacing going on.

Not sure how or if JP addresses this. Maybe he doesn't think it's an issue.

That's a really good question.

In my (admittedly much more limited) experience, you tend to be hyper-focused on yourself when playing on stage, so it's difficult to walk away from a show with an accurate understanding of how 'good' or 'bad' the band was as a whole. A generous audience clapping and cheering the whole time, while an awesome feeling, only makes it more difficult to discern how good things actually sound.

I've played gigs where I walked off stage unsure if I should even continue playing only to have dozens of people walk up to me and sing my praises. I've also played shows where I was absolutely untouchable and on-fire, but the only person who seemed to notice was, well, me.

For all of the reasons stated above, I'm a huge fan of taping/filming shows. That said, I've sat around with my band and reviewed shows and everyone tends to focus in on their performance—unless there's a super glaring clam, no one notices another person's playing more than the player in question—except for the vocals!

I suspect that JP and the rest of the band are VERY aware of James' struggles, and there is probably a ton of sympathy for him. I mean, a band-member is a co-worker, a brother, and a musical partner in crime. You spend thirty years with a guy, I'd have to think that your heart goes out to him when he's struggling.

There's two schools of thought when it comes to something like this: look to make a move, or look to make it work. The spirit of this thread is with making it work, which very much aligns with my personal management ethos.

Offline Deadeye21

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #156 on: September 22, 2022, 07:59:27 AM »
I agree with making it work. I’m just wondering if making it work is really in the band as a whole or if James is the one who needs to make the change for the better.
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #157 on: September 22, 2022, 09:48:49 AM »
Might be a silly question but do you think the band ever watches vids of their performances? You know like a football team watching film to study and learn. If they did and they were all sitting in the film room there would be some grimacing going on.

Not sure how or if JP addresses this. Maybe he doesn't think it's an issue.

That's a really good question.

In my (admittedly much more limited) experience, you tend to be hyper-focused on yourself when playing on stage, so it's difficult to walk away from a show with an accurate understanding of how 'good' or 'bad' the band was as a whole. A generous audience clapping and cheering the whole time, while an awesome feeling, only makes it more difficult to discern how good things actually sound.

I've played gigs where I walked off stage unsure if I should even continue playing only to have dozens of people walk up to me and sing my praises. I've also played shows where I was absolutely untouchable and on-fire, but the only person who seemed to notice was, well, me.

For all of the reasons stated above, I'm a huge fan of taping/filming shows. That said, I've sat around with my band and reviewed shows and everyone tends to focus in on their performance—unless there's a super glaring clam, no one notices another person's playing more than the player in question—except for the vocals!

I suspect that JP and the rest of the band are VERY aware of James' struggles, and there is probably a ton of sympathy for him. I mean, a band-member is a co-worker, a brother, and a musical partner in crime. You spend thirty years with a guy, I'd have to think that your heart goes out to him when he's struggling.

There's two schools of thought when it comes to something like this: look to make a move, or look to make it work. The spirit of this thread is with making it work, which very much aligns with my personal management ethos.

This sums it up quite nicely.

We know for a fact that they record every single show they do and have been revisiting some for the LNFA releases, so at least someone is going through the material and choosing/tweaking some of it to best represent these shows and tours, but that's most likely Jimmy T and not one of the band members themselves. Didn't JP say during his interview with Rick Beato that he has no vocals at all for his in-ear mix at live shows?

I keep saying it but I'd rather they play songs like TDEN or Rite of Passage where the vocals aren't challenging and James should be comfortable singing.  I'd rather a set filled with odd choices or less favourited choices and not listen to him sing like this.

That's my take as well if they wish to stick with the current lineup, just build a setlist around his strengths, add a couple instrumentals, and make sure everything goes as smooth as possible. No need to play the vocally demanding classic songs for the billionth time anymore.
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Offline Samsara

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #158 on: September 22, 2022, 11:00:55 AM »

There's two schools of thought when it comes to something like this: look to make a move, or look to make it work. The spirit of this thread is with making it work, which very much aligns with my personal management ethos.

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Offline Kram

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #159 on: September 22, 2022, 01:05:15 PM »
All's I know is I saw them once on this tour (2nd show of the tour I believe) and I stated on here after James was so so - as he was far from his best.  I also saw them twice in 2019 on the DOT tour, and I thought James was excellent both times!  I listen to this Live in Berlin show (from the DOT tour) and he sounds awesome.  So I'm surmising something happened during the Covid off time - maybe he didn't practice or keep his voice in shape, or something to that effect that has seriously hurt his ability to perform live now. That's what I believe we're seeing.

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #160 on: September 22, 2022, 03:20:35 PM »
Its amazing how a veteran like Michael Sweet has actually gotten stronger over the years. Seen him live solo as well as with Stryper multiple times and he is effortless in all of his vocal registers. Maybe James needs to hit him up for some vocal exercises.

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #161 on: September 22, 2022, 03:43:06 PM »
He's voice is cooked mate. 

The thing is, I don't really accept that. We know he can sing. I just don't understand why he can't perform.
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Offline jimgolf

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #162 on: September 22, 2022, 03:43:40 PM »

I keep saying it but I'd rather they play songs like TDEN or Rite of Passage where the vocals aren't challenging and James should be comfortable singing.  I'd rather a set filled with odd choices or less favourited choices and not listen to him sing like this.[/quote


I think this is the play. Be very careful with choosing sets that aren’t as vocally demanding, and maybe throw an instrumental or two(or three) to give James as much support as he needs. There’s a lot of songs in their catalogue they can pull from that aren’t super demanding from a vocal perspective - now it might not be a set full of fan favorites, but the end result would be a show that is easier for James to perform.

The one bit of feedback the band could give James is about how he over sings some of the songs. There are times he changes difficult vocal melodies to make them easier to sing(which is completely fine), but there are other times he changes easy vocal melodies and makes them more difficult by pushing out higher notes or holding out notes for much longer than they need to be. The easy vocal passages should be a nice break and allow him to rest his voice for the harder passages. If it was 2011 when his voice was really sharp and he was pushing out these screams, then it would be different - but there is no reason to make the songs any harder to sing than they already are.

I think the vast majority of fans are rooting for the guy and want to see him succeed, but I wonder if sometimes they think the feedback comes across as malicious criticism(and I am aware there are some awful people on the internet that are incredibly rude when it comes to these kind of things).

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #163 on: September 22, 2022, 03:53:03 PM »
If he doesn’t improve, he should make the sacrifice play for the good of the band.

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #164 on: September 22, 2022, 03:53:24 PM »
He's voice is cooked mate. 

The thing is, I don't really accept that. We know he can sing. I just don't understand why he can't perform.

Fair call.  Yeah, I mean listening to Berlin in 2019, there is a massive drop off in such a short period of time.
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Offline Kram

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #165 on: September 22, 2022, 04:03:48 PM »
He's voice is cooked mate. 

The thing is, I don't really accept that. We know he can sing. I just don't understand why he can't perform.

Fair call.  Yeah, I mean listening to Berlin in 2019, there is a massive drop off in such a short period of time.
That's what I'm saying.  I saw him twice in 2019 and he was excellent!  What happened?

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #166 on: September 22, 2022, 04:06:59 PM »
He's voice is cooked mate. 

The thing is, I don't really accept that. We know he can sing. I just don't understand why he can't perform.

Fair call.  Yeah, I mean listening to Berlin in 2019, there is a massive drop off in such a short period of time.
That's what I'm saying.  I saw him twice in 2019 and he was excellent!  What happened?

He did bugger all singing live during those 3 years too.  It's a fair point actually lads.
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Offline TheBarstoolWarrior

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #167 on: September 22, 2022, 04:30:47 PM »
a lot CAN happen in 2 years, though I doubt he was a much different performer in 2019 vs. today.

Ultimately I don't think this is a preparedness issue or a down tuning issue, because this has been status quo for well over 15 years. This is just what we are going to get now for the rest of the band's life. Maybe song selection could help. They could throw in a few slow moving ballads and cut the duration of the show -- throw in 1 or 2 instrumentals extra. I would be happy with that...just minimize the amount of work he has to do in one night to ease the fatigue.
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #168 on: September 22, 2022, 04:47:12 PM »
I'm sure there's plenty of songs where the vocals are in a limited range to make it more comfortable.  TDEN, AROP, Outcry maybe, As I Am, all decent songs.  And yeah, throw in TDOE and maybe even SOC or a likewise instrumental, plus a Far From Heaven or something and things instantly start to look a lot better for James.
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #169 on: September 22, 2022, 05:14:33 PM »
I'm all for adding Outcry to the set!!
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #170 on: September 22, 2022, 06:02:44 PM »
I'm all for adding Outcry to the set!!

From memory it just seems pretty simple vocal wise.  Would be much better than BITS also IMO.
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #171 on: September 22, 2022, 06:03:44 PM »
Disappear!

Offline wolfking

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #172 on: September 22, 2022, 06:05:12 PM »
Disappear!

Yeah solid.  They could make a really obscure yet satisfying set with James not needing to break much of a sweat.
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Offline wolfking

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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #173 on: September 22, 2022, 06:07:37 PM »
Plus, from the bands perspective, I'd much rather have fans complain about the set list over the lead singers vocal abilities.
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Re: Dropping the tuning of songs to help Labrie out?
« Reply #174 on: September 22, 2022, 09:00:55 PM »
Disappear!

Yeah solid.  They could make a really obscure yet satisfying set with James not needing to break much of a sweat.

You want James to Disappear? I can't see the band doing another album with him if his live performance is horrendous.