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Author Topic: Everything Dream Theater  (Read 12756 times)
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« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2011, 06:11:14 PM »

I'm happy. makes sense. Actually, I think the DT guys are in their mid-late 40s. They formed DT (Majesty) in 85 when they were at the end of college. So if they were roughly 20, they would be 46 now. Jordan's slightly younger I think. I was actually thinking about age a bit. Marco may be 40, but he really LOOKS young, like 30. he doesn't quite fit the DT image, as bad as that sounds. I know that's the dumbest reason not to pick a bandmate, but DT is a huge institution and they have things to consider that we may not like to think about. Petrucci may now be the CEO of that institution, but there's a lot of people to answer to. Marco may have just not matched up.

That said, Mangini is my pick for DT. I think Marco is probably the best drummer there and will go on to do wonderful things on his own. In fact, I hope he goes on to lead his own group, because I think he's really got something special that could be built into a powerful entity.

You got it all wrong man, JM and MP are 44, JP is 43, JLB is 47 and JR is 54.
The founding members are pretty much the same age while JLB and specially JR are older. Marco would've been the youngest member with 40, Mangini is the second oldest member in the band now and 4 years older than Portnoy. I think drummers start to feel their age sooner than the other musicians so maybe going with Marco would've been the better choice in the long run. I know there are exceptions like Neil Peart but playing this shit for 2 and a half hours almost every night for months takes its toll on people.
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« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2011, 10:00:06 PM »

Neil isn't really an acception, in fact, he sort of proves the point. Through the 90s and on, he's resisted touring greatly, even before the tragedies that happened in his life. Word is that Geddy and Alex are up for touring a lot more, but Neil puts the breaks on. So yeah, you're probably right.

Mangini's in great shape though, in terms of drumming energy. He is the fastest drummer alive, and DT doesn't really require the level of speed that he's capable of when doing solo stuff, so I think he'll be fine.

Also the reality is, DT may be around for another decade, but it's hard for me to see them churning out an album every 2 years past their 50s. Though it wouldn't surprise me if they started releasing things more frequently now, Portnoy getting worn out probably put a damper on their album frequency.
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« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2011, 07:01:06 AM »

Neil isn't really an acception, in fact, he sort of proves the point. Through the 90s and on, he's resisted touring greatly, even before the tragedies that happened in his life. Word is that Geddy and Alex are up for touring a lot more, but Neil puts the breaks on. So yeah, you're probably right.



I didn't know that but it's still damn impressive. Well, no matter how good you are the years end up catching up with you. I'm impressed Jordan is still at the top of his game at that age, it's not as demanding as drumming but still having that agility with your fingers at 54 is impressive.
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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2011, 03:05:55 AM »

Eh, throughout history, pianists are renown for staying impressive into old age. Asa keyboardist who's played quite a few other instruments, I can vouch that it's one of the least physically demanding instruments out there. Though, surprisingly, G3-caliber guitar playing is not physically demanding too. Steve Vai, John Petrucci, and the like have all learned to play with very little hand motion... it's WHY they can play so fast and accurately, they'll likely be able to play impressively well into their 60s or even 70s. And that goes for most bass players too. It's when you get the big showy guitarists like Pete Townsend where you find musicians who noticeably deteriorate... and even then, Pete's still pretty strong in his 60s.

Though, to be honest, I find that truly great and intelligent musicians will change when they get older, but concentrate on other things that they may have not care about in their youth, like tone and expression, or exploration into new areas that, while not as physically taxing, are fresh. Some musicians I honestly think sound better in their old age. I really like how Geddy Lee's voice has settled in his recent years... he can't do the balls-to-the-walls power screams, but noone really liked those in the first place! Robert Fripp is doing things he never would have done in the 70s.
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« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2011, 07:00:19 AM »

Eh, throughout history, pianists are renown for staying impressive into old age. Asa keyboardist who's played quite a few other instruments, I can vouch that it's one of the least physically demanding instruments out there. Though, surprisingly, G3-caliber guitar playing is not physically demanding too. Steve Vai, John Petrucci, and the like have all learned to play with very little hand motion... it's WHY they can play so fast and accurately, they'll likely be able to play impressively well into their 60s or even 70s. And that goes for most bass players too. It's when you get the big showy guitarists like Pete Townsend where you find musicians who noticeably deteriorate... and even then, Pete's still pretty strong in his 60s.

There is definitely some truth to this; in particular in regards to piano.  Pinetop Perkins (blues pianist, former Muddy Waters sideman) released an album last year.  He was 97.  Granted, he acknowledges that his left hand isn't as strong as he used to be, so he has to avoid certain pieces (in particular his formerly signature tune "Pinetop's Boogie") because he can't handle the bass lines any more, but he still put up a hell of a performance.  I imagine one can find other examples, too.
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« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2011, 04:57:35 PM »

Check out this interview:

http://www.moderndrummer.com/modern-drummer-blogs/Mike%20Mangini%20of%20Dream%20Theater/

I didn't know about his knee injury, sounds pretty bad, I hope it doesn't bother him in the future.

This part really hit me:

"In 2009, I was literally lying on the floor of my garage, completely physically and emotionally drained, unsure where my career was going. I was inventing new techniques and new drumset configurations, but I was looking at my kit, saying: Who can I play with that would allow me to use everything Iíve worked so hard to develop? Who will just let me play and be myselfóa band that isnít going to tell me Iím using too many drums, that isnít going to tell me I donít groove, that isnít going to tell me the kit is too big and too expensive to carry around?"


Damn, I can only imagine the frustration. I'm glad he finally found a place where he can unleash those amazing skills without having these concerns.
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« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2011, 08:21:51 PM »

I didn't quite understand how he was arranging his toms. He says "apex" configuration, but as a non-drummer, I don't know what that means. The reason I'm curious is because back when I saw him with Vai 11 years ago, he had his toms setup so they played in to out, instead of left to right. It was really cool and unique, and I took special note of it, because it allowed him to play tom runs without chris-crossing.

In any case, I can't wait to hear the new album. I wonder how much he composed for it. Jordan's compositional addition was immediately felt on Scenes from a Memory, I wonder if Mike will be given a chance to really bring stuff to the table. Obviously he's not melody, but really high calliber drummers can make extrordinary composers... just look at Portnoy to confirm that.

Then again, this is a very different personell switch from any other in the band, except for maybe Moore->Sherinian. They had to let Domanici go, and it was early enough that they hadn't really established a focused identity yet. With Jordan: Petrucci and Portnoy fell it love with his playing during LTE and wanted him in the band... I think it was more that they wanted Jordan than they didn't want Derek (but I've always felt weird about that switch). Moore to Sherinian, I don't know much about. From what I hear is that they had to find a keyboardist very quickly, because Moore left right before the Awake tour. I think Derek was the first one they got, toured with them, and then he stuck around for an album and a half, so there wasn't a big long audition period.

Grrrr, talking about this always gets me mad about them firing Sherinian. I know most fans would not agree, and Jordan is absolutely extrordinary, but I think Derek was used as a scapegoat for the hugely contraversial Falling into Infinity. Funny things is, the songs that everyone hates on that album, he had nothing to do with. I always loved his solos, his organ grooves, and his balls-to-the-walls synth sounds. Some people said, "he just didn't fit in", and from a personality standpoint, I'm sure he didn't, but I thought he added a refreshing energy to their sound.
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« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2011, 05:49:19 AM »

Personally I liked Derek's work and I loved the sounds he used. I actually liked his sounds more than Jordan's. Jordan is hit or miss with his sounds. He can come up with things that are absolute genius and stuff that just plain sucks within the same song.
Endless sacrifice comes to mind, I love what he does right after the chorus, it's fucking epic and simple at the same time but then he does that ridiculous break at the start of the instrumental section that is absolutely retarded.
His skills are unmatched though, it's easy to see why the others wanted him in the band at all cost and overall I'm happy with his work, I love SFAM and it just wouldn't be the same without him.
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« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2011, 02:56:24 PM »

Six Degrees is the only Jordan album that floors me, it's possibly my favorite DT album. SFAM had it all, drama, intrigue, great construction... but for some reason, it never grabbed me. I love Metropolis, it's one of my very favorite DT songs. It actually changed my life. My friend was playing Images and Words on repeat in the background, he realized that I would like progrock, but I hadn't warmed up to it. It was during a playthrough of Metropolis that I "woke up", had some kind of epiphany or something, and from then on, I was hooked... it got me back into music in a tangible way, where I was sort of floating before, it gave me a home.

Anyway, the myth of "M2" was huge during the mid to late 90s. Then LTE happened, and I was floored... Jordan's material on those albums are incredible. When they announced he would be joining DT, I was extremely happy, since I had loved LTE, and hadn't yet really realized Derek's genius. When SFAM was finally announced, I couldn't have been more excited. I checked online every few weeks for updates, followed Portnoy's home videos of the sessions, and listened through a really low quality live stream that they leaked for 24 hours, about 6 weeks before the album was released. Then it was released, and the situation in which I acquired the album was more epic than I can really describe here (it involved being lost on my bike for 8 hours in the ohio countryside... I love getting lost). But when everything was said and done, I found myself not particularly drawn to any of the tracks. I like some sections of tracks a lot, but not any whole ones. The instrumental sections are incredibly strong, but I find the vocal melodies and lyrics to be largely fairly uninteresting. And since the whole album is so hinged on the story, that's a big problem. But the instrumental sections of Strange Deja Vu, Fatal Tragedy, and Beyond this Life, are excellent. Overture and the first half of Dance of Eternity are great (not crazy about the last 3rd, it kinda goes on too long), and I find myself drawn to the vocal sections of Home and Finally Free. But there's a lot of material I just can't get into... hardly a single track do I like all the way through.

Where-as, Six Degrees, while not as epic, has, pound for pound, the most songs I like all the way through. Pretty much every track on disc 1, with the exception of Great Debate (poop), and half the tracks on the concept album I love. The rest of the tracks on the concept album are quite good too. It features some of the most powerful instrumental sections too, notably Blind Faith, Misunderstood, The Test that Stumped Them All, and Solitary Shell.
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« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2011, 06:13:04 PM »

Yesterday I listened to SFAM after a long hiatus and it remains my favorite DT album. I think every single note is genius. 6DOIT is second.

Anyway, here's a video of Mangini demonstrating his setup for DT:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFFdikTwPmg
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« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2011, 05:30:33 PM »

Really cool, very cool. I'm surprised, after all that worry that DT had about their drummer semi-emulating Portnoy, that Mangini's setup is so radically different from Portnoy's. The hanging rack is a great idea, with the tube toms (whatever they're called), and specialty cymbals. Portnoy's set was getting so intrusively expansive that by putting much of the accessories above him, Mangini's set feels much more intimate. While I love huge sets, one of the unfortunate problems is that the drummers become so separated from the rest of the band... it's like they're in their own control tower behind the rest of the group. The first time I saw DT I was shocked at how distanced Portnoy was from everything else.

I'm really glad Mangini has kept his alternating tom layout. Even though some other artists use it, for me, it's always been a signature of his sound and style. Not only that, but it allows him to face forward more, since instead of having to turn his whole body, he just moves his arms from in to out when doing ascending and decending tom fills. Everything about Mangini's setup and playing just feels more intimate than most large kit drummers. Where Bozio, Virgil, and Portnoy get lost beneath their equipment, and spend half the show with their back to the audience.
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« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2011, 11:34:17 AM »

Mike's new band is sounding awesome, here's the first sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvXJG-Ch3Qg

Russel Allen is one of my favorite singers, having him and MP in the same band is really exciting for me. The other members are Mike Orlando (Sonic Stomp), bassist Paul DiLeo and guitarist Rich Ward (Mojo/Fozzy).

Here's a very interesting interview with Mike about the band:

http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/interview-mike-portnoy-on-his-new-band-adrenaline-mob-465747/2

They just performed their very first show in NY, people say it was awesome.
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« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2011, 09:09:59 PM »

I just listened to that new DT song on Youtube.  I can't decide if the drums are mixed too low or I'm just paying way more attention to them than I should be. :P
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« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2011, 10:59:56 PM »

Wow! These new DT songs are amazing! I'm listening to "Backs of Angels" and I heard the first few minutes of "Breaking all Illusions". This is some of the best I've heard from them in years! I'm feeling bits of Awake and 6Degrees, which are two of my favorite albums. Jordan's keys feel more alive to me, somehow.

On the otherhand, I can't stand Russell Allen. I find Symphony X to be a joke (sorry CDFN). Listening to that complication you posted just made me depressed. Mike left DT for THAT???
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« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2011, 06:01:41 AM »

On the back of angels is a good song but I find it hard to get excited for new music these days. In the end I always get that "been there done that" feeling. I was happy with it, especially because they didn't go crazy with the instrumental section (only a nice piano part and a guitar solo) but I wasn't blown away and I probably wont be when I listen to the whole thing.
I also hope that the other songs will make me say "yeah this is definitely different from how MP would've approached the song" because I didn't get that in this one. I hear JP programed the drums for MM so I'm not sure how much freedom he had to come up with stuff for the songs.
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