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Dream Theater - Los Angeles, California 5/18/98 CD (album) cover


Dream Theater

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2 stars It's hard to believe that they have released this concert as an official bootleg. It's perhaps James LaBrie's worst vocal performance ever. The opener track seems promising (even though LaBrie stretches his voice to the limit on the chorus) but right after that his vocals start to sound like [&*!#] and make the whole thing sound terrible though the rest of the band performs flawlessly (as usual). He barely hits the half of all high notes and goes cracking all the time. Especially Pull Me Under sounds comic because it has so many high notes in it, I just can't listen to it without laughing with tears in my eyes, and Ray Alder's untuned voice won't save the song. Scarred is not a very beautiful performance either. LaBrie has had troubles with his range since 95 (after he had accidentally ruptured his vocal chords) until a couple of years ago when his voice fully recovered at last, but 98 was one of the bad years (I'm very sorry about this because their best keyboard player up to date, Derek Sherinian was in the band that time). There are still many good performances from that period, so I don't see any point in releasing just this concert, except a brief, boring guest performance by Bruce Dickinson which is still certainly not a good enough reason for it because most of the stuff is just unlistenable. If you want to hear James LaBrie performing well, buy Live At Budokan which clearly proves that his voice is getting a lot better and he is reaching his full range again. I'm most eagerly waiting for their next live release, because I saw the band on their current Octavarium tour and LaBrie gave an impressive performance.
Report this review (#56430)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars A very promising live album from Dream Theater, although containing a few too many Falling Into Infinity tracks, with covers, improvisation, and guest vocals from Ray Adler and Bruce Dickenson. On top of that, this is one of the few live Dream Theater albums to feature short lived member Derek Sherinian. So how does an album which so much potential energy merit a one star rating? Because of several large factors, terrible sound quality, and James Labrie delivering the worst and flattest vocal performance of his life.

At the times when Derrick Sherinian is able to be heard, his rather funky wah sound does not mix well with the pre Falling Into Infinity material on the album, but usually, the keys and bass are all but nonexistent in the mix, completely destroying the songs, and making the flaws in LaBrie's voice all too apparent. He can't hit a single note, and he makes the songs genuinely painful to listen to. Even Ray Adler, who usually performs phenomenally, falls so incredibly short of expectation on "Pull Me Under." Bruce Dickenson delivers the only worthwhile vocal performance here, but those four songs do little to rectify this mistake of a release. Lot's of music for you buck here but none worth hearing.

Report this review (#81035)
Posted Tuesday, June 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars If we look at this album for what it is, it makes for a very promising release!

it is an Official Bootleg so we cannot assume the highest of qualities and this should be clear since it is stated in its own title. As a fan of DT i am always eager to hear different versions of songs and to get another look into the workings of an excellent band. It is a show from the Falling into Infinity era, so we can allow much of Falling Into Infinity to be played!

I would not recommend this to someone who is not already familiar with Dream Theater's studio and officially released live albums but for someone looking to experience that little bit more, this is a welcome addition to your collection.

The reason i give this 4 Stars instead of 3 is because of its flaws, we get to see a band not polished in the studio but live and more raw. This shows us a side of the band not available elsewhere (other official bootlegs aside)

If you are looking for more DT, get this, if you are new to DT perhaps look to other releases first

Report this review (#250482)
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Aw man... poor James LaBrie. I can't help but feel that this release is some kind of dig at the fella. Perhaps he'd upset Mike Portnoy or maybe he lost a bet or something? The fact is, this official bootleg by Dream Theater is a pretty substandard album thanks in part to LaBrie's absolutely horrendous vocals which falter and diminish more and more as the set drags on.

It's been well documented the issues LaBrie had after rupturing his vocal chords whilst touring in the mid-90's, but damn, the number of times his voice cracks or wobbles or he just flat out can't sing like he use to, is painful to hear. But props to the guy for never giving up, since stuff like this must have been a HUGE knock to his confidence.

Besides that, while the musicianship is fantastic as you'd always expect from this band, the only other notable reason that this recording was put out there was because it features the legendary Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden on vocals for a number of songs, (and Ray Alder of Fates Warning too! But that pales in comparison), and to be fair if I was joined on stage by Bruce Dickinson I'd probably want everyone to hear it too.

But even that is mildly entertaining, as it's literally just a fun jam, and nothing overly memorable. But for what it's worth, that's probably the only major selling point of this release. Hell, even the front cover is a shot of Dickinson jamming with the band, leaving poor James LaBrie standing in the background with whatever shred of dignity and self- respect he had left slowly fading away.

Poor LaBrie.

Report this review (#2248457)
Posted Wednesday, September 4, 2019 | Review Permalink

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