Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dream Theater -- Lincoln Theatre - Apr 1 2014

Dream Theater - This famed progressive metal band should be right up my alley, but I have just never been able to fully warm to them. And tonight, there were a few times it came close, but mostly there was that distance maintained, which I call respect for a band that does not quite pull me in all the way. They have a great visual show with projections and lights that blend together and wrap the stage with color themes and various images. The sound is loud and powerful, of course, and seemed to work well tonight. It is my first time in the Lincoln Theatre. It's old but interesting and I hope it works out well. It reminds me of the Hammersmith Apollo with the big balcony and old seating. The band enjoyed it as they dug into their signature sounds of high quality guitar work, stirring vocals, solid bass and drums, and plenty of keyboards that offer a lot to the sound, but leave plenty of room for the guitar. It was funny to read their Wikipedia article to see that they began with covers of Iron Maiden and Rush, since those were the two bands I heard tonight in their music. I was expecting more of the prog Rush, but Dream Theater was pretty heavy with strong Iron Maiden like moves in their songwriting. I thought they drifted a bit with slower material and had the expected long solos from various members, which reminded me of rest holds in a long pro wrestling match, but the fans enjoyed them here (more like the spots in a wrestling match). The guitar soloing definitely showed why John Petrucci is considered one of the best. The fans were digging the show, although my favorite moment was a polite rebuke from the singer early in the show. When I came to the arena, the ticket takers mentioned there was to be no recording at the show. I quickly counted six phone cameras up just in my upper left section of the balcony and had a chuckle. The singer then took an early break between songs to mention that we all paid for our tickets to watch a show, so why not just use our eyes and keep the technology on hold for the show. This got a fair amount of applause (certainly from many of the people behind the people holding up their phones). OK, by me, especially at larger shows by bands with great sound and plenty of quality released music already. The fans were digging the show tonight and rightly so. I am struggling to come up with a fair conclusion as I was distracted as I will explain in the next paragraph...

Tribute of the Night -- I am still quite saddened by the recent death of former DOA guitarist Dave Gregg. He was about my age and apparently had a heart attack. I had not seen him in decades which is unfortunate as he was always one of my favorite people when he came to town. He was just the friendliest guy you would ever want to know, as well as being a blast to watch on stage. Two moments stand out for me. One was a jam session at Skyp Krantz's house in Dayton when DOA was in town hanging with their Dayton buddies. Joe Keithley was on bass with JJ Pearson from Toxic Reasons on drums. That left Dave Gregg and Toxic's Bruce Stuckey to battle each other by taking off on some punk or hard rock classic and then dueling it out with their playing and guitar hero antics. They were hilarious and everyone was having a blast. Next I remember a DOA show here at the old 9:30 Club back in 1987 when I briefly lived here. I sat at the bar and chatted with Dave before the show. At one point I asked him if he ever thought about quitting it all. He immediately answered 'every single day'. We then kicked around various themes off of that on what to do with your live, how to enjoy it, stay fresh, and much more. As I planned my early exit from my former career and now that I think about quitting this blog 'every single day', I am forever reminded of our conversation. So Dave Gregg has always been with me and will continue to be here, both when I listen to my classic DOA songs, and every time I think about how to redirect myself in life.


Dusty Doug said...

Lovely memorial to Dave. We had a gathering for him last night in Vancouver and, as you clearly point out here - Dave was the punk rocker who taught us all how to be good people while shredding.

Randy Bowman (ex-Enigmas and Subhumans drummer) said it wonderfully, `Dave was a person who lived a life that was INCLUSIVE of all people and, not at all EXCLUSIVE!

I was fortunate enough to have been selfish enough to ask Dave to reform his Disco-Funk tour de force the Groovaholics to play a Halloween Show in 2010. That was a vanity request to be sure and I could not cover ANY costs - Dave is like,

Doug, since it`s YOU - no problem!

Now he had not played live for years at this point and, he was in New York and we were in Vancouver. Dave came out on his own dime, reformed the band and kicked complete ass! We all watched the recording of their set last night and remembered a truly amazing human being who could play guitar like a motherfucker!



David Hintz said...

Thanks Doug. I appreciate every great story I hear about Dave Gregg, and there are so many.