Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Two Worlds Collide

Ok so most you probably arent really gonna know or care about this post but im gonna do it anyway because it matters to me haha. I bet your wondering 'Whos is that guy with David in the picture?'. Well, that is Mike Portnoy. Mike is the drummer of the progressive rock/metal band Dream Theater. Dream Theater are probably the biggest band youve never heard of. They have an absolutely zealous dedicated fanbase (very similar to Davids but made up of more males than females and older), they have had a 25 year career and tour worldwide all the time selling out arenas all over the place yet they only have ever had 1 top 10 hit back in the early 90's. They are the epitome of a successful non-mainstream band. Mike is one of the most respected musicians around and is regarded in the music world as one of the finest drummers to have ever lived. In terms of kudos in the music industry and amongst musicians, especially in the rock world, you dont get higher than this guy. Im not a drummer, but Mike is one my all time favorite musicians and biggest inspirations and Dream Theater have been a, well, obession of mine for almost 5 years now. Meet my other musical passion

So why does this mean alot to me? It confirms so much of what I believe about David. There has been alot of talk about Davids credibility and respect in the industry lately and how it could potentially get worse, but this shows just how respected he is as a musician and an artist to others. For one of the highest calibre of musicians in the world from the opposite side of the musical spectrum to actually take his time and go out to see David on his solo tour (notice the backstage pass) and then for this picture to be posted on his site says so much and heres why. Dream Theater exist in a world where commercial pop music is frowned upon. For him to post a picture of himself with a teenage popstar at their concert is potentially catastrophic to his credibility and image in that world of music (put it this way, he wouldnt show himself with Miley Cyrus or the JoBros) but all the comments made have been nothing but positive. It really confims Davids credibility, only the best get that universal respect. The mere fact he went to the concert and then let his fans know about it speaks absolute volumes. David is a respected and credible artist. He and his family are clearly fans. I almost jumped out my seat when I saw this pic and then when I realised it was from one of Davids shows and he had been to it, it made me even happiar. You see, musicians get David because they identify what we feel from David. That connection and communication. Hes not just any pop star.

Two musical worlds colliding. I just wonder if David had any clue who he is haha.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Zero Gravity at Columbus

Ive had a fair few people ask me to talk about this, well, phenomenom is the only word to describe it. Zero Gravity, written by David and guitarist Mike Krompass never made it to the album, a decision that is not only baffling but just plain stupid. Not only is it painstakingly obvious that this is arguably the most popular song within the fanbase(or at least potentially) David has recorded/performed to date, it is also a song that for my ears (albeit im not great at predicting whats going to be a hit on the radio) the most sure fire hit song ive heard come out Davids mouth. I cant think of any other song that David has recorded that has such universal love and that is the key to a successful single. Also with the 1minute 40 seconds we have of the recorded version thanks to the amazing snarky archies, it is the most skillfully produced and best sounding radio ready song David has recorded. Jive, what were you thinking?

The first thing I thought of when I saw this performance was 'Shop Around' - the highly underated and arguably the best top 24 performance ever in the history of Idol, at least I think so. One of the collective opinions about that performance was how much fun David seemed to be having with it, a level fun that wasnt replicated again the entire season. I think for the first time since that performance, David has found a zone with this song that brings back that fun factor. However, the difference now is Davids confidence on stage. He no longer moves like he has a rod in his back, he actually looks and feels free - liberated. Just 1 year is all it takes for him to improve like that. The word I would use to describe this song is definitly bouncy. Hence the bouncing by David and the band (how do you bounce and sing in tune at the same time? I can't do it!!). The infectious energy of it rubs off to all. Look at the band, they are all absolutly loving it. Davids best party song has arrived.

My favorite part of the actual song, despite the songs main hook that seems to get stuck in my head for days at a time, is the bridge. I have always loved those bridges that instead of providing a contrasting section, start a build up to a climactic chorus. Its a very popular feature in rock songs and also dance music. This is one that really climaxes the energy of the song fantastically for the penultimate chorus ready for some wild bouncing whilst also giving David a bit of breathing room for vocals. I think we are definitly lucky that yet another gem has just missed the scrap pile. Any song that gets me moving in my chair without me even noticing is worth it.

So yeah, Jive. What were ya thinking?

Monday, 2 March 2009

To Be With You at Allentown

To Be With You was a track that kind of slipped off the radar a little for me, especially in the shadow on the superior 'You Can' and 'Somebody Out There'. Don't get me wrong, I never disliked the song I just always prefered the other 2 ballads. I always found something slightly dissastisfying in comparison, a song that I felt had more potential than how it was worked on the album. I had a feeling that live, David would take this song to a whole new level and he does just that. Ive been monitoring the versions of this song on youtube and I think ive found a video that really does it justice. David really brought it to Allentown.

I think part of the reason I love this video is the angle. Its locked onto Davids face. The thing I noticed was the consistent focus, even throughout the screamings. David really enters a zone. If you look towards the end of the video, he leaves that zone as the song ends and the smile re enters. It really is like he switches between one state or form to another. It is in this zone that the connection I have talked about many times comes into force. The emotion shines through on this performance and I feel like I can finally feel content knowing this song is where it belongs, live. That glory note is a killer too. It sits in a fantastic place in his voice and has tremendous punch and resonanace. I will admit, I was beginning to tear up a little.

I will continue to post videos that I think are special. Its so refreshing and also relieving to finally see David back in his realm. He always will be a live performer.