DREAM THEATER's James LaBrie: My least favorite songs to play live | Revolver

DREAM THEATER's James LaBrie: My least favorite songs to play live

"I can't sing like that anymore"
Dream Theater James LaBrie live Getty 1600x900, Wagner Meier/Getty Images
Dream Theater's James LaBrie
photograph by Wagner Meier/Getty Images

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Dream Theater shows might be relaxing experiences for the audience members, but for singer James LaBrie, they're incredibly physically demanding — particularly for his vocal cords. The prog-metal frontman is expected to sing over three hours worth of music during their headlining shows, and that's not an easy feat when you're belting in the registers that he hits.

In a recent conversation with Revolver, we asked LaBrie to choose his favorite songs to bust out onstage, and then followed that up by asking if there're any songs he doesn't like to perform, for whatever reason.

For him, there aren't any songs in Dream Theater's repertoire that he groans at the idea of performing, but there are certain eras of the band's catalog that can be incredibly challenging for him to replicate as his voice continues to naturally age.

"Well, anything off Images and Words is mildly unpleasant because I can't sing like that anymore," LaBrie says of the material on Dream Theater's 1992 breakout LP. "I can't sing in the stratosphere. [Those songs are from] 30 years ago.

"I'll alter the melodies to fit into what my voice is these days, but I still love those songs. But for me to do 'Another Day' and sing that whole last verse and chorus, it's like, yeah right!

"Any of the songs that I find extremely challenging would be from before I ruptured my vocal cords, anything that was [recorded] before December 30th, 1994. Before I did that, I was able to sing up in those higher registers, and it was nothing for me. It was effortless.

"But I still do fondly look at those songs from those albums. But I'd say that it's more about the beauty of singing songs from any era... because I'll just alter the melodies to make it work and still enjoy the vibe and still enjoy what the song represents to us, and to the fans."