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Can Phoenix get a straight answer why you keep skipping us?

  • Can Phoenix get a straight answer why you keep skipping us?
    September 22, 2011 - 3:48pm

    DT hasn't played Phoenix since 2007, except as an opener for IM, which was more their schedule than yours.

    Phoenix is the 6th largest metro area in the country. A huge metal/rock town. DT has always played a headlining set here since the I & W tour and usually to capacity crowds. In the past year we've had Rush, Priest, Crue, Symphony X, Kamelot... even this little band called Adrenaline Mob have played here.

    Yet once again, for the 3rd time, DT are skipping Phoenix.

    Why? Is their bad blood between you and the promoters? Do you just not like it here? Are they not paying enough?

    We understood the first prog nation, we accepted it in 2009 because you said you be here in the Spring - which didn't happen.

    But this is getting ridiculous. I don't expect an answer, but just be aware you have thousands of fans here in Arizona between Phoenix & Tucson that would love to see you perform a headlining set.

    56
cygnus's picture
on September 22, 2011 - 3:48pm

DT hasn't played Phoenix since 2007, except as an opener for IM, which was more their schedule than yours.

Phoenix is the 6th largest metro area in the country. A huge metal/rock town. DT has always played a headlining set here since the I & W tour and usually to capacity crowds. In the past year we've had Rush, Priest, Crue, Symphony X, Kamelot... even this little band called Adrenaline Mob have played here.

Yet once again, for the 3rd time, DT are skipping Phoenix.

Why? Is their bad blood between you and the promoters? Do you just not like it here? Are they not paying enough?

We understood the first prog nation, we accepted it in 2009 because you said you be here in the Spring - which didn't happen.

But this is getting ridiculous. I don't expect an answer, but just be aware you have thousands of fans here in Arizona between Phoenix & Tucson that would love to see you perform a headlining set.

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cygnus's picture

@PHX_Rocks:

We should all meet up there, and celebrate our first headlining DT gig in almost 5 years!!!

PHX_Rocks's picture

@cygnus: It would be my pleasure! By the way look for me on the road license plate 6DOITDT...Child Abuse Prevention plate. I am serious about the beer.

cygnus's picture

@PHX_Rocks:

THANK GOD FOR DANNY Z!!!!

Well boys, I think this ends The Great Debate, lol...

You all can buy me a beer for being such a pest about this.

PHX_Rocks's picture
PHX_Rocks's picture

It is on Zeleskos web site!!

PHX_Rocks's picture

Has Dec 4th been announced? 10/10 Is Monday! Great venue by the way. My daughter had a dance competition there and remember thinking would love to see DT here.

cygnus's picture

@azmusicgeek:

You sure about that? It's 10/6 and there is no announcement yet.

If it's true, then my squeaky wheel post worked, lol. ;)

DTTim's picture

Wasnt that St Louis show the same one the guy fell out of the balcony trying to grab a stick or drumhead?!?!
Could be a possible liability fear with the promoter?

I see it this way nationally not just PHX.....

The brainstrusts in DT's management and promotors were probably in a tough spot when it came to booking in the post Portnoy era, and with a new album less than a month old. This 1st leg is probably a litmus test in cities that have been safe bets in the past. Based on how the crowd draws in these shows, they can shape any future legs.

DTTim's picture

[quote=KevShmev]Well, St. Louis hasn't seen DT since 2004, so I have little sympathy for you guys in Phoenix. :p

And the venue that they were at back then was the Pageant, which was packed, and is still going strong, and would be perfect for DT (holds about 3K or so, I think). I think the promoter for that venue thinks that that type of music won't sell anymore. That is what I heard a while back. It probably didn't help that Queensryche was there last month and didn't sell well, so he probably thinks that reinforces his belief, but there is a huge difference between QR (who must know suck royally now) and DT (who is still as strong as ever). Not that I would expect him to know that. Blech. [/quote]

azmusicgeek's picture

Dec. 4 Mesa Arts Center according to Danny Zelisko. Tix on sale on 10/10.

cygnus's picture

@Wingnut1991:

Ha ha! My point about Queensryche was that they play Phoenix every year, hell twice a year sometimes. And they play Tucson & Flagstaff! Basically they'll play just about anywhere. While their new album is filth, at least if you are a Queensryche fan there is a good chance you will get to see them live.

These days, that isn't the case with Dream Theater. They tend to skip major markets, and usually are only on the road for about a month at a time. I understand they have kids, etc. But it just seems to me with the loss of Portnoy they would want to hit at least every major market and 'make their stand'.

Let's ignore Phoenix; they are also skipping San Diego, Vegas, Denver, and only playing 2 mid-west dates: Detroit & Chicago. No St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, etc.

The reality of this tour is it more of a 'promo' run than anything else, lol.

I would really like to see Dream Theater do a 2 month tour, and hit every major market like most bands do. Obviously you can't play everywhere, but this skipping of major markets is going to start hurting them sooner or later. ADTOE sold 4,000 fewer copies than BCSL in the first week.

Had they scheduled dates for Phoenix, San Diego, Vegas, Denver, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis just the excitement of the band coming to those cities for the fans might have inspired more first week buying. I didn't buy ADOTE until the second just in protest, lol. I have quite a few friends here who didn't buy it, they said what's the point they aren't even playing here!

Times that attitude by these 6 cities and there's your 4,000 in sales, lol. Yes, a stretch but something caused the dip and it wasn't Portnoy.

Wingnut1991's picture

@cygnus: I would love to have Queensryche play in my backyard! Do you know how to arrange it? Crap, nevermind I live in a condo, I don't have a backyard. But if I did.......

Wingnut1991's picture

Dream Theater is on Roadrunner Records, and, correct me if I'm wrong, but are there a lot of roadrunners, running around in the desert out there?

Guess you're right Pheonix does sound like the perfect city for them to visit.

BEEP! BEEP!

In all seriousness though, I would be upset too. I remember when they toured in support of Six Degrees, when I found out that they were going to be in LA while I was on vacation in Hawaii with my wife I was so disappointed. I actually considered moving our vacation, but one of the few things I love more than Dream Theater is my wife..........barely!

Hang in there Arizona, It's Only a Matter of Time.

chiefsdawg's picture

well try living in salt lake city, we get skipped all the time, so no sympathy here...they havent been here since 2007 either so there..

azmusicgeek's picture

Just got back from LA show - noticed it was NOT a Live Nation/Clear Channel show. That could be the problem w/ Phoenix. If they aren't using Live Nation, that can cause problems in Phoenix because Comerica is a Live Nation venue and the other choices are pretty limited - they're too big for the Celebrity now and the Marquee is a joke. W/ Zelisko booking Mesa Arts and the Orpheum, that might be what DT needs. I could also see a nice Spring show at Mesa Amphitheatre.

cygnus's picture

I moved here in 1997 and I've been to every show in Phoenix starting with Club Rio in 1998, remember that one? Even saw them open for Yes out at Mesa Amphitheater once just so I could see them play 'Stream of Consciousness' !

In reality they've now skipped us 3x; 2008, 2009, and 2011. I highly doubt anything will be added after Texas, so our best shot is next Spring/Summer. There is no reason after almost 5 years without a headlining set in Phoenix they couldn't sell out most of the Dodge Theater...oh excuse 'Comerica' theater, lol... I may contact Danny Z myself and see what he thinks.

We may also need to contact Roadrunner and let them know there is a demand here. Yep, we may have to go grassroots!.

PHX_Rocks's picture

I was at the mess at web theater and came back with satriani and played all of 6doit as the make up. saw tot at celebrity and 1 st row at octavrium did meet and greet. what has happened? I am very disappointed. have seen every tour since i&w. no more travel. plenty of places here to play. danny z needs to step up and get them here. hopefully the come thru after the dates in tx. keep your fingers crossed.

azmusicgeek's picture

Yeah, we got the first SFAM, would have gotten the first 6DoIT had the equipment not been held up at the border, and we got the first Octavarium in the US. Thats one of the reasons I find it hard to believe it's personal - they had such a great relationship w/ Phoenix for most of the past 10 years.

cygnus's picture

@azmusicgeek:

Roadrunner definitely does not have the pull that Atlantic/Warner had. That could be it right there. The Prog Nation thing was just a bad idea. I saw the show in 2008 when I happened to be in Orlando on vacation, it was over so fast, I think they barely played 90 minutes.

Well either way there will probably be a Spring or Summer 2012 tour, I'll catch them on that one if they play Vegas. If not, hell I've had a good run of DT shows over the years. I first saw them in NYC in 1993, and have seen every tour except the 2009 Prog Nation one. If it ends for me seeing them live, so be it.

Phoenix was also the first place to get Scenes from a Memory played in it's entirety, and I will never forget that night!

This tour is general is pretty lackluster - only 3 west coast dates, only 2 mid-west... seems like they are focusing efforts on the east coast.

azmusicgeek's picture

Danny is all business, but he learned his business at the feet of Bill Graham, and he's been bringing great music to town for ages. Even when Clear Channel took over Evening Star in the early/mid 00s, he still kept bringing quality shows to town. The more I think about it, I wonder if there is some label thing going on - Atlantic/Warner obviously has deeper pockets than Roadrunner, which may allow for deeper/longer tours, plus maybe they have some sort of deals w/ the promoters where they can get discounts on booking shows for booking other acts on the label? (I"m just speculating here). But the drop-off in Phoenix shows definitely came when they switched to Roadrunner - thats when they ditched the "Evening With" format and started bringing the heavier opening acts.

KevShmev's picture

Well, St. Louis hasn't seen DT since 2004, so I have little sympathy for you guys in Phoenix. :p

And the venue that they were at back then was the Pageant, which was packed, and is still going strong, and would be perfect for DT (holds about 3K or so, I think). I think the promoter for that venue thinks that that type of music won't sell anymore. That is what I heard a while back. It probably didn't help that Queensryche was there last month and didn't sell well, so he probably thinks that reinforces his belief, but there is a huge difference between QR (who must know suck royally now) and DT (who is still as strong as ever). Not that I would expect him to know that. Blech.

cygnus's picture

@azmusicgeek:

Great information. I considered travelling to see them on this tour, but between airfare, hotel, and tickets I couldn't do it under $400, lol. I would drive, but eh, 12 hours of driving is too much.

You're talking about Danny Z., I know he is now involved with The Foundry, and he booked Queensryche this month. Of course, Queensryche are such live whores they would play in someone's backyard, lol.

I could see DT playing the Dodge Theater which is where they played the last few times.

Who knows. If there is a Spring run, I may save some cash and travel. They aren't playing Vegas either so hopefully on the next leg they will play there. I like going to shows in Vegas much better than LA.

I am glad Danny Z. is back in the game, it seemed when he ran Evening Star we got a lot more shows out here.

Great insight, I think this ends the debate. Let's hope we get them on the next round.

azmusicgeek's picture

I hope nothing happened to sour their relationship - they've played here a lot in the past.

I'm a former music reporter in Phoenix and a longtime DT champion in the press here. This is all speculation, but I know the main promoter hasn't been booking bands twice in one year unless they are arena acts like Lady Gaga for a while - so while DT was often doing two tours a year, since about 2005 he'd only book them once annually. I know the guy who ran Clear Channel in town - he's a big prog fan and has constantly surprised me with how many prog shows he's brought to town, but he is also a business man and doesn't like to get burned with a low-selling show. He's also not one to book shows for bands that do not have a radio presence - and with the economic downturn he might have tightened his standards. Around 2006 I remember him telling me he couldn't book David Gilmour because he couldn't get radio support for the show. David friggin' Gilmour!

I've got a feeling that the prog nation tours looked too risky to him, and in the case of the 2009 Prog Nation, he probably skipped it because he'd brought ZPZ to town earlier - and their crowds have been dwindling significantly since their first Valley appearance. And remember, DT didn't do a proper Black Clouds tour - just Prog Nation and the Maiden tour.

Dream Theater was stuck in this weird place where they were too big for the 1-2K size venues, but too small for the 5k venue. And Phoenix doesn't have anything in between. The acts playing in the 5K theater are $75 a ticket acts, and I don't think DT is quite at that level, yet they are too big to play the 1500 seat theater with the bad sound, sightlines and seats.
I know Phoenix was often the first or last gig of the tour - apparently the band members liked to vacation out here and the families would often be at the shows. I'd often find my press seats among the wives and kids - it was always cute to see Portnoy's kids with sound-dampening headphones on playing w/ gameboys during the opening act, then see them pop up onstage during the encore and sit behind the drumkit. And I know they've got friends out here as well - I've seen the bassist for the Dixie Dregs at DT shows - he lives out here, as well as some of the guys from Fender.

I'm hoping the situation changes - the guy who ran Clear Channel out here has left and formed his own company earlier this year, opened his own venue and has some of prog booked in the coming months. He brought Return to Forever and ZPZ here last week, and has Jon Anderson, The Musical Box and Adrian Belew/Tony Levin coming over the next few months. He's booking shows at Mesa Arts Center and the Orpheum Theatre, both would be good for DT (Orpheum might be too small).
So we might get a second leg show (hopefully!)

Oh, and that sound issue was actually because their equipment was held up in customs - they were coming from South America or Mexico and opening the US tour in Phx. But that particular venue was easily the worst for sound in town as well. That show was probably the most disappointing one I've seen - they sounded horrible, cut the set short, and the worst part was they were playing one of the most diverse sets I've seen from them.

Another thing I just realized - the change happened when DT went from Atlantic to Roadrunner - so there might be some label influence here as well.

Anyhow, just my thoughts, I'm disappointed they aren't coming - I've had to go to LA for Prog Nation and I'll be in LA on Sunday, but I knowing the local promoter I don't think it's personal - might be business though.

Gewburr's picture

I'm with everyone else here. :(

However I do recall several tours back (think it was the SFAM tour) there was an issue with the sound at their Phx concert and the band was blaming the venue for the problems. Mike Portnoy at the time was especially upset and made a big show and said he'd "make it up to Phoenix" on the next tour. I got the sense that the venue/promoters didn't like being blamed, but on the next tour Mike remembered his promise. But I think throughout it all there may have been some "bad blood" between the Band management and whatever promoter(s) we have here in Phx. Ever since, it seems like Phx was just a "rest stop" on the DT Tours until they started skipping us altogether during the last two.

Now I don't claim to know what may have transpired on the "business" side of things here - I'm just speculating on why DT stopped touring in AZ. :)

G

PHX_Rocks's picture

It is a huge disappointment! I really don't know why. Great venues here with different seating capacities. I have traveled a lot to see them but not this time. Guess I will skip this tour :(

Arvizu9618's picture

+1 Cygnus A fellow Arizonan would like to know why, too...

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