Dream Theater’s James LaBrie has denied rumors of lip-syncing during his live performances. In the last month, rumors that LaBrie has been using pre-recorded backing tracks began circulating on social media during the group’s current and previously-postponed North American tour.
During Dream Theater’s Friday concert in Houston, LaBrie addressed the rumors, stating, “I’m gonna fucking clarify something for you now, okay? People have been saying I’m fucking lip syncing? Fuck you. Fucking, what is wrong with people online?” His outburst was followed by an apology, claiming that the group was almost on the last leg of the tour.
The rumors come just as artists have become more reliant on pre-recorded tracks during live performances. For instance, Shinedown’s Zach Myers said in 2020 that “90 percent” of rock artists utilize some form of pre-recorded tracks during live performances. “It’s the way it is,” he said. People have been doing this since the ’80s. And we want the sound to be the best it can be. Could we go up there, just the four of us, and put on the best rock show ever? Of course. But that’s not how we wanna do it.”
Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx was open about the band’s use of taped vocals during live performances, however guitarist Mick Mars stated that he was uncomfortable with it. “I don’t like it,” he said. “I think a band like ours… I have to say ’60s bands were my favorite — ’60s and ’70s bands — because they were real, like, three-piece bands or four-piece bands, and they just got up there and kicked it up. Made a mistake? So what?”
LaBrie’s fan-recorded speech can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Ekaterina Gorbacheva