I'm a little new to this so I may be missing something obvious but...
Console: NTSC-U, v4 (I believe), SCPH-30001, FreeMCBoot 1.6, uElfLaunch 4.15, ESR DVD Direct.elf rev 9b, rev 9a, rev 9
Game: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri, burned with ImgBurn at 4x, Optiarc DVD+-RW AD-7640a firmware JD05, Sony 16x DVD+R (Media code: D21), book type DVD-ROM (verified with DVD Identifier), patched with ESR disc patcher GUI v0.24a
Result: I tried several times to get it to boot, but ESR would just give me a black screen. However, one attempt, it actually went through the colours and got past cyan, then it just stayed black. I've tried to repeat that, but so far no luck.
Does all of this point to the laser as the source of the problem?