DREAM THEATER's JOHN PETRUCCI On Oulu Concert Cancelation: 'We've Never Had This Happen To Us Before'

February 10, 2023

DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci has commented on the cancelation of the band's concert in Oulu, Finland earlier in the month.

The February 3 show was called off just over half an hour before the first support band was supposed to take the stage at Oulun Energia Areena, with Ticketmaster telling ticketholders the show was being scrapped for "security reasons".

On Tuesday (February 7),Finland's Soundi published a statement from Petrucci regarding the Oulu concert. In the statement, the guitarist said (translated from Finnish): "We've never had this happen to us before... We've sometimes been in a situation where, for example, we've had to repair and fix stage structures at the last minute, so to speak, but we've never had to cancel these gigs completely. Now I got the impression that the stage structures or some related issues were not in accordance with safety regulations and it was not possible to fix the problems within the timeframe. In the end, nothing could be done, because safety simply cannot be compromised. The welfare of the band, the technicians and the fans is always paramount, and you can't take the slightest risk with these things. It goes without saying, however, that I am very, very sorry for the fans who turned up. For example, I met a DREAM THEATER fan at the airport who told me that he had come all the way to Oulu just for the gig, and then this happened. A very unfortunate incident."

Toni Peiju, CEO of the event production company All Things Live Finland Oy, which was responsible for organizing the concert, told Ilta-Sanomat that "the subcontractor company had made a stage that was not safe to perform on. The lighting and sound equipment are heavy, and the stage structures would not have been sufficient to support their weight. The lights would not have been allowed to hang. It was purely a security matter."

Peiju went on to say that the platform was supposed to withstand the weight of DREAM THEATER's equipment, but an on-the-spot check uncovered that it would not have been able to handle the load.

"There was no other option but to pull the plug on the show," he said. "I wouldn't have had time to do anything with the stage" before DREAM THEATER was scheduled to perform, Peiju said.

Peiju said that he had no choice but to return the ticket money to the customers.

"The band is moving on [with its tour], so organizing a replacement gig is almost impossible," he said.

"I want to emphasize that this was in no way the band's fault. I can only express my regret on behalf of the organizer."

DREAM THEATER is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "A View From The Top Of The World", which came out in October 2021. A track from the LP, "The Alien", landed the band its first-ever Grammy in the "Best Metal Performance" category at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which was held in April 2022 in Las Vegas. DREAM THEATER's previous Grammy nominations were for the song "On The Backs Of Angels", from 2011's "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" album, and the single "The Enemy Inside" from 2013's "Dream Theater".

"A View From The Top Of The World" was described in a press release as "DREAM THEATER at its musical finest, expanding on the sound they helped create while maintaining the elements that have garnered them devoted fans around the globe." The seven-song album also marked the second studio album with InsideOut Music/Sony Music. The artwork was created by longtime cover collaborator Hugh Syme (RUSH, IRON MAIDEN, STONE SOUR). "A View From The Top Of The World" was produced by guitarist John Petrucci, engineered and additional production by James "Jimmy T" Meslin and mixed/mastered by Andy Sneap.

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