JORDAN RUDESS Says 'It Was Brave' Of MIKE PORTNOY To See Current DREAM THEATER Lineup Perform In Concert
May 26, 2022
Ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy attended the group's concert on March 4 at Beacon Theatre in New York City. It was the first time Portnoy witnessed his former bandmates perform live since his exit from the iconic progressive metal outfit more than 11 years ago.
According to DREAM THEATER fans who attended the show, singer James LaBrie gave Portnoy a shoutout from the stage and Mike waved. Several fans also took pictures of Portnoy at the venue, with Mike and his wife reportedly watching the performance from near the Beacon Theatre soundboard.
The next day, Portnoy shared a few backstage photos from the concert and he included the following message: "After 36 years, I finally got to see my 1st DREAM THEATER show last night! It was a wonderful evening and it was such a pleasure to spend time with my old friends again".
Asked in a new interview with Pete Pardo of Sea Of Tranquility what it was like for him to see Portnoy at the New York concert, DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, Mike and I have been friends [in the years since his departure]. Nothing really interrupted that. There was definitely a rough period, but that's obvious. It was great. It was brave of him. I'm sure it took some — I don't know what the word is — some courage, or whatever, to put himself in that position, 'cause it's a little awkward, especially 'cause there were some different guys with different situations going on, different relationships. So he was, like, 'I'm going,' and I think it's awesome that he did that. And it meant a lot — it meant a lot to everybody. It meant a lot to all of us, and it also managed to smooth out some of the relationships, as everybody knows; you see everything online. But it was great to see him. And I'm so glad he came. And it must be cool to go see a DREAM THEATER show. [Laughs]"
Last month, LaBrie told Sonic Perspectives that it was "great" to reconnect with Portnoy at the New York show. "The thing is that you get to a point in life where you've gotta… You can't carry around that. Don't carry around hate; don't carry around negativity," LaBrie said. "We carried it around far too long, as far as I'm concerned, and it didn't serve any purpose; it just served frickin' division. It was very divisive and very damaging.
"So, it's great to be back," James added. "We're talking to one another, we're chatting and all that stuff. And that's the kind of world that I wanna live in as opposed to negativity, hate and frickin'… It's just not worth it. It's not worth it."
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER 37 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, STEVE VAI).
Portnoy was a guest on DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci's second solo album, "Terminal Velocity", which was released in August 2020 via Sound Mind Music/The Orchard. The effort marked the first time Petrucci and Portnoy recorded together in over a decade, as well as their first time playing together since Portnoy departed DREAM THEATER.
In a 2017 interview with Rockhok, Portnoy insisted that had "no longing to reunite" with DREAM THEATER but said that he would return to his former band "for the fans." He explained: "The ball's in their court, to be honest. I have no longing to reunite with them; it's not something I necessarily am looking to do or want to do. I'm very content with all the eighty-seven bands I currently have going, so it's something I need. But I would do it for the fans, because I'm a very sentimental person and I have a lot of great, fond memories of those guys and the times. I'm a sentimental guy, so I would never close the door on it. So, really, the ball's in their court, honestly. [But] if you're asking me the odds [of a reunion happening], I would say, don't bet on it, because I know their personalities as well and I don't think they're the type that are looking backwards."
A couple of years ago, Portnoy told Loud that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to expand his musical horizons. "[I didn't] want to go to my grave and just be the drummer from DREAM THEATER," he said. "I knew there was way more to what I had to offer."
After 36 years, I finally got to see my 1st Dream Theater show last night! 🤣 It was a wonderful evening and it was such...