JORDAN RUDESS Says It Was 'Probably Cool' For MIKE PORTNOY To See Current DREAM THEATER Lineup Perform
April 25, 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 The Razor's Edge what it was like for him and his bandmates to see Portnoy at the New York concert, DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess said: "I'm so glad he [came out]. What a cool thing to be able to see a DREAM THEATER show — something that I never get to do… So I was thinking it was probably pretty cool for Mike to see DREAM THEATER. And it was really nice of him to come out and I think it was great he healed the dynamics with everybody as well. Yeah, it was great."
As for his personal relationship with Portnoy, Rudess said: "Mike and I continue to work together. We've done the LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT not all that long ago, and we had a great time doing it. It was almost like we never skipped a bit. So, he and I are friends, and we just kind of kept out relationship going.
Earlier in the 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 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."
Since the 2010 departure of Portnoy, Petrucci, along with Rudess, has taken on much of the songwriting load for DREAM THEATER, including 2016's controversial double concept album, "The Astonishing", 2019's "Distance Over Time" and the band's latest LP, 2021's "A View From The Top Of The World".
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