“A once in a life time event” – that is how Mike described this tour once it all started to become a reality. This is a fantasy to every Dream Theater fan since 2010, and it was indeed an incredible gift to us all. Mike Portnoy Shattered Fortress Paris show reviewed below.
NEXT TO NONE
Mike Portnoy’s son Max and NEXT TO NONE opened the night with a high voltage performance, pure heavy music with a twist. The band consists of Max Portnoy (Drums), Kris Rank (Bass), Thomas Cuce (Keys and Lead Vocal), and Derrick Schneider (Guitars). These young and talented musicians play Progressive Metal mixed with Hardcore and it sounds great. Their show is very entertaining and energetic and it is obvious that the future is bright for them. Max Portnoy plays with passion and lots of energy and he’s really the mini Mike. Max and his fellas played songs from their debut album “A Light In The Dark” and some new songs “Pause” and “The Apple” from their new album “(Phases” that will be released worldwide on the 7th of July 2017. And it was quite interesting to hear these songs. The Apple was fast and dynamic, mixed with clean and growling vocals, as well as Pause. The crowd really enjoyed their set-list and it was a great opening before Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress. Watch out for these young musicians; they’re talented, enthusiastic future rock stars. You can also read our interview with the band >here< to learn more about them.
The concert was unique from a lot of different angles, and Le Trianon (The Venue) was such a beautiful place to host it in, all thanks to Garmonbozia Inc. who made it come to life for the people of France and Paris.
The show started with Prelude – yes you heard that right! An original score from the movie Psycho – which is not surprising knowing that Mike is a huge movie fan – and it was then followed by Regression. Then of course Overture 1928 and Strange Déjà Vu were next and turned the hall upside down! It was then time to revisit their 3rd album Awake with the great choice of performing The Mirror. Seeing Mike behind the drums with his New York Knicks jersey brought a lot of memories.
Portnoy took the mic to thank everyone for their support, and spoke about the show and how he couldn’t wait to revisit this music again. He said that this was his 50th birthday gift to all his fans. And that’s when the French crowd awesomely sang Happy Birthday to Mike!
Then it was time for another special moment. The moment of The Twelve-step Suite, which is an incredible set of five songs from five different Dream Theater albums. The lyrics to each of these songs is written by Mike Portnoy, and are about his experiences in dealing with alcoholism and drugs. This saga was written with the intention of playing it live as one piece and Mike said that he’s been waiting for 15 years to do it.
The Twelve-step Suite is:
- The Glass Prison from Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
- This Dying Soul from Train of Thought
- The Root of All Evil from Octavarium
- Repentance of Systematic Chaos
- The Shattered Fortress of Black Clouds & Silver Linings
I’m going to take a moment and give a huge credit to the members of Haken, they did an incredible job playing alongside Mike. Haken is a progressive group from London who are very liked by Dream Theater fans and the progressive community for their creativity. It was great to have many guitarists on stage, adding authenticity to the songs with solos and rhythm, which we don’t usually see in DT shows. On another note, guitarist Eric Gillette from Neal Morse Band was phenomenal.
The band thanked the crowd and waved goodbye. But we knew that it was a trick that was just building up to the grand finale. And what a grand finale it was!
The band came back with huge roars from everyone in the crowd and they opened the encore with Home from Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory followed by The Dance Of Eternity and the show was concluded with Finally Free. It was a 30-minute sing along finale, the crowd even sang along with the melodies of The Dance Of Eternity, which I thought was really incredible.
If there’s anything we learned from last night, it is that Mike Portnoy is a living legend. And he is up there alongside Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Paul McCartney who all carried the music of their previous bands with a true spirit and originality. He carried out the songs in a way that did not let us notice the absence of DT members. It was a pure performance.
Mike, last night you proved to everyone that you were and still are the spirit of Dream Theater and you must carry on…
Now we will be waiting with huge excitement for the news about Mike Portnoy’s project with Derek Sherinian. Which I bet would be mind-blowing.
My overall rating for the show is five stars out of five.
Mike Portnoy Shattered Fortress Paris – Setlist:
Strange Déjà Vu
The Glass Prison
This Dying Soul
The Root Of All Evil
The Shattered Fortress
The Dance Of Eternity
Written By: Sharbel Kanoun
Photos By: Sharbél Kanoun Photography
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