Jordan Rudess, virtuoso musician/composer and keyboardist for Grammy Award-winning prog rock band DREAM THEATER, will embark on a two-month solo tour dubbed “An Evening With Jordan Rudess” this summer from June to August. Audiences can expect to spend this intimate evening with Jordan immersed in his musical virtuosity as he shares personal stories from his musical journey. The tour kicks off on June 7 in Seattle, Washington and concludes on August 6 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Jun. 07 – Triple Door, Seattle WA Jun. 12 – The Old Church Concert Hall – Portland, OR Jun. 25 – Lulu’s Downstairs – Colorado Springs, CO Jun. 26 – The Armory – Ft. Collins, CO Jul. 06 – Dakota – Minneapolis, MN Jul. 08 – City Winery – Chicago, IL Jul. 09 – Kent Stage – Kent, OH Jul. 10 – The Ludlow Garage – Cincinnati, OH Jul. 11 – Tin Pan, Richmond, VA Jul. 13 – City Winery – Washington, DC Jul. 14 – Rams Head On Stage – Anapolis, MD Jul. 16 – City Winery – New York City, NY Jul. 17 – Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA Jul. 21 – Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center – Old Saybrook, CT Jul. 22 – Center for the Arts – Natick, MA Jul. 23 – Shalin Liu – Rockport, MA Jul. 24 – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT Jul. 28 – Neighborhood Theatre – Charlotte, NC Jul. 31 – State Theatre – Austin, TX Aug. 03 – City Winery – Nashville, TN Aug. 04 – City Winery – Atlanta, GA Aug. 06 – Broward Center for the Performing Arts – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy was at the group’s concert on March 4 in New York City. His first timeseeing his former bandmates perform live since his exit from the legendary progressive metal band over 11 years ago.
Portnoy appeared yesterday (May 3) on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, Mike talked about the circumstances that led to him being present at the show: “We had been slowly rekindling the relationships over the years. Obviously, John Petrucci and I have made a few albums together at this point — I played on his last solo album, and then he, myself, Jordan and, Tony Levin got back together to do a LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT album in 2020. So, yeah, John Petrucci and Jordan had been hanging with me a lot through the years, and our families as well. In fact, the first time I played together with Jordan again was on the last Cruise To The Edge in 2019, Jordan and I played together on that. So the relationships had been really, really good and comfortable with those guys. And John Myung lives right down the street from me, so I would see him in town all the time. And his wife is very, very good friend with my wife. So there’s three of the guys that I had been on very, very good terms with over the years. And my wife and John Myung‘s wife were going to see them at the New York show, and I was, like, ‘You know what? What the hell.'”
Portnoy went on to say that he had previously “dreamt about going to see” DREAM THEATER play. “I’m not saying I dreamt like it was my goal, I’m saying I literally would have dreams at night sleeping, where in my dreams I’m going to see DREAM THEATER and it’s just an awkward thing. “So for a long time I was very nervous about it, like how weird would it feel? Would it be uncomfortable? But I finally was at peace with it. I went to the show, and it was a really cool experience, it was not as awkward as I had anticipated or feared. And at the show, James welcomed me from the stage. And I hadn’t spoken to James, as a lot of people know, I hadn’t spoken to him since I left the band, so I got to see him that night after the show. And I went into his dressing room, and within literally 10 seconds, any of that drama or B.S. that had built up through the years, it melted away immediately. And it was all hugs and kisses and ‘love you, bro’ and ‘miss you, bro.’ And it was, like, all that bullshit from the last 11 years was just water under the bridge.”
Mike continued: “You can’t spend most of your life with a group of guys like that and not be family for life. I met John Petrucci and John Myung when we were teenagers, we met in college and our families have grown up together and our wives all played in a band together and our kids, my daughter and John Petrucci‘s daughter live together in Brooklyn. So it’s a family. Whether I’m currently in the band or not, that doesn’t matter, you can’t take away the friendship and the family and the history and the experiences we shared for so, so long.”
Portnoy talked about what it was like to see another drummer play his parts live with DREAM THEATER, Portnoy said: “I’ve always been the type of drummer that just flies [by] the seat of my pants in the moment. Even with my own drum parts, I don’t necessarily stick to them faithfully from show to show, whereas [current DREAM THEATER drummer Mike] Mangini obviously really studied the drum parts and they had everything programmed out. They’re all about the precision, and that’s surely their thing. And yeah, he killed it. There’s no doubt he’s an amazing drummer and he plays my parts incredibly faithfully. I feel bad for him. He and I joked about it. He’s in a horrible situation where he’s damned if he does and he’s damned if he doesn’t. He expressed that frustration to me, and I feel for him, it’s definitely a weird position to be put into. I kind of had it a little bit when I played with AVENGED SEVENFOLD and TWISTED SISTER, coming into the throne of two drummers that have passed away, and I tried to learn those parts as faithfully as I could. When I had a hired-gun gig like that, I spent a lot of attention trying to honor the drummer that came before me it’s important. I don’t wanna go into a gig like either of those and try to force my style onto it.”
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER 37 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD.
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.
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.”
LaBrie had previously closed the door on the possibility of a DREAM THEATER reunion with Portnoy, telling Chile’s Radio Futuro in an August 2013 interview: “That possibility, I don’t see it ever happening, it’s not gonna happen. Because, first and foremost, Mike Mangini is a full-fledged member of the band now, he’s a phenomenal drummer and he’s doing everything that we could possibly want as a drummer in a band. He’s helping us realize exactly what we wanna do right now musically. And he will be our drummer until the day that we finish doing this, when we conclude. Mike Portnoy was a big part of our past, but I think that’s where it’s going to remain. He was a drummer from the past. And as far as presently and into the future, it will be Mike Mangini, and we all feel very strongly about that. He’s an incredible drummer, he’s an incredible asset to the band, and he is fulfilling our wildest dreams as far as what we’re doing musically and what we’re doing with each album. So that’s the way it stands.”
Two nights ago, DREAM THEATER was awarded a Grammy in the “Best Metal Performance” at the 64th annual Grammy Awards, DREAM THEATER was nominated for “The Alien”, a track from their 2021 album “A View From The Top Of The World”.
DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci accepted the award on the band’s behalf.
“Wow, this is absolutely insane,” he said in his acceptance speech. “On behalf of the entire band, I’d like to thank the Recording Academy and everybody who voted for us. You know, they used to tell us our songs were way too long, we used weird time signatures and there were too many guitar solos. In fact, this song is in 17/8, so try to tap your foot to it. But we just won a Grammy, so I’m glad we didn’t listen… All the DREAM THEATER fans around the world, you guys rock. We love you. For fans of prog and prog metal, stay true to your art. And it’s alive and well.”
The nominees in the “Best Metal Performance” category were:
“Genesis” – DEFTONES “The Alien” – DREAM THEATER “Amazonia” – GOJIRA “Pushing The Tides” – MASTODON “The Triumph Of King Freak (A Crypt Of Preservation And Superstition)” – ROB ZOMBIE
When “The Alien” came out in August 2021, Petrucci stated about the track: “It’s the first one we wrote together. It gives people a window into what it was like when we initially met up after all of those months off. It has the adventure, the untraditional structure, the heaviness, and the hooks. It really set the tone for the album. JamesLaBrie wrote the lyrics about the idea of terraforming and looking beyond our Earth for alternative settlements. Since we’re going beyond our planet, ‘The Alien’ turns out to be us. I thought it was a cool and creative lyric by James.”
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”.
The 2022 ceremony was the first since The Recording Academy announced that it has made significant changes to its awards process to ensure that the Grammy Awards rules and guidelines are transparent and equitable. The show no longer uses anonymous review committees to determine its nominees. Now, all nominees are based solely on thousands of votes from the Academy‘s voting members. They also changed the number of categories in which Academy members can vote and added two new awards.
Back in January 2020, former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan filed a discrimination charge against the Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences, alleging she was being retaliated against for reporting misconduct within the Academy. In the 46-page complaint, Dugan further alleged that “the Grammy voting process is ripe with corruption,” detailing secret committees the group used to “push forward artists with whom it has relationships.” She said that as many as 30 artists who were not selected by the 12,000 voting members were added to the possible nomination list.
Back in December, during an appearance on MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn‘s “No Fuckin’ Regrets With Robb Flynn” podcast Petrucci discussed DREAM THEATER‘s latest Grammy nomination. He said: “The first Grammy nomination we had, FOO FIGHTERS were on there. And they won it. I remember Dave Grohl had said something like, ‘Oh, they should have got this,’ which I thought was nice. But this time, I don’t know if I’m gonna remember all of [the other artists that were nominated], but I think it’s GOJIRA and MASTODON [that we are up against], and it’s a cool list. I remember there were a couple of years where I was surprised at the nominees — it seemed a little bit strange — but this seems appropriate. So we’ll see. It’s fun. It’s an honor to get nominated. It’s cool. Doing what we do and the way that we do it and getting recognized in that world is something that I never would have expected. And now for us, this is the third [nomination], so it’s cool. It’s a good feeling.”
Dream Theater est sans aucun doute l’une des figures de proue du « prog metal » comme en témoignent leur deux nominations aux Grammy Awards et leur 15 millions d’albums vendus à travers le monde. Le groupe sortira en octobre prochain son 15ème album studio intitulé A View From The Top Of The World.
Composé de James LaBrie (chant), John Petrucci (guitare), Jordan Rudess (clavier), John Myung (basse) et Mike Mangini (batterie), le groupe repartira sur la route en 2022 pour le “Top of the World Tour”.
Après un passage remarqué début 2020 à Paris et Lyon pour célébrer le 20ème anniversaire de l’album Scenes From a Memory, le groupe sera de retour en France en 2022 pour quatre concerts qui s’annoncent déjà incontournables !
1. Devil In Drag 2. SuperNova Girl 3. Give And Take 4. Sunset Ruin 5. Hit Me Like A Brick 6. Wildflower 7. Conscience Calling 8. What I Missed 9. Am I Right 10. Ramble On 11. Devil In Drag (Electric Version)
DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie has denied allegations that he uses pre-recorded vocal tracks during live performances.
The rumor that LaBrie has been relying on pre-recorded backing tracks got more popular last month after fan videos of DREAM THEATER‘s current North American tour were shared online. Some fans have pointed precisely to the post-chorus of the DREAM THEATER song “Bridges In The Sky” where the alleged lip syncing occurs.
LaBrie finally addressed the Internet during DREAM THEATER‘s concert this past Friday (March 18) at Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas. He told the crowd: “I’m gonna fucking clarify something for you now, okay? People have been saying I’m fucking lip syncing? Fuck you. Fucking, what is wrong with people online?”
He then apologized to the audience for his outburst, noting that he and his DREAM THEATER bandmates launched their current tour more than six weeks ago. “I guess I’m losing my mind because I’m almost at the end of a [tour] leg,” he said.
Dream Theater annonce deux dates exceptionnelles en France pour célébrer le 20ème anniversaire de l’album “Scenes From A Memory”. Sur scène, ils interpréteront des extraits de “Distance Over Time”, leur dernier album en date, ainsi qu’une sélection de leurs meilleurs titres.
During Hellfest, we had the chance to sit down and talk to Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal from Sons Of Apollo about the current tour, the new album, and so many other things, you can read the whole conversation below and view the photos from their performance.
Metal Bell: Thank you so much for this opportunity to chat during the first show in Europe, it was a great show, congratulations.
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Thank you so much.
Metal Bell: So how does it feel to play your first show at Hellfest?
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Oh it is a great way to start a European tour, that’s for sure, no better way to start so we are very happy, to start a tour in front of 30,000 people I guess it’s ok (laughs).
Metal Bell: Have you ever played Hellfest before?
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Yeah six years ago with Guns, we headlined it, it is nice to be here doing it with people that are close to you, friends with whom we wrote together, we recorded together, and it’s great.
Metal Bell: Your tour started in February, how is the reception so far?
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Oh it is wonderful, this is our 42nd show I believe, it’s been great. We started off on the cruise to the edge, and then from there we went to the east coast and did like a week and a half of shows. And then April and May we did a big US tour, actually, we did South America, Mexico, Canada, and all around in the US. Nothing beats getting on the road, that’s what every band used to do to become who they are, being together every night and do it.
Metal Bell: How do I put this question, tell me how did
you come up or assemble The Avengers of Prog?
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: (laughs) That was very easy, we all knew each other and played together over the years.
Me and Billy were playing for years doing these jams with Ray Luzier from KORN and with Mike. Me, Mike, and Billy would be this core band and we’d play like big events in New York, with guys from Anthrax and Kiss joining us. I laid guest solos on Metal Allegiance’s first album with Mike and another album that Billy produced for Madame Mayhem, a great artist that I laid 4 guitar solos for her album.
Me, Mike, Derek, and Billy played together at Prog Nation 4 years ago, so we all have this background and we’ve done things together, so it was a no-brainer. When Mike wanted to do this band, he sent me an email, it was January 2017, he said: hey, how we always talked about putting a band together! Well me and Derek have this idea and we want to go into the studio in March and just write on the spot, record on the spot, we all play together and mark it, record it the way bands used to do it, the right way, it’s the real thing. And we’ve written spontaneously, we did that, we spent 10 days at the studio, we wrote, recorded and made the album in 10 days.
So it was me, Mike, and Derek in the studio, and then Billy cut off his Mr. Big’s tour halfway through and joined us, then we all just recorded. Jeff finished his touring, then he recorded his vocals at my studio where I laid my
guitar solos on everything, and that was it. And then we just waited for the right moment to go out and announce the band and put out the album. The label is wonderful (Inside Out), they’ve been a fantastic record label, so supportive and really a good team.
Metal Bell: So basically You, Mike, and Derek wrote the majority of the album?
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Yeah it started with us and then Billy joined, then Jeff wrote everything you hear sung, that’s Jeff, he was really the key ingredient to turn it from a cold prog album to songs, things you can sing along you know, melodies that stick, that’s what Jeff does, he’s the guy.
Metal Bell: Today the band is less than a year old, considering all of your projects and involvements, will Sons Of Apollo be a long-term project?
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: That’s the question everyone has, is this another quick project or is it a band that’s gonna be around.
Our intentions are for it to be a band that’s gonna be around, but at the same time, we can’t completely neglect everything else we have, we can’t do that. It is also not fair for the other people in our life that are waiting for us so we still have to do other things. This year we’ll do a lot of Sons Of Apollo, next year we’re gonna have to do some other things, but you know we are already writing for the second album, it really goes down to business, not amongst each other, but we can’t just afford to be in a start-up band, put everything else aside, and get this off the ground. We are not 20-year old kids in a van you know, so it’s tough, but we are giving it our best and our intentions are to be a band that puts out a lot of albums and keeps on going and going. So as long as everyone on our team does the right thing, you know we are depending on managers, the label and on each other, all it takes is one person to fuck it all up and then we are all screwed, it could be anybody that we are depending on if they don’t do the right thing.
What we want for this band is to continue and we are doing everything possible to keep that going even when odds are against us, we want to keep going, we do.
Metal Bell: We do hope so too, you know how prog fans are so attached.
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Sure yeah, and we made a pact with them, we said this is a band, we are obligated to keep our words to them and to ourselves.
Metal Bell: The history between Derek, Mike, and Dream Theater, would you ever consider a tour with them?
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: I would love to do it, I have such tremendous respect for Dream Theater as a band and individuals. I love John Petrucci, we’ve met before, we’ve chatted, he’s a wonderful guy. I also played on Jordan’s solo record in 2009, he was just incredible. That would be a wonderful thing.
And honestly I feel like there would be no Sons Of Apollo if there was no Dream Theater, you know you have to respect where this came from and everything that leads up to it, the influences and the history, and I do, I tremendously do.
It’d be wonderful to play together, I doubt it would ever happen, that would be really something interesting to the fans to see that. I would love it to be taken not as a competition in any way, we are all branches of Dream Theater’s tree and I’m grateful to them, I respect and admire them.
Metal Bell: Your second album is called Sophomore, is there already a date in mind?
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Well I mean Derek has written things, he sends me videos and things like hey check out this riff I came up with, and we’ve talked to the label about it but nothing is definite yet. Right now, it’s just let us finish up what we have here and once it’s all clear and done, everything goes ok, we will then think about the next step. Even though now is the time to think about it, we are just staying focused and looking ahead, so we are thinking about this leg of the tour, then the next leg, and the leg after that so there’s no definitive time. We’ve talked about November going into the studio but I know Mike has something to do in November so it might be January, but hopefully not too far too long.
Metal Bell: Well thank you very much for the chat, it’s been wonderful talking to you and the best of luck for the rest of the tour.
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal: Thank you very much. It was an absolute pleasure.
October 6 was the date many metal-heads were waiting for, knowing that they will witness one of the best bands of all time. A band that might be one of the reasons behind many of us wanting to become musicians and play our hearts out exactly the way they taught us to do. Continue reading