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Mike Portnoy left Dream Theater in 2010 and eventually rejoined the band in October 2023. Prior to rejoining, Portnoy recorded Liquid Tension Experiment 3 in 2021 with his former Dream Theater bandmates John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess, and even played on Petrucci‘s solo album Terminal Velocity in 2020. But between those musical endeavors and Portnoy rejoining Dream Theater came the reunion that warmed everyone’s hearts – Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie hanging out and smiling with Portnoy in 2022.

Portnoy attended his then-former band’s show at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on March 4, 2022 and patched things up with LaBrie backstage after some back-and-forth comments in the press over the years. So how was it to finally get back together? According to both Portnoy and LaBrie in an interview with Rolling Stone, it was perfect.

When asked how the duo moved past the war of words in the press, Portnoy responded: “Well, now it definitely doesn’t matter anymore. But no question, the first couple of years [after I left], it was dramatic. It was difficult on a personal level, and living in the age of social media didn’t help things because every single interview or comment got twisted and blown up and dissected and taken out of context. But once I saw each of these guys individually before we got back as a band, to me, all that bullshit and drama melted away.

“[Portnoy turns to LaBrie]. I don’t know if it’s uncomfortable to talk about, but the last person I reconnected with was James. I’ll speak for myself, but when we finally connected, and we saw each other in person, all that shit just melted away within seconds.”

LaBrie added that the Beacon Theater show was very emotional for him “because we had gone through what we had gone through,” noting that he’s ultimately just thrilled the two are close again.

“To be honest with you, I called my wife, and I said, ‘Mike‘s here. He wants to see me.’ And she said, ‘You got to do it because this is your brother. This is somebody that created who and what you are today. Move through it, and you’ll be happier. Take the monkey off your fucking back.’

Mike and I are both very emotional and passionate people. And I think that led to the reason for us not coming together until we did. But as soon as I saw him, like he said, I came out of my dressing room, I saw him, and I was like, ‘Come here.’ And I gave him a fucking hug. And that was it. [They both say ‘Aww,’ and hug again]. Thank God it happened.”

Dream Theater will hit the road in both 2024 and 2025 for an extensive 40th anniversary tour. The announcement comes ahead of Dream Theater‘s 16th studio album, which is well underway. So far we’ve got the European dates, which consists of stops in 23 cities and kicks off on October 20. Tickets are available here.

“This tour is going to be incredibly special for all of us! Each show will surely be filled with anticipation and a variety of emotions,” said Dream Theater. “We can’t wait to step on stage together once again and begin this historic celebration of 40 years with everyone this Fall. This is just the beginning, and we will have plenty of more exciting Dream Theater news to share in the coming months.”

10/20 London, England The O2
10/22 Berlin, Germany Uber Eats Music Hall
10/23 Koln, Germany Palladium
10/25 Milan, Italy Forum
10/26 Rome, Italy Palazzo dello Sport
10/28 Munich, Germany Zenith
10/29 Zagreb, Croatia Arena Zagreb
11/1 Budapest, Hungary Budapest Arena
11/2 Prague Czech Republic Fortuna Arena
11/3 Lodz, Poland Atlas Arena
11/6 Helsinki, Finland Metro Areena
11/8 Stockholm. Sweden Waterfront
11/9 Oslo, Norway Spektrum
11/10 Copenhagen, Denmark Poolen
11/12 Luxembourg Rockhal
11/13 Zurich, Switzerland The Hall
11/14 Lyon, France Halle Tony Garnier
11/16 Lisbon, Portugal MEO Arena
11/17 Madrid, Spain La Cubierta de Leganés
11/20 Stuttgart, Germany Beethovensaal
11/21 Frankfurt, Germany Jahrhundderthalle
11/23 Paris, France Adidas Arena
11/24 Amsterdam AFAS Live

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