JOHN PETRUCCI + MIKE PORTNOY: video of entire Richmond concert available
DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci played the tenth show of his first headlining solo tour on October 17 at The National in Richmond, Virginia. Petrucci performed material from his recently released solo album, “Terminal Velocity”, as well as songs from his widely acclaimed debut release, “Suspended Animation”. “Terminal Velocity” marked the first time that John and former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy recorded together since Mike left the band in 2010. Now, John is taking his instrumental trio on the road performing live with Portnoy and legendary bassist Dave LaRue in an onstage reunion that has been 12 years in the making.
Fan-filmed video footage can be seen below.
The setlist for the Richmond concert was as follows:
- Terminal Velocity
- The Happy Song
- Jaws Of Life
- The Oddfather
- Out Of The Blue
- Tunnel Vision
- Damage Control
- Snake In My Boot
- Temple Of Circadia
- Glasgow Kiss
John Petrucci has previously released the official animated music video for his song “Temple Of Circadia”. The track is taken from his second solo album, “Terminal Velocity”, which was released in August 2020. The drums on the LP were laid down by former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy, while Dave LaRue (DIXIE DREGS) played bass.
Watch “Temple Of Circadia” below.
Petrucci discussed his musical reunion with Portnoy during a lengthy chat with the official DREAM THEATER fan club. He said: “Mike is playing drums on this record, which is really awesome. Obviously, Dave LaRue played on my first solo album, ‘Suspended Animation’, and also I toured with (him) many times with ‘G3’, as in the past Mike Portnoy, we toured together with ‘G3’ as well — in fact, from the very first ‘G3’ back in 2001 or so. But, yeah, having Mike play drums on this was cool. It was a great experience.”
Speaking about how his renewed collaboration with Portnoy came about, Petrucci said: “Mike and I been talking a bunch and he had sort of planted the seed in my ear. I was telling him about my plans to record a new solo album, and he was, like, ‘Well, if you need somebody, I’m available.’ And it was, like, in my head, I’m, like, ‘I’m gonna take you up on that.’
“I had written all the songs and we programmed drums,” he continued. “And I played bass, and our engineer played bass, so we had these completed songs. And Mike came in, learned everything, of course, added his touches and taste. He did a tremendous, spectacular job. It was a lot of fun to kind of reunite musically and do that together. It took about six days to do. Again, he did a great job. The drums sound awesome. Dave recorded his stuff remotely, redid all the bass. And it’s mixed by Andy Sneap — it’s my first time working with Andy, and he did a tremendous job mixing it. He’s actually currently in JUDAS PRIEST playing guitar after Glenn (Tipton) couldn’t do it anymore. And he is an unbelievable mixer with an incredible résumé. He did mix ‘Firepower’, the latest JUDAS PRIEST, and a whole bunch of other stuff — KILLSWITCH (ENGAGE) and ARCH ENEMY and MACHINE HEAD, and it goes on. He’s amazing. So, the album sounds great.”
Regarding why he chose to record his second solo LP in 2020, Petrucci said: “Originally, before the whole pandemic hit, I had planned on working on my solo album, because DREAM THEATER had some touring coming up, but there were, like, chunks of free months in the year. So I was, like, ‘If I don’t start it now, I’m never gonna do this.’ And then everything hit and closed down and everything got postponed, so I found myself with all this time on my hands. Basically, very shortly after I got home from that last DREAM THEATER tour, I started working on my solo album — two months straight, five days a week. I got it done in about three months.”
Asked how much of the material on “Terminal Velocity” is brand new and how much of it is left over from previous songwriting session, Petrucci said: “There are nine songs on the album, and two of them I had played live on ‘G3’ previously and at my guitar camp. One of them is a really old song from the early ’90s when I was doing guitar clinics. Actually, it’s called ‘Gemini’, and there’s a snippet of it on the ‘Rock Discipline’ video I did back in ’95; there’s a little bit of me playing that. So, for anybody that knows of that song, it’s sort of an interesting little throwback to that, ’cause I never got a chance to really record it properly. There was one song I had written, I guess, around the same time as ‘Happy Song’ and ‘Glassy-Eyed Zombies’ that I played on ‘G3’, but I never did anything with it. Honestly, I kind of forgot I had it. It’s called ‘The Way Things Fall’. When I was looking through all my files and everything, I was, like, ‘I forgot about this song,’ and I had a full demo of it. I was, like, ‘This is really cool.’ So I was able to record that for real. And then that leaves the remaining five songs, which are all brand new. And I wrote those and recorded those, along with the other four, again, over about two months.”
Petrucci will embark on his first headlining solo tour in October. He will perform material from “Terminal Velocity”, as well as songs from his widely acclaimed debut release, “Suspended Animation”. John will take his instrumental trio on the road performing live with Portnoy and LaRue in an onstage reunion that has been 12 years in the making.
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 35 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
Since the 2010 departure of Portnoy, Petrucci, along with keyboardist Jordan 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 2021’s “A View From The Top Of The World”.