Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy Criticized for Chile Earthquake Comments
Dream Theater will be performing in Santiago, Chile this evening at the Movistar Arena, not even two weeks after the area was ravaged by an earthquake — the fifth strongest since 1900 — that killed 497 identified victims and potentially hundreds of others. The quake also destroyed and heavily damaged at least 500,000 homes and broke apart highways and hospitals, causing a projected $30 billion in damage. And Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy is not enjoying his time in Chile.
“Just had our fourth aftershock of the day here in Santiago,” Portnoy tweeted yesterday. “Totally scary stuff … can’t wait to play the show and get the hell outta here!”
Several of the band’s Chilean fans took offense at Portnoy’s comments. Some even went so far as to call Portnoy a coward. “I can’t believe there are Chileans that are bad-mouthing me and calling me a coward because we are not exactly comfortable in their earthquake,” Portnoy later tweeted. “We came to Santiago to play for our great fans here … I’m sorry if the constant aftershocks have us slightly weirded out and uncomfortable.”
Portnoy’s additional comments led to even more criticism from the band’s Chilean fans, leading the drummer to take to Twitter again, to issue yet another apology.
“Sorry if my wording came off wrong,” Portnoy writes. “Obviously we love our fans down here or we wouldn’t be here right now … we’re just not used to this. Let’s all calm down … pray for the earthquakes and aftershocks to stop … and have a great show tomorrow night with our great fans in Chile!”