Previewing an upcoming set later this week at NAMM, on Saturday night Jan. 14 at the Guitar Center 'Drum-Off,' drummer Mike Portnoy performed alongside his former Dream Theater bandmate, keyboardist Derek Sherinian.

Joining the progressive-rock great was bass legend Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) and world-renowned guitarist Tony MacAlpine. Portnoy put the band together himself, and he made sure that some classic Dream Theater songs were featured in the set, including 'Lines in the Sand' from their 1997 'Falling Into Infinity' album.

It was only the second time Portnoy and Sherinian have shared a stage since the latter left Dream Theater in 1998.

After the short, electrifying set (just about a third of what will be heard at NAMM this Friday evening), Portnoy relaxed backstage with Noisecreep to talk exclusively about the reunion, and what the next year holds for one of the busiest, most productive musicians on the planet.

Watch Mike Portnoy Talk About His 2012 Plans


On March 13, Adrenaline Mob - the band that features Portnoy alongside Russell Allen (Symphony X) - will release 'Omertá,' their debut album. Later that month (March 27), Flying Colors - another new project featuring Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (lead vocals, guitar), and Steve Morse (lead guitar) - will release its eponymous debut album.