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Mike Portnoy + John Petrucci Excite Fans With 2018 ‘Happy New Year’ Photo

Ethan Miller / Robert Cianflone, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Robert Cianflone, Getty Images

As the 21st Century’s second decade began, so did the post-Mike Portnoy era of Dream Theater. The drummer had long been the most publicly present member of the band and his exit came as a surprise to many. In the year’s since, Portnoy has played in a number of projects, while Dream Theater have moved on with Mike Mangini behind the kit. For the most part, any reunion talk has been shot down and Dream Theater’s members have resisted opportunities to play on the side with Portnoy. But Dream Theater fans likely got a little excited when Portnoy posted a photo of himself with former Dream Theater bandmate John Petrucci to kick off the New Year.

The bearded rockers posed for a shot, both smiling, as they wished fans a Happy New Year. The photo was hashtagged #givepeaceachance and #carpediem by Portnoy, adding, “Here’s to a great 2018!” See the posting below.

Portnoy had previously invited members of his former band to join him in playing the rare performance of the “12 Step Suite” aboard the Cruise to the Edge, but the event came and went without the band members joining in the event, which doubled as the drummer’s 50th birthday celebration.

“I think people might have misinterpreted it and might have started to think that there was a reunion brewing, so I can understand why they turned it down,” he said in an interview with Rockhok. “And for selfish reasons, for myself, in a way, I kind of liked it as well, because if they had come, suddenly the focus would have been on that, and, really, it was supposed to be a celebration of my whole career, with all the different bands, celebrating my fiftieth birthday. So, in a lot of ways, it turned out okay.”

While they are no longer bandmates, Portnoy stated that he has always attempted to extend the olive branch and keep the friendship with the members of Dream Theater alive. Portnoy has rarely dipped into the Dream Theater catalog while playing shows, but stated this past June that after the “Shattered Fortress” tour, he didn’t plan to revisit Dream Theater material.

“As far as the music goes, this is closure for me. I don’t ever plan on revisiting Dream Theater material beyond this tour. This is the finite ending of the Dream Theater journey for me,” the skinsman explained to Metal Talk. “I’ve been doing so many other things during the last six years without touching the Dream Theater material. After I do it on this tour, I have no plans of ever revisiting it. I have so many other things in my life and career. This is the end of that career musically, but lyrically the twelve steps are something I have to have in my life for the rest of my life.”

Portnoy has gone on record about having no longing to reunite with Dream Theater and not actively looking to do so, but stated that he would do it for the fans if the opportunity arose. “I’m a very sentimental person and I have a lot of great, fond memories of those guys and the times. I’m a sentimental guy, so I would never close the door on it. So, really, the ball’s in their court, honestly. [But] if you’re asking me the odds [of a reunion happening], I would say, don’t bet on it,” stated Portnoy, when posed the question by Rockhok.

As for Petrucci, he recently told Eddie Trunk that his immediate plans are centered on European and U.S. legs for the G3 tour to kick off 2018. He added that Dream Theater likely wouldn’t get to a follow-up to The Astonishing album until later in the year and that it might be 2019 at the earliest before there would be a new album. The band spent a good portion of 2017 playing shows honoring the 25th anniversary of their landmark Images & Words album.

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