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Mike Portnoy Peforms Dream Theater’s ’12 Step Suite’ Live on Cruise to the Edge

Last summer, world-renowned drummer Mike Portnoy hatched some special 50th birthday plans. He revealed he would be performing Dream Theater‘s “12 Step Suite” live for the first time ever aboard the Cruise to the Edge. The event, dubbed Shattered Fortress, saw a number of guests join the drummer onstage over the weekend.

The “12 Step Suite” consists of five songs that were released across five separate Dream Theater albums and were inspired by Portnoy’s experience in Alcoholics Anonymous. Backing the drummer was bassist Conner Green (Haken), guitarists Richard Henshall (Haken), Charlie Griffiths (Haken) and Eric Gillette (Neal Morse Band) as well as keyboardist Diego Tejeida (Haken). The vocal duties were shared with Ross Jennings (Haken) singing on “The Glass Prison” (video above) and “The Shattered Fortress,” Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation, Transatlantic) on “This Dying Soul,” Ted Leonard (Spock’s Beard) on “The Root of All Evil” and Portnoy handling lead vocals himself on “Repentence.”

Prior to the event, Portnoy expressed his regret that he never had the opportunity to perform the “12 Step Suite” live while he was still a member of Dream Theater. The drummer opened the door for this to happen in any capacity, stating that “all four Dream Theater guys have an open invitation to join me on the cruise. I would love nothing more than for them to be there with me.” Despite this, no members of Dream Theater joined in on the exclusive event.

In addition to this performance, Portnoy’s band Liquid Tension Experiment also played on the cruise. Tejeida and Gillette were both involved in this set as well as legendary bassist Tony Levin (King Crimson).

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