Dream Theater is a prog-metal
band founded in 1985 by John Myung, John Petrucci, and Mike Portnoy under the name Majesty
. They changed the name, but their logo is still known as the Majesty symbol. While not entirely mainstream, they are rather well known among fans of progessive rock. The inclusion of their songs in the Guitar Hero
and Rock Band
series have increased their fame, but they have still had only one song chart well enough to qualify as a "hit".
They are known for the extreme technical difficulty and complexity of their music, which often includes long instrumental interludes to showcase the skills of the band members. As such, much of it veers heavily into Epic Rocking
territory. They are also known for their live shows, which are often really long and suitably epic.
- James LaBrie (vocals)
- Jordan Rudess (keyboards)
- John Petrucci (guitar, backing vocals)
- John Myung (bass)
- Mike Mangini (drums)
- Mike Portnoy (drums, backing vocals)
- Charlie Dominici (vocals)
- Kevin Moore (keyboards)
- Derek Sherinian (keyboards)
- Chris Collins (vocals)
Studio Albums to date:
- 1989 - When Dream and Day Unite: "A Fortune in Lies", "The Ytse Jam", and "The Killing Hand"
- 1992 - Images and Words: "Pull Me Under", "Metropolis pt.1", "Learning to Live" and "Another Day"
- 1994 - Awake: "Caught in a Web", "The Mirror", "Lie", and the "A Mind Beside Itself" suite.
- 1995 - A Change of Seasons EP: "A Change of Seasons"
- 1997 - Falling into Infinity: "New Millennium", "Trial of Tears", and "Lines in the Sand"
- 1999 - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory: "Home", "The Dance of Eternity", and "The Spirit Carries On"
- 2002 - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: "The Glass Prison" and "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence"
- 2003 - Train of Thought: "As I Am", "Stream of Conciousness", and "In the Name of God"
- 2005 - Octavarium: "Panic Attack", "Sacrificed Sons", and "Octavarium"
- 2007 - Systematic Chaos: "In The Presence of Enemies", "Forsaken", and "Constant Motion"
- 2009 - Black Clouds & Silver Linings: "A Rite of Passage", "A Nightmare to Remember", and "The Count of Tuscany"
- 2011 - A Dramatic Turn Of Events: "On The Backs Of Angels", "Breaking All Illusions"
- 2013 - Dream Theater: "The Enemy Inside", "Illumination Theory"
Official Live Albums to date:note
- 1992 - Live at the Marquee
- 1997 - Once in a LIVEtime
- 2000 - Live Scenes from New York
- 2003 - Live at Budokan
- 2006 - Score
- 2008 - Chaos in Motion 2007–2008
- 2013 - Live at Luna Park
- 2014 - Breaking the Fourth Wall
There's a kind of spinoff of the band, called Liquid Tension Experiment
, which started as a solo project of Mike Portnoy, but eventually ended with 3 out of 4 members of the band, as Jordan Rudess was incorporated into DT.
This band and its music provides examples of:
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- The Band Minus the Face: Mike Portnoy founded the band, alongside Petrucci and Myung, arranged much of the music and did the recording, production and most of the interviews - not to mention maintaining and curating a vast back-catalogue of bootlegs.
- The Cameo: Jordan has appeared on a David Bowie album.
- Careful With That Axe: Most present before James experienced his vocal injury, like the scream during the build up of "Learning to Live".
- That scream is the F# just below soprano C, and is one of the highest notes James has ever reached in his entire singing career.
- The entire Live at the Marquee album, especially the Charlie Dominici songs, which he sings a whole lot higher just because he can, apparently.
- This YTMND. Listening to it right before or after Live at the Marquee is hilarious.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Back during the Images and Words/Awake era.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Jordan played a single show with the band right before Sherinian was hired, and Mike Mangini played a drum duet with Portnoy during a show in 2002.
- Fake Band: During their live shows in the Derek Sherinian era, they occasionally exchange instruments with each other and perform some Cover Versions as "Nightmare Cinema". Referenced in the "Full Circle" part of the song "Octavarium" with "Day for Nightmare Cinema" in the lyrics.
- Last Note Nightmare: Jordan's response to Mike leaving the band is in the form of a nice, quiet piano and vocal improv...until he pulls a "Her Majesty" type Scare Chord in the last 10 seconds.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly:
- Jordan Rudess has been known to experiment with some interesting instruments, including keyboards that sound like sitars and turntables, keyboard guitars, a Haken Continuumnote and even the iPhone and the iPad. He surely has a lot of toys.
- John Myung has also been known to play with a Chapman Stick instead of an ordinary bass from time to time.
- One Steve Limit: Both averted and enforced. John Petrucci and John Myung were founding members of the band, breaking the limit. However, when Kevin James LaBrie joined the band before Images and Words, he used his middle name as his stage name to avoid confusion with Kevin Moore.
- Mike Portnoy got replaced by Mike Mangini, so you still have to use a last name to describe Dream Theater's drummer when the context doesn't clear up which one you're talking about.
- Put on a Bus: Charlie Dominici and Derek Sherinian. Although both of them returned as guests for the anniversary concert of When Dream and Day Unite in 2004.
- Their first vocalist, Chris Collins, got this treatment as well. The band were already pissed at him for his poor vocal range, inconsistent live performances, and bad behaviour on stage, which culminated in an incident where Collins was introducing the band and insulted Myung, referring to him as being "from the jungles of Korea". The band ultimately forced him to leave, and ended up replacing him with Charlie Dominici.
- Soprano and Gravel: Mike Portnoy sometimes used a deeper voice than James LaBrie on songs such as "A Nightmare to Remember" and "Prophets of War". The version of "The Spirit Carries On" on both Live Scenes from New York and Score features vocals from Theresa Thomason, and also in their version of "The Great Gig in the Sky".
- Supergroup: Each of the members has been involved with one at some point. For fun, look up any of the members on That Other Wiki and check the "Associated Acts" section of the info-box. To list a few (there are a lot):
- We Really Do Care: James LaBrie contemplated quitting the band after he got really bad food poisoning, which led to him vomiting his guts out, which led to damage to his vocal cords that were never quite the same. The rest of the band talked him out of it.
- Animated Music Video: "Forsaken", from Systematic Chaos.
- Wham Line: "Open your eyes, Nicholas"
- Echoing Acoustics: The electronically-triggered snare and kick Mike Portnoy was forced to use on Images and Words by producer David Prater.
- Fan Community Nickname: European fans refer to themselves as "Dreamers". North American fans are the "North American Dream Squad" (shortened to NADS).
- Homage: There is a suspicious similarity between the story told in "In the Presence of Enemies" and the plot of the Korean comic Priest... comparison of the Forsaken EP CD cover with one of the comic's volume covers might also help.
- Not to mention the fact that John Petrucci outright admitted he was inspired by reading Priest.
- Rick Roll: Never gonna wither you up. It works so well you'll never listen to "Wither" again without thinking of Rick Astley.