|Img Capt:||Dream Theater performing live in 2011.|
|Origin:||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Genre:||Progressive metal, progressive rock|
|Label:||Roadrunner, Warner Bros., Atlantic, Elektra, EastWest, Atco, Mechanic|
|Current Members:||John Petrucci|
|Past Members:||Mike Portnoy|
Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to further concentrate on the band that would ultimately become Dream Theater. Though a number of lineup changes followed, the three original members remained together along with James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess until September 8, 2010 when Portnoy left the band. In October 2010, the band held auditions for Portnoy's replacement drummer. Mike Mangini was announced as the new permanent drummer on April 29, 2011.
The band is well known for the technical proficiency of its instrumentalists, who have won many awards from music instruction magazines. Guitarist John Petrucci has been named as the third player on the G3 tour six times, more than any invited players. In 2009 he was named the No. 2 best metal guitarist by Joel McIver in his book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. He was also named as one of the "Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time" by GuitarOne magazine. Former drummer Mike Portnoy has won 23 awards from Modern Drummer magazine and is also the second youngest person (at the age of 37) to be inducted into the Rock Drummer Hall of Fame. His replacement Mike Mangini has also previously set 5 WFD records. John Myung was voted the greatest bassist of all time in a poll conducted by MusicRadar in August through September 2010. The band was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
The band's highest-selling album is the gold-selling Images and Words (1992), which reached #61 on the Billboard 200 chart. Both the 1994 release Awake and their 2002 release Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence also entered the charts at #32 and #46 respectively and received mostly positive reviews. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence also led to Dream Theater becoming the initial band reviewed in the music section of Entertainment Weekly during its opening week of release, despite the magazine generally preferring more mainstream music. In 2007, Systematic Chaos entered U.S. Billboard 200 at #19. By 2008, Dream Theater had sold over 2.1 million albums in the U.S. and by 2011, over 12 million records worldwide.
The band's eleventh studio album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events, was released on September 13, 2011. It entered the U.S. Billboard 200 at #8, two positions lower than their previous release Black Clouds & Silver Linings and entered the UK Rock Chart at #1. The album is the band's first with Mike Mangini, since Mike Portnoy's departure. On November 30, 2011 it was announced that On the Backs of Angels was nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance" category, marking the band's first ever Grammy nomination.
Dream Theater was formed in Massachusetts in 1985 when guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung, and drummer Mike Portnoy decided to form a band while attending the Berklee College of Music. The trio started by covering Rush and Iron Maiden songs in the rehearsal rooms at Berklee.
Myung, Petrucci, and Portnoy joined together on the name Majesty for their newly formed group. According to the The Score So Far... documentary, they were waiting in line for tickets to a Rush concert at the Berklee Performance Center while listening to the band on a boom box. Portnoy commented that the ending of the song "Bastille Day" (from the album Caress of Steel) sounded "majestic". It was then decided that Majesty would be the band's name.
The trio then set out to fill the remaining positions in the group. Petrucci asked his high school band-mate Kevin Moore to play the keyboard. After he accepted the position, another friend from home, Chris Collins, was recruited as lead vocalist after band members heard him sing a cover of "Queen of the Reich" by Queensrÿche. During this time, Portnoy, Petrucci, and Myung's hectic schedules forced them to abandon their studies to concentrate on their music, as they did not feel they could learn more in college. Moore also left his college, SUNY Fredonia, to concentrate on the band.
The beginning months of 1986 were filled with various concert dates in and around the New York City area. During this time, the band recorded a collection of demos, titled The Majesty Demos. The initial run of 1,000 sold out within six months, and dubbed copies of the cassette became popular within the progressive metal scene. The Majesty Demos are still available in their original tape format today, despite being released officially on CD, through Mike Portnoy's YtseJam Records.
In November 1986, after a few months of writing and performing together, Chris Collins was fired. After a year of trying to find a replacement, Charlie Dominici, who was far older and more experienced than anyone else in the band, successfully auditioned for the group. With the stability that Dominici's appointment brought to Majesty, they began to increase the number of shows played in the New York City area, gaining a considerable amount of exposure.
Shortly after hiring Dominici, a Las Vegas group also named Majesty threatened legal action for intellectual property infringement related to the use of their name, so the band was forced to adopt a new moniker. Various possibilities were proposed and tested, among them Glasser, Magus, and M1, which were all rejected, though the band did go as Glasser for about a week, though fans reacted poorly to this decision. Eventually, Portnoy's father suggested the name Dream Theater, the name of a small theater he ran in Monterey, California, and the name stuck.
With their new name and band stability, Dream Theater concentrated on writing more material while playing more concerts in New York and in neighboring states. This eventually attracted the attention of Mechanic Records, a division of MCA. Dream Theater signed their first record contract with Mechanic on June 23, 1988 and set out to record their debut album. The band recorded the album at Kajem Victory Studios in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. Recording the basic tracks took about 10 days, and the entire album was completed in about 3 weeks.
When Dream and Day Unite was released in 1989 to far less fanfare than the band had anticipated. Mechanic ended up breaking the majority of the financial promises they had made to Dream Theater prior to signing their contract, so the band was restricted to playing around New York City. The promotional tour for the album consisted of just five concerts, all of which were relatively local. Their first show was at Sundance in Bay Shore, New York opening for the classic rock power trio Zebra.
After the fourth show, Charlie Dominici was let go because the band was starting to feel the limitations of his voice based upon the vocal style they wanted. The band was looking for more of a Bruce Dickinson/Geoff Tate type of singer, and his stage presence was not what they wanted for a front man. Shortly after, however, the band Marillion asked Dream Theater to open for them at a gig at the Ritz in New York, so Dominici was given the opportunity to perform one last time. It would be another two years before Dream Theater had a replacement vocalist.
In January 1991, Kevin James LaBrie, of glam metal band Winter Rose, was flown from Canada to New York for an audition. LaBrie jammed on three songs with the band, and was immediately hired to fill the vocalist position. Once recruited, LaBrie decided to drop his first name to avoid confusion with the other Kevin in the band. For the next few months, the band returned to playing live shows (still mostly around NYC), while working on vocal parts for the music written before acquiring LaBrie. Derek Shulman and Atco Records (now EastWest), a division of Elektra Records, signed Dream Theater to a seven album contract based on a three song demo (later made available as "The Atco Demos" through the Dream Theater fan club).
The first album to be recorded under their new record contract was 1992's Images and Words. For promotion, the label released a CD Single and video clip for the song "Another Day", but neither made significant commercial impact. The song "Pull Me Under", however, managed to garner a high level of radio airplay without any organized promotion from the band or their label. In response, ATCO produced a video clip for "Pull Me Under", which saw heavy rotation on MTV. A third video clip was produced for "Take the Time", but it was not nearly as successful as "Pull Me Under".
The success of "Pull Me Under", combined with relentless touring throughout the U.S. and Japan, caused Images and Words to achieve gold record certification in the States and platinum status in Japan. A tour of Europe followed in 1993, which included a show at London's famed Marquee Club. The show was recorded and released as Live at the Marquee, Dream Theater's first official live album. Additionally, a video compilation of their Japanese concerts (mixed in with documentary-style footage of the off-stage portion of the tour) was released as .
Eager to work on fresh material, Dream Theater retreated to the studio in May 1994. Awake, Dream Theater's third studio album, was released on October 4, 1994 in a hail of controversy among fans. Shortly before the album was mixed, Moore announced to the rest of the band that he was simply no longer interested in touring, nor did he favor the style of music Dream Theater performed and would be quitting Dream Theater to concentrate on his own musical interests. As a result, the band had to scramble to find a replacement keyboardist before a tour could be considered.
Jens Johansson, who would go on to become a member of Stratovarius, was among the biggest names to audition, however the band members were eager to fill the position with keyboardist Jordan Rudess. Portnoy and Petrucci had come across Rudess in Keyboard Magazine, where he was recognized as "best new talent" in the readers' poll. The two invited him to play a trial gig with the band at the Concrete Foundations Forum in Burbank, California. For the members of Dream Theater, the show went incredibly well, and Rudess was asked to fill the keyboardist position permanently, however Rudess opted to tour with The Dixie Dregs instead, since it granted him more personal latitude. Dream Theater hired fellow Berklee alumnus Derek Sherinian, who had previously toured and recorded with Alice Cooper and KISS, to fill in for the Awake promotional tour. By the conclusion of the tour, the band decided to take Sherinian on as Moore's full-time replacement.
Once again finding themselves with a new member, Dream Theater did not immediately start working on new material. Fans around the world, united on the YtseJam Mailing List (the most popular form of communication between Dream Theater fans at that point), had started placing pressure on the band to officially release the song "A Change of Seasons". It had been written in 1989 and was intended to be a part of Images and Words, but at almost 17 minutes, it was deemed too long for studio placement. However, the band did perform it live on occasion while continuing to revise it in the years leading up to 1995.
The petition was successful, and the group entered BearTracks Studios in New York in May 1995 to rewrite and record the 23 minute song with Sherinian contributing significantly to the final product. To disseminate "A Change of Seasons", the band released it as an EP along with a collection of cover songs recorded live at a show they played at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London earlier that year.
After a short run of small concerts to promote A Change of Seasons, Dream Theater took a break for a few months. To keep busy, however, the band released a special Christmas CD through their official fan club, consisting of rare live tracks recorded during the band's early years. They continued releasing a new CD each Christmas until 2005. Also during the break the individual members set out to write compositions for their upcoming collaborative writing sessions.
Meanwhile, there were several changes at EastWest, and Dream Theater's main contact within the label was fired. As a result, the new team at the company were unaccustomed to the relationship Dream Theater had with former EastWest personnel, and they pressured them to write an album that was more accessible. In mid-1997, they entered the studio to write their next album. In addition to pressuring the band to adopt a more mainstream sound, EastWest recruited writer/producer Desmond Child to work with Petrucci on polishing the lyrics to his song "You or Me". The whole band substantially reworked the music to the song, and it appeared on the album as "You Not Me" with a chorus that was barely reminiscent of the original. Child also had a noticeable impact on the album, with a shift towards compositions that were less complex and more radio-friendly.
The band wrote almost two CDs worth of material, including a 20 minute long follow-up to the Images and Words song "Metropolis Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper". The label, however, did not allow the release of a double album because it felt that a 140-minute record would not be digestible by the general public. James LaBrie also felt that the CD should be a single disc. The unused songs were later released in the Ytsejam Records release The Falling into Infinity Demos.
The material that made it onto the album proper was released as Falling into Infinity, which received a mixed reception from fans who were more familiar with the band's earlier sound. While the album was moderately progressive-sounding, tracks such as "Hollow Years" and "You Not Me" prompted some to believe it was the dawn of a new, mainstream-sounding Dream Theater. Overall, the album was both a critical and commercial disappointment. Although Portnoy did not speak out publicly at the time, many years later, in the 2004 DVD commentary for 5 Years in a Livetime, he revealed that he had been so discouraged during this period he'd considered disbanding Dream Theater altogether.
During the European leg of the Touring into Infinity world tour, two shows were recorded for a live album entitled Once in a LIVEtime, in France and The Netherlands. The album was released at around the same time as the video 5 Years in a Livetime, which chronicled the time from when Kevin Moore left the band up to the Falling into Infinity promotional tour.
In 1997, Magna Carta Records' Mike Varney invited Portnoy to assemble a progressive 'supergroup' to work on an album, which would become the first in a long string of side-projects for the members of Dream Theater. The lineup consisted of Portnoy on drums, Petrucci on guitar, Tony Levin on bass, and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, who had finished with the Dixie Dregs. The band assumed the name Liquid Tension Experiment, and would act as a medium through which Portnoy and Petrucci could once again court Rudess to join Dream Theater. In 1999, he accepted an offer to become the third full-time Dream Theater keyboardist, replacing Sherinian.
With yet another new member, Dream Theater entered BearTracks Studio once again to write and record their next album. As a result of an ultimatum from Portnoy, the label gave the band complete creative control. The follow-up to "Metropolis Part 1", which was written during the Falling Into Infinity sessions (but not used on that album), was taken off the shelf for reworking. They decided to expand the 20-minute song into a complete concept album, with a story revolving around themes such as reincarnation, murder and betrayal. To avoid stirring up the fan base, a tight veil of secrecy enveloped the writing and recording process. The only things fans were privy to prior to its release were a track list that had been leaked against the band's wishes, and a release date. In 1999, was released to high critical acclaim. It was hailed as Dream Theater's masterpiece by many fans and critics alike, despite only reaching #73 on the US album chart.
The album was mixed by David Bottrill, but only a few of his mixes made it on the final album. The bulk was remixed by Kevin Shirley. The rest of the mixes can be heard in the band's official bootleg "The Making of Scenes from a Memory".
A massive world tour followed recording the album, taking over a year to complete, by far their largest to that point. The concerts reflected the theatrical aspect of the album. They played the entire Scenes From a Memory album from start to finish, with a video screen on the back wall of the stage showing a narrative companion to the story of the album. In addition to playing the album in its entirety, the band also played a second set of Dream Theater songs, as well as a few covers and improvisations of old Dream Theater material.For one extra special show, at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, actors were hired to play characters in the story, and a gospel choir was enlisted to perform in some sections of the performance.
This show, the last North American date of the tour, was recorded for the band's first DVD release. After many technical delays, the DVD, titled Metropolis 2000, was released in early 2001. Shortly after, the band announced that an audio version of the concert, with the entire four-hour long set-list (some of which had to be cut from the DVD to save space), would be released.
The cover for the CD version of the concert, titled Live Scenes from New York, depicted one of Dream Theater's early logos (the Images and Words-era burning heart, modeled on the Sacred Heart of Christ) modified to show an apple (as in "Big Apple") instead of the heart, and the New York skyline, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in the flame above it. In an unfortunate coincidence, the album was released on the same date as the September 11 attacks. The album was quickly recalled by the band and was re-released with revised artwork later, though some copies were sold, and have since become rare collectors items for fans.
Putting the whole ordeal behind them, Dream Theater once again entered BearTracks Studios to record their sixth studio album. Four years after they first petitioned EastWest to allow them to release a double album, they finally got their chance with Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. The first disc consisted of five tracks of 7–13 minutes in length, and the second disc was devoted entirely to the 42-minute title track, which is to date the longest song Dream Theater has written. The genesis of that song came when Rudess wrote what would become the "Overture" section of "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", and the band took some different melodies and ideas contained within it and expanded them into chapters of a complete story.
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence ended up being received very well by critics and the press. It was the most publicized of Dream Theater's albums since Awake, debuting on the Billboard charts at #46 and the Billboard Internet charts at #1. Throughout the next year and a half they toured the world once more, with an expanded live show including a select few special "album cover" gigs (see Cover songs section, below), in which they played Metallica's Master of Puppets and Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast in their entirety.
During 2003, Dream Theater entered the studio to write and record another album. Since Scenes from a Memory was written and recorded simultaneously in the studio, in the spirit of change, the band took a different approach by setting aside three weeks for writing prior to recording. In the middle of the recording sessions for the album, a special tour with two other progressive metal bands, Queensrÿche and Fates Warning, was undertaken in North America. The "Escape from the Studio American tour", as it was referred to in Dream Theater's promotional material, featured Queensrÿche and Dream Theater as co-headlining acts with Fates Warning performing supporting act duties. As a finale for each concert there was an extended encore in which both Dream Theater and Queensrÿche performed together on stage simultaneously, often playing cover songs.
At the completion of the tour, Dream Theater returned to the studio to finish the recording of their seventh album, Train of Thought, the follow-up to sixth double disc album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. They concentrated more on writing a great song-oriented album, a mindset inspired by covering Master of Puppets and Number of the Beast on their previous concert tour. As a result, the more straightforward metal sound of those two albums seemed to creep into Train of Thought. The album was a critical success, but it alienated a fair proportion of Dream Theater's fans who preferred traditional progressive rock, such as Yes or King Crimson. Regardless, it seemed to expand Dream Theater's fan base into new territory, capturing many more metal fans.
Another world tour followed, during which Dream Theater performed support act duties for one of their major influences, Yes. A modest North American tour was completed by the two bands, after which Dream Theater continued to tour the world with their so-called "An Evening With Dream Theater" shows.
Their next move was to release another live CD/DVD combination, this time recorded at the famous Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan on their Train of Thought World Tour. Live at Budokan was released on October 5, 2004.
Upon the completion of their Train of Thought promotional tour, Dream Theater entered the Hit Factory studios in NYC to record their eighth album. As it turned out, they would be the last group ever to record in that famous studio, and after they wrapped up their final session, the lights were turned off at the studio forever.
Octavarium was released on June 7, 2005, and took the band's sound in yet another new direction. Among its eight songs is a continuation of Portnoy's "Twelve-step" saga ("The Root of All Evil", steps 6-7 in the 12-step plan), as well as the title track, a musically versatile 24 minute epic rivaling "A Change of Seasons". Octavarium received mixed reviews from fans and has been the subject of spirited debate. Octavarium was the last album under their seven-album deal with Elektra Records, which had inherited the contract upon its absorption of EastWest Records.
Dream Theater toured extensively throughout 2005 and 2006 to celebrate their 20th Anniversary as a band, including a headlining spot on Gigantour alongside Megadeth and put together by frontman Dave Mustaine, also featuring Fear Factory, Nevermore and Symphony X. During a show on August 2, 2005 in Dallas, the band paid tribute to Pantera's late guitarist Dimebag Darrell by performing the song "Cemetery Gates" as an encore. In addition was the unexpected appearance of fellow musicians Russell Allen (Symphony X vocalist), Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory vocalist) and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth vocalist/guitarist), who joined the band on stage to perform parts of the song.
Dream Theater later departed from Gigantour a few dates before it ended and continued on with their own series of concerts. Several concerts were recorded and released for the Fanclubs. The 20th anniversary tour concluded with a show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 1, 2006. Though the show had minimal promotion, it was sold out days after tickets were made available. This show, which was recorded for a CD/DVD called Score released on August 29, 2006 through Rhino Records, was the band's first concert accompanied by an orchestra (the "Octavarium Orchestra").
After the show at Radio City Music Hall, the band decided to take the summer off for the first time in the band's career. Dream Theater later entered Avatar Studios in September 2006 to record their follow up to 2005's Octavarium, once again being self produced by John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy, with legendary Studio Engineer, Paul Northfield handling engineering and mixing duties. Dream Theater's 9th studio album, Systematic Chaos was released on June 5, 2007. The record marked their first with new label Roadrunner Records, a subsidiary of the band's previous label Atlantic Records. Roadrunner implemented increased promotion for the album, and as a result, Systematic Chaos reached number 19 on the Billboard 200. It also saw the release of a video for "Constant Motion" on July 14, the band's first music video since Hollow Years in 1997. An authorized book entitled Lifting Shadows, detailing their first twenty years, was also released in 2007, with an updated and expanded edition released in 2009 Systematic Chaos contains eight tracks, but technically only seven songs. The album contains an epic titled "In the Presence of Enemies", bookending the album as tracks 1 and 8, Portnoy's continuing AA Saga with the song "Repentance", and a song of political nature, "Prophets of War".
The 2007/2008 Chaos In Motion World Tour started off in Italy. Dream Theater played in the Gods of Metal concert on June 3, 2007. Dream Theater also appeared at the Fields Of Rock Festival in the Netherlands on June 17, 2007. They also played at various other European festivals including the UK's Download Festival and the French festival Hellfest Summer Open Air with other bands such as Megadeth, Korn, Mastodon and Slayer.
Dream Theater returned to perform the North American leg of the tour on July 24 in San Diego, California and wrapped up on August 26 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They played with opening acts Redemption and Into Eternity. The "Chaos In Motion" tour continued for the rest of the year and into 2008, playing shows in Asia, South America and, for the first time, Australia.
On April 1, 2008, a two-disc compilation album entitled Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) was released by the band. The title jokingly references the song "Pull Me Under", the band's only significant radio hit. It also includes three song re-mixes from their second album, Images and Words, five edited versions of previously released songs, and a track from a single B-side. Unlike most greatest hits compilations, Dream Theater was actively involved with the album, coming up with the tracklisting that they felt best represented their musical careers.
Mike Portnoy, after the release of Greatest Hit, organized a new tour called Progressive Nation 2008. Unlike previous Dream Theater tours, performances were held in cities that they had not visited before in the past (such as Vancouver, Canada) or cities they had not played in for several years. This tour also marked the first time, since the release of Images and Words, where the group performed in small venues and performance halls.
After this tour, the band released a DVD set called Chaos in Motion 2007–2008, a compilation of songs from the tour supporting their 9th album, Systematic Chaos. There were two sets of DVDs released. One was a regular two disk set while the Special Edition set contained three CDs of music that went along with the DVDs. It was released on September 30, 2008.
On October 7, 2008, Dream Theater again entered Avatar Studios to begin work on their 10th album, resuming their relationship with Paul Northfield to engineer and mix the record. The album, titled Black Clouds & Silver Linings, was released on June 23, 2009. In addition to the standard CD, the album is available on vinyl LP, as well as a 3-disc Special Edition CD that includes the full album, a CD of instrumental mixes of the album and a CD of six cover songs from artists such as Queen and Rainbow. On July 1, 2009, the album debuted at #6 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart, with first week sales totalling 40,285, making their highest entry on the chart.
Mike Portnoy spoke to Metal Hammer about the new album and commented the song 'The Shattered Fortress' was the last in a series of songs about his 12 Steps recovery from alcoholism, 'The Best of Times' "is a real heavy personal subject about my dad who passed away during the making of the album," adding, "He was battling cancer throughout its making."
The band also embarked on a second Progressive Nation tour, including the tour's first performances in Europe. Opeth, Unexpect and Bigelf supported Dream Theater in Europe, while Zappa Plays Zappa, Pain Of Salvation, and Beardfish were slated to perform on the North American leg. However, Pain of Salvation and Beardfish were unable to tour with Dream Theater and Zappa Plays Zappa because of financial troubles within their respective record labels. The two new bands that filled the vacated slots for the Progressive Nation 2009 tour in North America were Bigelf and Scale The Summit with Bigelf performing on both European and North American legs.
After the Progressive Nation Tour, Dream Theater entered the studio right after New Year's Eve to write and record a brand new instrumental track for inclusion on the God of War III soundtrack EP . Titled "Raw Dog", God (of) War reversed, the instrumental was sent to Roadrunner Records January 8, 2010. This marked the first time that the band has written and recorded an exclusive track for an outside project. "Raw Dog" includes the first ever commercially recorded harpejji track, performed by Jordan Rudess, as well as Dream Theaters final recorded performance with Mike Portnoy on drums. In December 2009, during their Black Clouds & Silver Linings tour whilst visiting Australia, Dream Theater appeared with one support act, Pain of Salvation. In March 2010, they toured South America with Bigelf. Afterwards, during the summer of 2010, Dream Theater supported Iron Maiden on the US and Canadian legs of their summer tour which were the last shows DT played during 2010.
On Wednesday, September 8, 2010, Mike Portnoy announced he had left Dream Theater. Portnoy had recently finished recording Avenged Sevenfold's most recent studio album, "Nightmare" in place of their late drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan and appeared to have a stint with Avenged Sevenfold after his departure from Dream Theater. After the members of Avenged Sevenfold decided to continue on without Portnoy, he went back to the members of DT to try to reconcile. However, the band had already moved on by then and found a replacement for Portnoy.
Auditions to find a new drummer begun in October. An interview with James LaBrie conducted on October 8, 2010 confirmed that there were seven world-class drummers lined up for auditions, which would be taking place through the rest of October. On January 3, John Petrucci stated on his Twitter account that Dream Theater entered the studio to begin recording their eleventh album, but still had not revealed who the new drummer was. Two months later, Petrucci posted on his Facebook page that the band had finished writing the next album and would soon begin the tracking process.
On March 17, 2011, John Petrucci addressed on his forum page, since there was frustration among the fan base about who the new drummer was, he commented: "I appreciate everyone's patience regarding the announcement (or lack thereof!) of DT's new drummer. I know it has been very frustrating to have to wait for the news. Believe me, we are busting at the seams to tell everyone and rest assured that our decision will not disappoint on any level!".
On April 21, 2011, the band released a trailer for an upcoming documentary, entitled "The Spirit Carries On", in reference to a song from the album "Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory, about the search for their new drummer. This trailer revealed the seven drummers who auditioned; Mike Mangini, Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Peter Wildoer, Thomas Lang, Derek Roddy and Aquiles Priester. On Friday April 29, 2011, Dream Theater revealed over YouTube, in the third and final episode of the documentary, that they chose Mike Mangini as Portnoy's replacement.
On May 24, 2011, John Petrucci announced that they would be working with legendary producer Andy Wallace for mixing the album. On June 7, 2011, John Petrucci revealed over Facebook and Twitter that the title of the band's upcoming album would be A Dramatic Turn of Events. A track listing of the new album was revealed on June 8, 2011. On June 28, 2011 Mixing and mastering of the album had been completed, and on the following day released their first single from the album, "On the Backs of Angels".
After it first week of release, it sold 36,000 copies to land at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 charts, 2 positions lower than their previous release Black Clouds & Silver Linings, which debuted at No. 6.
Despite the band's being forced to change their name, Dream Theater adopted a custom logo (known as the Majesty symbol) and wordmark which has appeared on the vast majority of their promotional material and on the front cover of almost every Dream Theater studio album. The Majesty symbol is derived from Mary, Queen of Scots' mark,  which was re-worked by Charlie Dominici for use on the album artwork for When Dream and Day Unite.
In September 2010, a fan of Dream Theater discovered that all of the letters of "DOMINICI" fit together perfectly into the Majesty symbol. When Charlie discovered this, he laughed and mentioned that "it only took them 25 years to figure out the 'Dominici Code!'" This has earlier also been discovered as shown on the comment section of DTFAQ and in the DTNorway Podcast Episode 2 from 2008, with Charlie Dominici.
Dream Theater is well noted for being one of the early progenitors of the progressive metal genre. The original members, John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy have strong influences from bands such as Rush, Yes, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, various speed metal bands, and even the hair metal of the day. This synthesis created a unique metal that was not traditional of the day: it had distorted guitars and fast riffing, but the music focused more on technical proficiency and precise execution than on heavy metal riffs. The band's music has focused on three main elements: metal, melody, and progressive roots.
Throughout their career, Dream Theater's live shows have gradually become bigger, longer, and more diverse. The most obvious example of this is their rotational set list policy. That is, every single night of every tour has had its set list devised by Portnoy using a meticulous process that ensures its uniqueness. Factors such as set lists from previous cities are taken into account to ensure that people who see Dream Theater multiple times within the same area will not see the same songs performed twice, and even the set list from the last time the band was in a particular city is taken into account for the benefit of fans who see the band on successive tours.
For this to be possible, the band prepared to play the majority of its catalogue at any performance, depending on what Portnoy decided to program for that night. This process also required the employment of a complex lighting system to load pre-configured lighting cues based on the individual songs.
Some of Dream Theater's more notable touring partners include Porcupine Tree, Symphony X, Between The Buried And Me, Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Iron Maiden, The Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani, King's X, Marillion, Megadeth, In Flames, Pain of Salvation, Opeth, Queensrÿche, Riverside, Spock's Beard, Fear Factory, Enchant, 3, Yes and Zappa Plays Zappa. In 2005, Dream Theater toured North America with the Gigantour festival, co-headlining with Megadeth, and have played with Megadeth and Iron Maiden physically on stage.
The band's full world tours, since Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, have predominantly been so-called "Evening with..." tours, in which the band performs for at least three hours with an intermission and no opening act. The show that was recorded for Live Scenes From New York was nearly four hours in length, and resulted in Portnoy almost being hospitalized after acquiring severe food poisoning from the food he ate before the show. 
There is also a significant amount of humor, casualness, and improvisation attached to a Dream Theater concert. In the midst of "A Change of Seasons" it is quite common for themes such as those for Major League Baseball and The Simpsons to be quoted, and Rudess routinely modifies his solo section in the song and others, often playing the ragtime section of "When the Water Breaks" from Liquid Tension Experiment 2. Several songs included on Once in a LIVETime include snippets of others' pieces, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee." Other quotations include "Mary Had a Little Lamb" during "Endless Sacrifice" on the Gigantour, a calliope-inspired break between verses of "Under a Glass Moon", a quote of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina"'s main melody played by Petrucci while performing the intro solo of "Through Her Eyes" in Buenos Aires, the Turkish March at a concert in Istanbul, and the opening riff of Rush's "A Passage to Bangkok" at a show in Bangkok, Thailand. On the "20th Anniversary World Tour" Rudess has even thrown in a short "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" theme in a break during "Endless Sacrifice", and during a concert in Israel he started a spontaneous "Hava-Nagilla" later accompanied by the rest of the band.
Occasionally, a member of the audience is picked at random to perform on stage, an example of which can be seen during Portnoy's drum solo on the Live at Budokan DVD. There have also been many impromptu renditions of "Happy Birthday" when a member of the band or crew has a birthday corresponding to a tour date, which normally results in a birthday cake being thrown at the subject.
Perhaps the best example of Dream Theater's unpredictable concert structure is that during Derek Sherinian's time with the band. At selected shows the band members all swapped instruments and performed an encore as the fictitious band dubbed Nightmare Cinema. They usually performed a cover of Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers", and, on one occasion, Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide Solution". At some shows, Sherinian, Petrucci and Portnoy would take the stage together under the name "Nicky Lemons and the Migraine Brothers". Sherinian, wearing a feather boa and novelty sunglasses, would perform a pop-punk song entitled "I Don't Like You" with Petrucci and Portnoy backing. In Chaos in Motion tour, in several concerts before "Trial of Tears", Portnoy and Petrucci would change positions and play.
Dream Theater's largest audience as a headlining act was 20,000 in Santiago, Chile on December 6, 2005. This was during their first tour of South American countries other than Brazil (which they had visited in 1997 and 1998). The show was released on DVD through Portnoy's YtseJam Records.
In the Score and Chaos in Motion DVDs, an animation has accompanied certain parts of the songs, showing the band playing along to the music as cartoon characters. On the Score DVD, during the song Octavarium, the band is seen performing in an octagonal shaped maze. As the animation continues Jordan Rudess spontaneously turns into Santa Claus and John Petrucci catches fire. In "The Dark Eternal Night" from the Chaos in Motion DVD, the band battles against a monster by shooting fireballs from guitars, throwing drum sticks, and screaming.
In 2007, after their show in Salt Lake City on July 30, Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. signed a proclamation officially marking July 30, 2007 as Dream Theater Day in the state of Utah.
In 2008 Dream Theater started the "Progressive Nation '08" tour, along with Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, and 3. The tour is the brainchild of Mike Portnoy, who stated, "I've been wanting to assemble a package tour like this for many years now. With all of the festivals and package tours that go through America, I've been talking with our manager and agent for over 10 years now about doing something that focuses on the more progressive, musician-oriented side of hard rock and metal. I decided it was time to stop talking the talk, lace up and finally walk the walk."
On February 13, 2009, Dream Theater announced the official line up for their Progressive Nation 2009 tour. The tour was originally set to feature bands including Swedish bands Beardfish and Pain of Salvation, as well as Zappa plays Zappa. On June 22, 2009, Mike Portnoy announced that Pain of Salvation and Beardfish would not be touring the North American leg of the Progressive Nation 2009 tour because of record label complications. In the same announcement, Portnoy stated that the bands Scale the Summit and Bigelf would replace Pain of Salvation and Beardfish on the tour. This lineup change has put Bigelf on both the North American and European legs of the Progressive Nation 2009 tour. The tour's North American leg ran throughout July and August 2009. On March 26, 2009 it was announced that Dream Theater would take the Progressive Nation tour to Europe for the first time alongside Opeth, Bigelf and Unexpect. The tour ran throughout September and October 2009.
In June/July 2010 Dream Theater were the opening band for Iron Maiden during the first leg of their Final Frontier Tour which included Madison Square Garden as one of the many venues. On December 7, 2010, Dream Theater announced on their website that they would be headlining the High Voltage Festival alongside Judas Priest in 2011. In July 2011 they started a new tour to promote their newest release.
Dream Theater has covered other artists' work throughout their career. During the promotional tour for Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, during shows in Barcelona, Chicago and New York City, they covered Metallica's "Master of Puppets" album in its entirety after a full set of Dream Theater material.
On the next leg of the tour they covered Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast" and received a similar reaction to Master of Puppets, although it was already known that a cover was to be performed that night because the tour itinerary included two successive gigs in a single city. On October 11, 2005, Dream Theater covered. Dream Theater's official webpage stated that the second sets of the second nights in Amsterdam, London, Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Tokyo (October 11, October 25, December 4, December 11 and January 13 respectively), and also the second set of the January 15 show in Osaka, would be a classic album covered in its entirety. The Dark Side of the Moon was played again on October 25 in London. However, in Buenos Aires (December 4) and São Paulo (December 11) the 'classic album' played was Dream Theater's own , to make up for not having visited Argentina and Brazil in their Metropolis 2000 tour. On January 13, 2006 (Tokyo) and on the 15th (Osaka), Dream Theater covered Deep Purple's live album Made in Japan. Portnoy said that he had planned one more cover show, but refused to reveal when it would occur, or what album would be covered.
During Gigantour 2005, Dream Theater did a cover of Pantera's "Cemetery Gates" as a tribute to "Dimebag" Darrell Lance Abbott. As an added bonus, they had Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, and Russell Allen of Symphony X do guest vocals and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, do the main solo for the song.
In March 2006, Dream Theater played the Rush song "Jacob's Ladder" at a show in Toronto. John Petrucci said a few days later in Asbury Park, New Jersey, prior to the night's show, that "Rush wouldn't play it, so we thought we'd play it for them."
In addition, Dream Theater performed several live cover songs on their EP A Change of Seasons, including songs from Elton John, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Queen, Journey, Dixie Dregs, and Genesis.
In 2008, they recorded a version of Iron Maiden's "To Tame a Land" for a Kerrang magazine compilation entitled Maiden Heaven. This song was later included on the special edition of Black Clouds and Silver Linings.
Dream Theater also recorded a number of cover songs for their 2009 album Black Clouds & Silver Linings. The songs came as a bonus disc in the special editions version of the album.
Dream Theater have released a series of official bootlegs, demos and other rarities through YtseJam Records, headed by Portnoy.
See main article: Dream Theater discography.
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Jordan Rudess was awarded the following Keyboard Magazine Reader's Poll award:
Jordan Rudess was awarded:
The album was ranked #95 on the magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time.
John Petrucci won Guitarist of the year award (2007)
In 2009, Dream Theater were placed on the Top 10 in Ultimate Guitar's The Greatest Metal Bands of the Decade.
Dream Theater won The Spirit of Prog Award at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour 2009 in London.  They were also nominated for the Album of the Year Award for their album, Black Clouds & Silver Linings in 2009, but lost to AC/DC's Black Ice.
In July 25, 2011, Dream Theater were placed on the list "The Best Prog Rock Bands of All Time", chosen by the Rolling Stone Magazine's readers poll.
John Myung, from August through September 2010, was voted the greatest bassist of all time. In the same time frame, Mike Portnoy was voted the second best drummer ever, losing out to Joey Jordison. In December 2010, James LaBrie was voted the 15th best frontman of all time (with Axl Rose coming first and Freddie Mercury in second). Jordan Rudess was voted the best keyboardist of all time in a poll conducted from June to July this year, with John Petrucci coming second in a shred-guitarist poll conducted in May this year (losing out to Al Di Meola.