Dream Theater laughed about the idea of selling tissues at their first show with returned drummer Mike Portnoy in 14 years.

With work on their new album nearing completion, the band recently announced the first section of their 40th anniversary tour. In an interview with Rolling Stone – the first time they’d all participated since any of them could remember – they demonstrated how comfortable they felt after overcoming the tensions of Portnoy’s departure in 2010.

On the subject of which songs they might play from their time with Mike Mangini as drummer, guitarist John Petrucci joked of Portnoy: “I don’t think he knows any of them!” He went on to refer to Grammy-winning track “The Alien,” to which Portnoy simply said: “Geez.”

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More seriously, the members discussed the amount of emotion they’ll be facing at their first show in London, U.K. on Oct. 20. Portnoy compared it to having toured with Petrucci in 2022, saying: “On John’s tour, we’d look out and see grown men crying every single night.

“And now we’re looking forward to a whole bunch more people crying each and every night. If they were crying for just the two of us, think about what’s going happen with five of us.”

Bassist John Myung added: “We should sell tissue boxes.”

Petrucci reflected on the “hard conversations” they’d had over Portnoy’s first stint, when he was clearly the band leader. “But Mike has been great. He’s way more chill,” the guitarist reported.

He said to the drummer: “You even say some things that are kind of funny, like, ‘If I’m allowed to do this.’ You don’t have to be that careful, but I appreciate it.” He added: “I feel like it’s very respectful on his part. It’s like a reset.”

Portnoy returned to subject of the reunion tour. “We expect the first show to be an emotional experience… I have a feeling there will be people coming in from all over the world to be present,” he said.

“It’s scary because, under normal circumstances, it takes a bunch of shows to get your sea legs back. But in this case, we need to hit the ground running. That first show is going to be dissected with a magnifying glass in the age of YouTube. We can’t suck. The pressure’s on.”

Dream Theater 40th Anniversary Tour (So Far)

Oct. 20 – London, England @ The O2
Oct. 22 – Berlin, Germany @ Uber Eats Music Hall
Oct. 23 – Koln, Germany @ Palladium
Oct. 25 – Milan, Italy @ Forum
Oct. 26 – Rome, Italy @ Palazzo dello Sport
Oct. 28 – Munich, Germany @ Zenith
Oct. 29 – Zagreb, Croatia @ Arena Zagreb
Nov. 1 – Budapest, Hungary @ Budapest Arena
Nov. 2 – Prague – Czech Republic @ Fortuna Arena
Nov. 3 – Lodz, Poland @ Atlas Arena
Nov. 6 – Helsinki, Finland @ Metro Areena
Nov. 8 – Stockholm. Sweden @ Waterfront
Nov. 9 – Oslo, Norway @ Spektrum
Nov. 10 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Poolen
Nov. 12 – Luxembourg @ Rockhal
Nov. 13 – Zurich, Switzerland @ The Hall
Nov. 14 – Lyon, France @ Halle Tony Garnier
Nov. 16 – Lisbon, Portugal – MEO Arena
Nov. 17 – Madrid, Spain @ La Cubierta de Leganés
Nov. 20 – Stuttgart, Germany @ Beethovensaal
Nov. 21 – Frankfurt, Germany @ Jahrhundderthalle
Nov. 23 – Paris, France @ Adidas Arena
Nov. 24 – Amsterdam @ AFAS Live

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