Band History

Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty byJohn Petrucci,John Myung, andMike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts, before they dropped out to support the band. Though a number of lineup changes followed, the three original members remain today along with James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess.

Dream Theater has become a successful progressive metal band. Although the band has had one successful hit ("Pull Me Under" in 1992, which received extensive MTV rotation), they have remained relatively low in mainstream music sales.

The band is well known for the technical proficiency of its instrumentalists, who have won many awards from music instruction magazines. 

Dream Theater's members have collaborated with many other notable musicians. Guitarist John Petrucci has been named as the third player on the G3 tour six times, more than any other invited guitarist, following in the footsteps of Eric Johnson and Robert Fripp. 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.

The band's highest selling album is the gold selling Images and Words (1992), which reached #61 on the Billboard 200 charts. 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 US Billboard 200 at #19. Dream Theater has sold over 2.1 million albums in the U.S., and over 8 million records worldwide. The band's tenth studio album, Black Clouds & Silver Linings, was released on June 23, 2009. It entered the US Billboard 200 at #6 and Eurochart Hot 100 at #1, marking their highest entry on either chart.

Formation and early years (1985–1987)

Dream Theater was formed in Massachusetts in 1985 when guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung, and drummer Mike Portnoy decided to form a band in their spare time while studying at 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 keyboards. 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 until Portnoy's father suggested the name Dream Theater, the name of a movie house in Monterey, California.

When Dream and Day Unite (1988–1990)

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, Dominici was fired because of personal and creative differences.

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.

Band members

Current members

James LaBrie - Lead vocals, Percussion, Keyboard (1991–present)
John Myung - Bass guitar, Chapman stick (1985–present)
John Petrucci - Guitars, Backing vocals (1985–present)
Mike Portnoy - Drums, Percussion, Backing vocals (1985–present)
Jordan Rudess - Keyboards, Continuum, Lap steel guitar (1999–present

Former members

Chris Collins - Lead vocals (1986)
Charlie Dominici - Lead vocals (1987–1989)
Kevin Moore - Keyboards (1986–1994)
Derek Sherinian - Keyboards, Backing vocals (1994–1998)

Awards and certificates

RIAA gold and platinum certification
Images and Words (Gold) - February 2, 1995
Metropolis 2000: Live Scenes From New York (Gold) - November 8, 2002
Live at Budokan (DVD) (Platinum) - January 26, 2005
Live in Tokyo/5 Years in a Livetime (Platinum) - March 22, 2006
Score (DVD) (Platinum) - October 11, 2006

Keyboard Magazine

Jordan Rudess was awarded the following Keyboard Magazine Reader's Poll award':
Best New Talent (1994)
Burrn magazine's best keyboards player of the year (2007)

Modern Drummer

Mike Portnoy won the following Modern Drummer magazine Reader's Poll awards:

Best Up & Coming Talent (1994)
Best Progressive Rock Drummer (1995–2006)
Best Recorded Performance (1995 for Awake, 1996 for A Change of Seasons, 1998 for Falling Into Infinity, 2000 for Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory, 2002 for Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, and 2007 for Score)
Best Clinician (2000, 2002)
Best Educational Video/DVD (2000, 2002)
Hall of Fame Inductee (2004)

Guitar World
The album Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory was ranked #95 on the magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time.
Total Guitar Paul Gillard
John Petrucci won Guitarist of the year award (2007).

Other recognitions

At Dream Theater's Salt Lake City show, Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. signed a proclamation making July 30, 2007 "Dream Theater Day".
In December 2007, Dream Theater was chosen as Xbox Live's artist of the month.

Dream Theater's music video "Constant Motion" was voted second in the Headbanger's Ball 2007 competition.
Dream Theater's music video "Forsaken" was voted fifth in the Headbanger's Ball 2008 competition.

Dream Theater's song "Panic Attack" off of their album Octavarium is featured in the video game Rock Band 2.
The song "Pull Me Under" from the album Images and Words is also featured on both Guitar Hero: World Tour, and Rock Revolution, with the latter being a cover.

Since August 12, 2008 (Xbox 360) and August 14, 2008 (PS3), Dream Theater's song "Constant Motion" has been available for download for Rock Band. For the first month, it was available for a promotional price equivalent to $0.99 USD, but later reverted to a normal $1.99 cost for Rock Band downloadable content.

Dream Theater played twice on Xbox 360s Game With Fame event. They played Halo 3 in December 2007 and Call of Duty: World at War in June 2009.