Once In A LIVEtime
drummer: Mike Portnoy
with James Labrie (vcl), John Petrucci (gtr), John Myung (bs), Derek Sherinian (kybd)
Does Mike Portnoy really deserve all the attention that he gets? Well, the best way to judge a drummer is usually by his live performances, and Portnoy gives a very solid performance on this two-CD set of “the best of” Dream Theater material. The live setting certainly gives more “life” and intensity to some of the newer tunes. Classic Dream Theater tracks like “Take The Time” and “Pull Me Under” are also strong here, with each member allowed the opportunity to display his individual virtuosity. In particular, Portnoy’s solo is like a Peart-meets-Bozzio hybrid, as he incorporates lots of flashy double bass chops while utilizing his entire kit.
Portnoy *does* deserve all the attention that he gets, simply for the fact that he makes drumming exciting to listen to. And like one of his great predecessors, Neil Peart, he isn’t afraid to go out on a limb and insist on being more than just a timekeeper. This release is a “must have” for Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy fans.