The first joint photo of the members of DREAM THEATER and IRON MAIDEN — taken during the two band's just-completed tour — can be viewed below (courtesy of DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy).
DREAM THEATER supported IRON MAIDEN on a North American trek which kicked off on June 9 in Dallas, Texas and concluded on July 20 in Washington, D.C.
In a recent interview with Blistering.com DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy stated about his band's decision to tour with IRON MAIDEN, "When you get the call from MAIDEN, you pack your bags, hit the road and go.
"It wasn't in our plans. We had planned on being off the road at this time, but when the opportunity arose, we took it.
"They are one of the few bands that formed the blueprint for DREAM THEATER.
"When me and John [Petrucci, guitars] and John [Myung, bass] formed the band, it was MAIDEN and RUSH. Those were the two bands that were our heroes; what we wanted DREAM THEATER to be.
"Even though we don't follow them today like we used to when we were kids, the fact will never change they were our heroes when we formed and one of the few that are a perfect match for us to open for."
When asked how the IRON MAIDEN fans were accepting DREAM THEATER, Portnoy told Goldmine magazine, "Well, that's why [we did the tour]. It's all about trying to make some new friends from the MAIDEN fan base. That's ultimately why we are on this tour, and it seems to be going great so far.
"There are a lot of their fans who are kind of old-timers who have been with them through all the years and maybe don't know a band like DREAM THEATER, so … I wrote a set list that is a kind of crash course in the metal side of DREAM THEATER. It's the same set every night, which is unusual for us, as well. But I think it is something that their fans will be able to latch onto. It's an easier-to-swallow set list. Not any of the big 20-minute epics. More of just the metal side and the 'hits' — not that we have any hits — but the ones that are a little more accessible to grasp onto.
"Luckily, DREAM THEATER was never a hit band, because I would hate nothing more than to always go out and play the same exact songs because that's what people want to hear. I'm seeing this with IRON MAIDEN right now, because they chose to do a set list on this tour that is, basically, from the last 10 years. And there's a big backlash amongst some of their fans. On one hand, I can understand the fans' point of view, the ones that do want to hear the hits, but, on the other hand, I understand MAIDEN's point of view, that they don't want to be stuck playing the same songs for the rest of their lives. They put out new albums; they want to play the new music.
"Usually, when I write set lists, it is a wide-open palette that I can choose from. I like to pick over 100 songs and not feel like we have to play anything."