New York progressive metal pioneers DREAM THEATER are set to unveil their maiden voyage of "Progressive Nation", a package tour they will headline that will also feature the talents of OPETH, 3 and BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME.The tour is the brainchild of DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy, who explains, "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." While DREAM THEATER co-headlined 2005's Gigantour alongside MEGADETH, as well as embarking on previous co-headlining runs with both QUEENSRŸCHE and JOE SATRIANI, they have primarily built their 22-year career on the road playing solely to their own audience. Portnoy comments: "I've always prided myself on personally hand picking new and exciting opening acts for DREAM THEATER in the past. Bands such as PORCUPINE TREE, SYMPHONY X, SPOCK'S BEARD, FATES WARNING, PAIN OF SALVATION and KING'S X. In all of these cases, it was important for me to pick bands that I admire and respect but also ones that I know our fans will enjoy. And I think playing with DT has helped expand all of those band's fanbases as a direct result. I am hoping Progressive Nation will continue to do the same thing in offering an audience for more daring and experimental acts that otherwise may not get the mainstream exposure they so rightly deserve." Joining the bill for this inaugural run is Sweden's legendary OPETH who have been enjoying an ever-growing and expanding audience of their own for many years now. DT's Roadrunner Records labelmates will be ready to unleash their new album come next spring and Progressive Nation should be a great launching pad for their next world tour cycle. Guitarist/Vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt comments: "We're very excited about this upcoming tour with DREAM THEATER. It will be the first tour that we're doing in support of our upcoming record, and also somewhat of a dream come true personally as I've been a fan of theirs for a long time. It's quite intimidating to be on the bill with such amazing musicians but obviously we'll try and give them a run for their money and pull out a few nice licks of our own. I guess we'll need to practice a little bit for this....how boring! Yet, I can't wait for this tour to start and I'm sure we'll have a blast with the DT guys as well as together with the other bands on the bill!" Also on the bill with their unique blend of pop, funk and hard rock is upstate New York's 3 who issued the following statement: "3 is very pleased to announce its participation in the Progressive Nation tour. For well over a decade DREAM THEATER has been the vanguard of progressive rock and we are completely psyched to flex with these heavyweights, playing much of our new record 'The End is Begun'. This package will rock and awe fans everywhere as one of the most important tours of the year. It's a progressive way of music, a progressive way of life....welcome to the Progressive Nation tour." North Carolina's BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME are enjoying rave reviews and critical acclaim for their latest CD "Colors" and are looking forward to sharing the stage each night with both DREAM THEATER and OPETH. Vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Rogers comments: "We are very excited to be touring with two bands that have been such an integral part of our musical upbringing. It is a wonderful opportunity to have our music heard by new ears." DREAM THEATER are currently in the middle of their "Chaos In Motion" world tour which has already traveled extensively throughout Europe and North America in support of their latest Roadrunner Records CD "Systematic Chaos". The world tour will continue throughout 2008 hitting Asia, Australia and South America before concluding with Progressive Nation returning to North America in April/May 2008. Portnoy hopes that this first venture of Progressive Nation will prove to be a success that can enable himself and DREAM THEATER to continue the package into future years and begin a tradition that musicians and fans alike can count on for quality musicianship and artistic integrity on future tours.
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