DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci recently spoke to Consequence Of Sound about the impact RUSH's music had on him as a young fan growing up in New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"To me, [RUSH] was the band that changed everything," he said. "When I heard it, I just… I don't know what it is about people and music… When music just hits you in such a way, especially when you're young, you're influential and you're sort of developing your tastes, and that band, there was something about it. I just loved it. And so I just got completely sucked into all things RUSH."
He added: "One of my greatest musical memories has to do with them 'cause RUSH was the first concert I ever went to. Back in 1982, they were on the 'Signals' tour. They were playing the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. I went there and had the worst seats ever; they were so far away. But I just couldn't believe that this was the band that I was listening to all this time, and here I am in the same building as them. How is that possible? I was just blown away by the show and the production. And you can imagine what impact that had on me, eventually making that my career."
Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy, who co-founded the band with Petrucci nearly 35 years ago, told Ultimate Classic Rock that RUSH was one of his biggest inspirations.
"I can't possibly overstate how much influence RUSH had on me as a young teenager," he said. "I would say from about 1981 to 1987, they were my gods. Neil Peart was my god at that point, and was a huge, huge influence on my drumming… The size of the drum set, the way I approached the drums, the odd time signatures, the progressive-styled instrumental music — I mean, just everything about RUSH at that point, when I was a developing teenager, was huge. I've seen them on every tour since then."
DREAM THEATER kicked off its 2019 North American tour Wednesday night (March 20) at the Balboa Theatre in San Diego. The band's 19-song setlist included several tracks from the latest album, "Distance Over Time", as well as a second act that consisted of a performance of the group's 1999 LP "Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory" to mark its 20th anniversary.
DREAM THEATER's 14th studio album, "Distance Over Time", was released on February 22. and mastered by Tom Baker.
The "Distance Over Time" tour of North America will run for seven weeks before wrapping up in Mexico City on May 4.