Iconic drummer and former member of DREAM THEATER, Mike Portnoy performed the band’s “12 Step Suite” in its entirety for the first time ever on the Cruise To The Edge, which sailed out of Tampa, Florida on February 7. The music documents the musician’s battle with alcoholism, and is an ensemble of five songs recorded by DREAM THEATER from 2002 to 2009, with titles that reflect his struggles: “The Glass Prison”, “This Dying Soul”, “The Root Of All Evil”, “Repentance” and “The Shattered Fortress”.

Portnoy, who also celebrated his 50th birthday on Cruise To The Edge, said that it was always part of his master plan to perform “12 Step Suite” in its entirety live on stage with DREAM THEATER. However, his 2010 exit from the band made that impossible, until now.

“I would love nothing more than to perform it with [DREAM THEATER],” he told The National Student. “But they’ve made it clear that they have no intention in reuniting at any point. So, life is short; this [was] my 50th birthday and it just felt like the right time and place to finally play this music.”

He continued: “I wrote all five of these songs with the intention of them being performed from start to finish, and I would have loved nothing more than to be doing it with DREAM THEATER. But it’s obviously not on the cards for them. I can’t sit around waiting for a reunion that may not happen.”

Video footage of Portnoy‘s two appearances at this year’s Cruise To The Edge — which also saw his performing music from several of his other projects — can be seen below.

Featured songs:


01. Infinite Fire
02. A Place In Your World
03. Kayla
04. Mask Machine


05. Into The Blue (with Daniel Gildenlöw)
06. We All Need Some Light
07. Stranger In Your Soul


01. Paradigm Shift (Tony Levin, Eric Gillette and Diego Tejeida)
02. Acid Rain (Tony Levin, Eric Gillette and Diego Tejeida)
03. Universal Mind (Tony Levin, Eric Gillette and Diego Tejeida)


04. The Glass Prison (Ross Jennings on lead vocals)
05. This Dying Soul (Daniel Gildenlöw & Ross Jennings on lead vocals)
06. The Root Of All Evil (Ted Leonard on lead vocals)
07. Repentance (Mike Portnoy on lead vocals)
08. The Shattered Fortress (Ross Jennings on lead vocals)


Mike Portnoy – Drums
Eric Gillette, Richard Henshall, Charlie Griffiths – Guitars
Connor Green – Bass
Diego Tejeida – Keyboards