Talk about getting back to your roots — it’s always a throwback Thursday whatever day of the week when prog-metal heroes Dream Theater play Boston, having formed in 1985 when the band’s core members attended the Berklee College of Music and formed under the name Majesty. But March 25 will be extra special when the Long Island band plays the Opera House and invites members from the school to join them for a one-time-only collaboration.
Guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung, and former drummer Mike Portnoy famously met while waiting in line for tickets to a Rush gig at the Berklee Performance Center. Dubbing themselves with the not-pretentious-at-all moniker Majesty, the band has since earned countless accolades for their visionary synthesis of melodic power and virtuosic experimentation.
Recently, D-Theater earned a second Grammy nomination for “Best Metal Performance” for the single “The Enemy Inside” from their current self-titled worldwide smash album. Though a number of lineup changes followed their formation, the three original members remained together, along with singer James LaBrie and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, until September 2010, when Portnoy exited the band in a messy manner. In October of that year, Dream Theater held auditions for a new drummer, and added Mike Mangini (ex-Extreme) to its roster.
The special homecoming will be captured and recorded for a later release, as the outfit will be joined by guest ensembles the 17-piece Berklee World Strings and the Berklee Concert Choir for the second half of the set.
The ensembles will layer distinct dramatic elements to the production of the show. The World Strings are an international group of creative improvisers who play with rhythmic qualities seldom heard from string instruments. The Concert Choir stretches its repertoire from traditional and contemporary music through a wide range of genres.
And while Petrucci and Myung are the remaining alum from the college, Mangini was actually an associate professor there for a decade before taking the Dream Theater position.