Former Dream Theater bandmates James LaBrie and Mike Portnoy made no secret about the rift between them. As recent as November of last year, LaBrie revealed that he hadn’t spoken to Portnoy in over a decade.
So, fans were surprised to see Portnoy attend a Dream Theater show at the Beacon Theatre in NYC on March 4th, 2022. Now, LaBrie has confirmed that the two men have made amends.
“What happened was my manager… This is, like, two hours before the show… So, you know the history with Mike and I… Mike and I were best friends — way back — and then we started to fall apart, for several reasons. It doesn’t matter — the details don’t matter — it’s just that we started to have a problem with one another,” LaBrie explained in an interview with Radio Forrest.
“And so about two hours before the New York show, my manager texts me and he said, ‘Listen, Mike’s gonna be there tonight. He wants to come back and see you. He wants to make amends. I don’t mean to do this…’ And I said, ‘Frank’ — to my manager, I said — ‘you’re putting this in my lap two hours before I play in front of how many thousands of people in New York. Are you kidding me?’
While LaBrie revealed that he was initially shocked at the revelation, he took some time to himself to decide if he was ready to rekindle their friendship.
“I went for a walk, believe it or not. I went incognito and I went for a walk in New York. And I walked the streets and I started thinking about it, and I said to myself, ‘You know what? Enough is enough. There’s enough hate in this world; there’s enough frickin’ negativity in this world. If Mike wants to come and see me and make amends, then I should be receptive.’
“And I got in touch… And John Petrucci was also there. So he said, ‘Mike wants to know if he can come back and say hi to you,’ like I just said. And I said, ‘You know what? Yeah. Let him know. For sure. Tell him to come back and see me after the show.”
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LaBrie told the publication that the conversation was positive and that his bandmates took Portnoy’s surprise arrival well.
“And that’s what we did. We chatted. We had a good, long discussion. We made up and gave each other a hug and did a picture together.
“When I was out on stage before all that, I just said, ‘Hey, I just wanna let you guys know, Mike Portnoy’s here. Hey, welcome, brother, to the show.’ And that was it.
“The thing is that you get to a point in life where you’ve gotta… You can’t carry around that. Don’t carry around hate; don’t carry around negativity. We carried it around far too long, as far as I’m concerned, and it didn’t serve any purpose; it just served frickin’ division. It was very divisive and very damaging.”
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