Sunday, 2nd July 2017
Slagthuset, Malmö, Sweden
Article and Photos By Ian Smith
Mike Portnoy needs no introduction and since leaving Dream Theater,
he has never returned to his former bands material until this year to mark his 50th birthday.
Upon the success of the initial '50th Birthday Bash',
he decided to take the show around the globe in 2017.
Progressive Circus, led by Marcus & Anna Enochsson based in Skåne in the south of Sweden,
wasted no time in seizing the opportunity to bring this quality project to our shores.
At this point I must pay homage to Progressive Circus for their superb service
they deliver to the music community. Arranging prog rock bands is no
easy task and although the community is growing, it is still not easy
to both deliver a great service to bands and to sell enough tickets in order
to make the experience worthwhile for bands and fans respectively.
This job Marcus and team Progressive Circus do admirably, and I for one,
will support everything they do with my hat off.
Back to Shattered Fortress - Portnoy has put together a stellar band for
this tour led by Eric Gillette of Neal Morse fame, Ross Jennings (Haken), Richard Henshall,
Charlie Griffiths, Conner Green and Diego Tejeida.
Three guitarists deliver a huge wall of sound which really ramps up the Dream Theater material.
I think when committing to a tour like this Mike Portnoy has to be sure the fans will
receive the material favourably and not like a cover band. This band delivers!
Taking us on a journey through the Twelve Step Suite
(a song he wrote while battling the bottle) as well as 6 other well know
Dream Theater songs the large Malmö crowd literally loved the entire show
from start to finish.
Ross Jennings had big shoes to fill and did so very well with his vocal
range and stage presence but uniquely made the material sound his own.
The musicianship on show was outstanding from all and the projections entertained in style.
Mike Portnoy put on his usual HUGE show from the drum kit and in
the end I would call the gig a huge success. The final encore, Finally Free
brought a highly entertaining and enjoyable nights music to a suitable close.
An evening my two friends and I surely remember.
Strange Deja Vu
Twelve Step suite
Dance of Eternity
Mike Portnoy's official Website