I have been a fan of Dream Theater for only about 5 years, so I am relatively new to the "family". From day one I began listening with an open mind and heart. My first real experience was Systematic Chaos and Octavarium. I listened and analyzed each note, every hit and word. Because I couldn't find anything I didn't like, I bought more!
I stepped back and bought Images and Words, was transported back to the 90's and loved it! After wrapping my head around that, I delved off in to Train of Thought and all of it's fury! I did not yet know where that album would take me. I have the habit of analyzing music, breaking it down to its inner most and deepest level. Train of Thought took me places in my mind I had never been! From absolute anger to laughter and joy, I experienced every emotion. It was a wild ride to say the least!
My nephew gave me Black Clouds & Silver Linings Special Edition. I once again found myself analyzing it, however much less than with Train of Thought. I felt like the message and music in BC&SL were so straight forward that analyzing it was unnecessary. But once again, loving every thing about it! I found myself hungry for more each time I finished a Dream Theater album! I downloaded videos, bought DVD's and watched youtube videos constantly!
Side note: I love John Myung's sound so much I bought a Music Man Bongo 6! The perfect bass for a Dream Theater loving bass player right?
Then, the announcement that shook all of Dream Theater Land, Mike Portnoy leaves the band! "Whatever will we do?", the cries came from everywhere! I felt my whole world begin to unravel, uncertainty and disillusion setting in!
Wait a minute, what is that you say? Well slap me thrice and hand me to my mommy, The band announces they are moving forward? How can that be, they cannot possibly right?
I began reading articles about who the next drummer for Dream Theater could be! The first, and actually only name I heard before seeing "The Spirit Carries On" was Marco Minnemann but is was only rumor.
So, while watching the documentary on youtube.com, I knew from the first word he spoke that I liked Mike Mangini! I watched intently as the auditions played out and found myself cheering for Mike and Marco. Although, Thomas Lang and Peter Wildoer impressed me, Mike and Marco were they guys I felt I would like to be in a band with! (Not like my opinion really counted!) In the end when Mike Mangini was informed he was the new drummer, his reaction was priceless! Congratulations Mike, you are awesome!
On September 13th I went out and bought A Dramatic Turn of Events Special Edition. Every song, once again blow me away! Awesomeness doesn't come close to describing what I think of the music!
I continue my journey through Dream Theater Land feeling that life is good here! The decision to move on with out Mike Portnoy, although controversial to some made sense to me. Dream Theater is bigger than one man! No one can take away what MP did and that's a fact! But the music must live on and Mike Mangini is the right man to carry the torch lighting the way for Dream Theater fans around the world!