Real men have beards :)
Being a Floridian I was really into the local death metal scene, I saw Cynic preform in Clearwater in the early 90's. I was talking to Paul Masvidal prior to the show about guitar players and John Petrucci's name cropped up (Masvidal was a big fan of Images & Words). I was not familiar with him so checked out some Dream Theater under instruction from Masvidal, and have been a dedicated fan since.
Thoroughly satisfied & impressed !