Electric guitar hero John Petrucci recently set out on his first-ever proper solo tour.
Backed on drums by his former Dream Theater bandmate, Mike Portnoy, and Dave LaRue (best known for his work with Steve Morse) on bass guitar, the trek is a somewhat belated promotional run for Petrucci's second solo album, 2020's Terminal Velocity.
Though the trio have been sticking almost entirely to material from Terminal Velocity and Petrucci's 2005 solo debut, Suspended Animation, for the shows, the Ernie Ball Music Man-wielding prog-metal maestro hasn't been afraid to have a little bit of spontaneous fun here and there onstage.
At a recent (November 4) show (opens in new tab) at the The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, Petrucci changed things up a bit by spontaneously launching into – after closing out a heavy rendition of Suspended Animation's "Damage Control" – the James Bond theme.
You can see the cover starting at around 9:15 in the video below.
In a recent interview with Guitar World (opens in new tab), conducted before his solo tour commenced, Petrucci remarked that even though the shows marked the first occasions in well over a decade that had seen him share the stage with Portnoy, he had no concerns about their ability to lock in right away.
"My relationship with Mike Portnoy is similar to my thing with [Dream Theater bassist] John Myung," Petrucci said. "We were at Berklee together, so we were 17, 18. We played in a band together for 25 years and did everything together. We have an ingrained chemistry.
"When Mike came down to record on Terminal Velocity, there was an unspoken natural connection between us. It just came right back. It’s like riding a bike."
In a funny bit of foreshadowing, Petrucci was also asked in the interview if he thought Portnoy knew any covers they could perform at the solo gigs, to which the guitarist said, "I could probably call out anything and he would know it."
To read the full interview with Petrucci – which also features his three top tone tips – pick up a copy of the latest issue of Guitar World at magazinesdirect.com (opens in new tab).
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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