Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci made an appearance on No F’n Regrets with Robb Flynn for an interview. During the conversation, he stated that he sees Rush‘s performances as an example for Dream Theater‘s live shows.
During the formation process in 1985, Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy first decided that the band’s name should be Majesty. This was Portnoy’s idea because he was thinking that the ending of Rush’s ‘Bastille Day’ sounds ‘majestic.’ The band later agreed on the name Dream Theater and began their musical career.
Throughout their tenure in Dream Theater, Petrucci, Portnoy, and Myung cited Rush as a great influence. Saying Rush is his favorite band, Petrucci stated in the interview that he would like to perform on Rush’s level when on the stage with Dream Theater. He then revealed why he took Rush as an example.
Petrucci said that every Rush show is coordinated, and one walks into a surreal world when walking into the venue. He then talked about the light and video shows of Rush and said everything was together during their performances. Moreover, the guitarist stated he focused on making a show just like that.
Following that, Petrucci revealed his dream show, and he said everything has to be planned and rehearsed prior to the performance to make it happen. According to the guitarist, the payoff of this much effort is producing one of the best live shows and impressing the audience.
During the interview on No F’n Regrets, John Petrucci said:
“Over the last decade or so, I really wanted to present shows the way some of my favorite bands did on the level that they did. An example would be Rush – what would Rush do? Every time you saw them, it would just be this amazing show where everything would be coordinated.
When you walked into the venue, you walked into their world, you walked into a surreal world that Rush cover artist Hugh Syme created based on everything. From the merchandise, the tour program, and the set design, video, everything!
They pulled off this incredible show where the light show and the video show, and everything was just so together. My thought was – there’s no way you could do that in this jazz-style, Zappa-style thing, where you burn 150 songs by just calling them out. Or jam-band style. There’s no way, you’re not gonna be able to pull out that kind of show.
So I wanted to focus more on trying to pull out that kind of show, which, in doing that, makes it more immovable. It’s a rock show but it’s almost like a Broadway play. It happens the same every night on purpose because of all the dramatic stuff that’s going on – when somebody is over there and the whole lights shut off and there is only light on him, and then this thing happens, some weird lightning thing…
You can’t do that off the cup, that has to be planned and rehearsed. And because of that, the payoff you get is one of the best shows you produced live, and people watch it, and hopefully, if you do it right, they will walk out and say, ‘Oh my god, that was so cool!'”
You can watch the rest of the interview below.