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Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy Comments On South American Tour Dates

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Dream Theater will continue their global tour with a March 5th - 24th tour of South America and Mexico. The trek will encompass 11 shows in six countries, with first-time visits to Lima, Peru and Porto Alegre, Brazil.

In an interview below with Mike Portnoy, the drummer discusses the band’s deep admiration for their fans in Mexico and South America. In Santiago, Chile in 2005, Dream Thater played to their largest audience ever (20,000) as a headlining act, a show that was released as a DVD on Dream Theater’s YtseJam Records.

The currently confirmed dates are as follows:

3/05 2010 Monterrey, Mexico Esenica
3/07 2010 Mexico City, Mexico National Auditorium
3/08 2010 Guadalajara, Mexico Diana Theater
3/11 2010 Santiago, Chile Movistar Arena
3/13 2010 Buenos Aires, Argentina Luna Park
3/16 2010 Porto Alegre, Brazil Pepsi On Stage
3/18 2010 Curitiba, Brazil Master Hall
3/19 2010 Sao Paulo, Brazil Credicard Hall Sat
3/20 2010 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Citibank Hall
3/22 2010 Lima, Peru Jockey Club
3/24 2010 Caracas, Venezuela Poliedro

Dream Theater has an upcoming headline tour of South America and Mexico where the band has built a fan base from previous gigs and sold many records. Can you talk about an experience of playing there before--and the bond that exists with your fans there?

Mike: “Our South American audience has become one of the biggest and most passionate for Dream Theater on the planet! We first experienced the intense love affair when we played Brazil for the first times in 1997 and 1998...when we finally returned in 2005, we were able to visit Argentina, Venezuela and Chile as well as Brazil and were overwhelmed by the incredible responses. Our first show in Santiago Chile still remains the biggest headlining show the band has done to date with over 20,000 insane fans showing up for a three -hour 'Evening With' Dream Theater.”

The Mexico City show is about ¾ sold already and it’s an 8,000 capacity venue. That has to be amping up Dream Theater.

Mike: “This will be our fifth time playing National Auditorium in Mexico City (having previously sold the venue out in 2000, 2002, 2006 & 2008)....it is always a highlight for us....you can never go wrong with 10,000 intense, passionate Mexican fans!!”

The upcoming trek will mark your first shows in Lima, Peru and Porto Alegre, Brazil…which underlines the band’s growing popularity. It’s very notable that the band will perform in South American venues with capacities ranging from 6,000 to 15,000. Can you talk about how the global market keeps expanding for Dream Theater?

Mike: “We always look forward to playing new cities and countries for the first time....after almost 20 years on the road, they are becoming far and few between for us...so it's always very special for us. There's nothing more rewarding than playing a song we've played over 1,000 times through the years but seeing the excitement on the faces of the audience that are hearing it in person for the very first time!”

You have invited Bigelf to open all these shows for you. What excites you about them?

Mike: “It's been my personal mission to help Bigelf get the exposure they've been waiting 15 years to receive. I fell in love with them within the first minute of hearing their sound. They are like all of my favorite classic bands wrapped in one: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Queen, etc. I have taken them under my wings and brought them on tour with DT throughout North America and Europe and am now pleased to have them join us in South America. I hope our fans welcome them with open arms and open ears. They are not a technical band like DT, but anybody with good taste in music should be able to appreciate them and fall for them just as I have!”

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