A big happening in the prog world was when Mike Portnoy announced that he quit Dream Theater in 2010 after 25 years in the band. His legacy as one of the world’s best drummers continued to grow after that anyway, and when he announced that he would put together a 2017 only super prog group to play Dream Theater material it was a wet dream for many prog metal fans. The new band Shattered Fortress consisted of basically all of Haken (except the drummer, naturally), phantom guitarist/singer Eric Gillette of The Neal Morse band and Mike himself. Headline gigs were announced at the world’s largest prog festivals Cruise to the edge, Night of the Prog, Progpower USA and Be prog my friend, and a European tour in July 2017. With the fresh self confidence after successful concerts with other major prog names, contact was taken with Hexagon who planned the tour. After some serious effort to squeeze it in, a date at Slagthuset in Malmö, July 2nd 2017 was added to the already announced tour schedule. Next to None (including Mike’s son Max Portnoy on drums) were the opening act.
The booking of the Malmö date meant that a previously free sunday between Paris and Luxembourg shows and a 360 km drive was changed to gigging 7 days in a row, a 2200 km drive and a basically impossible schedule. However, the planned arrival at 14.00 failed completely, and when the tour bus arrived at 18.15, loadout, rigging and soundcheck had to go super quick, and eventually Next to None started their gig around 20.15 instead of 19.30 as planned. It was a joy to work with such professionals, and the audience were super understanding and happy when informed in the lobby that the gig had to be delayed. The show in Luxembourg the day after was reportedly extremely delayed, but the PC audience were happy to have witnessed a fantastic evening – ”only” 45 minutes late…
Articles and reviews
Thank you post from PC
When Progressive Circus started in 2014 we would have laughed for HOURS if anyone suggested we should book and arrange a Scandinavian exclusive show with Mike Portnoy’s all star band on a DT revisited tour… That was then, and now we have ”landed” slightly after Sunday’s (in many aspect) very special event where we did just that.
As many of you know, making this gig happen was far from granted. When mailing Hexagon Booking the day the rest of the tour was announced, we were happy to be met by a big will to find a possible way to make this a reality. Although the conditions included a 32 h drive for band+crew and no day off for 7 days, instead of a 4 h drive and a day off in Paris, they were as enthusiastic as us, and as you noticed this Sunday – IT HAPPENED!
After an extremely efficient and professional 1 hour rigging from local and travelling crew, we had a terrific evening and in our opinion some of the best music possible from stage!
There are many who contributed to the experience. First of all, a HUGE and heartfelt THANKS to Jérome at Hexagon Booking, tour manager Daniel, Mike for doing this tour and wanting to reach as many fans as possible! Huge thanks to crew and bands for their professionality, and to local tech company LEC who did a marvellous job.
It was beautiful to see all of you patient and enthusiastic people from many different nationalities, backgrounds and beliefs gathered to rock along to the music and contribute to the great atmosphere! To you who travelled from…
… Finland: KIITOS!
… Estonia: AITÄH!
…Argentina and Peru: GRACIAS!
Also, many thanks to all who helped us spread the word, especially Martin Sandberg who kept promoting this in every way possible since it was announced! Many thanks to Karin & Andreas for helping us with catering, hospitality, merch and whatever-is-needed, and Tommy and Karin Arnesson for taking well care of our kids.
Now we’re looking forward and encourage you all to come to IQ at Bryggarsalen in Stockholm Oct 13th and MAGMA at KB in Malmö Oct 28th. It will be great
You will also receive a Survey Monkey link via mail later this week, and we would be very happy if you want to help us by filling it in!
Here’s two GREAT reviews from the show:
http://www.dprp.net/concrev/201710-fortress.php (by Ian Smith who also took the awesome photo used for this post)
Also, check out this AMAZING video clip of the show – by crew member Simen Sandnes:
Prog hugs & kisses,
Anna & Marcus
Photos by Ian Smith:
Photos by Magnus Bergström: