Mike Portnoy's Shattered Fortress - RiPT Media Productions photography by: Rick Triana

Mike Portnoy's "Shattered Fortress" ProgPower USA 2017, Atlanta GA

Mike Portnoy a man of many bands decided last year to have a massive birthday party to celebrate turning 50 years young. So in 2017 Mike Portnoy yes 50 years young thought "What a better way then to give back to my fans by performing something that I always envisioned doing in it's entirety", so in honor of his 50th Mike decided to perform his epic 12 Step Suite (aka: The Shattered Fortress) at a select few (very few) shows and venues. 

For those that don't know the 12 Step Suite is a collection of 5 Dream Theater songs spanning across 5 different albums. Those albums and songs are:

1. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: The Glass Prison 

2. Train of Thought: This Dying Soul

3. Octavarium: The Root of All Evil

4. Systematic Chaos: Repentance

5. Black Clouds and Sliver Linings: The Shattered Fortress

Mike (now over 15 years sober) wrote the above suite to document his process through his recovery from drug and alcohol addictions. i.e. The 12 Step Suite. He always envisioned performing the suite in its entirety from it's conception, unfortunately never had the chance while with Dream Theater. So what a better way to celebrate a major mile stone in his life (seeing 50) and recovery. 

This all kicked off on Cruise to the Edge 2017 for his birthday bash and Mike continued to WOW fans as he embarked on bringing The Shattered Fortress tour to life. ProgPower USA 2017 was no different. ProgPower is a US 4 day festival dedicated to Prog Metal. Fans come from all over the world to see Prog bands that they otherwise could not have a chance to see. This was a must weekend for Mike to deliver The Shattered Fortress to these wild, crazy dedicated Prog music lovers. 

Mike has teamed up with members of the UK Prog rock band Haken which is made up of Richard Henshall, guitar; Deigo Tejeida, Keyboards; Charles Griffiths, Guitar; Ross Jennings, Vocals; Conner Green, Bass; and Mike also gave up drums to Raymond Hearne while Mike sang lead vocals up front and center on Repentance. Mike also invited his Neal Morse Band mate Eric Gillette to participate and bring his virtuoso guitar stylings to the mix. Which if you haven't heard Eric's work stop what you're doing and give him a listen. He is an amazing guitarist that will make any Prog Metal fan weep. 

The fans packed into The Center Stage auditorium in downtown Atlanta, GA to catch a glimpses of history and utter majesty. From the get go these fans cheered with hands raised in the air and never stopped until the last note and a final farewell from Mike and his mates. The show not only brought the 12-Step Suite, Mike also performed a special select number of DT songs that made the evening as complete as any fan could have imagined.

The Evenings Setlist:

Overture 1928

Strange Déjà Vu

The Mirror

12-Step Suite:

The Glass Prison

This Dying Soul

The Root of All Evil


The Shattered Fortress



The Dance of Eternity

Finally Free

This was one incredible special evening that for me (the writer as well as photographer) could only have dreamed about. As a fan I was blown away at how tight this group performed, how crystal clear every note was that rang out and the visual display that accompanied the storyline. So grateful that I was able to capture and photograph another epic Mike Portnoy performance.   If you have a chance this is a show you don't want to miss. If I could I'd catch them all......

Below are the remaining dates:

Sept 10th - Mexico City, Mexico - El Plaza Condesa

Sept 24th - New York City, NY - Irving Plaza

Oct 19th - Santiago, Chile - Teatro La Cupula

Oct 21st - Sao Paulo, Brazil - Carioca Club

Oct 24th - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Teatro Vorterix

Oct 26th - Bogota, Columbia - Teatro Ecci

Nov 16th - Auckland, New Zealand - The Studio

Nov 18th - Brisbane, Australia - Tivoli

Nov 20th - Perth, Australia - Astor Theater

Nov 22nd - Adelaide, Australia - The Gov

Nov 24th - Sydney, Australia - Metro Theater

Nov 25th - Melbourne, Australia - The Croxton


A Dedicated Fan!

My "50" photos (see what I did there?) Happy Birthday Mike