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Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess reflects on returning to the road: “It basically took my breath away”

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Dream Theater has spent much of 2022 touring after being sidelined for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking with ABC Audio, keyboardist Jordan Rudess shares that it’s felt amazing to be playing live again.

“Getting back on the road and back in front of people is a rush,” Rudess says. “It’s so different, and it’s a lot to get used to, as well.”

The most recent stop of the tour, a show in Istanbul earlier this month, was particularly special.

“Everybody’s excited about having live music again,” Rudess says. “Some of the places, the audiences don’t have as many people as we usually have, for obvious reasons, but in Istanbul, it was not like that at all.”

“There was so many people, and their energy was so intense,” he adds. “I walked onstage, it basically took my breath away.”

Dream Theater has been touring behind the band’s latest album, A View from the Top of the World, which dropped last October. In addition to getting to play new material, Rudess has found that returning to the road has allowed for those unique, can-only-happen-live moments.

One of the “craziest” of those moments was during a Dream Theater show a few years back in Mexico City, during which Rudess’ movable keyboard stand got stuck mid-tilt in very uncomfortable position.

“I’m calling over to my tech, ‘Get over here, get over here!'” Rudess recalls. “He comes out, he brings a big wrench and he’s trying to fix it. He couldn’t fix it. [Guitarist] John Petrucci, [vocalist] James LaBrie come over and get all tough, while we’re playing music, trying to lift it up, kinda kidding around.”

He adds, “The end of the show I crawled off stage, and my back was so messed up.”

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