Re: Mike Pourtnoy
I've never really gotten Pornoy. Its probably more a 'taste' issue with me. Also, as a fusion purist, I don't really get into the rockprogification (my word) of fusion. In otherwords, bands that incorporate fusion elements and chops, but try to make it somehow more standard rock sounding, to appeal to a broader listening audience. For me, its all or nothing. Either you are a rock band or you are a fusion band. The inbetween stuff is just really neither of each.
I liked Portnoy on the Modern Drummer DVD when he did the Beatles bit. It shows he is indeed musical and a far superior drummer than I'll ever be. Its just when he switches to that rediculous purple kit that he loses me. His playing is intense and awesome there too, but its just not my gig.
Not being a Dream Theater fan (my brother, a non-musician being their biggest fan ever), I can say I really dig their bassist. He's the only guy in the band demonstrating one lick of restraint.
Sorry to sound disrespectful (I'm not), but I just don't get them. Maybe its the fact they are such superior players on their instruments that the average rocker dude is just blown away by how good they are (in respect to other rock bands?). I dunno, I'm just throwing that out there for discussion.