Re: Mike Portnoy
I believe Mike Portnoy is one of the best drummers out in a touring band right now. His playing is creative and precise. I always thought he was amazing listening to their different CD's but when I bought the Mike Portnoy Anthology book I was blown away. There are so many more hidden notes and rudiments that you stumble upon in the book that are hard to catch on their recordings. It was a great learning experience.
I just think overall musically the band is amazing. I have been to three of their shows and they never mess up. You listen to their live recordings and they never mess up or are sloppy. Everything is played precise. The craziest thing about it is they are usually playing 3hr.+ long sets. Seriously, to be able to play the music they do and be close to flawless for 3+hrs. is nothing but amazing.
So yes, I suppose he is high up on the list for my favorites. :)