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Singer says all's well with "new" version of Dream Theater

for Journal Register Newspapers

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A year and a half period that's lived up to the title of Dream Theater's latest album, "A Dramatic Turn of Events," has eased into a pleasant new reality for the prog-rock/metal band.

"I think everything is going exceptionally well," says vocalist James LaBrie, addressing the September 2010 departure of drummer Mike Portnoy and the recording of the album before bringing in new skinsman Mike Mangini. "I think the fans have wholeheartedly accepted Mike, and rightfully so. He's a great talent and he fits in seamlessly with the band as a musician and as a person. It's just felt very natural.

"So we feel great about where the band is at now and the reception to the new album and the way the tour has been working out around the world. Everything has been extremely positive. All systems forward are go."

It may be a little bit before Dream Theater's next move, however. The quintet will be touring until Sept. 2 -- with plans to film a concert DVD Aug. 19-20 in Buenos Aires, Argentina -- after which the musicians will take time for their own projects. LaBrie, 49, is working on his second solo album, but he also predicts that Dream Theater will reconvene sooner rather than later.

"We definitely want to keep the momentum going, because the reaction to this album and the tour has been extremely positive, very successful for us," the singer says. "Mike Mangini can't wait to get into the studio with us for the next album and be a full-on part of it this time.

"So, yeah, we don't want to let too much time go by. Just from the little discussion we've had so far, I imagine we'll be back soon, even in January maybe, starting to throw ideas at each other and hopefully have something for release maybe in the fall of 2013. That feels like a reasonable scenario."

Dream Theater and Crimson Projekct perform Friday, June 22, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60, $45 and $35. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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