Dream Theater’s John Petrucci: Rush changed everything for me

John Petrucci (Image credit: Olly Curtis/ Guitarist Magazine - Getty)

Dream Theater’s John Petrucci has paid tribute to Rush, saying they were the band “that changed everything” for him.

The guitarist was speaking with Consequence Of Sound (opens in new tab) about the Canadian trio when he revealed that his first concert was seeing Rush on the Signals tour in 1982 – a performance which left him “blown away.”

Petrucci says: “To me, Rush was the band that changed everything. When music just hits you in such a way, especially when you’re young and you’re developing your tastes. That band, there was something about it. 

“One of my greatest musical memories has to do with them because Rush was the first concert I ever went to. In 1982, they were on the Signals tour, they were playing the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. I went there and had the worst seats ever. 

“They were so far away, but I just couldn’t believe that this was a band I was listening to all this time, and here I am in the same building as them. How was that possible? 

“I was just blown away by the show and the production. You can imagine what impact that had on me, eventually making that my career.”

Rush brought the curtain down on their career in Los Angeles on August 1, 2015 – the final night of their R40 tour.

Vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee has since worked with Wintersleep (opens in new tab) and published his Big Beautiful Book Of Bass; guitarist Alex Lifeson is a special guest on The Mute Gods' new album Atheists & Believers (opens in new tab), while drummer Neil Peart has retired from music.

Dream Theater, meanwhile, are currently on tour (opens in new tab) in support of their new album Distance Over Time (opens in new tab).

Dream Theater: Distance Over Time (opens in new tab)

Dream Theater: Distance Over Time (opens in new tab)
Dream Theater return with their 14th studio album and the follow-up to 2016's The Astonishing. It includes the tracks Untethered Angel, Fall Into The Light and Paralyzed.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.