Watch Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy play ‘Pull Me Under’ for the first time in 13 years

Dream Theater‘s Mike Portnoy, who recently returned to the band following a 13-year absence, has played ‘Pull Me Under’ for the first time in 13 years on Drumeo. 

Portnoy was recently featured in a 14-minute video for the YouTube drum education resource, Drumeo, depicting him discussing and playing through the band’s iconic ‘Images And Words’ cut, ‘Pull Me Under’.

The video begins with Portnoy speaking about the significance of the track to Dream Theater’s career, describing it as “the song that put Dream Theater on the map”.


“It’s pretty safe to say, if we didn’t write that song, I wouldn’t be sitting here today,” he said. Portnoy also pointed out that ‘Pull Me Under’ was a last-minute addition to their 1992 album, at the prompting of their A&R person, Derek Oliver, who wanted one more song that was “more concise” to be featured on ‘Images And Words’.

Portnoy also expressed that playing the track for the first time since his departure in 2010 was not difficult. “For me to play this now, it’s kind of just like riding a bicycle,” Portnoy quipped. “The muscle memory is just there for life, you know? It will be there forever.”

Following his opening remarks on the song, he proceeded to explain the drum parts of the different sections of the track, before playing through it in its entirety.

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On October 25, Dream Theater took to X to announce that Mike Portnoy was returning as the band’s drummer. In the same post, the band also announced that their updated line-up will be recording a new studio album together, marking the band’s first studio recording with Portnoy since 2009’s ‘Black Clouds & Silver Linings’.

Portnoy’s return thus reverts Dream Theater to their classic 1999 and 2000 lineup, which consists of Portnoy, singer James LaBrie, guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung and keyboardist Jordan Rudess. As this lineup, the band recorded six studio albums, from 1999’s ‘Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory’ to 2009’s ‘Black Clouds & Silver Linings’.


In Portnoy’s time away from the band, he produced music with a variety of side projects, including The Winery Dogs, a power trio which also involved Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen of Mr. Big, Sons of Apollo, a heavy metal supergroup, and Adrenaline Mob, which he formed with Russell Allen and Mike Orlando.