Top Of The World Tour returns Dream Theater to Ohio; Jordan Rudess reflects on ‘slow, steady climb’ to prog metal royalty

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2022 marks 30 years since the release of “Images and Words,” the breakthrough album for Dream Theater. Not only did this epic album cement Dream Theater’s presence on the world stage; it also hallmarked Dream Theater as leaders in the broader breakthrough of the progressive metal genre — or, “prog metal” for short. And “prog”-ress continues to be Dream Theater’s strong suit.

Dream Theater members John Petrucci, Mike Mangini, James LaBrie, John Myung, Jordan Rudess pose on top of a skyscraper for a promotional photo.
Dream Theater members John Petrucci (from left), Mike Mangini, James LaBrie, John Myung, Jordan Rudess [Rayon Richards]
Although “Images and Words” was a watershed record, its 30th Anniversary finds Dream Theater “prog”-ressing further – with their critically-acclaimed new album, “A View From The Top of the World.”

Concocted while the band was kept off the road from COVID-19, “A View From The Top of the World” is the first album they recorded at their new studio, Dream Theater Headquarters; and the Top of the World Tour is their first since COVID-19 brought their grand gigging to a halt.

This brings Dream Theater to Ohio for the first time in the new decade. First, to Cincinnati, on Wednesday, February 16, at the Andrew J. Brady Music Center (25 Race Street); then, a week later, to the Akron Civic Theatre (182 South Main Street) on Wednesday, February 23.

WOUB’s Ian Saint was granted an exclusive interview with Dream Theater’s longtime keyboardist, Jordan Rudess, from the road.

Rudess ruminated on a wide variety of past, present, and future Dream Theater topics; including how Dream Theater has built up a large fan base despite a dearth of radio support, how they sustain wide interest in their new albums 30 years after “Images and Words,” the ways that pandemic angst impacted “A View from the Top of the World,” the “very slow, steady climb” that led to Rudess joining Dream Theater in his 40s, Dream Theater famously covering Iron Maiden’s entire “Number of the Beast” album in concert (which closely coincides with WOUB’s recent interview of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson ), and more.

To stream our entire segment with Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater on demand, click the Play button of the SoundCloud widget beneath the headline.

To browse the full Top Of The World Tour itinerary and obtain tickets, visit Dream Theater’s official website: