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Mike Portnoy Trashes Equipment Onstage And “Raps” In Manila, PHL, Video Available

Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob, ex-Dream Theater) had a meltdown onstage that saw him trash his equipment after being unhappy with it was setup. The incident took place in Manila, Philippines this past Tuesday during his show with Billy Sheehan, Tony MacAlpine and Derek Sherinian.

Fan-filmed footage of the outburst and his accompanying “rap song” can be seen below along with a statement from Portnoy on the matter:

“Not to excuse my actions, but at least to explain the situation:

This PSMS tour has been VERY difficult on all of us in terms of gear and production. The only way we have been able to make it to such far away places such as Manila, Russia, Israel, Indonesia, etc (where it is normally VERY expensive to tour unless you are a “name” band that has been around for many years) is we’ve have had to make concessions by using supplied gear and local techs at each show.

Granted, WE agreed to these terms and are willing to make it work – however, on at least a half dozen occasions on this tour we have been incredibly frustrated to arrive at the venue only to find the band’s gear requirements were simply blatantly ignored (wrong keyboards, wrong amps, Zildjian cymbals, etc) AND were not setup and ready for us as was supposed to be the case and what the promoters had promised.

We have been as patient and understanding as we possibly can be…but when you get 4 guys who haven’t slept more than a couple of hours every night in order to fly to these shows without sleep…sometimes our patience can wear thin.

In the case of the Manila show, we arrived hours before the show to find out the drums weren’t setup, cymbals were missing, Billy‘s amp was wrong (again) and Tony had a buzz on his gear that would not go away…but we forged ahead because we were VERY excited to play for the fans!

At the start of Stratus (where the video on youtube is from) – my snare drum mic fell off and I motioned for the tech to come put it back on the stand/drum…and instead, he comes up to the drum kit and takes the mic away…leaving me playing with NO snare mic!!! (you’ll hear I begin playing the high tom instead of the snare)…realizing he had no idea what was going on or how to fix the situation, I stopped playing and did my little “rap” while they fixed the situation and we wouldn’t have to play the whole song with no snare in the mix.

In the video, you can see I was at least making a joke out of it and wasn’t maliciously trying to hurt anybody or storming off in anger.

Moral of the story: WE ARE HUMAN! And sometimes frustrating circumstances create frustrated behavior. I’m not saying I was right in stopping the song…but if you see a video from later in the show, you’ll see I explain to the audience that I’ve been waiting my whole career to play in Manila and I wasn’t going to let ANYTHING ruin my night or their show!!
And we carried on and everybody had a great night…

And I look forward to returning…
(although this may be the last time I tour without my own kit and my own drum tech…hahahaha!!!)”


  • posi kill

    band’s gear requirements were simply blatantly ignored (wrong keyboards, wrong amps, Zildjian cymbals, etc)

    because zildjian cymbals are toooooootal garbage. this dude…is a douche.

    • Cognomen

      Apparently, he’s endorsed by Sabian. So according to Portnoy, every cymbal brand that he’s not getting for free, sucks.

      I doubt that Manila is crowded by stores selling drum kits, so it might not have been that easy for the promoter and the venue to get the exact gear he (and the rest of the band) wanted. A professional musician should be able to play on the gear provided anyways.

      He seems like a big crybaby in my opinion.

  • southpawchew

    lol sooo cute. :)

  • wearesorta138

    He could have attempted something an adult would do. Finish the song, put the mic back on himself, then continue the set.

  • Lifeseclipse

    Elton John is a bitchy Diva?…… A challenger appears.

  • posi kill

    i never knew elevator music was this gnarly.

  • RxInfection

    “I’ve been waiting my whole career to play in Manila and I wasn’t going to let ANYTHING ruin my night or their show!!… except my childish behavior”

  • goop

    Find the original recording of Stratus on “spectrum” by Billy Cobham. It a great recording.


    Uh oh, somebody better call the wambulance.

  • southpawchew

    after the shows portnoy goes home to america
    after the show. the promoter shorts the poor dudes bag of rice they told him they would pay him.

  • Ortegasm
    • booze

      I’m sure there’s a few Sabian cymbals in that place somewhere.

  • Zombee187

    Dude…you are playing in the Philippines, just be glad the venue even has electricity.

  • DirtyWarriorMan

    ZILDJIAN cymbles? Are you KIDDING me?!??!

    And someone sign this man to Def Jam. Gifted rhymer!

  • danooky

    “caprice de millionaire”

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