In late March, world-renowned drummer Mike Portnoy unveiled special plans for his 50th birthday. The icon said he would be performing a career-spanning set on the 2017 Cruise to the Edge to celebrate the big milestone. Now, he has revealed that he will be playing Dream Theater's "12-Step Suite" live for the first time ever.

The suite is comprised of five songs spread across as many albums, beginning sequentially on 2002's Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence through the last record Portnoy recorded with the progressive luminaries, Black Clouds and Silver Linings. The drummer announced the news on his Facebook page, exclaiming, "When I came up with the idea of writing a multi-part suite that was to span 5 albums (which ended up taking 8 years to complete), it was always part of my master plan to eventually perform it in it's entirely live onstage."

This never came to fruition with Dream Theater as Portnoy parted ways with the group in 2010. "It saddens me that I was not able to do so [with Dream Theater] after completing the final piece of my conceptual puzzle... but I've decided that I owe it to the fans to finally bring my "12-Step Suite" to life on stage as I always envisioned," he added, continuing, "There's no better time and place than at my 50th birthday concert aboard Cruise To The Edge! Joining me for this very special performance will be some great friends and amazing musicians that I know will kick ass in helping me with my unfinished business of bringing this piece of music to life onstage!"

The catalyst for the suite was Portnoy's increasing drug abuse, particularly alcohol. After consuming his final alcoholic drink on the last date of the Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory tour in 2000, which was also his 33rd birthday, he entered Alcoholics Anonymous. The drummer made the decision to parlay the experience into the "12-Step Suite." The five songs, "The Glass Prison," "This Dying Soul," "The Root of All Evil," "Repentance" and "The Shattered Fortress," are divided into 12 parts, with each taking on a piece of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step Program.

Cruise to the Edge will depart on Feb. 7 from Tampa, Fla., for Cozumel, Mexico, returning on Feb. 11. Other acts set to perform include Kansas, Steve Hackett, John Wetton, Neal Morse Band, Haken, Pain of Salvation and more. For more information, visit the cruise's website.

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