Mike Portnoy Career in Kits

A look at some of the kit-loving sticksman's many set-ups

© Scott D. Smith/Retna ./Retna Ltd./Corbis

Mike Portnoy is back with two kickass new bands and a huge Rhythm cover feature! To celebrate we've taken a glance back at some of the mind-blowing kits the drum icon has sat behind down the years.

We start with some early Dream Theater footage in which Portnoy is sat behind a rather refined (certainly by his latter day standards) Tama set-up.

By the time 1994 came around, Portnoy had added some extra bells and whistles (not to mention a tom or two) to his set-up. This era also saw a switch to a Mapex USA maple kit, which he used throughout Dream Theater's Awake world tour.

He was soon back with Tama, though. This extract from a 1998 solo shows off his ever-growing kit, his undoubted skills and a rather fetching new haircut. No sign of the blue beard just yet though.

A new band and a stripped back kit for Portnoy's Beatles homage Yellow Matter Custard. Check out this familiar one rack, one floor set-up.

Another homage, here Portnoy follows in the footsteps of John Bonham with this gorgeous Tama reworking of the Led Zep man's set-up. He's even gone as far as getting himself the iconic hat to finish the whole thing off.

Ah, this is more like it. A mighty set-up from the tail-end of the last decade. Take a look at the clip below to for a walkthrough of Portnoy's mouth-watering Tama Starclassic Bubinga kit.

For a full look around Portnoy's latest Tama Starclassic/Sabian set-up pick up the latest issue of Rhythm.

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