Written by John Petrucci, “Barstool Warrior" finds the guitarist putting on his storyteller's hat to tell two unrelated tales of people being in an unfavorable situation. Petrucci told Ultimate-Guitar
that he decided to write the song from a fictional standpoint as he thought its sound reminded him of "Genesis, old-school kind of prog" and he imagined Peter Gabriel telling one of his stories.
"I immediately had this weird thought of a townie guy, a little bar and a marina that was like lamenting about his life going nowhere coupled with another story.
A parallel story, a woman who's in an abusive relationship and she's like, 'Why do I stay in this?' And the song, in a very short period of time, it goes through - they're kind of taking control of their lives and realizing they can decide what their destinies are going to be, to get out of those situations. That's the headspace it comes from."