Tuesday, 26th June 2007
De Effenaar, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Article By Mario van Os
Ever since Porcupine Tree released their new album “Fear of a Blank Planet” on the 16th April it has been in my CD-player very often. In my opinion this is the best album they ever did. So when I heard they were coming to Eindhoven for a concert, I immediately got tickets for this concert.
This was the first time I went to the Effenaar, since it has been rebuild. It is a great venue with good sound quality. The position of the stage is a little weird, and it’s a pity the floor isn’t ascending. I think the last time I was at the Effenaar was for the first Aardschok Festival, many many years ago. This new venue is certainly a big improvement for Eindhoven and good to see there are coming more and more prog-concerts (Queensryche and Fish are next on my list). The venue can hold up to 1300 people and it was completely sold out. Maybe the first time in the history of the Effenaar?
A minor point is their strict ‘no-camera allowed’ policy. Nowadays with digital phototaking phones this is becoming exceptional. So I have to download my photos from the internet. What a blank planet this world has become. But the non-smoking policy of Steven Wilson (he has done this for many years now) is something where I’m very pleased with.
Pure Reason Revolution was the supporting act of this night. After seeing their support gig for Blackfield in Helmond earlier this year technically blown to pieces I hoped they got a chance to prove themselves. They started off very bad; again technically problems with Jamie's guitar amp. Luckily they fixed this after the first song and a little break. But then they went on. The sound quality was much better in the Effenaar as it was in Plato. So after a bad start, they were pretty good, but I still think they could do better. The highlight is definitely the epic The Bright Ambassadors of Morning.
After a short break, with this time the pause music carefully chosen by Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree started off with their opening number from their latest album (Fear of a Blank Planet). They played their latest album in its entire alternated with a rare collection of songs from their back catalogue. Last year they were promoting their new next to come album and now, with the album out, they were advertising their back catalogue from Signify till Deadwing. But of course everybody in the venue of the prog-capitol of the world (as Steven called the Netherlands) has already all their albums and was just enjoying this.
After the opening song they went on with Lightbulb Sun. With this song they ultimately proved that FoaBP fits perfectly and even exceeds all of their previous albums. It’s been a while they performed Lightbulb, but this seems to fit perfectly in the setlist.
The songs of FoaBP were supported by video projections. The movies really add to the atmosphere of the music and the overall show. The movies made me thinking of Pink Floyd’s movies, the video of High Hopes has several elements in it that were used in My Ashes imo. Especially the shot in the hallway with the bouncing skippy ball...
Anesthetize was simply amazing, the best song ever and live even better. And thanks to Steven we now know how to pronounce Anesthetize. What Steven can do with his guitar is amazing, he once again proves he is a musical genius during the middle piece of Anesthetize. SUPERB!
John Wesley was also in perfect shape this evening, the Alex Lifeson’s solo is perfectly translated by John. But he also has a great part in the lead vocals with this tour, I think he better could stick to his guitar. Maybe Steven is sparing his voice or is very busy with his keyboard. This is the first time I actually saw him a lot playing his keys, next to his guitar.
The show continues with various highlights of their latest albums and a collection of songs rarely ever played live before, like Drown with me, Half Light and Sever. Steven had to check with the audience if they knew the songs. I was surprised only a handful actually knew Half Light. This is a song from the EP Lazarus (but is also on the Deadwing DVD-A Bonus Material). I was arguing this with one of my neighbours at the concert, he though it was on Recordings. But of course this is from the Deadwing period.
After finishing their new album, with a very powerful and energetic performed Sleep Together (this song is live even better than on CD), the band leaves the stage. After a little while they return for their encores. Steven was quite chatty and jokingly this evening. "Would you like us to play Stupid Dream song which has only 16 second" was Stevens reaction to someone in the audience requesting that "song". And then he went on about Stupid Trains, a 17 minute ambient piece and that we really wouldn’t want to hear. But after ongoing requests about Trains, somehow it remembers me of the Grendel calling at Marillion concerts, Steven jokes on: "We are not the kind of band that plays the same songs over and over again every tour just because you guys wanna hear it... but allright". And then Trains started. After that the magnificent instrumental Mother and Child Divided and leaving us with Halo blessing, the band leaves after about 2 hours the stage. I enjoyed it.
Fear Of A Blank Planet
Drown With Me
Way Out Of Here
Mother & Child Divided
Pure Reason Revolution:
Voices In Winter / In the realms of the divine
Golden Clothes (last part)
Porcupine Tree Official Website
Porcupine Tree MySpace
Pure Reason Revolution
Pure Reason Revolution MySpace
Photography from Erik Luyten on FlickR