Concert Review Archive

 

Porcupine Tree

Wednesday & Thursday, 15th & 16th October 2008
013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Article By Ian Butler
 

Wednesday, 15th October 2008

Porcupine Tree are infectiously successful at the moment. Riding the new wave of popularity with their most recent offering, Fear Of A Blank Planet (FOABP), they were heading towards the crest which, needed to be documented somehow. Steven Wilson was clear that he wanted to document FOABP, lay it to rest for a while and start with new material that he has in the pipeline. Seeing that the FOABP performance has been polished, tuned and toured for a few years now, the time was right. I am sure that it also made sense musically, psychologically and financially.

The highlights have been compressed on this reporting, to make their own disquieting observations. Porcupine Tree played two nights at Tilburg 013 in order to record a sufficient number of tracks to release a new DVD. Both nights at the 013 venue were sold out showing the ever increasing support for the band. Something also must have clicked for the band in management/record label/promotional effort as it seems that they are now reaching a wider public, (I suppose Steven Wilson and the guys must take some musical credit too!). The first featured FOABP in it's entirety from start to finish and then there followed a selection of other songs after the break. The Porcupine Tree rollercoaster starts with the perfect rock concert opener Fear Of A Blank Planet, which from the start lets you know once again that PT are back again, at ear splitting levels, being driven by the Gavin Harrison V8 engine. The band progress through the album, via the beautiful My Ashes and arrive at the epic track Anesthetize. It's still a great track no matter how many times one hears it. I hear so many influences in this track, not alone the end part which SW switches guitar, and reminds me that I should go back more often and revisit the Scandinavian parts of prog. I know that I have written much of this before, but itís now their staple and proves that so far it is standing the test of time.

It was great to hear Gavin Harrison mixing it up a bit from the album versions of Anesthetize and especially Way out of Here. No credit should be taken away from the other members of the band, but the way Gavin Harrison plays around the band is exceptional, he keeps time with the band rather than them with him in a conventional sense. Continuing through the album until the end of Sleep Together.

After the break, they played a melange of songs and genuinely surprised me with a rendition of Stars Die, the B side from the Moonloop EP. It really shows that Steven Wilson's/Porcupine Trees music has genuinely progressed, but essentially is very identifiable. It's great to hear that older tracks sound so fresh and the newer ones still have the ability to do move people emotionally and physically. The best moment of the night was the guy standing next to me who completely lost control of his "air guitar arms", rocking out to Blackest Eyes. He doesn't need a PSP/ WE "Guitar Hero" game, he's actually there himself, "Mature" men behaving like teenagers with tennis rackets as guitars is surely the sign of a great gig. (I hasten to add that this was not DPRP's own David Baird, as he was far worse at air guitar!)

I talked to another colleague and we did think that Porcupine Tree looked a bit "nervous" on stage. It was refreshingly human to hear Steve Wilson admitting that it's very different having cameras pointing at you with the pressure on to record a DVD. Overall it was a satisfactory performance, but not a classic.

Thursday, 16th October 2008

Never has the phrase "What a difference a day makes" been more true! Porcupine Tree were fluid, monstrous and created a real buzzing performance. The sound was still loud, but just right to pin you back and remind you that it is a rock concert. Personally, the mix of tracks from FOABP and back catalogue was the more enjoyable combination, providing more contrast and less predictability. I enjoy surprises at concerts and they begun night two with Normal, was unpredictable, rather than an obviously "heavy" song or Fear Of A Blank Planet. I enjoyed the segue from Strip The Soul into 3, if I am not mistaken.

Steven Wilson did not want to include songs that were on the previous Arriving Somewhere.. DVD, so not too many songs from Deadwing were played, only Halo and Open Car. I am sure that the DVD will be superb, good visual and audio quality, like the perfectionist that I think that Steven Wilson is. After the break Fear Of A Blank Planet was the encore, to a huge round of applause, an obvious contender to use as the opener for the DVD.

PT played so much material, it was excellent value for money, which was good considering the price of the ticket and many fans travel costs from around the world. I heard that a fan came from Japan, just for one night! The band deserved their rapturous applause to seal the lid on the FOABP legacy in Tilburg. Later you can re-open the legacy at home on your DVD and CD player. I hope that there is vinyl version too!

Setlist

Wednesday, 15th October 2008

Fear Of A Blank Planet
My Ashes
Anesthetize
Sentimental
Way Out of Here
Sleep Together

Normal
Stars Die
What Happens Now?
Open Car
Dark Matter
Wedding Nails
Half Light
Sever
Blackest Eyes
Sleep Of No Dreaming
Halo

Thursday, 16th October 2008

Normal
Drown With Me
Stars Die
Cheating The Polygraph
Anethetize
Prodigal?
Wedding Nails
Strip The Soul / 3
Half Light
Sever
Way Out of Here
Sleep Together

Fear Of A Blank Planet
Trains

Sleep Of No Dreaming
Halo

Links

Porcupine Tree Official Website
Porcupine Myspace

DPRP's Review of "Fear Of A Blank Planet"

013

 


© 1996 - 2017 : Dutch Progressive Rock Page