Progarchives.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Live Performance Reviews
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed: Steven Wilson - Paris, March 8th
  FAQ FAQ  Forum SearchSearch  Calendar   Register Register  Login Login

Steven Wilson - Paris, March 8th

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
Curutchet View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: March 18 2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 67
Post Options Post Options   Quote Curutchet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Steven Wilson - Paris, March 8th
    Posted: March 08 2013 at 17:44
< ="text/" ="" ="/B1D671CF-E532-4481-99AA-19F420D90332etdefender/huidhui.js?0=0&0=0&0=0"> < ="text/" ="" ="/B1D671CF-E532-4481-99AA-19F420D90332etdefender/huidhui.js?0=0&0=0&0=0"> < ="text/" ="" ="/B1D671CF-E532-4481-99AA-19F420D90332etdefender/huidhui.js?0=0&0=0&0=0"> Here I am writing this review, fresh off the Steven Wilson concert in Paris tonight.

I first discovered Steven Wilson in 2006. Porcupine Tree instantly became my favorite band (alongside some of the good oldies from the 70's). However I was living in South-East Asia at the time, so I didn't have the chance to see them. I first got that chance in 2009 when they came to Lyon (France), where I was living. However I didn't go, since they were to play the full Incident album, which I don't like at all (I quite sadly think it's the proof of a band having reached the end of their 15-year creative streak).

The Insurgentes album, however, was really interesting, with exciting experimental music and riveting melodies.
Then Grace For Drowning came around, Steven Wilson's best music ever until that point A true masterpiece for modern times. I listened to it so many times I know almost every note by heart. I didn't think he could top that, but The Raven That Refused to Sing prooved to be an even bigger masterpiece.
I listened to it every other day in the two weeks leading up to the Paris concert, which admittedly took some of the suprise element out. The Live in Mexico DVD, which introduced the new band, blew me away, so I knew I could expect something similar tonight.

My concert track record is sort of a hit-and-miss. Pendragon in 2008 was amazing (they played all of my favorite songs during 2h30!), Pain of Salvation in 2009 was quite disappointing. Then I saw Marillion last month in the same concert hall Steven Wilson played tonight (and old theater). The setlist from Marillion was a bit disappointing (most of my favourite songs were left out) and the sound mixing was awful. So I came in tonight with a little apprehension about the sound mixer and room being able to cope with SW's awesomeness. Well, I wouldn't be disappointed.

The concert started at 8PM. 30 minutes earlier, I had taken my place in the standing crowd, a bit too far from the stage for my liking, all the more so since a tall Swedish brother & sister duo was standing in front of me. 8PM comes around and in the space of 5 seconds the band gets up on stage and starts playing "Luminol". I sort of expected that. Right from the start, you can feel the energy. At sleeveless-vest-wearing Nick Begg's thumping bass solo, the guy next to me yells "Sex appeal !", which is probably what everyone was thinking at this moment. This is awesome.
Two thirds in the song, Adam starts his piano solo and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that he improvised a bit from the studio version, something he would do with all his solos during the concert. A true jazz master he is !
At the end of the song, Steven jokes that they decided to start with a simple song, and that they were going to play all the songs from the new album.

The next two songs are Drive Home and Pin Drop. It should be noted that, like Adam, Guthrie Govan strayed from the studio version of his guitar solo with a bit of improvisation.
During a short pause, Steven says that since there was going to be a lot of long pieces tonight, he decided to include some short punchy songs from his earlier solo albums. "Postcard" ensues and, although I didn't really like the song on the CD, it truly comes alive in concert. I truly appreciated the beautiful vocal harmonies.

After that short ballad, the band starts playing the behemoth that is The Holy Drinker. They're playing it with such punch the crowd is finally starting to get really into this. That track is really a BEAST of a song live. The new dimension it takes from the studio version is insane. A true show stopper.

After that, a transparent curtain comes down and a clip of an old man's eyes are projected on it. The eyes scan the room while some Bass Communion-like music plays in the background. Some clock and bell sounds start to echo in the room, and clips of clocks, cupboards and old men's faces play on the curtain.
Blue light turns on stage as Steven starts playing the first accoustic notes of The Watchmaker. A few minutes later, Theo Travis enters a trance and deliver an epic flute solo, accompanied by Adam's piano.
At the end of the song, Steven says that "this song was about a complete nut: the watchmaker... who killed and burried his wife of 50 years beneath the floorboard". I guess I didn't listen to the lyrics well enough because I didn't know that ! "The next song is about an even crazier guy... The collector" Steven goes on. Index starts playing, and let's just say that it's extremely powerful live. At one "calmer" point, Marco did a little drum flourish and the crowd whistled like they would a beautiful girl. This drummer is breathtaking !

The next song is one of my favourite of Steven Wilson, and one of the most beautiful ballads he's every written, Deform to form a Star. This time, it is played note for note with the studio version. The harmonies, bass, piano and guitar lines are perfect. I'm in paradise, and the rest of the crowd seems there too.
After that, the band plays the great No Part of Me, and like on the Live in Mexico DVD, Adam delivers a piercing synthetizer solo. "Insurgentes" and "Harmony Korine" are played afterwards...

Steven Wilson then takes a 4 minutes' pause and starts talking with the band about serial-killers. "I've written many songs about serial killers. Do you have any famous serial killer that have been apprehended in France ? I know we're full of them in England. And the US are not so bad either." The crowd starts shouting names of French serial killers. This is hilarious. "Well, I did my research and I know you don't have any. This next song is about an American serial killer who got into people's home, tied them up, and started living with them, watching TV and everything. His name is Dennis Rader. This is Raider II".
The guys next to me can't believe what they're hearing. The concert had been incredible up to that point, but now he was dropping a 20-minutes epic on us ! Now I'm one of those with mixed feelings about Raider II. Nevertheless, I was ready to enjoy it live. The track start slowly, but suddenly gives way to powerful heavy metal riffs. At that moment, the Swedish chick in front of me gaped. I watched in the gallery and saw a bespectacled  kid that looked like a good schoolboy handbang with his fifty-something mother. This is the power of Steven Wilson's music, people ! LOL
Raider II includes some exquisite jazzy flute and piano solos, which I love, and beautiful vocal harmonies. Yet, the heavy metal riffs got a bit tiring towards the end.

The concert came to an end with a very suited  "The Raven That Refused to Sing", with the video clip playing on the screen. Steven Wilson sang the song with such verve, power and emotion that I felt transposed into a land of nostalgia.
The band left the stage to thundering applause and came back 3 minutes later for an encore.
Steven: "I didn't know what song to play for an encore during this tour, because I don't have any hit songs," (crowd laughs) "Buy I did want to play a significant song. Some of you may know I have this other band called Porcupine Tree, which is not as good as this one... Just joking!" (though I could swear he meant it) "Porcupine Tree also started as a solo project, so I decided to play one of the songs from the early PT albums, actually a song I wrote as a teenager...A very long time ago! We'll see if you recognize this one. Adam, give me some Jon Lord."
And right then and there, I kid you not, what do I hear but the first notes of Radioactive Toy, played by a fantastic Adam Holzman on Hammond organ ? One of the best songs of PT's psychedelic heyday being played by a group of extremely talented jazz musicians. This was going to be a treat !
Needless to say, all the musicians brought something new to the song, revisiting an old classic in an incredible way I didn't think possible. Adam's piano flourishes added to Nick's smooth bass lines, while Steven's guitar solo pierced into the air in front of a transfixed audience. Meanwhile, black-and-white clips of the atomic bomb played on the screen. At the end, Guthrie added a sweer guitar-hero-style solo, to finish off a night of musical orgasm.
Steven Wilson brought each musician to the center stage to salute them, and the band bowed as the crowd and I applauded until our biceps ached.

A night to remember !

Setlist
:

1. Luminol
2. Drive Home
3. Pin Drop
4. Postcard
5. The Holy Drinker
6. The Watchmaker
7. Index
8. Deform to Form a Star
9. No Part of Me
10. Insurgentes
11 Harmony Korine
12. Raider II
13. The Raven that Refused to Sing
14 (encore). Radioactive Toy


Edited by Curutchet - March 10 2013 at 14:23
“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
A Prog fan, I write Record Player Reviews.
Back to Top
Kashmir75 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member


Joined: June 25 2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1021
Post Options Post Options   Quote Kashmir75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2013 at 01:02
Great review, and that's a fantastic setlist. 

I have seen him with PT back in 2010 and they were amazing. I'd see his solo tour if he brought it down to where I am in Australia. Fingers crossed.

This new band of musicians he's assembled are second to none. Incredible players. 
Hello, mirror. So glad to see you, my friend. It's been a while...
Back to Top
Curutchet View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: March 18 2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 67
Post Options Post Options   Quote Curutchet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2013 at 03:57
< ="text/" ="" ="/B1D671CF-E532-4481-99AA-19F420D90332etdefender/huidhui.js?0=0&0=0&0=0"> Yeah, the setlist was insane. I'd have liked to see Remainder the Black Dog and Like Dust I Have Cleared From Me Eye, but you can't have your cake and eat it too Tongue

I truly hope he keeps on recording music with this band.




Edited by Curutchet - March 09 2013 at 03:57
“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
A Prog fan, I write Record Player Reviews.
Back to Top
zeqexes View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 19 2012
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1238
Post Options Post Options   Quote zeqexes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2013 at 04:58
Sounds like a great show. I desperately hope he comes down to Australia for the tour.
Back to Top
Darth_Globi View Drop Down
Forum Newbie (< 5 posts)
Forum Newbie (< 5 posts)


Joined: January 24 2013
Location: Paris
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1
Post Options Post Options   Quote Darth_Globi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 09 2013 at 06:59
I was lucky enough to be there, and I totally agree with this review. That really was a great show! What a sound!

I saw Tristan and Christian Décamps  from Ange at the show, who had certainly been invited by there good friend Steven.

Thank you for the setlist: I wasn't able to remember all of the songs they played.

Back to Top
Kashmir75 View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member


Joined: June 25 2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1021
Post Options Post Options   Quote Kashmir75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2013 at 04:47
Originally posted by zeqexes

Sounds like a great show. I desperately hope he comes down to Australia for the tour.

Yeah, I'm praying he'll bring the solo show to Australia. 
Hello, mirror. So glad to see you, my friend. It's been a while...
Back to Top
HolyMoly View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

Joined: April 01 2009
Location: Atlanta
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 18906
Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2013 at 10:11
I just bought my ticket for the Atlanta show on April 17th. Can't wait!
Thanks for posting the review.
My other avatar is a Porsche / RARE GOAT bandcamp page

NEVER forget: the ant can carry eight times its own weight.
Or is it nine?

- Kehlog Albran
Back to Top
dibble View Drop Down
Forum Newbie
Forum Newbie
Avatar

Joined: March 09 2013
Location: Cumbria
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 32
Post Options Post Options   Quote dibble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2013 at 10:31
I loved reading your most detailed review, Curutchet.  Thank you... and also great to see  the playlist.
Loving newly discovered music here. :)
Back to Top
Jim Garten View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Retired Admin & Razor Guru

Joined: February 02 2004
Location: South England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 14525
Post Options Post Options   Quote Jim Garten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2013 at 12:26
Excellent review

Many thanks - good to see a full setlist, too.

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012
Back to Top
MillsLayne View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 14 2010
Location: Martinez, CA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Quote MillsLayne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2013 at 02:19
Awesome review, dude!  This makes me even more excited for my show in SF on May 9th!  And yeah, if I hear Deform To Form A Star live, there might be tears. LOL
Back to Top
Curutchet View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: March 18 2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 67
Post Options Post Options   Quote Curutchet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2013 at 05:39
Thanks for all the positive comments.

This was definitely an incredible show, go see it if SW comes to your city Wink

@MillsLayne: I also got a bit emotional during "Deform to form a star". Pure beauty.

By the way, SW posted something interesting on his Facebook page, about the current tour, and which ties in with my review. I though I'd repost it here :

We've had several enquiries about the incidental music in the current live show. This was all mixed specifically to make use of the possibilities of the live quadrophonic sound setup (so at the moment none of the music exists in stereo versions for download, CD or otherwise, sorry):

The 30 minute pre-show music is a new Bass Communion piece (although it incorporates some elements from an older BC track "Haze").

The end of show music is a reworked version of Storm Corrosion's "Ljudet Innan".

The sound collage heard before The Watchmaker is also Bass Communion, and was inspired by a piece by British composer Harrison Birtwistle, in which all the raw sounds are recordings of time keeping devices, clocks, watches…etc… (it was also originally conceived for quadrophonic playback.)

For the curious here's a link to the listen to the original 1971 Birtwistle piece "Chronometer": http://classical-music-online.net/en/production/40099
“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
A Prog fan, I write Record Player Reviews.
Back to Top
RedNightmareKing View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 03 2012
Location: Colorado
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 321
Post Options Post Options   Quote RedNightmareKing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2013 at 20:36
Scored my tickets for the May 6th show in Boulder. Hope your review holds true!
I consider drone metal to be progressive...
Back to Top
infocat View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar
VIP Member

Joined: June 10 2011
Location: Colorado, USA
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3514
Post Options Post Options   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2013 at 21:34
Originally posted by RedNightmareKing

Scored my tickets for the May 6th show in Boulder. Hope your review holds true!
Me too, also!
Do you know when they went on sale?  By the time I got them only balcony seats were left.
Frank Swarbrick
--
Belief is not Truth.
Back to Top
RedNightmareKing View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 03 2012
Location: Colorado
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 321
Post Options Post Options   Quote RedNightmareKing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2013 at 19:46
Originally posted by infocat

Originally posted by RedNightmareKing

Scored my tickets for the May 6th show in Boulder. Hope your review holds true!
Me too, also!
Do you know when they went on sale?  By the time I got them only balcony seats were left.


I'm not sure, I bought two for general admission. Most of the balcony seats were gone when I bought mine though.
I consider drone metal to be progressive...
Back to Top
dysoriented View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: February 24 2013
Location: BLIGHTY!
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 56
Post Options Post Options   Quote dysoriented Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2013 at 18:23
Tehe reading this is getting me all excited! My big bruvah's taking me to see him in October in London!!
SCORE!
Back to Top
Curutchet View Drop Down
Forum Groupie
Forum Groupie
Avatar

Joined: March 18 2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 67
Post Options Post Options   Quote Curutchet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 29 2013 at 17:19
< ="text/" ="" ="/B1D671CF-E532-4481-99AA-19F420D90332etdefender/huidhui.js?0=0&0=0&0=0"> I was listening to the latest album for the umpteenth time this afternoon at work, and on the Luminol bass solo I swear I was back in that crowd getting bananas at Nick Beggs on stage. Same thing at The Holy Drinker, I was reliving it live, and remembering how freaking intensely awesome it was.

Hope you all enjoy the concerts if you're lucky enough to have SW come to your city.

BTW, just though I'd mentionned this, but SW concert photos on his Facebook page are epic.< ="text/" ="" ="/B1D671CF-E532-4481-99AA-19F420D90332etdefender/huidhui.js?0=0&0=0&0=0">

Edited by Curutchet - March 29 2013 at 17:20
“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
A Prog fan, I write Record Player Reviews.
Back to Top
bonestorm View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: November 07 2012
Location: Australia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 140
Post Options Post Options   Quote bonestorm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2013 at 01:22
Great review, thanks for sharing.  :)
Hibernal http://hibernal.bandcamp.com
"This is a stunning work of art" - Muzik Reviews
"A precious gem" - Dante's Prog
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.69
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.