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Steven Wilson - Glenside,PA April 19,2013

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Zitro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zitro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Steven Wilson - Glenside,PA April 19,2013
    Posted: April 20 2013 at 08:36
I had very high expectations after buying the 'Get All You Deserve' DVD concert, and this band just exceeded them by a great deal. They're so insanely talented and the music got so intense that they make bands like Dream Theater or Yes sound amateurish in comparison. Despite all the concerts I've been in with some great names, this is easily considered my best concert experience and I'm not sure if anything will top this (with the exception of this band coming up with another brilliant album and touring again in the future).

I sat all the way on the back with cheap tickets as I waited too long to buy tickets and didn't have many options left. I found being on the back somewhat refreshing as I could stand up and do what I want without bugging someone behind me. The talked-about pre-show music was barely audible with the sound of chatter but around 8:10 the lights dimmed, the ending of that 'pre-show' music blasted on the speakers and the band made an entrance:

Luminol started the concert and while I noticed the bass being too much on the loud side (Even more than the studio version), this problem got gradually corrected. The band was all fired up and the energy was exhilarating. The level of musicianship displayed made this a perfect opener and when a headbanging mellotron-driven section got going, I was almost teary. It was the first time I've seen it used live and it sounds fantastic on a live setting. Steven Wilson is a very good frontman and doesn't take himself too seriously, poking fun at himself and jokingly calling 'Luminol' a basic song.

They continued with Drive Home and Pin Drop, both played extremely well, the former with an extended guitar solo that is completely different from the studio version. Pin Drop had a great drive to it, particularly in the choruses. You can tell they're great at harmonizing vocally with these songs and the bass player can sometimes sound better vocally than Wilson. Postcard was admittedly an odd choice and one of my least favorite recent compositions by Wilson (I don't know, too mopey for a live show?) but I sure could appreciate the acoustics in the theater and the mellotron finale. 'Deform to Form a Star' later on the show made a bigger impact and carried more intense feelings in my opinion with the vocal-harmonies led by the bass player sounding incredibly beautiful.

The Concert was brought to a new level with 'Holy Drinker', one of the main highlights of the show. The jazzy intro is played with fiery intensity and heavy drumming. Marco put out the best drumming performance I've seen on a live setting, beating heavyweights like Portnoy (Dream Theater) or Carey (Tool). This song is played with such passion and with all its dynamics ranging from eerie psychedelics to hard rock to brutal death metal, it resulted in a massive crowd ovation. What a beast of a song! It was one of the best moments from the keyboardist making the hammond organ growl like a demon and the mellotron sound demonic. I'm so glad that the first time I get to see that instrument used, it's handled to its full potential and in various different ways.

It was followed by another long song 'The Watchmaker' which was performed with such perfection that it matched the excitement of the previous track. This track focuses more on the melodic and harmonic side of the band but carries top-notch musicianship and death metal riffing at the end. That ending was extremely intense with all musicians playing loud yet controlled. It just rocked the theater and you could hear your body vibrate by the loud bass guitar. I haven't mentioned how the screen on the back plays music videos during the songs, adding more to the whole experience. The industrial sound to 'Index' got a group of young ladies dancing as if it was latin music. I noticed a very enthusiastic crowd, male and female alike (as this music usually attracts just males).

I got really excited when 'No Part of Me' got going, and Marco laid out a very complex yet catchy rhythmic foundation to the track that was vastly superior to the studio version, getting that group dancing (very entertaining to watch). Sadly, the catchy rhythmic first half was bound to end but the harsh metal riffing in the second half was simply epic. One of my favorite moments of the show. After some jokes from Steven, 'Insurgentes', a piano ballad, slowed things down after such intensity while 'Harmony Korine' got things rocking again. That song rocks live, I usually just thought of it as a typical Porcupine Tree sounding song.

Then finally, the 20+ minute song about serial killer Dennis Raider. Some dude was attempting to be funny with silly-sounding 'Yeeeeeeaaaah' during the silences of the piano intro but then the heavy metal and mellotron riffing got the song going. It goes through so many genres like the original and was performed to perfection despite how demanding it must be to play such a song to a live audience. The middle section has great dynamics as it goes from a jazzy jam to heavy metal, to ambient, to an eventual progression to pretty brutal music. They finished the set with 'The Raven That Refused to Sing'. It had a music video going for the entire song.

An encore got Steven Wilson attempting to ask people to pick a song, then said he couldn't hear anything with all the noise and played a song he wrote as a teenager. A Pink-Floyd (Echoes) sounding composition. It's pretty basic but the musicians made it sound more grandiose than it probably was. The song was called ' Radioactive Toy' based on the chorus line. 

I feel so happy after getting to see this band in action. They're really the new stars of progressive rock alongside Yes, Genesis, King Crimson. I didn't think they could pull it off as well as they did.






Edited by Zitro - April 21 2013 at 07:00
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Padraic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Padraic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 09:34
Zitro, do you live in southeastern PA?  I live about 10 minutes from Glenside.  Wish I had known about the show.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 10:25
Cool, I'm going to see him to in less than a month. And I also took too long to buy the tickets and will be rather far behing , but well, I hope it will be enjoyable also. Last year I had been thinking about going to his concert too, but didn't make up my mind, and was rather disapointed, since the band he had formed was considered by all who reviewed them really great, plus I really liked Grace for Drowning. However, now I can redeem not having gone last year, for I feel this new album is even better for a live show, plus, they will be playing Raider too. And now reading such a review from you, I can't but be even more excited by the prospect.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Drew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 11:11
I'll be at his LA show next month
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 12:24
I went to the Atlanta show 3 days ago.  Chad Wackerman was in the drum seat for that show, for some reason.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zitro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 16:59
Padraic: I live within Harrisburg's eastern suburbs. It took 2 hours to get there (and 100 minutes driving back at night)

Dellinger: As long as the place has good acoustic, I can't imagine you not enjoying a show like this. They made the proggy songs so badass (I hope you appreciate heavy/death metal because the riffs are definitively heavier on a live setting). Go for it.

Drew: Enjoy it!

HolyMoly: Steven Wilson talked early on the stage how Wackerman got replaced by the original drummer Marco. Wackerman had a serious family emergency so technically Marco saved the tour.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 20:10
Originally posted by Zitro

HolyMoly: Steven Wilson talked early on the stage how Wackerman got replaced by the original drummer Marco. Wackerman had a serious family emergency so technically Marco saved the tour.
Oh, ok.. thanks for clearing that up!  I was confused as to a) why Wackerman was in there instead of Marco, and b) if he did come in as a last minute replacement, how the heck did he learn all that material.

Great show, I agree.  I arrived almost an hour late though, because of bad Atlanta traffic. Ouch
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mageestout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2013 at 06:55
The Keswick show was very enjoyable. I really enjoy MOST of what Steve does (solo & with PT). The musicians were great. My only complaint with Steve is his lyrics - He & I are in our 40's but yet he writes as if he's the teenager/early 20 something with angst. Does everything need to be a downer??? Then again, who I am to tell him what to write about - it just doesn't "speak to me" like it would if I were a 17 year-old.

That being said, music-wise he (and the band) are great. Not many people still around playing something this good. Seeing the tunes from THE RAVEN live made me really appreciate what a great LP it is.

Highlights - (although the story is a downer) THE WATCHMAKER visuals were great to so along with the story of the song - same with THE RAVEN (although many have seen this vid on YOUTUBE).

ZITRO's review above is very well written and tells it like it is. So I won't rehash it.

All in all a splendid time was had.
Cheers,
Scott
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mageestout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2013 at 06:59
Originally posted by Zitro


Then finally, the 20+ minute song about serial killer Dennis Raider. Some dude was attempting to be funny with silly-sounding 'Yeeeeeeaaaah' during the silences of the piano intro ....



I recall that. What a classless a$$.
A wildly dressed young lady that sat a few seats down from me yelled; "Sorry Steve" after that moron yelled. I thought that was class.
Cheers,
Scott
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2013 at 11:12
Originally posted by Zitro

Padraic: I live within Harrisburg's eastern suburbs. It took 2 hours to get there (and 100 minutes driving back at night)
Dellinger: As long as the place has good acoustic, I can't imagine you not enjoying a show like this. They made the proggy songs so badass (I hope you appreciate heavy/death metal because the riffs are definitively heavier on a live setting). Go for it.
Drew: Enjoy it!
HolyMoly: Steven Wilson talked early on the stage how Wackerman got replaced by the original drummer Marco. Wackerman had a serious family emergency so technically Marco saved the tour.


Yeah, at last I attended the show, and it was great indeed. And I do love metal, so the heavier sound on some songs was fantastic indeed (though I'm not sure I would call it death metal, which I would consider as even heavier and with... death growls... which I don't really like very much, but thankfully were not present on the show).
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