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Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere... CD (album) cover


Porcupine Tree


Heavy Prog

4.57 | 543 ratings

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4 stars PT arriving in your living room with a great show.

An outstanding concert document filmed in Chicago in October 2005 this DVD does the job of presenting the band. It manages to capture the obvious excitement in the hall with great camera work, killer sound, and very high quality overall.

They did make the decision to employ the visual effects that many (myself included) find unnecessary: the color to black/white switches, the grainy or flecked images to make it look like dated film stock, etc. For the most part these didn't wreck the show for me as the material itself is good enough to make you forgive the visual tricks. And they avoided the worst sin of the concert video which is the super lightning fast edits that keep your head spinning and never allow you to settle in with one performer for more than two seconds. So my conclusion about the visuals debate is that those who hate that stuff will have to deal with a bit of it but shouldn't allow it to keep them from buying this and enjoying it. All in all it works.

The music is very good and the band is on top of the execution all the way. The opening track will blow you out of your chair if you have the luxury of watching this on a fine audio system. Lots of great guitar solos, beautiful keyboard textures, out of this world drumming will thrill any rock fan. The highlight for me was long and tasty version of "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" which Wilson squeezes every drop of passion from, but all of the songs have something to offer. The emphasis never strays from the music to other typical concert distractions like "the light show" or camera mugging. Wilson comes across as a down to earth guy and delivers alternately sensitive or passion-filled vocals as required by the track. Backing vocals do a great job of recreating the gorgeous harmonies you find on their studio albums. Other Deadwing tracks like "Halo" and "Lazerus" are also delivered with great conviction by the band. The performance makes clear that PT as a band unit are at the top of their game.

The bonus disc includes several cool things. First, the "gallery" is maybe the best I've ever seen. The photos are outstanding and they scroll themselves so you don't have to keep pushing the remote. Also they are put to space music so the effect is nearly that of a video. The Rockpalast live songs are as good as those in the main show. The "Lazerus" promo as a video could have been great but was ruined by the nasty visuals that Wilson seems willing to let shroud him. It featured these really sweet home movies of a family from the 50s or 60s (Steve's family?) that I really wanted to **see** but unfortunately the whole thing is mucked up by saturated colors and scratch/grain/aged film effect. What a shame. The bonus concert back-drop films are great to set a mood in the concert but presented alone are of little value. The last item is a video for "cymbal song" which is a solo item where the drummer creates an entire song using only his cymbals. It works amazingly well. Nice idea.

Packaging is great with a full color fold-out digipak housing the two discs. (Love the speakers with the photos inside, nice touch!) The menu commands are fast and easy to navigate.

I would recommend this DVD not only to PT fans but to anyone who appreciates a good rock show. My better half is not into watching rock shows to the extent that I am and often times gets bored with them. But she really enjoyed this one and watched the whole thing! Good job guys!

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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