Porcupine Tree - Not rockstars but brilliant performers
England’s best kept secret Porcupine Tree chose Tilburg’s 013 to be the venue of the recording of their new live DVD. Over two consecutive nights, Porcupine Tree played their best material live, the set mostly based on their last studio album Fear of a Blank Planet. With three video walls supporting the music visually, 013 proved to be the perfect location for an intimate concert experience. And even though both nights were completely sold out, you didn't feel like you were stuck in a tin can.
As soon as Steven Wilson and co. walked on stage, it was striking how much they are total anti-rock stars. Their concern is about the music and the visual presentation. Starting off with a couple of semi-acoustic songs it lead towards the first highlight of an already impressive show, the full performance of their opus ‘Anesthetize’. What a great song with such a great performance, simply brilliant.
In light of the live recording a different setlist was played on the second night. Starting off with the title track on the first night, they close the second with it. They also played songs from their mini album Nil Recurring, which contains songs that didn’t fit the Fear of a Blank Planet concept. A very odd word to use in 2008, Wilson remarked. Yes, it is almost inconceivable that this kind of music with such depth is made these days. And no, why should ‘concept’ be a seventies fling thing? Although their music is reminiscent of Pink Floyd, they have a lot of different and innovative elements enriching their sound.
It is though very clear that this night’s strongest material came from the Blank album. It is one of the most metal orientated from their catalogue. Next year they will release a new album and they will have a hard time to come up with material that even remotely matches their current disc. The live DVD will be without doubt regarded as an essential release. Although through editing, probably not all announcements will be shown, it would be a shame if it would happen with ‘Way Out Of Here’. Introduced as a true story about a suicide of a young girl by the railway tracks and that her mother will be attending Porcupine’s show in London is really a touching story. And when the video walls show the images of a young girl on a railway station, it just adds an incredible depth to the song. Let us all hope that these incredibly great shows get a release soon so that we can watch it over and over again.