Having made a significant impact within the progressive rock world and on the genre itself for over thirty years now, Steven Wilson has become a very important and extremely significant entity within the music world as a whole for his many ventures and extensive back catalogue of albums to his name. Namely Porcupine Tree and as a solo artist (although having said that, his importance and attendance production wise can not go unnoticed or ignored!).
And whilst it is the name Steven Wilson he carries and that which we know him by, it is all too clear that it is the unbelievable multi talented musicians that carry a fair chunk of the weight and background of being able to reproduce and capture live what we hear going on within Wilson’s mind. And last night at The Palais in Melbourne we witnessed a very special evening with the man and his band indeed.
Sans the fifteen minute interlude halfway through the show, like many evenings spent with Wilson, we were treated to a very special two and a half hour show of stunning music and visuals that truly proved and encapsulated Wilson’s talent and his importance in the musical world and this brief and almost unsubstantial review of mine can never truly give weight to the experience we bore witness to!
The show primarily consisted of three quarters of his solo album from last year To The Bone and seven tracks from the back catalogue of his various Porcupine Tree musings. But make no mistake, the entire set was a highlight and one which captivated and left those of us present, regardless of whether we were standing or seated moving in a beautiful rhythmic unison to the talent we had so eagerly longed to see and hear again.
The stunning and complimentary visuals never once detracted from the band and the music and neither did the band detract from the visuals, but both complemented one another as a kaleidoscope of feelings and emotions, the highlights though being “Pariah” from To The Bone, with the backing clip featuring guest vocalist Ninet Tayeb, then as “Home Invasion” ends and immediately before our ears and eyes the band launches immediately into “Regret #9” where the audience bares witness to six or so increible minutes watching the camera capture the beauty of one Carrie Grr, the model featured on the cover of the Hand. Cannot. Erase. album. The next amazing clip featured last night belonged “Song Of I” and finally the hauntingly beautiful and brilliant final show stopper with the backdrop to the title track from Wilson’s 2013 The Raven That Refused To Sing.
Honestly one who reviews a Steven Wilson show or album could try and draw out every dictionary / thesaurus words and/or expressions needed to truly encapsulate what it is to experience such a calibre of performance as one such Steven Wilson and band can produce, but seriously the likes of Wilson and his ilk are for rock nerds and we aren’t looking for a quick fix to satiate a need for a happy ending. We want our climax to be truly fruitful and fulfilling with tons of foreplay, intimacy and excitement before we get a release and that, my dear readers is PRECISELY what it means and is to attend and Steven Wilson performance and that is EXACTLY what his audience got at The Palais last night