i was wondering if any fellow head fi members are going to this show. it seems like steve wilson is really pumping this show up, when i saw porcupine tree in buffalo back in may sw was saying how the radio city music hall show is supposed to be very "special" then i saw this the other day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-oUC7_HGWo. what are your guys predictions for the show? i was hoping they would film it but it looks like they may have filmed the Chicago show
Porcupine Tree at Radio City Music Hall
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Just came back from this show it was amazing, this was their setlist:
First Set (Semi-Acoustic "Opening Act" Set):
1. Stranger By The Minute
2. Small Fish
3. Pure Narcotic
4. Black Dahlia
6. Even Less
7. Open Car
9. Tinto Brass
10. The Sky Moves Sideways (Phase One)
11. I Drive the Hearse
12. Bonnie the Cat
13. Occam's Razor
14. The Blind House
15. Great Expectations
16. Kneel and Disconnect
17. Drawing the Line
18. Dislocated Day
19. Time Flies
21. Up the Downstair
22. Sleep Together
23. Arriving Somewhere But Not Here
Arriving Somewhere But Not Here was freaking EPIC! I was really hoping for the last one. Great show and my first concert ever!
Edited by Syrn - 9/25/10 at 8:28pm
it was an amazing show!!! my first time ever going to radio city too. i was just amazed that they came out with an acoustic set, that was very unexpected.
they did not film the show but the guy i sat to next to at radio city said that he was at the Chicago show and they did film it
here is a little fan review http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=148251671860372&topic=1118
So lets see....some words or phrases to describe the show. Hmmm...okay, how about....amazing, wonderous, stupendous, surreal, mind-blowing, fantastic, off the hook, or put more simply....it was the Best.Show.Ever.
Best show ever....yes, without a doubt. In my concert-going life (which now spans more than 30 years...yikes!) that show is numero uno, the very top, the cream of the crop, the head honcho....well...you get the idea....I throughly enjoyed every second of that show, from standing in line outside the venue listening to the excited conversations about the band going on around me, to the plush interior of Radio City and its orangish house lighting, to to the amazing acoustics to the.....ahhh, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
This was my first time inside Radio City.....which is hard to believe given I've worked within two blocks of the place for the last 8+ years. So my first impression upon walking into the arena was, "Holy Shit!!!" Its huge! My seats were on the ground floor and there are also balconies. The seats were all plush and comfortable and I'll be honest....at first I had some difficulty warming up to the idea that there was going to be a rock show going on in there. It just seemed like we were all there to see a movie or Broadway musical or something like that.
The giant curtain went up at exactly 8:00 p.m. and revealed a tiny little stage set up. Out walked the band to thunderous applause (the place looked packed from my vantage point, although I couldn't see to the back of the balconies) and proceeded to sit down within this little stage set up. This is not their normal stage set-up....not even close. Before playing a note, Steven Wilson said hello and told us they would be playing a ton of "old shit" tonight which generated more thunderous applause. The band then launched into an acoustic set of mostly very old material. After roughly 30 minutes, the set ended with Steven saying, "stick around for the headlining band" and "we'll be back with a little more electricity" before walking off the stage with the rest of the band.
What a brilliant opening. It was completely unexpected and it set the tone for an entire show that shattered any expectations I may have had about what was to follow.
I won't give a detailed blow-by-blow account of the rest of the show but will say this about what followed after the opening acoustic set: this was a show for serious Porcupine Tree fans. This was not a show where the band played their more recognizable songs. And for a band like Porcupine Tree, which sits comfortably in a mostly obscure shadow of a media-driven music scene, it takes real guts to eschew their few mainstream songs in favor of long instrumentals and spacey compositions recorded in the band's infancy. But that is exactly what they did and the crowd response indicated that just about everyone there was a serious Porcupine Tree fan.
To be fair, the band did play a few of their more "popular" songs....songs like Lazarus, Open Car, Time Flies and they encored with what is in my mind their best song, Arriving Somewhere.... (although their live version of Anesthetize is something to behold....I would pay the $50 just to watch them perform that song...it is that good). But absent were such staples as Trains, Blackest Eyes, Halo, Sound of Muzak, Start of Something Beautiful, Hatesong, Lightbulb Sun, Prodigal, etc.
A word (or two or a thousand) here about the musicianship of the band. I want to talk about the three guys who get the least attention. First, the musicianship of the band as a whole is simply second to none. Gavin Harrison is without a doubt the best drummer in rock today. Nobody else is even remotely close. Mike Portnoy, on his best day, wishes he was half as talented. Its one thing to have chops....its another to have an almost symbiotic "feel" and Gavin's "feel" behind the kit separates him from all other drummers in my opinion. Especially his ability to bring such feel live as he did last night.
As a bass player, I'm drawn to watching Colin Edwin and while Colin is not the least bit flashy.....like Gavin, he dominates the groove in a way that I think all bass players should aspire to....at least I do. His performance last night was spectacular. His driving bass pulse during their longer instrumental sections was the perfect bridge between Gavin's tasty drum grooves and Steven's roaring guitar riffs. Also of note were the numerous bass effects Colin used. I would kill (or at least seriously maim) to get my hands on his pedal board. And with the acoustics of the venue being as amazing as they were (something I'll talk about more in a minute), I could hear every single nuance of his effects and that was a slice of heaven for this bass player.
Richard Barbieri on keys was his usual genius self, layering soundscape upon soundscape over, under and all around each song....especially the longer compositions. I have no idea how he does what he does but he ought to teach a class or something. He is truly unique and without him, I think this band would be nowhere near as interesting or as good.
The acoustics in Radio City. Five words: Are You Fucking Kidding Me???? The acoustics in that place have effectively ruined any concert I will ever see outside of that venue....they were that good. Good? Nah....fucking PERFECT! I was able to hear every note played on both guitars....every single bass note, every effect, both to the music and the vocal, every drum hit, every cymbal hit (including the little splash cymbals)....in short it was like sitting there listening through a giant set of Bose headphones. I understood every word Wilson said in between songs. I heard every subtle bass effect when Edwin stepped on one of his many stomp boxes. I heard the vocal processing Wilson uses in certain sections of certain songs. And Gavin's kick drum....oh man....
The visuals. The huge screen behind the band was unbelievably cool. They always use visuals but not usually with a screen the size of Radio City's screen. The lighting and colors of the visuals were ridiculously vibrant (HD?) and would often silhouette the band creating a massively cool effect. As for the visuals themselves....stunning....as always from this band.
Okay....enough. I spent the long train ride home last night trying to mentally compose my thoughts and this only captures a small part of it. Everything about that show was perfect.....and I think I will be lucky if I see a show thats HALF as good as that one was again in my lifetime. For me, it was a show for the ages and it was the best concert experience of my life. I only wish I could do it again tonight!