Ever since we were into STEVEN WILSON, we were immediately grasped by his art. The guru of neo prog was promoting his new disc Hand. Cannot. Erase, and once again we were pulled into his storytelling.
And to what a story told is concerned, Wilson undertakes that task very seriously. The point is to be immersed. And indeed immersed you are.
The protagonist of the venue is not Wilson itself, who tries to pass along unfortunately noticed. He conducts the band as an orchestra, directing bandmates, and coordinating, often changing roles from lead and rhythm guitarist, to keyboardist, or bass player.
The central piece is indeed the Joyce Carol Vincent and her story – Wilson 4th solo album. The album was very good, and the live show had to keep up w/ this extraordinary piece of music.
Entrance was humble and brilliant, in true prog fashion, w/ the album intro – 3 years older- opening the red sea into the audience. Song which was immediately recognized.
Suddenly we were in Joyce’s world, w/ backup screen filled w/ the all clean, detailed filmographic work of Wilson’ longtime friend – Jess Cobb – giving support to the another-dimension-experience.
It was a voyage to that teenage life as sad little trip to the daily routine of another human being, always ignored, but beautiful in his own way. As it was purposefully leading the listener to matter for this little girl’s life.
It took a while for Wilson to interact w/ the audience. Not until the album’s 5th track – Routine – Wilson came w/ his wondrous contemplation of melancholy, w/ his undeniable British sarcasm. « The poetry of melancholy is a very beautiful Thing, don’t you think? » «Try explaining that to the Americans».
He took the opportunity was well to market piece of hardware technology, since the Israeli performer Nina Tayeb wasn’t able to attend the venue, had to join us directly from the sound table.
“Hand.Cannot.Erase”’s middle track was a highpoint of the night as well. With its long instrumental section gave room for Wilson’s team of extraordinary musicians came up to front. In fact, mst of them cooperated w/ the album recording.
In this field, you really have to give credit to both Adam Holzman and Guthrie Govan. The 1st shown his mastery in the keyboard field by giving live credit to Wilson’s brilliant composing in Routine.
Gutrie on the other hand, really took the guitar to the next level with a lot of his solo craftsmanship, on solo intros, interlude section solos, and outro solos. That’s the brandmark in prog music, and Wilson didn’t leave his man behind. Although one would fill he could scratch his fingers on the fret a little bit more.
Also member of the show, was the incredible chap David Gregory, w/ the chapman stick and bass role. His smooth play really fell in line w/ the band orchestration, portraying an excellent harmony sound.
Speaking of Harmony, it was not until the 2nd half of the show that the classics came in w/ the «Insurgentes»’s single, Harmony Korine. With Wilson making reference to the crazy filmmaker. Falling in line were the Porcupine Tree’s track’s such as Lazarus and the metal pick upper Open Car.
As the journey came to an end, it was clear that the time was over and the raven had to tell his story how he waivered in-between bluesy solitude and melancholic sadness. With a sad humble goodbye we filled our hearts to hoped return.
Words and pics by Refugee