The first weekend of March started in a melancholic mood in Denmark. Not only because of the outdoor climatic conditions but also due to the fact that king of progressive rock was coming to Copenhagen for the first time in two years. “The most successful musician people have never heard of” – Steven Wilson – arrived to Vega to promote his latest record “To The Bone”. The man responsible for Porcupine Tree, the production of latest Opeth records and countless other musical creations presented something called “An Evening With Steven Wilson”. Something that in a simple translation means no opening act and three hours with the main artist.
The show started shortly after 20:00. The venue was completely sold out. The stage front was covered with a huge semi-transparent screen where a short movie entitled “The Truth” was projected right before the whole band entered the stage. They quickly started into “Nowhere Now” smoothly moving to “Pariah”. The first two songs featured the film projection on the screen in front of the band. The unusual illumination also allowed the attending fans to see a projection of the marvelous Ninet Tayeb singing her parts of the song “Pariah”. After this, the screen was removed and an introduction to the evening was addressed by Steven Wilson himself.
The set was divided in two parts with a short break so “you will have more time to buy drinks”. The second part consisted of few older songs which were not played during the “Hand Cannot Erase” tour. After the introduction, the band took the audience back to the previous album providing two linked tracks: “Home Invasion” and “Regret no.9” just as it is on the album. It works best like that. After another four songs which included Porcupine Tree’s “The Creator Has a Masterpiece” and a very well performed “People Who Eat Darkness”, the first part of the show ended with “Ancestral”. Now it was time to refill in the fluids. Something not that easy to do in an extremely packed club like this.
After a 15 minutes break, Steven and the rest of the band returned and opened the second part in a very strong vibe by playing Porcupine Tree’s “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here”. Then came the moment for the song which has caused the most mixed feelings in the SW fan base – the infamous ‘Permanating’. The song was preceded by a brief introduction and explanation about the characteristics and style of this composition are so different from the rest. Steven even made a daring invitation to dance because as he said, “it’s time to disco Copenhagen”.
This second act was a combination of songs from different eras of Steven Wilson’s career and was concluded with the same song which was used as closure on last couple of tours (at least in Copenhagen dates) – something a bit more Rock and harsh sounding than the latest creations: “Sleep Together” from Porcupine Tree’s album “Fear Of Blank Planet”.
Soon after the traditional short cheer Steven came back on stage to play the song which, as he described, “he is not ashamed of because old does not always mean good”. So “Even Less” was performed only on guitar without the involvement of any other band members. “Harmony Korine” kept things going strong and vibrant until it was time to end the evening with one of Steven’s greatest compositions “The Raven That Refused to Sing”.
To sum up – it was a very good evening with a big dosage of music. The band has a new member – Dave Kilminster who was with Steven Wilson on the previous tour is currently touring with Roger Waters, and was replaced by Alex Hutchings who fulfilled his task very well. Nick Beggs, Adam Holzman and Craig Blundell were good as always. The set was definitely faster and harder than the previous tours, but the dose of melancholy was maintained. It was definitely an evening all fans were waiting for.
Special thanks to Live Nation.