Devastator and I made our way to the House of Blues last night to see one of my favorite bands, Porcupine Tree, and once again, we were blown away. We settled into our second-row balcony seats just as opening act 3 was taking the stage. We had never heard of 3 and had no idea what to expect. These guys were stellar: melodic songs, inventive arrangements, and stunning musicianship that was chops-heavy without being masturbatory (including an entertaining duet between the drummer and percussionist). If I hadn't already bought three PT-related discs at the merch table, I would have bought a 3 CD for sure. Their new release comes out in July on Metal Blade--very cool. Check out their Facebook page.
During the break between bands, Devastator and I chatted with the guys seated behind us about PT, surround sound, and other nerdy progboy topics. I had refrained from reading any online setlists so that I would be surprised by the song selection. Soon PT took the stage and kicked into the title track from the new album, Fear of a Blank Planet. They continued to play the album in its entirety--no complaints here, as I dig the new release immensely.
The second half of the show was comprised of older songs, many of which I had never heard performed live before, such as Lightbulb Sun, Drown With Me, and the awesome Sever. Guitarist/vocalist/mainman Steven Wilson wasn't as talkative as at previous shows, but he did seem to be getting into the music and feeding off of the crowd's energy. A woman in the audience gave him a bag of toy trains, so he dedicated the show-closing Trains to her. As the band took their final bows, they clowned around with a bra thrown onstage (a first for any prog show I've been to!) before tossing it back into the crowd.
Damn, Heaven and Hell/Megadeth last week and Porcupine Tree/3 last night--two great concerts in a row. This is a trend I could get used to.