Porcupine Tree (March 2003)

Date of Performance: March 26, 2003
Venue: Palacisalfa, Rome, IT

It's no use giving any introduction to Porcupine Tree: they're one of the most innovative bands of the last ten years and, by this time, they are a well-known group, even in Italy.

They've always had a particular feeling with the Italian City: their live release, Coma Divine, had been released there in 1997, and Steven Wilson told the fans the same thing, before starting the gig.

Being the In Absentia tour, the group chose to perform many songs from their latest record, so I can understand why eight pieces were taken from there, while the rest of the songs were divided among Signify ("Waiting" and "Dark Matter"), Stupid Dream ("Even Less," "Slave Called Shiver," and "Tinto Brass") and Lightbulb Sun ("Hatesong," "Russia On Ice," and "Last Chance To Evacuate The Earth").

This choice also represents the little change they had in their last work: a heavier sound that involves the listener a lot. In fact, the live performance by Porcupine Tree is heavier than usual and demonstrates why the band could be included in the hard rock scene.

Steven Wilson's voice is more powerful in live performances, losing that calm he has in the studio records. It gives the music that aggressiveness that is necessary during the gigs. Moreover, that mix between rock music and psychedelic is more evident, which we could forget in the studio works. On the other hand, on the live work, the constant presence of the psychedelic sounds by Richard Barbieri makes the music a little bit more original.

Thanks to this performance I noticed the great ability of the new drummer, Gavin Harrison, who replaced Chris Maitland after the Lightbulb Sun tour. I have to admit I hadn't noted his huge skills in In Absentia.

Porcupine Tree played their music for two hours, making three encores: "Dark Matter," with a magnificent final part where Steven Wilson and the second guitarist John Wesley alternate playing solos (Wesley played as opener in an acoustic set before PT started their gig); "Trains," which they usually don't perform live, and the instrumental "Tinto Brass," a marvelous end. That's for sure!

Added: April 6th 2003
Reviewer: Davide Guidone

Artist website: www.porcupinetree.com
Hits: 1060
Language: english

[ Back to Live Reviews Index | Post Comment ]