First draft of my article on the show:
On October 23, English space rockers Porcupine Tree graced the stage of Bogart’s in Cincinnati, supporting their ninth studio full-length, Fear of a Blank Planet, released on Atlantic Records in April.
New York natives Three opened up the prog festivities for the night, blasting through a forty-five minute set of avant-garde art rock, climaxing with a duel between the drummer and percussionist. Before playing “The End Is Begun”, frontman Joey Eppard issued what was to be the mantra for the night: “This is the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one in which better music can be heard by more people.”
When the lights finally dimmed to welcome Porcupine Tree to the stage, the rock club was stuffed to the gills with eager prog fans, awaiting the performance of Steven Wilson and company. They wasted no time blowing the minds of the people in attendance, opening with the title track to Fear of a Blank Planet, accompanied by cold, surreal footage of young kids playing video games and popping pills projected on the screen behind the band. The video accurately reflected the lyrics of the song, and of the entire album, one whose theme is the new school of parental thought, quelling the ills of their children, imagined or real, with prescription drugs and desensitizing entertainment.
The Tree flew through a lengthy set focusing primarily on material from Fear and the new limited edition EP, Nil Recurring with an unearthly combination of keen musicianship and fiery intensity. Songs like the very political “What Happens Now?” and the melancholic ballad “Sentimental” were emotionally amplified a thousand times from the already heartstring-tugging studio versions. The mere introduction of the nearly eighteen-minute epic, “Anesthetize”, was greeted with the loudest crowd roar of the night, and rightly so. Its numerous movements seamlessly ebbed and flowed into one another like the waves it lyrically describes in its emotional closing.
The most magical moment of the night, however, occurred when the band returned to the stage for their much-warranted encore and began to play the fan favorite “Trains”. When the beautiful acoustic number reached the segment where acoustic guitar is accompanied by handclaps, the nearly one thousand attendees of the show took the initiative to begin clapping in the proper rhythm and make the song complete. It is moments like these that are the reason I attend concerts so ritualistically. Porcupine Tree rounded out the night with powerful renditions of “Even Less” and the atheism-championing “Halo”, leaving everyone in attendance awestruck and in anxious anticipation of the next time they would come to town.
Last edited by DethMaiden; 10-24-2007 at 05:15 PM.