Friday, 6 April 2018

Steven Wilson at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham - 22nd March 2018

So what do you do on the sunny south coast when you have a day off between a Yes gig in Brighton and a Yes gig in Liverpool?

That's right - you go back to Birmingham and go to a Steven Wilson gig!

In case you haven't heard of him - Porcupine Tree, now solo, disturbingly depressing and visceral but weirdly uplifting, stunning visuals, Hand Cannot Erase in his masterpiece, don't argue, that's all you need to know.  Oh, and Nick Beggs.

Now read on...

So I am now reunited with the suitcase I left behind at the hotel yesterday, and here we are back at the Symphony Hall. 

View from my seat.

Here's the set list (actually from the first night at London, but it was the same at Birmingham).

This is the ever-youthful, bare-footed Mr Wilson. Note the T-shirt.

Home Invasion/Regret No. 9, which I was particularly thrilled about.

People who Eat Darkness from To the Bone.  Which I hadn't heard a note of before coming to the show tonight.

The visuals, which are both projected both on to a screen at the back and also on to a curtain drawn across the front of the stage, are often quite mesmeric, and compelling in their pattern-making and repetition.

A change of T-shirt for the second half, as Mr Wilson feels the need to defend at length his upbeat bollywood disco number Permanating.  

"If you don't like it - I don't care."  he says.  Everyone laughs.  I think he really actually does care.  

I get up and dance.

This is the very beautifully hypnotic Song of I.

Apart from Steven Wilson being a more consummate front man at ease with his audience, unlike Steve Howe, the noticeable difference between this and Yes was that it was far far more difficult to photograph this concert .  Apart from the lighting, which was very blue and red and my camera couldn't cope with that very well, the guys just moved too darned fast.  They were a blur with the slow shutter speed.  Like absolute whippets across the stage.

Here's the lovely Nick Beggs on bass, rocking the on-trend smart casual suit look.

Let's Sleep Together.

I've got three nights at the Royal Albert Hall with Steven Wilson at the end of the Yes tour. I'm looking forward to it as I really want to consolidate what I've heard tonight, as well as see it as a visual whole from a more central viewpoint.

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