June 3rd, 2015
I was shocked to read a few months ago that Steven Wilson had made Madison a stop on his 2015 tour. He’ll be here this coming Saturday, 6 June, at the Barrymore Theatre. And it was genuinely strange to see him profiled in our local alt-weekly, Isthmus. I believe that this is his first solo gig in Wisconsin, although Porcupine Tree played Milwaukee several times.
Wilson’s latest album, Hand. Cannot. Erase., was released here in the States late last winter. I’ve been listening to it lately in anticipation of this weekend’s show. Sadly, I have to admit that I am nowhere near as familiar with Wilson’s solo work as I am with Porcupine Tree. (Although I did listen to Grace for Drowning and the Lizard-era King Crimson influence was everywhere – it was glorious!) last weekendHand. Cannot. Erase. is thematically reminiscent of latter day PT, say, 2002-2010. It has the requisite dark concept having been loosely based on the sad life of Joyce Carol Vincent, a British woman whose body was discovered in her apartment in January 2006 although she had died in December 2003. Musically it reminds me of Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun but this might simply be because the death metal influences that were so prominent in 21st century PT are largely absent here. I mean, check out the Chet Atkins/Steve Howe solo on “3 Years Older”.
And so to celebrate another prog heavyweight coming to town (King Crimson swung through last year), here’s a show from Wilson’s current tour. It’s from 17 March of this year when he and his band played The Troxy in London. We have a really nice audience recording here.
3 Years Older
Hand Cannot Erase
Ascendant Here On…
The Raven That Refused to Sing
Wilson and his minions seem to have rid YouTube of any clips from his current tour so here’s “Sectarian” from 2012.