Porcupine Tree, 09/21/2009, Cleveland OH

Thwarting late arriving equipment (making it unfortunate they didn’t play Arriving Somewhere But Not Here), Porcupine Tree pulled off an impressive show at the House of Blues in Cleveland OH.

Right before the opening act came on, the tour manager for Porcupine Tree came out and announced that the equipment from LA was arriving late, but would make it there and the show would go on.  There would just be a longer break after the opening act.

Said act being King’s X, who has been around since the late 80’s, whose only song you probably heard of was Over My Head.  They used to play songs with religious themes (and may or may not have been an overtly Christian band), and I guess they still do, but they are now (apparently) only or mostly negative.  Frontman even had the cliché Satanic belt buckle.  Nice.  Two best songs were an extended version of Over My Head, including something like a four minute guitar solo that was quite good, and a song called Pray with the theologically correct lyrics:

if you think that jesus has saved you,
mother mary is waiting there for you,
if you think that god has spoke to you then,
don't forget to pray for me, hear me now
pray for me,
pray for me,
if you really do believe,
then don't forget to pray for me,
hear me now

Quite right.  Anyway, he ended with some babble about the ‘First Church of Rock’ and how there are so many gods to believe in that he doesn’t believe in any of them, and how you should do what makes you happy and fuck everyone who tells you not to.  Not quite Spinal Tap territory, since he was sincere, but there you go.  Thus endeth the lesson.  Oh, he also got Porcupine Tree’s name wrong at first, though he covered quickly.

So, then the delay.  Not only did PT’s equipment arrive late, but something at the soundboard (which I was standing next to) broke, and required replacing.  It ended up being an hour long break between sets.

The set list was similar to the other shows, and something like this:

  • The Incident, all 55 minutes of it
  • (10 minute break)
  • Sound of Something Beautiful
  • Buy New Soul
  • Anesthetize (partial, from after the beginning solo, and without the ending part, so from about minute 5 to 12)
  • Lazarus
  • Strip the Soul / .3
  • Bonnie the Cat
  • (Encore)
  • Mother and Child Divided
  • Trains

The Incident played out rather well.  They did stop after Blind House for a minute so that SW could thank the crowd for their patience and give a shout out to the crew, but other than that and an occasional ‘thank you’, they played right through it and it was quite solid.  Drawing the Line was particularly well done, and Time Flies, the centerpiece of the new release, is a great homage to Pink Floyd, and a great work in its own right.  I particularly like the closing I Drive the Hearse, a beautiful song of despair and regret:

And pride is just another way
Of trying to live with my mistakes
Denial is a better way
Of getting through another day
And silence is another way
Of saying what I want to say
And lying is another way
Of hoping it will go away
And you were always my mistake

Hey, the release was born from SW coming across a fatal traffic accident, you were expecting Mary Poppins?

After the break (with a visual timer so that the smokers in the crowd knew they had time to run for the exits and what not), PT came back and played a strong second half.  I know other sets on the tour so far have included The Sound of Muzak, Normal, and Way Out of Here, so I’m hoping they play those in Chicago tomorrow.  The truncated Anesthetize is a little awkward, but I guess they didn’t feel like taking up 60+% of the concert with ‘two’ songs.  I wish they wouldn’t play Mother and Child Divided, it’s not one of my favorites (okay, I think it’s boring), but then again, they didn’t play either Gravity Eyelids or Halo, so I guess it evens out.

Overall, an excellent show, and I expect the same tomorrow night in Chicago (hoping they play the songs I noted from other sets).

posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:24 AM Print
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