Monday, October 29, 2007


We saw Porcupine Tree last night and they were awesome. Pure British pretentiousness. (I think David was in heaven.) They did a bunch of stuff from the new album and the new EP and also some brand new songs that aren't yet on any albums. I was very pleased that they played Lazarus, Open Car, Trains, and Blackest Eyes. I would've liked to have heard Arriving Somewhere but I can definitely live with the awesome set they played. The sound was awesome, the roadie was eating M&Ms on-stage (regular, not peanut), and the bass guitarist seemed to be drinking MGD. Steven Wilson seemed bigger in real life and barefoot. (When he was walking around stage being all Guitar God-like I was really afraid he was going to step on the bassist's floor/foot sound thingy.) They really seemed to love the attention the crowd was giving them and they were very gracious with thanks. We also got to hear a three song encore (of which Trains was included.) This was their first time playing Dallas and Wilson said they'd definitely be back.

We also got to see the opening band, 3, and we were impressed enough to buy their latest cd. I'll let you know what I think of it after I hear it. The lead singer's voice sounded kind of like Geddy Lee's, which I was able to overlook because the rest of their sound was so interesting. We actually got to meet them and get their autographs in between their set and PT's show. They were cool and friendly. They had a pretty neat sweatshirt for sale that had a picture of a Halo-like character that said, "Threedom Fighters" underneath it. I almost bought it just because it looked cool.

Also, I think PT might have a somewhat unhealthy fixation on little girls. Almost all of the pictures flashing on the giant screen behind them on stage were of little girls in disturbing situations.

I have two complaints, neither of which relate to the band but to House of Blues. First of all, if someone pays a pretty big chunk of change to get box seats, don't let other jackasses take those seats. Once you realize that someone is there that shouldn't be, have everyone take out their tickets to prove that's where they belong. That way you won't piss off patrons who end up having to sit in a different box from which they can only see half the stage. The only way I'd ever go to HoB again is if the band was something I couldn't live without seeing. The venue was nice but we paid a lot for tickets that we didn't even get to use.

My second complaint has to do with the drug dogs, aka HoB security guards. On the row in front of us, a couple of seats down, a couple was smoking a joint. Immediately (like less than 30 seconds after that smell started to rise) our box was swarmed with "security guards" but the couple was stealthy enough to put it out and away before they were caught. So the guards looked over the railing and kicked out the first person they saw with a lit "something" (which I knew to be a regular cigarette, mostly because I'm not stupid) in his hand. Here's a hint, guys, if there is a lingering purple haze above Box #4, I seriously doubt your perpetrator is down on the floor section.

Anyway, I've had Blackest Eyes in my head for hours now. That song has never before been one of my favorites but there's just something about seeing and hearing Steven Wilson singing, "It's so erotic when your makeup runs," that has turned it around for me. And also, Trains and Open Car were fantastic live. On the album there's a part of Trains where it's just the acoustic guitar and some clapping. Well, as Wilson was playing the guitar part the entire audience broke into the spontaneous clapping part, which is a very had thing to do because it's not done in a normal time signature. It was awesome. I spent much of the show with goose-bumps. (And seriously? The high voice you hear on the albums that sounds like a girl? It's the lead guitarist. He even had a solo part in a newer song in that high pitch and it was awesome.)

All in all, we had a good time. But I feel kind of bad for prog bands like Porcupine Tree because unless they're gay they're not going to be getting a lot of action from the groupies. There might have been 50 women there out of a packed auditorium. And many of the guys were old enough to be either balding baldies or to have full heads of gray hair. David was wearing his The Nice t-shirt and he made at least one new friend because of it, if that tells you anything.

If PT ever makes it my way again I'll definitely try to see them, even if I have to deal with HoB. (But hopefully by then they'll be too popular to play such a "small" venue.)


Dave-o-ramA said...

Yeah, the bassists' footswitch rack looked pretty pointy and uneven, and not at all comfortable-for-stepping-upon-unshod.

Dave-o-ramA said...

The clapping on "Trains" was beyond what I was prepared to try, so I just kinda clapped along as best I could.

It's a fairly complicated rhythm, all eighth and sixteenth notes in a 3/4 time signature, which wouldn't be undoable, but the tempo was somewhere upwards of 120 bpm.

fictionfiend said...


SerenitySprings said...

Him, right? Because I'm totally awesome.