For those people that know me, they probably have only a vague inkling of how important/influencial music is in my life. To say I have an ecletic taste in music may be an understatement. I like music ranging from classical guitar to symphonic metal. The only types of music I do not give much of a chance are country and rap...and actually I probably give country less of a chance than rap - there have been a couple of rap tracks that I have liked.
All of that being said, my favorite genre of music is progressive rock/metal. I love the complexity of the music. I love the 20 minute epic songs and the weird time signatures. I think what I love about it the most is every time I listen to a piece of music in this genre,. I end up hearing something I did not hear in earlier listenings. Mind you, this is more true for some bands than others. For example, one of my favorite concept albums is Brave by Marillion. I have had that album in my possession since 1994, and I still hear new things when I listen to it. That may not be as true for something like Arena...even though I really dig a lot of their tracks.
Porcupine Tree is one of those bands that creates music I hear something new every time I listen. They have changed over the years...morphing from a more trance-like musical style to a more driving rock style - and I have loved being on the journey with them. On September 22, I had the opportunity to see them for the third time since moving up to the Chicago area. On a side note, I love the fact I can catch these bands because I am near the big city. I had really thought hard about going to the show. It was the only one in the area, but it was on a Tuesday. As a rule, I usually do not go out to something like this on school days...since I have to teach the next day. The one thing that finally put me over the top was that Kings X was going to open up the concert for them. Kings X is one of the older bands I love to listen to...they just have songs that get stuck in your head.
I am glad I took the time to go.
The show was at the Vic Theater. I had never been there before. Usually my bands end up playing at Park West. It was a neat old theater with the box seats, balcony, and everything. Luckily, the floor was a standing room only type of place. I was able to get within five feet of the stage with no problem.
As I stated before, Kings X opened for Porcupine Tree. The played some of the older songs I love like Lost in Germany, Dogman, and Over My Head. They ended with the latter - and it was wonderful when he had the whole crowd singing the chorus at the end. I also was able to see my first 12-string bass in this portion of the concert. I am assuming it was the regular four strings strung at different octaves...but don't quote me on that.
There was a bit of time while they tore down Kings X and set up for Porcupine Tree. The Tree did not disappoint. The whole first half of the concert was a playing of The Incident in its entirety. This may not seem like much, but when you realize The Incident is a 55 minute song...
I don't think I've seen so many guitar changes in one part of a concert.
While I like the whole song...the part I like the most is "Time Flies." Very smart lyrics are throughout the whole song.
The band took a ten minute break and then came back to play some old and new songs. I didn't think there would be any way they would play "Anethesize," my favorite song from their last album - Fear of a Blank Planet. Most of this opinion was based on the fact that the song is about 17 minutes long. They did not play all of it...but they played a good portion of it...and the crowd went wild. They also played "Remember Me Lover" for the first time live. There was one encore.
All in all, and amazing experience. I'm glad I made the decision to go against what I would usually do. I would have missed one of the best concerts I have ever been to.