(Originally Published on South Florida Insider)
Progressive Innovator Concludes Another Fantastic Two-Night Residency at the Culture Room – Review of the Steven Wilson Concerts at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale Florida
Photos and Story by: Gleb Barabanov
Christmas came early for fans of Progressive Rock music this past weekend, as Steven Wilson, the mastermind behind Porcupine Tree, stopped by the historic Culture Room club for an intimate two-night performance. Exhibiting music from all over his massive catalogue, both from his extensive solo works and from his previous band Porcupine Tree, Steven and his amazing backing band played for over two and a half hours each night, with a mostly different set list each night.
Steven Wilson is definitely an artist that knows how to please his fans. Before the show even began, the lucky fans that purchased VIP tickets got treated to a three song sound-check each night consisting mostly of Porcupine Tree songs. And on Saturday, Steven even appeared at a local record shop, Radioactive Records, to meet fans and sign some copies of his newest release, Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall that were available to be purchased at the record shop. And even throughout both nights of shows, he made the audience feel as comfortable as if they were at their friend’s gig at the bar down the street, taking the time to speak to the crowd and explain the deeper meaning behind his music in-between songs and crack jokes with attendees.
The production of the show was definitely one of the best that I had ever seen at the Culture Room. The normally dimly illuminated venue was lit up like a Christmas tree with all the lighting and LED screens that Steven and his crew brought out for the show. Each song was accompanied by a LED displayed video that flanked the band as they displayed their musical mastery. Steven switched between playing bass guitar, acoustic guitar, and the electric as the song required, demonstrating his impressive multi-instrumentalism to the incredulous crowd.
Each Night, Steven played over twenty songs from his various catalogues. Consisting of two separate, 70 or so minute sets each night along with an small intermission in the middle, the band gifted South Florida audiences with an incredible over five hours of music combined over two days, enough to satisfy even the most hardcore of Steven Wilson fans. Both nights featured songs off of his latest album To The Bone, with each night showcasing about 6 different songs from the record in a live setting. The audience of the Friday night show was treated to some deep cuts from his Porcupine Tree days as well as some solo earlier albums such as Grace for Drowning (along with an amazing encore that concluded with a riveting version of “The Raven That Refused to Sing”). Saturday night’s show, however, focused mostly on the fan favorite album Hand. Cannot. Erase, playing seven songs from that record over the course of the show. As well as some more deep cuts from Porcupine Tree, the band also paid (and played) an awesome tribute to Prince in the form of a Sign of the Times cover as part of the encore. The shows were absolutely fantastic, and here’s hoping Steven comes down for another two-night stay next year!