Prog rock icon (god?) and workaholic Steven Wilson has recently released his new EP 41/2 containing six “new” tracks, of which tonight three will be on the set list of his show: “An evening with Steven Wilson”. This sublime progressive rock show is divided in two parts (two sets), of which the first part consists of the eleven songs of Wilson’s fourth solo studio album Hand Cannot Erase. That album, by the way, is my favorite rock album of the previous year! So, the show kicks off with the instrumental intro First Regret and right from the start it is obvious that the sound is almost immaculate, as every little musical detail can be heard and recognized immediately. 3 Years Older, the title track and Perfect Life belong to the highlights of this remarkable evening; excellent, melancholic progressive rock music such as only Wilson is able to compose and play. The Israeli female vocalist Ninet Tayeb will not be joining the band this evening, so her beautiful voice was not heard during Routine and Ancestral. Ascendant Here On… is the last song of the first set and I can hardly wait before Wilson and Co. will start with the second set.

The second set starts with the first Porcupine Tree song of this evening being Dark Matter from the album Signify, released in the year 1996. But, fortunately we are treated to more old PT songs and it really is a shame that Wilson decided to quit with that super prog band. Lazarus (dedicated to David Bowie), Open Car (both from the Deadwing album), Sleep Together (Fear Of A Blank Planet) and The Sound Of Muzak (In Absentia) are played and it is great hearing those excellent songs again. From the new EP Wilson plays the astonishing My Book Of Regrets and that is probably one of the best songs from Wilson that I have ever heard. Also from the new EP is the heavy rocking instrumental Vermillioncore and the excellent “cover” of the Porcupine Tree song Don’t Hate Me (from the album Stupid Dream), featuring breathtaking vocals by Wilson himself. Harmony Korine, Index and The Raven That Refused To Sing are songs from Wilson’s previous solo albums and these also sound awesome tonight.

The band, consisting of David Kilminster, Nick Beggs, Adam Holzman and Craig Blundell is, just like the master himself, top notch and especially the guitar solos of Kilminster give me goose bumps all over. Maybe it is a bit too early, seeing that the year 2016, has just begun, but I think that I have probably heard and seen the best concert of 2016 tonight. Wilson rules!

Interview and photos by Martien Koolen

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