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Date: Mon 16 Oct, 2006 at 11:54
Headline: PT in SF

Greetings & Salutations!

Ha! I knew that if I just held out long enough, Fozz would do the heavy lifting for me. I win!

Click Here for a detailed recounting of last weeekend's Porcupine Tree adventure.

Go on, read it. I'll wait....

....finished? Allrighty, then.

A little color commentary from me on various points:

1) It was my first visit to San Francisco, and I'm glad we got to soak up more of the city (not to mention run down the clock to showtime) via our walk to the venue.

2) The venue....dear sweet merciful Zeus, the venue! Yeah, the fact that this show took place at the Fillmore was a major selling point for me, and it was appropriate that the band we were seeing there has a devoted cult following but has not yet truly broken into the mainstream. It seemed a fitting tribute to the many, many great artists who had been introduced to the world on that stage over the years.

3) Fozz is right about the geek parade outside (this is my place, and these are my people) but all in all, I was surprised by the general diversity of age, race, gender and whatnot at this show. I don't know if it speaks to the diversity of the city itself, or whether it means that PT reaches a wider demographic than I had previously suspected, but it was cool nonetheless.

4)Tony Levin's playing was, indeed, a wonder to behold -- so much so that I couldn't even bother to envy his chops. To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel, "You can't be jealous of something that you can't fathom."

5) The technical difficulties experienced by PT left Matt and I pretty well dumbfounded. They don't travel with a back-up amp? Isn't that kind of...insane? Steve Wilson handled it with aplomb (and a typically dry, self-deprecating British wit) and as the situation was resolved we breathed a sigh of relief, not only as audience members eager to see the rest of the show, but as fellow musicians who were painfully empathetic to the whole ordeal.

6) Despite the "samey" comment, I did like a lot of the new, as-yet-unreleased material, and PT gets a ton of respect from me for even going that route in the first place.

7) The final three songs of the evening ("Trains," "Halo," and "Blackest Eyes") and the enthusiasm with which they were both performed and received was about as perfect a stretch of concert time as I have ever witnessed. Bloody fantastic. The best thing I can think to say about the show overall is that it left me inspired, and only inspired...rather than inspired-but-with-a-side-order-of-discouragement-and-jealousy, which is all too often the case when I take in the performance of a band which I consider a role model for my own. This show handily transcended that.

8) Damn, the video for "Blackest Eyes" is disturbing. As is the case with the Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky," I'm glad I already had formed my own anchors to that song, or....yeeesh.

9) Between this and my recent trip to Taiwan, I've done more plane travel than in the past month than the previous five years. Gettign to like the actual flying part, but think I could do without seeing the inside of an airport for a good long while.

So, that about wraps it up. Thanks very much to Fozz for orchestrating this whole thing. It was the first time I had travelled that far for a concert in years, and well worth it. It was the last night of PT's tour and they're now headed back to England to work on a new album. When they return to the states in the spring, I will definitely be there.