Uncle G’s FUN Concert Reviews: Porcupine Tree – Two Tours Live

Recycled Bits And PiecesDate Published01 June 2012Classic Rock Radio (UK)otherwise authored June of 2022.

Uncle G’s FUN Concert Memories
Spotlight: Porcupine TreeTwo Tours Live

Walking around ProgFest ’97, I was freely handed a cassette tape that had two songs on it. One was a Police tune of some sort, and the other was a Porcupine Tree song called, Waiting: Phase One. A friend I was with, Kevin Landreneau, received the same tape and after hearing it, found out more about Porcupine Tree. Neither of us was familiar with the group. He ordered the CD that the song Waiting: Phase One, was from. Found on their newest studio album at the time; Signify. About a month later, I also had Signify and was playing it almost non-stop for quite a while. Both of us have been following the band, and its members, ever since.

First Time Live: Engine Room, Houston Texas (27 October 2005)

I think I was one of the very first people to arrive. I stood at the front door, and eventually, other Porcupine Tree fans started to gather. Friendly folks, and before long there was a crowd. Sold out…the place was packed! It was the band’s first time playing in Houston, Texas. They were touring what was their eighth studio album; Deadwing. While I was standing at the front door, the keyboardist for the band, Richard Barbieri, walked by me. I recognized him and asked for an autograph, to which he declined but said he would later on. That never happened. I’m cool with it because the show was fantastic. I stood in front of the bassist, Colin Edwin, for the whole concert. The dude never really looked at the audience. What a fantastic bass player! Has to be because the rest of the band is made up of top-notch professional musicians who when all combined, are capable of blowing the fucking roof off whatever building they are playing in.

Porcupine Tree 2005 Touring Band

Steven Wilson (guitar and main vocals) – Richard Barbieri (keyboards) – Colin Edwin (bass) – Gavin Harrison (drums) – John Wesley (guitar – backing vocals)

Setlist

Open Car – Blackest Eyes – Lazarus – Hatesong – Don’t Hate Me – Mother & Child Divided – .3 – So Called Friend – Arriving Somewhere But Not Here – Start of Something Beautiful – Halo

1st Encore:
Even Less – Radioactive Toy

2nd Encore:
Trains

Second Time LiveMeridian, Houston Texas (27 October 2007)

I arrived at the Meridian around 4PM. This is a rather large rock n’ roll bar/club, located in the downtown area of Houston, Texas. Only a handful of people were there at the time when I drove up and parked. A small group was already in line. I got joined them, met some people, hung out for a few, and then decided to part company and go for a walk around the building.

On the other side, I could hear some pretty loud music. The same look as the other side of the building, for the most part. This side included a long flight of stairs leading towards its second floor. I’m thinking this is where the music is coming from. I looked up and saw a guy on the platform (landing) having a cigarette. Motivated me to walk up the stairs. Said hi to the dude, who replied hello back, while finishing up his smoke and going inside. He left the door cracked. No one around. I peeked in. To my astonishment, Porcupine Tree started playing. They were rehearsing. I walked in, and peeked through the double doors as they were playing a song from Signify; Waiting (Phase One). I snuck away and called the wife on my cell who reminded me to be careful and not get kicked out. Actually, that was the only song I saw them play. Afterward, they walked off stage. Once gone, I walked outside and went back to the line, like nothing happened. I kept the story to myself.

John Wesley, a touring member of Porcupine Tree, at one point before the show, came out and talked to us. Real down to Earth guy. Very sociable. I got his autograph and a picture with him.

Being first in line (wearing a jean jacket), when they let us in, I ran right for the stage. Was rewarded with a spot on the first row, right in front of Steven Wilson. I planted myself there and didn’t move from that spot for the entire show. I felt bad that poor steven when looking down at the audience, saw me. Some semi-good lookin’ older dude, rocking out. What was Mr. Wilson’s saving grace here was I knew the young woman who was standing right behind me. The set of boobs on her was one you complemented God on for doing such an outstanding job. Standing Room Crowd; harder being consistently on your feet when getting older. I wiggled my ass and she danced throughout the show, in which the view from the stage must have been eye-opening, to say the least. Come to Mama.

As far as the crowd, pretty much all cool concert-goers. A younger crowd with people mostly in their 20s and 30s. Some pot was being passed around at one point (before PT hit the stage). Security saw a guy on my left hitting the joint. How dare he not buy drinks like everyone else. Threw his ass right out on the street. What a fucking buzz kill that must have been. One moment, you’re in the front by the stage, waiting to see who could be your favorite rock band perform, and the next you’re outdoors after being roughed up, smelling the not-so-sweet downtown Houston air. Could have traveled from lands unknown, just for the show. Major Bummer! Weird, that happened, because I hit that same joint a couple times before that guy was thrown out, and nothing happened to me. Like they say; pot affects people differently.

Seeing Porcupine Tree the last time they were in Houston (27 Oct 2005), I had a good idea as to what to expect. Wasn’t disappointed. Was a tight performance from start to finish. The sound was not one hundred percent perfect. Distorted at times. Only a small screen behind them for the projections. Think I heard the bigger one would not fit or something. Cool videos. Not much extra going on with the lights. Pretty standard-looking rock show. No disappointment.

As far as the actual songs, I let go and seriously got into each and every tune played. After a great set, Porcupine Tree yet again and without much break, blew me and the rest of their audience away with the encores.

After the show, I noticed a small group standing around near the bus. Ends up Steven Wilson was there signing autographs. Like John Wesley, he appeared very down to Earth with everyone. Taking photos while chatting with those around him, and signing whatever PT item that was handed his way. I passed to him my CD of Fear Of A Blank Planet. It’s what they were touring at the present moment. Steven graciously signed the same page John Westley did earlier on. For the autograph collector, the icing on the cake. I thanked him for playing Waiting (Phase One) and mentioned that it was the first PT song I ever heard. Our conversation lasted but a few brief moments. I got the feeling while talking to him, that he really could not hear me. Oh well. Regardless, a super cool guy! An intense performer, as are the others. Very focused. I imagine Steven being dog-tired from the performance he just gave. Hanging out afterward was very nice of him, and the others in the band. And thanks to the handlers who were keeping a watchful eye, and demanding that whatever the guys signed, didn’t end up on eBay the next day. I treasure what I got signed (and always will).

Porcupine Tree 2007 Touring Band

Steven Wilson (guitar and main vocals) – Richard Barbieri (keyboards) – Colin Edwin (bass) – Gavin Harrison (drums) – John Wesley (guitar – backing vocals)

Set List:
Fear Of A Blank Planet – What Happens Now? – Sound of Muzak – Sentimental – Cheating the Polygraph – Anesthetize – Open Car – Dark Matter – Drown with Me – A Smart Kid – Way Out of Here – Sleep Together
Encore:
Waiting: Phase One – Blackest Eyes – Halo

Bonus Stuff

Illegal Bootleg CD – cover and backing – Porcupine TreeHouston 2005 (double CD) – Note: Is incomplete (missing 2nd encore; Trains).

In-Person Autographs: Steven Wilson – John Wesley
Gary “Uncle G” Brown – John Wesley (touring member of Porcupine Tree)
Gary “Uncle G” Brown and Kevin LandreneauStanding in front of the Variety Arts Theater, Los Angeles, California, USA (the morning of the 25th May 1997)

End of Story

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