Monday, November 14, 2016

Concert Review: Steven Wilson at the Folly Theater


Steven Wilson reignited my dormant passion for prog-rock last night.  Largely because the debut albums by the Ramones and the Clash pulverized my teenage predilection for the likes of Kansas, Rush and Genesis decades ago, I attended the show as a curious skeptic. 

Wilson, the most significant prog-rock artist of the last 25 years, succeeded in reviving my interest in ponderous bombast.

Wilson and his band- guitarist Dave Kilminster, keyboardist Adam Holzman (son of Jac Holzman!), bassist Nick Beggs (of Kajagoogoo!) and drummer Craig Blundell- were abetted by impeccable quadrophonic sound (ambient sounds emanated from speakers in the back of the venue) and stunning images on a screen behind the stage.

Renditions of new songs including the soul-crushing ”Routine”, the enchanting ”Perfect Life” and the sensual ”Hand Cannot Erase” were wondrous.  Aside from a preponderance of flashy guitar solos and the aberrant behavior of addled concertgoers seated near me, the two-set show was perfect.  Now, where did I put my copy of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway?


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I reviewed Blue Öyster Cult’s concert at the VooDoo.

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Election coverage preempted live on-air audio, but I here’s the text component of my weekly KCUR segment.  I featured Calvin Arsenia.

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I write weekly music previews for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine.

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Leonard Cohen’s fabled appearance at the Midland theater was my second favorite show of 2009.  Cohen died last week.

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Leon Russell’s music was a prominent part of my life in my teens and again in recent years.  My dad got hip to Russell through his collaborations with Willie Nelson in the 1970s.  He and I bonded over our mutual appreciation of those jams.  I went decades without thinking much about Russell until Frank Hicks of Knuckleheads began regularly booking the legend in recent years.  I reviewed a couple of those shows for The Kansas City Star.  I also admired his 2014 album Life Journey at There Stands the Glass.  Russell died yesterday.

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Noël Akchoté and Mary Halvorson’s duet album is RIYL: Joe Pass, skronk, Fred Frith.

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I don’t know if Alicia Keys and her cohorts tried too hard or didn’t try hard enough while creating Here, but the well-intentioned project doesn’t work.  Songs like ”Blended Family” resemble public service announcements.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

2 comments:

Ted Rood said...

Been a SW fan for years, and had never seen him. My expectations for the show were high, but I had no clue it would surpass them by light years. Every band member was superlative, the sound was impeccable (almost all the time), videos were compelling, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks during SW's "Lazarus", dedicated to David Bowie. It was sad many "fans" spent much time strolling up/down the aisles mid songs, have no idea why artists and venues allow re-entry during songs. If they must leave during a song, inconveniencing dozens of fans, why compound the injury and let them back in during a song? Would enhance everyone's enjoyment to allow reentry during breaks, not during songs.

bgo said...

I sure feel heart glad that BOC is still serving notice that they are indeed a very fine band. Thanks for the good review.

bgo