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?

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.)


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.