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Porcupine Tree @ Technopolis, Athens (GRE)

PORCUPINE TREE, ANATHEMA
in Thursday, 9 September 2010 at Technopolis
by Panos Pagonopoulos

PORCUPINE TREE and ANATHEMA are without doubt among the best bands in their genres and in Greece they both have a very strong fan base. So, considering the above, the pretty much logical ticket prize (for the Greek standards) and the fact that it has been already 5 years since the last live performance of PORCUPINE TREE in Greece, it was obvious that Technopolis was going to be crowed by fans eager to enjoy a live event with two of their favorite bands and so was I.

The majority of the attendees were already in position when the special guests ANATHEMA started their performance. Their set began with “Thin Air” the opening track of their latest release “We're Here Because We're Here” and the fans were ecstatic and full of enthusiasm, showing how much they love and appreciate this band. However, what followed had the opposite result.. ANATHEMA continued their set with 3 more songs from the new album and as time passed by the reactions from the fans were becoming more and more languid and cold. Fortunately some all-time favorites came up just the right time to wake us up. “Deep”, “Lost Control” and “Empty” brought back the enthusiasm and energy among the fans, while “A Natural Disaster”,with the beautiful voice ofLee Douglas, touched our souls. In the mean time, another two new songs were played but still didn't manage to win the audience.“Fragile Dreams” was left for the finale,closing their almost 70' minute performance in the best possible way, and the band left the stage under the warm applause of the audience.

In general, the brothers Vincent and Danny Cavanagh were not really energetic or passionate on stage but ANATHEMA performed every song almost perfectly, with the only exception being “Empty” during which their performance was no more than mediocre. Regarding the sound there were many problems in the beginning, but as time passed it became better. However, it still didn't reach perfection and wasn't favoring much the guitars and the vocals. And let’s go to the most disappointing part of this live which was the setlist. I totally understand that ANATHEMA are touring to promote their new album “We're Here Because We're Here”, however in this event they were the support act and half of their set was focused on the new songs (that most of them have also big duration); songs that were not ,in any case, accepted warmly by the fans. What did happen to songs from albums like “Eternity” or “Silent Enigma”? And just only one song from the great “Judgement”? These albums have so many songs that are considered favorites and classics among the fans of the band and we didn't listen to any of them! Only the songs from “Alternative 4” were there to remind us of the 'old' ANATHEMA that we so much loved! In the end, ANATHEMA 's live performance unfortunately left us with a much bitter rather than sweet taste.

ANATHEMA setlist:

  1. "Thin Air"
  2. "Summernight Horizon"
  3. "Dreaming Light"
  4. "Everything"
  5. "Deep"
  6. "A Simple Mistake"
  7. "A Natural Disaster"
  8. "Closer"
  9. "Lost Control"
  10. "Empty"
  11. "Universal"
  12. "Fragile Dreams"
At around 22:20, the headliners of the live event, PORCUPINE TREE took over the stage under a thunderous applause, with the fans chanting the band's and Steven Wilson 's name. The British progressive rock band started the live set with “Occam's Razor” and continued playing the first five songs from their magnificent latest album “The Incident”. The reactions from the audience were simply great; full of enthusiasm, with the vast majority knowing very well the songs and the lyrics. It has been almost a year since the release of “The Incident” and these reactions showed that not only the critics, but also the fans have really loved and appreciated the new album. The sound was crystal clear from the beginning of their set, almost reaching perfection and the band was full of energy giving their soul on stage. But the best was yet to come! The set continued with 4 fan favorites with the whole audience enjoying the every second of it. “Open Car”, “Lazarus” with the fans singing along, “Russia On Ice”, and the monster “Anesthetize” all of them executed in perfection marked some of the best moments in the live. The return to the new ones came with “Time Flies”, one of the best songs of “The Incident”, which as Steven Wilson said is a tribute to the first album he ever bought, the legendary “Animals” of PINK FLOYD.

After another four parts from the new album it was about time for the live to reach its peak! The start was made with “Normal” from the “Nil Recurring” E.P. which was a great surprise and in my opinion one of the best moments of the live. The band continued in the same pace performing in excellency one of their biggest hits “Way Out Of Here” and “Sleep Together” and left the stage for the usual encore.

PORCUPINE TREE returned on stage to finish their 110' minute set with three old songs. The big surprise was made in the beginning when they played “Stars Die” and the fans simply became ecstatic! It was one of the songs that I loved when I first started listening to the band and it was a fantastic moment for me listening to this live and so, it was for many other fans who really love the older releases of the band. The end had in store another two great favorites “Blackest Eyes”and “Trains” and the band left the stage under a enthusiastic applause by the audience.

Simply PORCUPINE TREE put on a stunning performance, a great setlist and satisfied even the most demanding fans. Steven Wilson was energetic, passionate, doing everything in perfection, the drummer Gavin Harrison stole the spotlight with his incredible performance and of course all the other members did a great job. In the end, Steven Wilson promised us that it won't take them another five years to return to Greece for a live show and after such a performance everyone hoped that he will keep his promise and we will see them again soon. There aren't many things to say except that everyone left Technopolis happy and fully satisfied after witnessing such an excellent live!

PORCUPINE TREE setlist:

  1. "Occam's Razor"
  2. "The Blind House"
  3. "Great Expectations"
  4. "Kneel And Disconnect"
  5. "Drawing The Line"
  6. "Open Car"
  7. "Lazarus"
  8. "Russia On Ice"
  9. "Anesthetize"
  10. "Time Flies"
  11. "Degree Zero Of Liberty"
  12. "Octane Twisted"
  13. "The Seance"
  14. "Circle Of Manias"
  15. "Normal"
  16. "Way Out Of Here"
  17. "Sleep Together"
  18. "Stars Die"
  19. "Blackest Eyes"
  20. "Trains"

Promoter: Anosi
Ticket Price: 38€ / 45€ / 50€


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Edited 25 January 2022
 

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