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Porcupine Tree rocks the House of Blues

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 11:58 AM

It's great when an event meets your expectations.

It's even better when it exceeds them.

That was the case Monday night at the Porcupine Tree concert held at the House of Blues in Cleveland.

Porcupine Tree, which just played the House of Blues in May, was back touring in support of its news CD, "Fear of a Blank Planet" and a new EP, "Nil Recurring."

There was a good crowd there for a Monday night, though not as large as the May audience.

The group "3" of Woodstock, N.Y. opened the show and played 45 minutes.

Porcupine Tree kicked off the 2-hour set with "What Happens Now" from "Nil Recurring" and followed that with the title track from "Fear of a Blank Planet."

The first thing I noticed, which wasn't a surprise, was the sound quality was excellent.

Porcupine Tree proceeded to play 15 songs over the 2 hours. Most of the tunes in the 8-minute range, though "Anesthetize" from the new album clocked in at a radio-friendly 17 minutes.

Personal highlights were "Lazarus" from 2005's "Deadwing" and "A Smart Kid" from 1999's "Stupid Dream."

Also, "Dark Matter" from 1996's "Signify" was a great song choice.

The evening's real surprise came with the first encore as PT front-man Steven Wilson came on stage by himself and started "The Sky Moves Sideways," which is an old PT tune from the early 1990s. It was the first time this song had been played in a while, not counting an in-store appearance in Orlando, Fla. earlier this month.

The actual playing by the members of PT was a treat to watch, especially the work of drummer Gavin Harrison.

It's kind of hard to describe Porcupine Tree's music. It's almost a combination of heavy metal, Rush, Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel. But each song is completely different with different influences and PT's own originality.

Not to sound like a broken record, but the House of Blues is an excellent venue. I again enjoyed the fact someone can park my car and then bring it to me after the show. Especially Monday, when it was raining when the concert finished.

Just on a side note, isn't technology great? While the concert was going on, I could check the score of the Indianapolis-Jacksonville game on my cell phone. Now that truly is multi-tasking.

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