support: John Wesley
After a career of almost forty years Marillion released one of their best albums F.E.A.R. (see review) a short time ago. That amazing album is mainly 'dominated' by the astonishing keyboard passages of Mark Kelly, the breathtaking guitar solos of Steve Rothery and the utterly up-to-date critical lyrics of Steve Hogarth. After a very successful American promo tour for F.E.A.R., Marillion started the European leg with two back to back shows in Vredenburg/Tivoli Theater in Utrecht (The Netherlands), which have been sold out for months.
John WesleyJohn Wesley opened the evening - he played with Porcupine Tree and Fish - and he just released his new solo album A Way You'll Never Be (see review). Wesley played a short, but rather 'heavy' set (40 minutes), consisting of four new songs with as highlight the title track and the older song called Mary Will. Extraordinary is the fact that Wesley played a solo spot, just his guitar, his vocals and lots of backing tracks. Unfortunately not many people are already familiar with his new album, so the response was rather mellow and that is really a shame because if you like rather 'heavy' melodic guitar music, like yours truly does, then you really should have enjoyed this short but rather excellent gig.
And then finally after three old songs, Steve Hogarth, the charismatic and still spirited vocalist and frontman introduced the first new song from the new album, namely one of the two 'short' songs on the album: Living In Fear (inclusive singalong chorus). This very melodic song was followed by a surprise because we heard the first notes of Sugar Mice, a song from the Fish-period, from the album Clutching At Straws (1987). The crowd joined in and sang along very loudly while Hogarth took a sip from his beer adding to the very relaxed atmosphere of this marvellous concert. Then we were treated to one of the highlights of this evening: the epic, spectacular The New Kings, divided into four parts. Musically this composition is an amazing gem and hearing experience, but with the additional visual support showing i.e. images of Gucci, giant yachts and priceless jewellery, this track is even more impressive.
Man Of A Thousand Faces (This Strange Engine), with loud singing along from the crowd again, Quartz (Anaraknophobia) and Neverland (Marbles), which is still a great track, ended the regular set.
A true disappointment was the fact that one of the other highlights of the new album, my favourite song from that album, The Leavers, was not on the set list this evening and besides that I would have loved to hear songs from Brave or Happiness Is The Road. But then the show would probably have been too long... well not for me anyway.... Hopefully Marillion will be performing for a couple of years more and I hope that they also will come up with new magical albums in the veins of F.E.A.R., because alternative symphonic rock bands of this calibre are hard to find.
I cannot wait for the DVD from this breath-taking F.E.A.R. tour!!
Martien Koolen (edited by Robert James Pashman)
The Invisible Man
Sounds That Can't Be Made
Living in F E A R
The New Kings: I. Fuck Everyone and Run
The New Kings: II. Russia's Locked Doors
The New Kings: III. A Scary Sky
The New Kings: IV. Why Is Nothing Ever True?
Man of a Thousand Faces
El Dorado: I. Long-Shadowed Sun
El Dorado: II. The Gold
El Dorado: III. Demolished Lives
El Dorado: IV. F E A R
El Dorado: V. The Grandchildren of Apes
This Strange Engine
Marillion by Ron Kraaijkamp
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Line up Marillion:(left to right)
vocals and keyboard
keyboards and backing vocals
bass guitar and backing vocals
Setlist John Wesley:
By The Light Of A Sun
To Outrun The Light
A Way You'll Never Be
Line up John Wesley:
vocals, guitar and devices
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