at Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway, March 18th, 2013

Steven Wilson is probably best known as the lead guitarist, singer and songwriter for the Progressive Rock band Porcupine Tree. He just released his third solo record and is touring the world in support of it. Sentrum Scene in Oslo, Norway, was ready for the extravagant musician, and as fans entered the venue and saw all the chairs and were notified of a strict “no photo” policy, you realized that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary Rock show.

The band entered the stage to some ambient sounds from Wilson’s side project, Bass Communion, and immediately dove into “Luminol” from the new record The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories). Since this was part of that album’s 2013 Tour, Wilson had decided to play the entire record with the addition of great songs from the two previous records.

Wilson is a multi-talented mastermind. In addition to playing guitar and singing, he also played some keyboard from time to time, and when bass player Nick Beggs played chapman stick on “The Holy Drinker,” Wilson picked up the bass and played that as well. Don’t forget that he wrote all the music too — not to take anything away from the rest of the band, who are all world class musicians as well. Already mentioned Beggs has played professionally since the late 70s, and with well-known names like the amazing guitarist Guthrie Govan, drummer Marco Minnemann (it’s fantastic that he didn’t get the Dream Theater gig because now we can enjoy him with Steven Wilson, right where he belongs), keyboardist Adam Holzman and saxophonist and flutist Theo Travis you know you’re in for a treat. The band was super tight and it was a joy to see them play mind-blowing parts with such ease.

The show was perfectly planned and executed; Wilson didn’t leave anything to chance. The man really knows how to build the right atmosphere with the music, with the lights, and with the videos. The usage of the word “show” is correct in this case, because what the crowd got was a show and an experience rather than the usual concert.

In addition to the entire new record, the band played great songs like “Deform To Form A Star”, “Index” (both off 2011s Grace for Drowning) and what turned out to be a crowd pleaser; “Harmony Korine” (off 2008s Insurgentes). Wilson doesn’t talk much onstage, but when he does it’s often with a dark form of humor. He even had a sort of debate with people in the crowd about whether or not Charles Manson was a serial killer, before they started playing “Raider II”, a song which tells the story of serial killer Dennis Lynn Rader.

The set was closed with the amazing title track from the new record. The obligatory encore consisted of an extended version of Porcupine Tree’s “Radioactive Toy.” Wilson explained that he felt he could include it as it really was taken off a solo record he recorded in the late ’80s under the name Porcupine Tree.

All in all this is arguably the best show you’re going to see this year. This was an experience rather than a Rock concert and is highly recommended!


Luminol / Drive Home / The Pin Drop / Postcard / The Holy Drinker / Deform to Form a Star / The Watchmaker / Index / Insurgentes / Harmony Korine / No Part of Me / Raider II / The Raven That Refused to Sing
Encore: Radioactive Toy


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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