Saturday, April 20, 2013

Steven Wilson at the Howard Theater

The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)

Eighteen months ago, I was fortunate enough to have caught Steven Wilson's Grace for Drowning tour, in Philadelphia. After completing the European leg of that tour, and the Storm Corrosion project, Steven quickly returned to the studio to record his third solo album, The Raven That Refused to Sing, with essentially the same band.

Predictably, the tour announcement came in the wake of the album release, and once again was limited primarily to stops on the East and West Coast of the US. Looking over the tour schedule, I noticed this show on Saturday night in Washington, DC. It would allow me to head back to Maryland and see my family, and also catch an Orioles game.

I called an old friend and fellow musician, Joe Schaedler, and talked him into going. I was somewhat anxious to hear his opinion of the music, since it was new to him. I felt it was both Poppy and Artsy enough to appeal to him. My guess was correct, since he enjoyed it, and described it as Hannibal Lecter meets Sergeant Pepper.

After meeting my friend in Reston, at his place, we headed into town, arriving at the Howard with about half an hour to spare.

Howard Theater

The Sound System

As the crowd waited for the show, Bass Communion was being played through the Surround Sound PA. My friend noticed this immediately, and was blown away by the effect. He said that this show was forcing him to reconsider and think about the manipulation of the stereo field during a live performance.

Steven Wilson

Band Members

The line up for this show was almost identical to the Grace for Drowning tour. The only difference being the guitartist.

  • Steven Wilson - lead vocals, guitar, and keys
  • Guthrie Govan - lead guitar
  • Nick Beggs - bass, Chapman Stick, and backing vocals
  • Adam Holzman - keys
  • Marco Minneman - drums
  • Theo Travis - flute, saxophone, and clarinet

Steven Wilson

The Show

The actual show started promptly at 8PM, a consisted of a single set lasting 2 hours, and an encore. The actual setlist was up and available within 12 hours of the show.

It was a wonderful evening of music, I am hoping that they may perhaps do a second North American tour before the end of the year.

Theo Travis - Good Night

Final Bow