April 28, 2013

Thank you, Mr. Wilson!

What more can I say about recording artist Steven Wilson? The last time I saw him live in concert was back in September of 2010 in support of Porcupine Tree's album "The Incident." In the roughly two and a half years since then, he has brought the word "prolific" to an entirely new level. Producing two solo efforts (the double "Grace For Drowning" and, what I consider to be his magnum opus, "The Raven That Refused To Sing"), a double live Porcupine Tree album "Octane Twisted," a live DVD "Get All You Deserve," Blackfield's "Welcome To My DNA," and "Storm Corrosion" with Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth, while keeping a steady schedule of touring, he has released in a short time what would perhaps be an entire career's worth of material for many bands. It is really mind-blowing when one takes into consideration the vast catalog of music that he has already produced with Porcupine Tree and there is still the sense that he is only getting started. Steven Wilson is a true Renaissance man.

I believe that his latest album is an absolute masterstroke and I knew that I couldn't miss out on his concert on Friday, April 26th at Best Buy Theater in Manhattan. This time out, he hit the stage with an incredible lineup of musicians: Marco Minnemann on drums, Guthrie Govan on guitar, NYC's own Adam Holzman on keyboards, Theo Travis on saxophone/flute, and an extremely entertaining bassist/stick player in the person of Nick Beggs. Being that Best Buy is a general admission club, I leaned up against a pillar and simply watched some of the top players in the world creating some of the most inspired sounds I've ever heard. As I watched, I got the sense that I was witnessing the very pinnacle of musical expression. It was that good.

After the show had let out and I was walking back to Penn Station to get the train, I noticed a man about two blocks ahead of me drop something on to the sidewalk. When I reached that point, I noticed that he had lost his Steven Wilson concert shirt. I quickly picked it up and made a dash toward him. I caught up with him at a crosswalk. When he finally realized that he had lost his shirt and I had returned it to him, he was so happy. He kept saying that I made his night. Of course, I had just been at the same concert as him and knew that his night was already quite good. When I finally made it to the Penn Station, I bought an iced tea for myself, a slice of pizza for a homeless man, and then I climbed aboard my train. The rest is history...

"Each of you
should give what you have decided
in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver."

~2 Corinthians 9:7