Wow...the bar just got raised folks. Arriving Somewhere... is the new DVD from British prog/psychedelic/space rock/metal/hard rock veterans Porcupine Tree, filmed at the Park West in Chicago on October 11-12, 2005. With a lengthy set featuring 17 stunning tracks, Arriving Somewhere... shows just how powerful a band Steven Wilson and his cohorts have become. Fans of their heavier recent material will be in their glory with this DVD, as the set leans "heavily" towards their more muscular work, but also does not ignore their progressive and experimental side. No matter what way you look at it, this is a mesmerizing and moving presentation from a band that just keeps reinventing themselves.
Sound-wise, this DVD sounds just fabulous, with all the instruments crystal clear in the mix and bursting with clarity, power, and energy. Wilson and John Wesley's Paul Reed Smith guitars are thick and crunchy, and Wilson especially is snarling throughout this set with beefy riffs and virtuoso solos. Tunes like "Open Car", "Blackest Eyes", "So Called Friend", "Don't Hate Me", and "Halo" burst with heavy metal energy, and the more experimental pieces like the psych/pop gem "Lazarus", "Mother and Child Divided", and "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here", all just ooze the spaciness and adventure seeking of prog. The latter song mentioned is especially well played here, with simmering keyboards from Richard Barbieri and ringing chords from Wesley, before Wilson comes thundering into the mix towards the climax with some massive power riffs. The rhythm section of drummer Gavin Anderson and bassist Colin Edwin really impress on each and every song, but add some tricky parts to songs like the floating pop of "The Sound of Muzak", the intense space rock of "Buying New Soul", and offer up solid beats and thick grooves to the classic "Even Less". Of course, the star of the show is Steven Wilson, whose lead vocals never falter, and his guitar skills are just marvelous. It's really not until you see this band in a live environment that you realize just how skilled a player he really is. While Wesley doesn't get to really show off his axe prowess from a lead standpoint (except on "Trains"), his rhythms are very important here, allowing Wilson to really reach out, and John's backing vocals really are the key, giving these songs a very rich quality. The picture quality is excellent, as the camera's move from musician to musician briskly, alternating between glorious color shots and vintage styled black and white. Throughout the set the crowd was really into the show, and it's great to see a band like this drawing a pretty large amount of people at a venue here in the US back in 2005. Kind of makes you think that perhaps this band really might make it big sometime soon after all.
The bonus disc features a few nice tidbits, including the "Lazarus" promo video, and two songs from the Rockpalast German TV show ("Radioactive Toy" and "Futile"), which, quite frankly, are great and most people would probably like to have seen the full set. The rest is sort of average and mainly for the Porcupine Tree fanatics, but as a whole this is a monumental DVD set that dazzles the eye as well as the ear.
1) Revenant (opening theme music)
2) Open Car
3) Blackest Eyes
6) Dont Hate Me
7) Mother and Child Divided
8) Buying New Soul
9) So Called Friend
10) Arriving Somewhere but Not Here
11) Heartattack in a Layby
12) The Start of Something Beautiful
14) The Sound of Muzak
15) Even Less
Futile and Radioactive Toy from German TV Show Rockpalast,
Drummer Gavin Harrison's Cymbal Song,
The Movies that accompanied Halo, Start of Something Beautiful, and Mother and