Marillion Live At Boston's Paradise Rock Club
Goldmine Magazine July, 2012
BOSTON - It isn't very often that a band's live performance leaves one awestruck. Almost to the point of losing track of time and space, the experience tugging at the soul as if attached to strings which the music controls. Having only experienced this feeling a few times at a concert, declarations of "epic performance" and "one of the best shows I've seen" come to mind.
Photo 1. Marillion front-man Steve Hogarth (Photo by Craig Mellish) 2. Guitarist Steve Rothery (Photo by Craig Mellish) 3. The Paradise marquee 4. Marillion North American Tour 2012 poster
For those who don't know this band, (other than perhaps a familiarity with the one-off 80's hit "Kayleigh") you simply do not know what you are missing because if you did, you'd change that tune in a hurry. However, you are certainly not alone in this Marillion sea of obscurity because for whatever reason, America has never really caught on to the brilliance of Marillion... even with two incarnations of the band to choose from.
However, for all the die-hard New England fans who are lucky enough to realize what they are NOT missing, they recently witnessed an amazing show at a sweaty, packed-to-the-gills Paradise Club in the heart of Boston. We even got to sing "happy birthday" to Marillion drummer Ian Mosley!
After an interesting opening set (a mix of originals and two Pink Floyd covers) featuring Miami-based Sun Dimingo, the crowd irrupted as each Marillion member individually emerged - bassist Pete Trewavas, "birthday boy" Mosley, keyboardist Mark Kelly, guitarist Steve Rothery and finally, front-man Steve ("H") Hogarth - all to the roar of a crowd that had clearly waited a long time to be in that moment.
In fact, it had been six years since this reviewer stood in nearly the exact spot (roughly the third row, center) the last time Marillion had come to the United States and they did not disappoint, playing over two hours of some of the most emotionally-driven music you can imagine. Songs spanning their entire career - including three tracks from the days of original vocalist, Fish -with "Slainte Mhath," "Sugar Mice" and of course, "Kayleigh."
Each song (even "Power" from the forthcoming new CD) was a crowd favorite, as the audience belted out seemingly every lyric as some badge of loyalty to their musical heroes. An honorable notion, but honestly, a little bothersome at times when attempting to immerse oneself in the aura of Hogarth.
Despite the over zealous back up singers, the band absolutely captivated the fans with a musical roller coaster ride of a progressive, melodic brand of rock that is all their own. However, isn't just the great songs, but also the impeccable and musicianship - Rothery's soaring guitar solos, Kelly's atmospheric keyboard flourishes and the bottom-end, the heartbeat of it all that is Trewavas and Mosley. Yet, it all comes together seamlessly through the power, grace and theatrics of H, who pours his heart into every song, every lyric, every moment.
From the darkened strains of the show-opening "Splintering Heart," to the electrifying grandiose of "Cover My Eyes," "Man of 1,000 Faces" and "Afraid Of Sunlight," to the emotional outpouring of "Fantastic Place," "Neverland" and "Beautiful," the power of live Marillion taps into the soul and leaves the faucet running.
I hope it is not another six years before Marillion comes back to America, but either way, I will hopefully be standing in the same spot again... along with all the other lucky Marillion fans.
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