Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, multiple Grammy-nominee and founder of prog rock legends Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, is currently stateside with his solo band for the first leg of his North American tour in support of his fourth solo studio album, Hand. Cannot. Erase., which he unleashed upon the masses earlier this year through Kscope Records. The journey kicked off last month in Worcester, MA and is scheduled to run through the end of this month in Canada. New York City hosted the trip with two sold-out shows at Best Buy Theater in the heart of Times Square on May 29 and May 30.
We caught the second Manhattan showing on a pleasant Saturday night, which started a little after 8pm with a mesmerizing 10-minute visual intro complimented by remarkable surround sound audio. Steven Wilson and band – David Kilminster (guitar), Nick Beggs (bass/chapman stick), Adam Holzman (keyboards) and Craig Blundell (drums) – promptly filled the stage as seated fans jumped to their feet to cheer on the inspiring musicians. The assembly proceeded to perform the first 8 tracks off of the new effort including hymns such as the monumental first track “First Regret/3 Years Older,” the title-track “Hand Cannot Erase,” the sonorous “Routine” and the riffy “Home Invasion/Regret #9,” with accompanying stunning visuals sprawled across the massive and dazzling LED screen positioned behind the band.
Halfway through the set, Steven Wilson and Co. amazed the audience even more when they busted out Porcupine Tree covers like “Lazarus,” “How Is Your Life Today?” (ft. a duet with Steven and Adam), “Sleep Together” and “Trains.” The two-plus hour display also featured classic hits like the shoegazey “Harmony Korine” and a slew of more new songs like “Ancestral” and “Happy Returns,” thus exhibiting a bulk of Hand. Cannot. Erase. (10 out of 11 songs, to be exact), before bringing the night to an end with the moving “The Raven That Refused to Sing,” from Wilson‘s 2013 third solo album of the same name. Make sure to check out a list of remaining tour dates here, and the remainder of our photographic coverage from the NYC concert below.
In related news, Steven Wilson has joined forces with ‘Yahoo! Music’ for an exclusive livestream of his upcoming June 13 show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. You can tune in here at 8pm on 6/13 to catch the experience.