Kip and I went to see Porcupine Tree in New York last Thursday. Personal preferences not withstanding, I think the winner of the night was definitely opening act King’s X — after the show, many people mentioned being way more impressed by King’s X than Porcupine Tree and were left having wished they’d caught the band’s whole set. Not me; I insisted on being there for the whole thing, despite Mr. Wingerschmidt’s preference of blazing pre-show.

How this band has remained so fresh and vital for so long is beyond me. Doug Pinnick is 59 fucking years old and still has the pipes of a choir boy (like 6 or 7 octaves worth!) and the optimism and good will of someone in his 20s. While the band jammed behind him Pinnick gave one of the most inspirational speeches I’ve ever heard about how so many people are unhappy with their lives because they aren’t doing what they’re meant to do, how if music is your calling don’t let anyone discourage you, be true to yourself, work hard even if your music never leaves your bedroom, just be yourself and be happy. Imagine 2 minutes of this spoken by a guy who basically sounds like a reverend. It was beautiful.

Also beautiful was the band’s performance of “Lost In Germany,” which I’d never heard them play live before, from their self-titled 1992 record. Here they are playing it back in 1998 when Doug was a fresh 47 years old. That Ty Tabor riff! A classic.


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