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Steven Wilson

December 16, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

$34.50 – $40

Thanks to a prolific work ethic, self-taught producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson has gradually become one of the U.K.’s most critically acclaimed cult artists.

Twenty something years ago, around the time that the first records bearing Steven Wilson’s name began attracting critical interest, the big message in rock ‘n roll was that modern life was rubbish. Sound tracking a politically grey country stuck in a technological rut, popular music seemed to echo the underlying thought of the time. Something’s got to change.

Fast-forward to the second decade of the 21st century. Politics are in a state of self-inflicted turmoil; the connective technology that was meant to free us has become weaponized. It’s like everybody’s got the start of the millennium psychosis blues and modern life is out of control.

With that in mind, how should music in 2017 react to the flux and uncertainty of the here and now? If you’re Steven Wilson – now unarguably the UK’s biggest underground artist – the response is less about trying to make a state of the nation address and more about holding up a well-polished mirror to reflect back the chaos.

Lyrically, the 11 tracks on Steven Wilson’s fifth album To The Bone tackle such era-defining themes as everyday fanaticism; self-loathing caused by the pressures of online life; displacement by war and the hope that we try to pass on to future generations. Musically, the whole thing sparks and flashes in arcs of glorious color, fusing driving futurist rock and spectral electronics to elegiac hyperspace ambience and dizzying squalling guitars.

To The Bone is a bold, forward-thinking rock record. From the thunderous swampy rhythms of the album’s titular opener and the glimmering, stratospheric climb of “Nowhere Now” through the album’s two tales of unstinting home grown fundamentalism (“People Who Eat Darkness,” “Detonation”) via the gorgeous, acoustic break-up narrative of “Blank Tapes” and “Pariah’s” volcanic coda, the record presents 11 of Steven’s most concise, tightly melodic songs to date.

For anyone who’s followed Steven’s career since the early ’90s – four times Grammy nominated, the founder and front man of adored outsider rock band Porcupine Tree; as a remixer for acts like Roxy Music, Simple Minds and XTC or as a self-sufficient solo artist, hugely respected for a series of visionary LPs starting with 2008’s Insurgentes – To The Bone might sound like a departure. In fact, it’s a lovingly crafted paean to the progressive pop records that heavily influenced the formative years of his youth.

“People generally think my music is rooted in the ‘70s but really I came of age in the ’80s, and grew up with post punk, new wave and Trevor Horn’s productions. Recently I found myself going back to listen to albums like So by Peter Gabriel, Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, Tears for Fear’s Seeds of Loveand Talk Talk’s Colour of Spring. They were mainly made by musicians who’d come out of the crucible of innovative, experimental ’70s music but still wanted to write great songs that people could hum on the bus.”


December 16, 2018
7:30 pm
$34.50 – $40
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Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
1050 A1A North
Ponte Vedra, 32082
(904) 209-0367
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Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
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