A month an a half ago I went to Wolverhampton, UK, to attend my first ever Marillion weekend. It has taken me this long to digest the fact that I witnessed both a world record and the biggest cultural expression I've ever attended in my entire life. The fact that I would die for Marillion is not at all relevant ;) Well, it is a little bit. But to be there with fellow fans, and just be surrounded by love and understanding is a big thing.
Now, Marillion gathers their fans for their weekends once every second year. First in the Netherlands, then in Montreal and then in the UK. Three gigs in three nights. Marillion overdose??? No way, we want more!
I won't give you a song by song review, because I was so into the whole thing, at the front row all three nights, so I kind of got lost in the magnitude of it all. But I have the set-lists, and will highlight a few of the songs. Friday's gig was the Radiation gig. Radiation is an album that was released in 1998. And when Marillion invite us to a Radiation gig, it is the entire album. What we didn't know before (unless we peeked at the set-lists from the other weekends, and of course I did...) were the encores.
I mentioned world record, didn't i? Well, the first gig of the weekend, the one I'm telling you about right now, was a world record. They filmed it and had the DVD ready for sale before morning. I'm thinking someone didn't sleep that night ;)
And we were all dressed up in our summer wear, our glasses and had brought our flowers for A Few Words For The Dead. The gig could start.
1. Under The Sun
2. The Answering Machine
3. Three Minute Boy - One of Marillion's many anthems. People will always join in :-)
4. Now She'll Never Know
5. These Chains
6. Born To Run
7. Cathedral Wall
8. A Few Words For The Dead - When the lead singer comes on stage with a machine gun, it makes a rather harsh statement. One of the lines of the lyrics towards the end is "or you could love", and this is where the flowers came in, about 2000 people waving their flowers as mr. h raises the machine gun with a flower in the barrel. It felt like the moment lasted for ever, just standing there, smiling, waving the flowers, feeling part of something incredible and important. But when I watched the DVD it was over in a flash. Strange, huh? But... I have the DVD, and so can you if you go on marillion.com
9. 80 Days
10. Genie - A lovely tune from Marbles. One of my favorite songs. And their performance didn't fail. I was very happy.
11. Somewhere Else
12. Hooks In You
13. Cover My Eyes (Pain and Heaven) - when they play Cover My Eyes, another anthem btw, we can kind of expect it to be followed by...
14. Sláinte Mhath - and it was, an anthem as well. One of my favorite early days Marillion tune. And then followed a lot of older Marillion, and by older and early days I mean pre-Steve Hogarth. So I felt a bit lost, as I do not know these songs as well as some of my friends feel I should. But the other concert viewers knew the lyrics well enough and loud enough, so I suppose it's ok. I know the lyrics of most Hogarth songs, so there ;) Anyway, Hogarth raised a glass for Fish, the previous lead singer. And the crowds went wild...
16. Heart Of Lothian
17. King - This song is the closing cut from Afraid of Sunlight, and it is supposedly about Elvis. This is one of those songs that just builds up, builds up, builds up and then stops at the top... amazing. One of the many enigmatic and enticing elements with Marillion. And watching this particular performance of King, it was brilliant to be at the front, because Steve Hogarth ended up almost lying on the floor playing his guitar at the end... phew!!!!!
18. Script For A Jester's Tear - This concert's biggest surprise for me. This is a Fish-song, and I had never heard it before... But I can guarantee you I know it by heart now. This version of this song is absolutely amazing, and a big explanation to why I really really love Marillion. They are so intense and present in every performance they do. And they are incredibly professional.
19. Happiness Is The Road. - This song is just poetic and it encourages the listener to think. It's not really anthem material, this song, but the chorus is screamed out in the end by an overly enthusiastic audience...for a long time, egged on by the sneaky lead singer " Ten more minutes!!! Keep singing" :) A great high, and a great ending to the first of the three gigs.