Concert Review: Marillion, October 31, Danforth Music Hall


About three songs in to Marillion‘s set at the Danforth, singer Steve Hogarth addressed the crowd and was met with adoring cheers that practically drowned him out. It all seemed a bit much for me after only three songs, but it does go to show the level of cult fandom the British prog rockers elicit.

The band is touring behind their latest record Fuck Everyone And Run (F.E.A.R.), which Hogarth admitted is a fairly dark album. Lyrically, F.E.A.R revolves around a lot of political and social commentary on the modern world, one of the highlights of which was the epic “The New Kings,” described as being about what happens when money gets involved in politics and dedicated to “those people who really don’t give a fuck about any of us.” As the band played, the words “too big to fail,” “greed is good,” and “why is nothing ever true?” flashed onscreen to drive home the point. Hogarth also got political in his stage banter at times, commenting on Mark Carney (“We now have your Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England. He looks good in a suit, I’ll give him that …”) and new PM Theresa May (“the jury’s still out”) as well as giving a shout out to Scotland (“a country that runs on paranoia”).

While the new material was some of the best sounding stuff all night, the biggest crowd responses came for older numbers such as “Lavender” and “Kayleigh,” which I believe made it’s debut on the current North American tour this evening. As the band came out for their second encore, someone shouted out, “You’ve gotta do ‘Kayleigh!'”. “Oh yeah, you wanna hear that? We can do it if you’re arsed,” replied Hogarth. “You’ve got to sing though.” And sing they did, with Hogarth content to stand back and let the crowd sing the whole first verse, thus displaying more of that devotion they showed earlier in the night with all that cheering.

While I may not have been on board with the massive amounts of cheering so early on in the set (save it for the encore, folks), I was definitely impressed with Marillion. Having been around since the ’80s, the band was tight and impressive in their virtuosity, but most impressive was Hogarth’s performance. He’s quite an entertaining frontman, making all sorts of wild and dramatic gesticulations throughout their set that really helped to drive their performance home.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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