Sunday, October 23, 2022

Marillion @ Zénith, Paris - October 23rd, 2022

British progressive rock legends Marillion is touring behind their new record An Hour Before It's Dark, another excellent slab of challenging compositions, virtuosic musicianship, though-provoking lyrical themes and majestic melodies. And on this tour, they are doing something very few veteran bands can pull off: they are playing their new album in full. In fact, the bulk of the setlist is culled from somewhat recent albums like the aforementioned An Hour Before It's Dark and its predecessor F.E.A.R. But then again few bands have as fantastic a second act as Marillion.

Aided by a spectacular but elegant light show, the band played for two hours during which we were reminded what a great guitarist Steve Rothery is. In fact, his tone and phrasing are very reminiscent of David Gilmour. Steve Hogarth is a very engaging frontman and a emotive singer. Pete Trewavas' bass manages to cut through the waves of keyboards, drums and percussions without ever sounding ostentatious.

But despite the quality of their recent output, the evening's highlights were undoubtedly the older material:  classics like Afraid Of Sunlight, The Great Escape, and even one song from their Fish days, the hit single Sugar Mice, during which the audience sang their hearts out, disproving once and for all the old misconception that progressive rock concerns itself with virtuosity more than it does with emotion.

As they left the stage, Steve Hogarth promise they'd be back soon. When they do, don't hesitate. Fuck Everything And Run.

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