Monday, November 13, 2023

Marillion @ Trianon, Paris - November 13th, 2023


After witnessing Madonna's dreary mechanical pageant the previous night, we were excited to see an actual live performance by some real musicians, and on that front Marillion is second to none. Just a little over a year since their last performance in the French capital, the progressive rock superstars delivered a typically generous set in the confines of the beautiful Trianon theater, playing for over two hours, delving deep into their extensive catalogue of challenging, exquisite music and giving the audience a truly immersive experience without resorting to silly pageantry or sacrificing substance over style.

With no new album to promote, the emphasis is still on the latest opus An Hour Before It's Dark but it's also a looser affair than last year's tour, and consequently the audience was treated to a delightful array of tune, including two cuts from Marbles, two from Afraid Of Sunlight, two from Sounds That Can't Be Made, and assorted numbers from Anoraknophobia, Holidays In Eden and even Season's End.

Frontman Steve Hogarth was his usual charismatic self, bringing the lyrics to life by adding a flair of theatricality into the performance. Steve Rothery's dramatic phrasing and understated virtuosity were on full display: the man is one of the very finest guitarist in progressive rock, with a style reminiscent of David Gilmour's. Mark Kelly's emotive keyboard melodies and intricate textures are what set the moods of Marillion's epic sonic journeys. Ornate and complex, the rhythm section formed by drummer Ian Mosley and bassist Pete Trewavas anchor the band's lush and expansive sound with precision and groove.

Marillion embodies progressive rock in that they've never stopped progressing. In fact, a better term might be evolving. Marillion plays evolving rock. And as the current album cycle concludes with this "A Tour Before It's Christmas" tour, we are now waiting for the next step of the band's evolution.

Experience or re-live the concert by playing the setlist in the embedded Apple Music player below
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