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DVD/Concert Review: Get All You Deserve

Posted on the 27 September 2012 by Floydian42 @Floydian42
DVD/Concert Review: Get All You DeserveGood day, my friends! Last night, let me tell you, was a momentous occasion. My official copy of "Get All You Deserve" finally arrived (three days later, might I add)! Oh yes, I was a happy lad indeed. As you may know, I am a massive Steven Wilson fan. Any chance I get to purchase any of his products and render myself completely broke I take happily. This time, it was the the filming of the second leg of Mr. Wilson's first solo tour in support of his most recent release "Grace for Drowning."

DVD/Concert Review: Get All You Deserve

such talent like omg

This is going to be a short review as I've already reviewed the concert from the Philadelphia show I went to before. The set list is virtually identical to the one he played when I saw him, minus the debut of the new track "Luminol." Solid set, if you ask me, but it leaves out some of his more interesting tracks (I.E. Significant Other, Insurgentes). I understand why he left them out, the set was long enough as is (about two hours), and Wilson is really trying to not bore these extremely talented musicians he has backing him up. There's already enough of a struggle in the current set to make keeping Theo Travis around. So Wilson picked out the ones that have more room for solos, rhythmically interesting stuff, blah blah blah. But there are a few moments where he picked some weaker songs.
From a production standpoint, the release is great. The blue ray is shot fantastically. Mr. Hoile, Wilson's personal art director, is one that I've never been a fan of, but he's come a long way in terms of concert footage. Going back in time to "Arriving Somewhere..." from Porcupine Tree's deadwing tour, you really see the difference. Not only did he realize that it's better to not have a weird heavily saturated shot every twenty seconds, but now Hoile's got a lot smoother transitions between shots, and has learned the lesson of a steady camera. Now we can actually focus on the musicians!
The audio mix is fantastic, of course. If there is one praise everyone is willing to give Wilson is that he can mix like a motherfucker. But onto critiques. If you pay attention to some reviews you'll hear that Wilson prances around the stage in a fashion that places him among the "window lickers" of the world (okay, to be fair, I laughed at that joke). But there is some truth to that. It's pretty obvious that he has nothing to do for a lot of long stretches. Where it might make sense to walk off stage, he just kind of walks around like a mosquito to the other players, and they avoid eye contact and keep playing, and he shews off.
And what's with the strange hand motions? I guess I shouldn't complain about how he gets into the music, I mean, no fan complains about Thom Yorke. Maybe I'm just sad that this isn't as entertaining. Some more serious complaints I've heard is that Wilson isn't a prog artist, and he should stop trying to be, and that he should go off doing more different things, cover new ground. Although, yes, he is very frankly making an homage to Prog  Rock, I wouldn't say that he is always directly ripping it. Sure, "Remainder the Black Dog" uses mellotrons and other assorted tones generally linked with prog, but I think it shows that he can still be prog and give it his own unique flair.

DVD/Concert Review: Get All You Deserve

So silly, Mr. Wilson

And even though it does at moments sound very retro prog, since when is that a complaint? In any other musical genre, no one would complain. Someone writes a piece for an orchestra that sounds like Beethoven, no one is going to say it's bad or disingenuous for that reason. In many respects, modern "rock" music hasn't progressed too much since OK Computer, but that doesn't mean that songs since then have all been bad.
I think the complaint comes down to the fact that it always feels like Wilson can do a little bit better. That I agree with. Although, I do feel as though he has gotten consistently better throughout his career, for some unknown reason it just still feels like he's on the brink. Wait until the next big thing, it's going to be huge! And maybe he'd already be there if he just put some of the silliness behind. No more wearing gas masks on stage, or writing songs about serial killers, but maybe even if he kept the same song writing style he had now, but applied it to subject territory more personal. I think that's all that Wilson needs.
All in all, it's a great performance, captured greatly, with music that I personally love. I'd say 5 out of 5 stars, but in order to be that, I feel like it would have to be something that I'd recommend to anybody. And as it stands, I only recommend it to people who are already open to this kind of music. It isn't universal enough (Oh, and bring up the flute in the mix).

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