After dinner in Pizza Hut it was time for doors, so we headed over to The Junction. When we'd arrived (and even by when we started dinner) there weren't many people in the queue, but by the time we joined it it'd grown quite a lot. Still, once they opened the doors it was pretty fast moving & it wasn't long before we were inside and heading for the merch desk for the customary t-shirt purchases. And then the bar, for beer! Jonathan had kindly offered to drive, so for a change J could actually have a drink at a gig :)
The opening act were Amplifier, and we got a nice spot in the middle of the floor before they started. I'd not listened to any of their stuff before the gig - J had got some from emusic, but I didn't get round to listening. I probably won't be getting round to it any time soon, either - I was rather underwhelmed by them. Noisy, but it all felt the same - which would probably've been helped if I'd known the songs, but even so there was no feeling of dynamic range, or changes in tempo for different songs. And a bit too loud or distorted for my tastes, the sort of bass noise that gets in your guts & makes you queasy :/
When they finished I did my normal mid-gig dash for the ladies' so I didn't miss any of the main set (and back via the bar, obviously :D ). I was quite astonished how many people there were - I had to fight my way out, let alone back in, and after I'd got the drinks I did have a momentary doubt about whether I was actually going to make it back in to where the others were. But I did succeed & actually it was a bit easier than going out - my theory is that if you're carrying 2 drinks through the crowd it makes it clear you're looking for the people you're with, so people are nicer than if they think you're just pushing forward to get a better spot.
Then just after we finished sorting ourselves out in height order it was time for Porcupine Tree :)
They rocked :D Over the course of the set they played all of the new album in order, with other, older tracks inbetween. They'd clearly put some thought into picking older tracks that fitted the theme of the current stuff (though maybe with a little re-interpretation e.g. Lightbulb Sun) and it all worked together really well. I liked the visuals they had for the new stuff - most of the songs had a video & they were all pretty disturbing in a way that enhanced ones understanding of the songs, but less abstract than some of the previous videos. The main set seemed over far too soon, but they didn't keep us waiting long before the encore - which was Even Less, Mother and Child Divided and finished up with Halo. In keeping with my normal tradition I really like Mother and Child Divided live, despite it being instrumental & almost totally passing me by on record. (Yeah, I'm weird) And Halo rocks :D (And I managed not to bash into Paul who was standing right behind me even though I was bobbing along to the music rather enthusiastically!)