Friday, 29 January 2016

Threshold Live Report

Another night with the kings of English prog metal Threshold was the order of the day as I made my way to the Islington Academy on an unseasonably warm Sunday night. Threshold are a band that have just the right amount of prog whilst still making very accessible tunes to hum or sing along with. For that reason they draw quite a diverse crowd or oldies and some though not many younger people to their shows.

Two support bands were listed and both I like in doses and that also helped in enticing me to this gig. First up were fellow Brits Damnation Angels. These guys do epic prog/power rather well however I didn't actually know they had replaced PelleK with a new chap. I knew the Norwegian dude had left but not who his replacement was and I was intrigued if he would be better than PelleK whose vocals I find borderline unlistenable at times. Well the new chap was not what I was expecting at all. He basically looked a bit like me with hair! Just a normal looking tubby guy! In the end looks don't matter that much and it's all about his vocals which were actually pretty good and much more listenable than PelleK's for me in any case. The band played their mostly mid paced material and ended with the epic Pride which is a very cool tune. A decent start indeed.

Next up were out and out prog merchants Spheric Universe Experience. Musically they were spot on with a nice sound mix as well. The guitars were progging away until there's no tomorrow allowing the nicely haircutted front man to croon and yell like a banshee over the top. He was a pretty good dancer as well hehe. I don't recognise any of the band's material but I do remember liking their albums and their live chops are commendable too. A very decent main support for the headliners.

Finally at 9pm it was time for Threshold and the ever energetic Damian Wilson to hold court over a roughly half full Islington Academy. Not too bad for a Sunday night and the weather being so warm probably increased the turn out a bit more. The band were completing a European jaunt tonight so there was a slightly celebratory mood in the air as Damian explained. The band has been very sick on the road in Europe and they were all extremely glad to be home finally.

Their performances were all excellent but you could sort of tell that they were really getting ready for a well earned rest after trekking round Europe in the middle of winter. Damian however is a different beast altogether. The man is some kind of superhuman it seems. His energy was boundless and he was all over the Academy stage all night and plenty of time he was actually in the crowd or on the floor and even in the balcony which he somehow managed to climb up to. The guy is basically like the Bruce Dickinson of prog! His energy is limitless.

The Threshold set list is a tried and tested thing these days although I did miss a couple of the more melodic songs but they played very long too at nearly 2 hours all told. I must admit I was really flagging in the second hour of the show. I was still enjoying it but also hoping for the end to come as well if that makes sense. My favourite song of the night was the track Siren Sky. Damian's vocals on that song were absolutely flawless and left me in awe.

Threshold are consummate live professionals with every member perfect on their respective instruments but they all take a back seat to Mr Wilson. The guy runs havoc on stage and in the crowd and yet delivers a flawless vocal performance as well.

Mission Profile
Watchtower on the Moon
The Box
Turned to Dust
Lost in Your Memory
Autumn Red
The Mystery Show
Siren Sky
Pilot in the Sky of Dreams

The Art of Reason

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