Marillion–Live at Variety Playhouse

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So, how many would show up in Atlanta for an English progressive rock band?  Well, as it turns out, it seemed a sold out show.  Absent the presence of a radio station that would touch a band like this, you realize it’s not needed when those attending harkened to the days when radio, record shop discoveries and word of mouth were a thing.


I was never a huge fan of their early work, as it sounded a bit too much like Peter Gabriel era Genesis.  That was my reaction after the band’s first album, and it’s one that I regret.  Revisiting their work, with then-singer Fish and current singer Steve Hogarth, I find that there’s much to explore.


That said, I didn’t particularly care for 2016’s FEAR album – a too much narrative and/or too little instrumental passages.  Still, they’re one of the “greats,” and Marillion rarely comes around.  Hopefully other acts that participate in the Florida based progrock cruises will similarly follow the highway north after the tour is over.  So, with concert buddy in tow, off we go.


As expected, FEAR dominated the set.  And by the reaction of tour T-shirt clad audience, that was just fine with them.  Sound and lighting were excellent, and front man Hogarth commanded the stage.  As the night grew on, the crowd appreciation was reflected in his expressions between sections, often smiling and making eye contact with many of the fans.


Ace guitarist Steve Rothery handled his solos beautifully, a prime example that fleet fingers aren’t needed for a career in rock music.  Wry grins and frequent nods were shared with his corner of fans in front of the stage. 


Highlights included “Season’s End,” “King” with an impactful visual of those passed away, and all of the encores, perhaps with an edge to “Sugar Mice” for its sing-along status.

Additional photos follow the set list:

Set list:

  • El Dorado I– Long-Shadowed Sun (FEAR, 2016)
  • El Dorado ii – The Gold (FEAR, 2016)
  • El Dorado iii – Demolished Lives (FEAR, 2016)
  • El Dorado iv – FEAR (FEAR, 2016)
  • El Dorado v – The Grandchildren of Apes (FEAR, 2016)
  • You’re Gone (Marbles, 2004)
  • White Paper (FEAR, 2016)
  • Season’s End (Season’s End, 1989)
  • Kayleigh (Misplaced Childhood, 1985)
  • The Leavers I – Wake Up in Music (FEAR, 2016)
  • The Leavers II – The Remainers (FEAR, 2016)
  • The Leavers III – Vapour Trails in the Sky (FEAR, 2016)
  • The Leavers IV – The Jungle of Days (FEAR, 2016)
  • The Leavers V – One Tonight (FEAR, 2016)
  • The Great Escape (Brave, 1994)
  • King (Afraid of Sunlight, 1995)
  • Encore:
  • The Invisible Man (Marbles, 2004)
  • Encore 2:
  • Sugar Mice (Clutching at Straws, 1987)
  • This Strange Engine (This Strange Engine, 1997)









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