Porcupine Tree Club 279, Toronto ON — November 14, 2002

I can't decide which was more surprising: the fact that UK psychedelic proggers Porcupine Tree had signed a major label deal or that they were playing their first-ever Toronto show. The band, now a quintet with the addition of touring guitarist John Wesley, mixed older tunes with almost all of the new In Absentia album, gelling best on their classics. Club 279's intimacy left the band looking a little silly: wearing full ear-piece monitors made for concert halls on a bar stage will do that. But the band's resilience and new found confidence, at least partly owing to the masterful drumming of new member Gavin Harrison, was impressive.