LIVE: MARILLION – February 16, 2018

Venue: Royal Oak Music Theatre

City: Royal Oak, MI

Date: February 16, 2018

Review and Photographs by: Todd ‘Toddstar’ Jolicoeur (

Marillion is one of those bands that has been on my bucket list for decades… not to shoot – just to experience the show live.  This is a band that has evaded me with each tour of the US over the last 20+ years.  That was to change on a foggy Friday night in a suburb just north of Detroit.  As the time approached for the band to take the stage, you could cut the anticipation in the venues air with a knife.  I was told stories or fans that had traveled from afar just to witness this show and others that book ended the Detroit date – Marillion was to play Grand Rapids, MI a couple days later.  The band was locked in from the moment they hit the stage.  They kicked off the evenings festivities with the five-part opus “El Dorado” from their recently released collection F.E.A.R.  The songs sonic ebb and flow was met in a live setting by lighting and imagery on the back screen.  Watching the players treat each note as if they were precious parts of a larger machine was something to behold.  From guitarist Steve Rothery’s handing of his instrument to the precision Ian Mosley delivered behind the drums was not only aurally pleasing, but visually effective.  As this extended piece came to an end, front man Steve Hogarth made personal observations in light of the recent tragedy in Florida.  His passion for the lyrics and music were unmistakably obvious from track to track, but especially during the new song “Living In F E A R.”  Each part of the show was perfectly timed and choreographed from a visual angle, with lighting and imagery almost as vital a part of the show as the players and songs themselves.  Mark Kelly anchored a lot of the evening from the rear of the stage atop a platform behind a multitude of keyboards, looking up randomly to take in the experience and evening.  The Royal Oak crowd was treated to an impromptu performance of “Hollow Man” when bassist Pete Trewavas experienced technical issues with his instrument about half way through the set.  Running through some of the fan favorites, including their biggest Stateside hit “Kayleigh”, the band aimed to please everyone in attendance.  After performing another of the longer songs – “The Leavers” – from their latest disc, they jumped back into some classics, including a rousing rendition of “King” and a visually exciting take on “The Invisible Man.”  This is hands down one of the tops shows I will experience this year… and it is only mid-February.  Thank you to the fine gentlemen in Marillion for not forgetting the fans in Detroit Rock City… we appreciate you stopping by.

Setlist: El Dorado (I. Long-Shadowed Sun / II. The Gold / III. Demolished Lives / IV. F E A R / V. The Grandchildren of Apes) – Living in F E A R – Seasons End – Kayleigh – Wave – Mad – Afraid of Sunlight – Hollow Man – The Leavers (I. Wake Up in Music / II. The Remainers / III. Vapour Trails in the Sky / IV. The Jumble of Days / V. One Tonight) – The Great Escape – King – The Invisible Man – This Strange Engine






LIVE: MARILLION - February 16, 2018

Filed Under: Live ReviewsPhoto Galleries

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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