I check in on Marillion's website every so often, and last fall I noticed this intriguing new concert DVD being promoted. As far as I can tell, their website is the only place where you can purchase it from, which is a shame since most of their other DVDs are also available from places like Amazon.com. It was a bit expensive after converting the British Pounds price to U.S. dollars, but considering that this is a three-DVD deluxe box set, exploding with nearly seven hours worth of live music, it was well worth the price. It also didn't hurt that my British in-laws bought it for me for my birthday.
Out Of Season was recorded over three nights, 20-22 March, during the Marillion Weekend 2009 convention. Marillion is one of the most fan-connected bands in the business and, in return, their fans are amongst the most loyal. Marillion's most recent albums have been completely fan-funded via special-edition, pre-orders, and their US fans have even gone as far as to sponsor an entire US tour. Their annual Marillion Weekend conventions, which they started back in 2002, are the essence of this intimate fan relationship, featuring a completely unique setlist during each of the three nights, some of which are voted on by the fans.
Disc 1 includes the entire Friday night show, which featured an entire performance of their acclaimed 1989 Seasons End album, which was the first album to feature new lead vocalist Steve Hogarth, after Fish quit the band the previous year. They even throw in the two bonus tracks, "The Release," and "The Bell In The Sea," that were included on the special edition of this album, for good measure. This was one of Marillion's most important albums in that it introduced their new frontman to the world, and assured fans that the band was in excellent hands with Mr. Hogarth. Seasons End is one of Marillion's best albums, and it was a real pleasure the see the entire thing performed live. They closed out the show with five tracks from their most recent Happiness Is The Road double CD.
Disc 2 includes the entire Saturday night show, where they performed a chronological overview of their entire career, performing one song from each year between 2008 and 1990, before finishing the show off with "Slainte Mhath" from 1987's Fish-led Clutching at Straws, and "Garden Party" from their 1983 debut album, Script For A Jesters Tear. At the start of each song they would display the year the song was written on the two big screens flanking each side of the stage. I can only assume it was the year the song was written, because many of them didn't match the year the song/album was released. This disc provides an excellent career overview along with the chance to see a few rarely performed live songs. The audio from this concert is also available on the band's Racket Records CD Tumbling Down The Years.