Watching this performance on DVD, you also see for the first time how part-time member John Wesley really earns his MVP stripes as backup guitarist and vocalist to Steven Wilson. All of these guys sound great here, including bassist Colin Edwin (whose technique of bending and holding down a note should be mandatory viewing for all aspiring four stringers) and keyboardist Richard Barbieri.
But Gavin Harrison's drumming really steals the show on this DVD.
Harrison has always been a monster drummer. From the smallest little cymbal flourishes to the most crashing percussive assaults, he has never looked or sounded better than he does here though. If there was ever any doubt that Gavin Harrison is in the same league as guys like Neil Peart, it is all but erased here. Considering that he had a hand in the sound mixing of this DVD along with Wilson, it's still not that surprising that his drums are as out in front as they are.
As good as the sound on the DVD is though, there are some small flaws in the camera work. The good comes in the fact that they do a nice job of mixing the background visuals, with shots of everyone in the band - not just Steven Wilson. The bad comes mainly when they do focus on Wilson, but occasionally cut off the top of his head in some shots.
Speaking of Steven Wilson, although he says he wants to concentrate on other projects for now, it really is hard to believe this is the last that we have heard from him playing with Porcupine Tree. Over the years, Wilson has shown an almost inhuman ability to juggle multiple projects spanning multiple genres.
But when the muse leads him back towards metallic prog - and eventually it will - I can't imagine him finding a band better suited for it than this one.
If the performance on Octane Twisted is any indication, we haven't heard the last of Porcupine Tree.