With this live album coming out, I can't help but wonder about the future of PT. We've talked about it before, and while pretty much everyone in the band has said "we'll get back together eventually", everything else seems to contradict it.
For starters, how involved is Steven Wilson in this live album? Normally he holds everything together and does the hard work because he does it so good, and he likes being in charge. He's currently working on his third solo album, and while he might have done some work on the side with the live-album, it feels more like a "its time to release something under the PT-name" more than anything else. To me, the fact that they added 3 songs from the anniversary gig as a bonus at the end just feels sorta like "here you have it", so that IF the band wouldn't release something more, then hey - at least we got this last live album.
Most of us were surprised when SW said that he would do his third solo album, because at that time, most of us expected him to go back and make more PT-music. With SW3 and touring next year, the earliest date we could see a realistic new PT album would be in 2014, and what says that SW won't enjoy this experience so much that he rather wants to do SW4? Even though PT is a bigger name by now, he will never have the freedom that he has with his solo-stuff, and I haven't seen him enjoying making music as much as he is now.. ever. Sure he seemed very excited about The Incident when that came out, but I think this is on a different level.
Personally it wouldn't bother me that much IF PT broke up. They are still among my favorites and I'd love lots of new albums, but I'm really enjoying Steven Wilson's solo stuff as well. Grace For Drowning and Insurgentes are two of the best albums he has done IMO, and if SW3 is as good as they are, it's almost starting to feel like it's too good to "just" be a side-thing. So either way it goes, (PT making new music, or PT splitting and SW doing more solo albums) I'll pretty much be happy with it either way.
Still, the feeling I get from this live-release is that it isn't nearly as "serious" (and by that I don't mean bad) as Anesthetize was for example.