After proclaiming myself "bored" at last year's extravaganza by Mr Gabriel why am I bothering to go to another of his gigs this time round? Well… three reasons really: 1) I AM a Gabriel fan despite my reservations about his latest offering. 2) The new album has been actually growing on me, albeit VERY slowly, and 3) the gig in question is Peter's first in my home town for twenty one years… nuff said really!
The first thing that struck me as I entered the arena was the similarity in stage set up to Phil's arrangement. The massive circular overhead lighting gantry was there but no video screens - interesting….
|Peter emerged on stage to open the proceedings with a piano rendition of Here Comes The Flood which never fails to get me tingling… its simplicity is deceptive and the audience loved it! Without the majority of the visual "props" for this show, the emphasis was going to be on the music which was fine by me and this was amply demonstrated on tracks like Red Rain and White Ashes both of which were delivered perfectly by a backing band which has become extremely tight after all this time on the road.|
The Tower That Ate People was another surprise for me… I had seen Peter perform this track from my least favourite album of his before but this time the atmosphere and delivery were stunning… and LOUD! Burn You Up, Burn You Down was already a favourite of mine and one which I was looking forward to hearing again and the combined vocals of Peter and Anna were wonderful and musically it just gets better .
The highlight of the show for me ( and I am sure many others too) was San Jacinto… what can I say about this track that doesn't sound cliched? Not a lot but even so it was astonishing to hear it again; lit simply with white lights almost exactly ast it had been back in 87… ahh the memories! Another blast from the past given a different twist was Games Without Frontiers with hilarious antics on what can only be described as mobile Zimmer frames - you are not that old yet, Peter!
Signal To Noise was another favourite from the UP album and it was even better this time round with Peter's pointed reference in the introduction to the situation in Iraq giving the song an added poignancy.
|The finale of In Your Eyes was as enjoyable as ever and brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes as I remembered past performances and crazy trips to Peter Gabriel concerts over the years. Myself and many others thought that the show over and started to vacate the arena… Silly people… ! The house lights were still down and by the time I made my way to the back of the mixing desk… the band were back on stage and about to launch into a full-blooded Biko aided by a Scouse choir three thousand strong! I honestly never expected to hear this track again in a gig and boy did I enjoy it -my voice was gone by the end but what a way to finish a show - thank you, Peter!|
This was exactly the kind of Gabriel show I love… high on musical excellence, low on gimmickry. Musically, Peter has always been an amazing performer and with a band as talented as this, the emphasis has been rightly place on the MUSIC… bravo Peter an excellent performance… the man is back and the FAN is back too!