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Peter Gabriel June 22 2011

Discussion in 'Live Concert Reviews.' started by runningshoes, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. runningshoes

    runningshoes Great White North

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    I'm no good at writing reviews so I'll just post this one form the the Toronto Sun. I'll just say it was a great show.


    Anyone expecting Shock the Monkey or Sledgehammer at Peter Gabriel’s Wednesday night show at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre might have left the two-and-a-half hour show feeling disappointed.

    But then they probably wouldn’t have been a hardcore Gabriel fan.

    If they were, they’d know the adventurous and challenging 61-year-old British musician is currently touring with The New Blood Orchestra - or as the billing goes “no guitar, no drums” - in support of his 2010 covers album, Scratch My Back, although there was a percussionist and pianist among the two dozen or so players on stage culled from England and Canada.

    Seriously, Gabriel brought some major strings, horns, and woodwind players, conducted by the elegant and physical Ben Foster, along with two female backup singers - his daughter Melanie and Norwegian opening act Ana Brun - to perform alternately somber and dramatic orchestral arrangements of some of his best known songs and covers while stunning visuals were provided on multiple LED screens at the front and back of the stage.

    Gabriel, dressed in a black vest and pants, even briefly appeared before Brun’s two-song opening set to explain to the audience the idea behind Scratch My Back, what he called “a songwriter’s exchange,” that will eventually see those artists whose songs he covered, cover his songs.

    Hopefully.

    “Herding songwriters is a bit like herding cats,” he explained.

    In the meantime, a new album called New Blood, featuring orchestral arrangements of Gabriel songs - many that he performed on Wednesday night - is reportedly due this year.

    Opening with a very serious, sad, slow and almost completely unrecognizable version of David Bowie’s Heroes, it took a few songs for Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra to hit their stride with Paul Simon’s The Boy In The Bubble and Montreal band Arcade Fire’s My Body Is a Cage as he grew stronger vocally, hitting some mighty high notes, and the arrangements became more powerful.

    He even screwed up the opening of the second song, Wallflower, and joked about it before beginning again.

    But nothing could prepare the audience for the tearjerking presentation of Father, Son that followed as Gabriel explained how he had spent a week with his 99-year-old father and a yoga instructor and had burst into tears at one point but his father had caught him and held him.

    “What do they say about country music? Three chords and the truth? That was my country moment,” said Gabriel.

    As he sang the heartfelt song, black and white film of him and his father together was shown on the LED screens, and there was barely a dry eye in the house.

    Gabriel is such an emotionally open and soulful singer that his vulnerability can be truly overwhelming at times.

    Still, famously known as a theatrical performer, he was much more static alongside the New Blood Orchestra - with Foster a much bigger presence - until he broke out his South African protest song, Biko, at the end of the first set and got everyone standing on their feet with one arm raised and singing along.

    After a short intermission, Gabriel returned for a much stronger second set with such highlights as Digging in The Dirt, Signal To Noise, Downside Up, and Rhythm of the Heat, but they were trumped by awe-inspiring versions of Mercy Street, Red Rain, In Your Eyes, and Don’t Give Up (with Brun taking over Kate Bush’s part) - all from his album So which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year - and the really creepy but effective Intruder.

    Gabriel even broke out the tambourine in the second set and finally skipped around the stage during Solsbury Hill right before the encore and not a moment too soon.

    SET LIST:
    Heroes (David Bowie cover)
    Wallflower
    Après Moi (Regina Spektor cover)
    The Boy in the Bubble (Paul Simon cover)
    My Body Is a Cage (Arcade Fire cover)
    Father, Son
    Darkness
    Washing of the Water
    Biko
    INTERMISSION
    San Jacinto
    Digging in the Dirt
    Signal to Noise
    Downside Up
    Mercy Street
    The Rhythm of the Heat
    Blood of Eden
    Intruder
    Red Rain
    Solsbury Hill
    ENCORE:
    In Your Eyes
    Don’t Give Up
    The Nest That Sailed the Sky
     
  2. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Gabriel is nothing if not eccentric, unpredictable and brilliant.

    I love orchestral music, and I have 6 of his solo albums but have not followed him for a few years now.

    Still I think after he was done with his new show he could have reverted and done the last few songs with Drums, after all his albums have excellent percussion on them especially US.

    Glad it was a good show, and thanks for sharing it with us RS.:cheers:
     
  3. LyricalLaurel

    LyricalLaurel EΔЯ ЯESPOИSIBŁE, too!

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    Glad you had fun! 1/2 of your birthday present to yourself, right?! :D
     
  4. runningshoes

    runningshoes Great White North

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    Yup.

    James Taylor on Saturday. Taking my six year old son and my mother in law who's visiting from the Philippines. She's never been to a concert before.
     
  5. TheWhalerfan

    TheWhalerfan Lovus My Avatarus

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    Sounds like a good show took place. Glad you enjoyed it, and I am sure JT will be excellent also.

    Shoes! You aren't getting away with cut & paste that easy. What did you like about the show? Dislike anything? Where were your seats? Any song that you wished he would have played?
     
  6. runningshoes

    runningshoes Great White North

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    I liked the orchestral arrangements and his voice sounded great. The lights and visuals were outstanding as well. There were two guys sitting next to us that I had to threaten to shut up and the two on our other side smelled like they hadn't bathed in a year. Our seats were great. Dead centre about 100 feet from the stage.

    I was pretty satisfied with the set list. He did Washing Of The Water which I was hoping for.
     
  7. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    ^^Love the bit about threatening morons to shut up or else...:mad

    :heheh:

    I don't know what it is about people when they go to a movie or concert that they can't respect the other patrons and be quiet, and yeah have a shower and change your clothes if for no other reason than a little self respect.:nw:
     
  8. runningshoes

    runningshoes Great White North

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    We put up with it for the first 20 minutes but then people started turning around and shushing them. They wouldn't stop so I said "seriously guys we paid good money for this." They were obviously drunk and the one guy said "I can talk if I want to." To which I replied "and I can knock you on your ass if I want to." He went to get up but his buddy grabbed him and sat him back down. That was the last we heard from them.
     
  9. gguerra

    gguerra Senior Member

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    I saw Peter Gabriel in Dec 1986 at Reunion Arena in Dallas. It was a hell of a show. He was with his regular group and must of played at least two hours. I just realized that it was almost 25 years ago. It was the "So" tour

    Peter Gabriel | Article | The So Tour
     
  10. runningshoes

    runningshoes Great White North

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    This show started right at 8 and ended at 11 with a 20 minute intermission.
     

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