Monday, 28 October 2013

Peter Gabriel, So Tour, Hydro Glasgow 2013

There is an angel Gabriel in the bible - and this night Peter's voice floated above with his collaborative, spiritual and one world voice at the shiny new Glasgow Hydro. He is one of the defining artists of the 80 and was once lead singer with the rock band Genesis. 

Outside the new Hydro was all lit up in impressive blues so you really cant' miss it. The new venue is a wonderful addition for Glasgow and comes second  only to Madison Square Gardens New York and the O2 London as one of the world's largest concert arenas. Very Cool. It is wider than I expected, so I'm assuming it is not round but rather oval in shape. I arrived early and I enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere.

We were treated to a full two hour set. Gabriel said part I would be the acoustic starter. Part II the electronic main course and Part III the So album dessert!  And tonight's concert began with full lights in the arena with Peter on piano and Tony Levin on double bass.  He said the search for songs can often be as interesting (or frustrating) as the final destination.  Songs - Come Talk To Me, Monkey, Into The Light. 

He was generous with those around him (no sign at all of I'm the star here) and mentioned his lighting crew, the roadies, the drivers, his whole team, and introduced the other musicians  right at the very start of the concert.  He celebrated that he still played with the same musicians he has worked with for the past 25 years.  

So that when the full electric sound kicked in it did so with thunderous sound and lighting.  We Went Too Far, Under Pressure, Why Don't You Show Yourself, Games Without Frontiers. For Secret World and for song Shaking The Tree he moved over the wide stage and performed his rhythmic dance with the other band members
He sang his wondrous In Your Eyes the enduring love song. At one point he lay down inside a spiral for Mercy Street - an engrossing moment.  The sound reverberated with none of the details left out, as the new arena is designed for clear solid acoustics. At times though the flashing lights and other lighting effects were a bit distracting.  

He was supported by two beautiful Swedish singers, Jennie Abrahamson and Ane Brun,  who also played the support slot when they were introduced by Gabriel himself. 

He finished fittingly with his haunting Biko. Before the song he spoke of how the Photo never lies and that soon everyone will have a mobile phone that records and transmits photos. 
Peter's voice has a clear and effortless distinctive tone. His songs don't take the obvious route, but rather look sideways at the issues. He uses space and movement in his music and gets underneath the songs.  

Gabriel's So album is one of the most iconic rock albums of the past decades.  Released in 1986 (oddly the same year as his close American contemporary player Paul Simon's Graceland )  I remember well the Sledgehammer video on the new MTV channel in the 80s. It is good to see artists such as Gabriel at the top of their game.

An uplifting and majestic concert. Gabriel is an open hearted and subtle spiritual leader. He believes in trusting the Voices of Truth and is a Human Rights activist.  Music knows no boundaries.... and it is up to us.....

So Songs

  1. "Red Rain" – 5:39
  2. "Sledgehammer" – 5:12
  3. "Don't Give Up" (featuring Kate Bush) – 6:33
  4. "That Voice Again" (lyrics: Gabriel, Rhodes; music: Gabriel) – 4:53
  5. "Mercy Street" – 6:22
  6. "Big Time" – 4:28
  7. "We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)" – 3:22
  8. "This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds)" (featuring Laurie Anderson) (Anderson, Gabriel) – 4:25
  9. "In Your Eyes" – 5:27
Peter Gabriel -- Main Vocals, Harmonica, Keyboards, Rainstick Manu Katché -- Drums Tony Levin -- Bass, Chapman Stick, Main Vocals David Rhodes -- Guitar, Main Vocals Jean-Claude Naimro -- Keyboards, Main Vocals Shankar -- Violins, Main Vocals Levon Minassian -- Doudouk Paula Cole -- Main Vocals Leo Nocentelli - Guitar, Main Vocals Daniel Lanois - Dobro,Telecaster Babacar Faye - Djembe Assane Thiam - Talking Drum,Tama Hossam Ramzy - Surdo Tim Green - 

Secret World Live is a film of a Peter Gabriel concert in 1993, as part of his Secret World Live tour to support his sixth solo album, Us. The show is performed across two stages: a square and a circular stage, bridged by a conveyor belt. It was released on VHS, LaserDisc and DVD. An album of the same title with a similar track listing was also released. 
The film received the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video.
The film starts with Gabriel rising up from the stage in a telephone box singing the opening song. He eventually escapes the box and struggles to reach the circular stage, holding the phone which is on a extending cable, to meet Paula Cole. The two never meet and Gabriel is pulled back to the telephone box.

(Note: I had expected some aspects of the Hydro to have views over the Clyde upstairs. I felt there was missed opportunity for an upstairs cafe/ restaurant with a view. There was only Bar and Snack places with limited places to stand to eat.)