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Peter Gabriel - Still Growing Up  - Live And Unwrapped   CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

3.80 | 68 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Filmed on a sort of second version of the tour that the original Growing Up Live DVD was recorded, Still Growing Up presents us with a similar experience. Oddly enough, this DVD could be considered a compilation to Growing Up, in the sense that it is "All the rest". Most of the songs here were ones that weren't originally part of the Growing Up tour. In fact, the only songs that appear on both DVDs are Red Rain, Solsbury Hill, and Sledgehammer, which are concert classics, and naturally appear on most Peter Gabriel live outputs. All other tracks are not on the other DVD, so, for a devoted Peter Gabriel fan, it would pay to own both. However, the main concept that sets Growing Up apart from Still Growing Up is that the former was an absolutely massive production, over merely two nights, and the latter is a collection of all the concerts taking place in smaller venues, all with minimal production, and a smaller amount of stage theatrics. However, what Peter considers a smaller venue still looks like Woodstock to the rest of us.

As the packaging notes would suggest, this DVD is stripped of most of the flashy, dramatic production that mesmerized audiences in Growing Up, and focuses primarily on the music. A noble notion, many of us will agree, and perhaps this is the best way to go. However, Peter and his band are so magnificent at playing, that it doesn't matter if they focus purely on the music. If you were to shut your eyes, and hit play on your DVD player, the performance of Growing Up would not at all be inferior to Still Growing Up. With that in mind, it doesn't matter that the production is less theatrical (though the light show is amazing, and plenty of other theatrical tricks are used), and the only differences between the two is the setlist and the visuals - not the quality of the performance itself. Well, there is a third difference, but it may not bother many people. Since this is a DVD spanning a large tour, the video footage often cuts between different performances throughout songs, and because of that, it isn't a very coherent piece of work. Since Growing Up was filmed over two nights, it felt very whole, however this sometimes feels disjointed.

Musically, it is very strong, with all the effects and sounds that completed the studio version of the tracks. The playing of all the musicians is stellar, and thankfully, the Gabe has not at all lost his voice over the years. The set list is, again, impressive. It ranges from Peter's debut solo album, and even includes a new song, entitled White Ashes. This new song is incredibly compelling, and extremely atmospheric, with some really wonderful singing from Peter's daughter, Melanie. Peter's other daughter: Anna (Melanie's twin) took the director's and producer's seats for this DVD, and does a wonderful job at both. Special features on this DVD are very interesting, but in no way must-see. On disc two is a second version of the same footage on disc one, with some alternate video (studio, backstage, interviews, et cetera) popping up at unexpected moments. In this area, Peter shares his thoughts and feelings on the tour, on specific songs, and on specific members of his band.

The only advantage Still Growing Up has over its counterpart, Growing Up, is the fact that some of the performances are much more powerful and moving here. I don't me mean musically, they play like virtuosos. What I mean is that they are very personal, organic, and honest in their playing. Beginning with San Jacinto, a real sincerity shows in the performance. Come Talk to Me, too, with its strong father-daughter theme as Peter literally sings it to Melanie on stage, and, of course, the goose-bump delivering Biko. This is undoubtedly one of his most chilling and most powerful performances of it ever. In the end, if anyone were given the choice between this DVD and its counterpart, undoubtedly the first is the better DVD. However, this one is still an excellent purchase, and a serious Peter Gabriel fan might be happiest with both.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |


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