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Steve Hackett - The Total Experience Live In Liverpool CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 54 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Steve Hackett -- and his multiple revisitations on Genesis classics -- has released quite many live DVD's lately, this 2CD+2DVD set being the latest one. (For me it primarily was a DVD release with the CD's as a bonus, instead of the other way round.)

The subtitle sums it up. The first half of the show consists mostly of the material from his then-latest album Wolflight (2015). I have to say the studio album left me a bit cold. I agree with SouthSideoftheSky that it offers more or less the same as the previous albums of the last ten years. But of course it's very understandable that the long-term artist wants to have a current set list, and I also noticed that in the concert the songs become more alive than on the sterile-sounding album. The guest appearance of Amanda Lehmann (guitar, backing vocals) graces especially 'Love Song to a Vampire'. The core line-up features the long-time collaborators Roger King on keyboards, Rob Townsend on reeds & additional keys, and Gary O'Toole on drums & vocals. It's surprising to see Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic) on bass here. Two old familiar tracks are thrown among the Wolflight stuff: 'Spectral Mornings' and 'Everyday' from the 1979 album.

'Jacuzzi' from Defector (1980) has here a fresh acoustic arrangement featuring John Hackett on flute. Nice. After the powerful and seldom heard 'Icarus Ascending' (in which Nad Sylvan finely replaces Richie Havens) starts the section celebrating the 40th anniversary of the debut album Voyage of the Acolyte (which still is the favourite for most of the Hackett fans, me included). On 'Shadow of Hierophant' Amanda Lehmann does pretty well the high vocals originally sung by Sally Oldfield. Even up to this point the concert has offered many highlights. Visually it relies on the band playing and the lights underline that beautifully.

The section of Genesis classics is a guaranteed delight. Nad Sylvan is a perfet substitute for Peter Gabriel; he sounds very much like Gabe and has a suitable dose of theatrical charisma of his own (without trying to steal the show). Some tracks such as 'Get 'em Out by Friday' and 'Can-Utility and the Coastliners' from Foxtrot were not included on previous tours. The Hackett- penned instrumental 'After the Ordeal' and 'Cinemashow / Aisle of Plenty' from Selling England (as well as the encore 'Firth of Fifth'), the opening title song from The Lamb, 'The Musical Box'... What a pleasure for an old Genesis fan! The performances are truly excellent all the way.

The second DVD features Behind the Scenes and a Rehearsal Documentary. Decently done all right but nothing special. Nor are the three videos promoting Wolflight very interesting on the long run. It depends on the consumer how valuable it is to get the concert on audio discs too. I would have rated this with four strong stars even if there had been the concert DVD only.

Matti | 4/5 |


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