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Peter Gabriel - Growing Up Live CD (album) cover

GROWING UP LIVE

Peter Gabriel

 

Crossover Prog

4.53 | 158 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars While Peter Gabriel is not considered really prog by some punters (silly them), I cannot help feeling that perhaps if they had seen him with Genesis live and then witnessed some of his solo concerts, their skewed opinion would have undoubtedly changed. That Peter WAS the prog torchbearer is clear from the two opposites viewpoints, "after the ordeal" of divorce and going solo had established their future styles. It becomes interesting to analyze the rift from a live show perspective because Foxtrot, Selling or The Lamb were absolutely more riveting live than on record .While Phil the drummer could no doubt sing decently, the theater drama was forever gone, replaced eventually by lasers, pop tunes and arena- rock. Peter, on the other hand, continued his artistic extravagances by releasing complex art rock that eschewed the swooping Banks structures for the more electronic Larry Fast, replacing the fluid Hackett flights with the rawer guitar of Robert Fripp and the cymbal-less Marotta beats instead of the fizzy Collins frills. But Gabriel maintained his unequalled magical rapport with the audience, cleverly putting together shows that were miles ahead of any other artist anywhere, infusing a multi-tasking group of musicians with obligatory "performance" obligations (uniforms, portable klieg-lights, dance moves, teddy bears and various other props) as well as spellbinding technique (which is why Tony Levin has been manning the bass since day 1, just like guitarist Rhodes, both with almost 25 years of loyal service and complicity). This also explains why Peter Gabriel remains so beloved in both the pop and prog world, never having to endure the "Mama" period scorn from we, the prog purists. The Gabriel DVDs are an excellent testimony to the sheer brilliance of this incredible mind, who seamlessly fuses all the artistic elements into a seemingly effortless multi-production, smiling musicians actually enjoying their craft (ain't that cool?), incredibly dense arrangements that sound oh so simple (an extremely difficult attribute to master, by the way) and an intense experience between artist and audience. Growing Up Live is one of those obligatory music DVDs that will never induce boredom, too many senses being seduced simultaneously, extra ordinary rhythms, imperial mastery with the microphone (even though he is no Pavarotti, but then who is?), the ability to turn an impersonal concert venue into a memorable, exciting, thrilling forum of transcendence, where everyone is in a state of euphoria, far from the dreary routine. To start critiquing the show on a blow by blow basis is perhaps in vogue with other bands but with Pete, the whole thing is just .well grown up, yet extremely child-like exuberance (bicycling around the stage, walking inside a transparent globe, playing with a TV camera.). It's not the Barry Williams Show (the lyrics of which are some of his most searing) but the Peter Gabriel show. All the male musicians are bald (or almost..), their mastery over their respective instruments hypnotic : Ged Lynch on drums can really propel, Tony Levin is as introduced "the King of the bottom end, the emperor of bass.", David Rhodes and Richard Evans weave some stunning riffs, all loaded up with Rachel Z's sympho keys. The stage set up (Richard Lepage again) is spell-binding, the filming is top- rate; I mean everything about a Gabriel concert is there to admire. Even his daughter singing backing vocals is so cool. Too lazy to go see Gabriel live (a shame that really)? Get the DVDs and start with this one, entertainment tonight. 5 angels
tszirmay | 5/5 |

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