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Peter Gabriel - Growing Up Live CD (album) cover


Peter Gabriel


Crossover Prog

4.51 | 188 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Peter Gabriel's tour in 2002 for the album Up utilized a lineup of new and old faces and dazzled the concert goers with dynamic performances and great theatrics and stage work from Gabriel himself, he seems to always like to dazzle his fans visually and aurally. Old lineup favorites Tony Levin and David Rhodes join newcomers Rachel Z, Ged Lynch, Melanie Gabriel (Peter's daughter), and Richard Evans to put on a grand spectacle that involves old and new songs in a perfect blend of Gabriel's biggest hits and some of his lesser known masterpieces. Although only two songs from his pre-So days (which in my opinion were his best) are performed, there is a great sense of nostalgia in those pieces and even in the songs from So there is a great sense of the same sentiment as well.

The concert is 17 songs played in about two hours and fifteen minutes, so each song averages at around 7-8 minutes so you can expect some wild extended sections in pieces. It opens with just Gabriel on stage performing the piano-only arrangement of Here Comes the Flood that made its debut on Robert Fripp's album Exposure. The first group song is Red Rain, which was the stellar opening to his album So. Gabriel's vocals are a lot rougher than in the time that he recorded that album, but he's still as emotive as ever and can really hit some incredible spots during pieces. As expected most of the album Up is played (as they were touring in promotion of that album), and all of the songs played here are incredible when seen in the live aspect. Gabriel tries to put on a visual show for the concert goers as well, and songs like the Barry Williams Show has him playing with cameras to give the illusion of being on a talk show, Growing Up has him inside of essentially a giant hamster ball running around the stage, and Downside Up has both Peter and Melanie Gabriel walking upside down on the stage that moves vertically at different points of the show. Fan favorites Solsbury Hill and Sledgehammer are played back to back and both are just as incredible as the studio counterparts, but in terms of showmanship Sledgehammer is king as the entire group gets into it and they really seem to be enjoying themselves. In Your Eyes (along with Secret World, Animal Kingdom, and a few other pieces) is one of the pieces to get an extended middle section, with one of the best songs in the Gabriel catalogue getting a faithful yet different rendition. It's a fantastic, if not masterful live show to say the least, although it would have been nice to have snuck in a song like Biko or The Rhythm of the Heat, but I won't hold it against the rating.

Overall, this is a perfect live dvd. The show has a great dynamic between new and old pieces and the band is lively and seem to be having a blast performances of classic songs as well as more unfamiliar pieces. On top of the show, a mini documentary and Tony Levin's tour photographs (it seems whatever group Tony Levin is in releases a dvd and his tour photos or videos are part of the special features). To all fans of Gabriel, this live dvd is a must have as it has everything you could ever want. Non-believers of Gabriel's genious should also watch this dvd and be wowed by his incredible stage skills and his charisma with the crowd behind him the entire way. Only one word can sum up my feelings for this dvd: Masterliness. 5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 5/5 |


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