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Steve Hackett - Melbourne, Australia 6/8/2017

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Category: Progressive Music Lounges
Forum Name: Live Performance Reviews
Forum Description: Performance Reviews by Members
Printed Date: April 17 2021 at 12:38
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Topic: Steve Hackett - Melbourne, Australia 6/8/2017
Posted By: Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Subject: Steve Hackett - Melbourne, Australia 6/8/2017
Date Posted: August 07 2017 at 21:05

Steve Hackett played three different concerts over his two day stretch in Melbourne Australia that covered this past weekend, beginning with his `Genesis Revisited’ concert on the 5th of August 2017, an acoustic performance at the Melbourne Guitar Show during the day on Sunday, followed by the best show yet on that evening, an exclusive to Melbourne, `Wind and Wuthering: A 40 year Celebration’.

Steve and his musical collaborators – vocalist Nad Sylvan, bassist Nick Beggs, drummer Gary O’Toole, flautist/saxophonist Rob Townsend and keyboard player Roger King - delivered a sterling show on the Saturday night, but they absolutely wiped the floor with it on this special occasion, the general-admin audience getting to be up close and personal directly in front of the band, with the more intimate setting seeming to really fuel the connection between the audience and the musicians. The band attacked the tracks with a ferocious energy that truly felt like they’d stepped right out of the Seventies - hardly some meek little `cover band’!

As impressive as the first concert proved to be, the difference between the two main shows was staggering - Steve himself didn’t stop smiling, and all the rest of the band seemed to relish being so close to a bunch of absolute die-hard long-term fans jumping around, singing along to every wonderfully pompous word and fist-bumping the air to all the most dramatic of lyrics, and yes, even dancing – wonky shuffling might be more accurate, but you can’t deny the love…and we were all guilty of it and loved every second!

While, of course, there were a few repeat tracks from the previous evening (check the review for that tracklisting here -" rel="nofollow - , tonight delivered such leftover stunners that fans craved to hear like the classic `One for the Vine’, `In That Quiet Earth’, `Watcher of the Skies’, `Blood on the Rooftops’ (everyone went MENTAL for that special one) sung by drummer Gary O’Toole, `Fountain of Salmacis’, the title track from Steve’s solo disc `Spectral Mornings’ and brooding `Defector’ opener `The Steppes’.

Making a very welcome appearance was the much loved but more obscure `Wind and Wuthering' cast-off `Inside and Out’ that was relegated to Genesis’ `Spot the Pigeon’ EP in 1977. Another great highlight was a lively performance of `I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)’ that had the entire house roaring every word, and it was padded out with infectious and lengthy jazzy sax soloing that gave Rob Towsend plenty of moments to shine with his improvisational skills, as well as numerous reprises of the chorus.

Special mention must once again go to vocalist Nad Sylvan, who, while perfectly recreating the classic Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins vocals (especially the way Phil had the slightly snarling, fragile quality here and there on those early Genesis discs that he smoothed out by the time of the `Duke' album), he once again proved to be a such gifted singer with an incredible range, as well as having a hugely charismatic and theatrical stage presence all his own....and damn he wore the hell out of that beautiful velvet coat in the first half!

What more to say about Steve and co...a friend that witnessed the show, Harry Blackburn, perfectly described the event, so I'll turn it over to him:

"We were blessed to be close enough tonight to see the hands of a guitar master at work. Technically proficient, oh yes, but the precision and delicate care with which those hands, fingers, palm and wrist wrung out the most exquisite sounds was spellbinding to watch. What a privilege.

Thank you, Steve Hackett, Roger King, Nick Beggs, Gary O'Toole, Nad Sylvan and Rob Townsend for coming out to Australia and performing with such passion and firm belief that this extraordinary music still has a place in the world and still has a devout audience. Thank you, thank you, a hundred times thank you."

This event truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. All of us gathered proggies are all still on such a high about it, not quite believing what we saw, and getting to share it with each-other is the sort of memory to last a lifetime, that reaffirm that sense of outsider community and camaraderie that fans of the genre build together.

The full track-list was as follows:

Eleventh Earl Of Mar
One For The Vine
Blood On The Rooftops
In That Quiet Earth
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
Behind The Smoke
I Know What I Like
Inside & Out
The Steppes
The Fountain Of Salmacis
Watcher Of The Skies
Spectral Mornings
Firth Of Fifth
The Musical Box

Los Endos

Michael Hodgson (Aussie-Byrd-Brother), August 8th 2017.

Special thanks to Harry Blackburn for the kind permission to use his words.

Ha, love that last photo, so Floydian!

Posted By: Vinyl Connection
Date Posted: August 08 2017 at 05:49
Great work Michael. It was a ripper night.


Posted By: Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Date Posted: August 08 2017 at 06:04
Cheers, Bruce, and so glad you made it, wouldn't have been the same without you! How much did the whole place just go mad for the show?!

I don't think I'll ever be so lucky to get such great shots at a show again, though!

Posted By: Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Date Posted: August 10 2017 at 05:13
Here is a full clip of Steve and his band performing `Watcher of the Skies' at this same show.

Forgive the way the picture tilts in the final minutes before righting itself again. Can you figure out who the bozo was that had never filmed a video on his mobile phone before?!

Sorry folks, hope you enjoy it anyway" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: AEProgman
Date Posted: August 10 2017 at 14:49
Hey Michael, awesome photos!  Sounds like a fantastic show also.  I did not see any link or clip in your post above?

Also, just curious, what were the range of ticket prices for that show? 


Posted By: Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Date Posted: August 10 2017 at 18:26
Originally posted by AEProgman AEProgman wrote:

Hey Michael, awesome photos!  Sounds like a fantastic show also.  I did not see any link or clip in your post above?

Also, just curious, what were the range of ticket prices for that show? 

Oh, sorry, Jim, I forget sometimes videos get blocked, I've updated it with the link below the clip now, see how you go.

For this particular show, I think it was only $79 Australian if I recall, although at the previous night's show they were handling out flyers for a 20% the price voucher for this one. I think the problem was that a lot of people had already bought more expensive tickets for the bigger theatre show the night before, and when this particular `Wind and Wuthering'/Classic era show was announced quite a while afterwards, many people from the first show didn't want to double-dip and go again - which is a shame, because they were both superb ...but those that were at this one are still buzzing about it now days later.

It will probably personally go down as the greatest gig I've seen in my life!

Posted By: Lewian
Date Posted: September 11 2017 at 04:48
For some reason I haven't read live reviews here for some time but thanks for this! I have seen Hackett live a number of times and he is such a safe bet, so reliably great, so much attention to every detail. It is hard to believe how fresh his concerts feel even if he plays 40 years old stuff. Perhaps it's because he is absolutely not living in the past music-wise, rather his musical universe is timeless, always expanding, but always holding on to the good things.

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