As was Peter Gabriel's show last night. I have never seen Gabriel in concert, so when my husband surprised me with these tickets a few weeks ago, I was thrilled. (We're on a mission to see aging rocking stars. We're doing quite well at it too.)
Always a consummate showman, Gabriel has lost nothing to the years. His voice has lost none of the hypnotic tones, his energy level belies his age and his humanitarian activist spirit is still gleaming. Even before the band arrived on stage, Gabriel walked out into the sunlight with the husband of one of the detained Russian band members, Pussy Riot, her young daughter, and a contingent of Russian supporters. They were there to plead her case in a public forum, looking for American support for her release. The man spoke perfect English while addressing the crowd and telling of the impending court date of October 1st for his wife and her band mates.
When the band filled the stage, Gabriel explained how the evening's entertainment would be presented: three parts, magnificently staged and choreographed down to the refusal to turn off the house lights until the first, non-synthesized portion of the show was complete. He is a master, just as the crowd was getting unruly about them, the house lights went off and the stage lit up as if it had giant dinosaur eyes searching the crowd for victims. The big screens began flashing Orwellian images of the band in black and white reminiscent of The Twilight Zone. Mesmerizing. As was his performance.
Song after song, bouncing from piano to organ to center stage to dancing like the Four Tops for over two hours, every moment reached you. Gone may be the elaborate costumes of his youth, but not his passion for every word he sings. It was like watching live MTV video. He laid down on a giant bulls eye with cameras overhead to sing Mercy Street, powerful and moving.
This is a must-see show for anyone in the vicinity of his next appearance. Now, for my husband's Facebook review for one of his friends:
Review for Camille...........in a word, awesome. There were basically three "parts" to the show. He started off with acoustic versions of Come talk to me, Family snapshot, and Shock the monkey. He then went on to electric with songs that included Digging in the dirt, Family and the fishing net, Solsbury Hill, and a couple others. The last part was the SO album in its entirety. Encore was Biko. His voice is as strong as ever. Consummate showman. Great video effects on the screens interspersed with the live feed. If you closed your eyes it was 1986.