Guest Review: Peter Gabriel at The O2 Arena 2013

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Our very own Contact Centre Support Assistant, Tim Blackburn took his dad to The O2 last month to see the one and only Peter Gabriel. Would this performance live up to the 2010 one? Find out here…

Peter Gabriel

I went to the O2 to see Peter Gabriel. I have seen him once before at the O2 in 2010 when he played with the “New Blood Orchestra”. They played a selection of cover versions from the “Scratch My Back” album plus some of his own songs. While it was a good show and some songs really lent themselves to being played by an orchestra, it wasn’t the same as seeing a full electric performance.

I went with my Dad who has been a fan of Peter Gabriel for a long time. In fact, the first time he saw him live was with Genesis. They were playing the Top Rank Suite in Liverpool (now part of a shopping centre) in the early Seventies.

Peter Gabriel has been touring around Europe celebrating 25 years since his classic album “So” was released. They played the complete album, although the running order was changed a bit (“In Your Eyes” moved to the end of the set rather than the start of side 2 of the album; limitations of vinyl recordings!)

Before “So” they played a set of greatest hits starting with songs like “Come Talk to Me” and “Shock the Monkey” played acoustically with the house lights still on, evoking the beginning of the recording process and rehearsing new songs.

In the middle of “Family Snapshot” the acoustic tranquillity was shattered as the band kicked into full-on electric complete with a dazzling light show. This part of the set contained the highlights for us of “Secret World” and “Digging in The Dirt”.

After the interval came “So”, played in its entirety. The fact that the musicians who recorded the album all those years ago were now playing it again made it extra special. Tony Levin, “the master of the bottom-end, the Emperor of the Bass Guitar”. Manu Katche “le maitre de percussion” and guitar ace David Rhodes. The crowd really got going when the unmistakable intro of “Sledgehammer” kicked in and that was followed by a great performance of “Don’t Give Up”

The set finished with an emotional rendition of “Biko” dedicated to the Arab Spring. Peter Gabriel has a very distinctive voice which has aged very well. It all made for a very enjoyable evening for all concerned. Also, the concert was being filmed for DVD release next year; it will certainly be worth watching!

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