Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Steve Hackett & Genesis Revisited @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - November 30th, 2021

While (what's left of) his former band is wrapping things up with one last tour of the world's arenas, the ex-Genesis guitarist is also embarking a nostalgia trek of sorts. But where his erstwhile bandmates concentrate on the hits of their post-Gabriel (and post-Hackett) career, pleasing aging yuppies and soccer grandmas, Steve Hackett is here presenting a veritable prog extravaganza consisting of the very best of his Genesis days as well as a couple of solo pieces.

The setlist is a fan's dream: it's essentially the whole Seconds Out live album, played in sequence, with a top-notch band. The inclusion of compositions from his classic solo album Spectral Mornings and from his excellent new record Surrender of Silence is just the icing on the cake. Suffice to say, if you have any interest in Genesis, progressive rock or even rock music in general, this tour is a must-see.

Peter Gabriel and Genesis have all moved on to other musical shores, often with astounding success. But these songs need to be played and these songs need to be heard. It's been Steve Hackett's job to keep the flame of the old Genesis lit after all those years. The legitimacy he brings to the show is what distinguishes this Genesis offshoot from all the cover bands on the circuit. Some of them, like the Musical Box, are excellent. But all of them, like the current Genesis or Peter Gabriel, lack one very important thing: Steve fucking Hackett.

If Steve Hackett's name is on the marquee, the compositions are the stars of the show. The highlights for this reviewer were probably the long epic renditions of the Cinema Show or Supper's Ready. Swedish vocalist Nad Sylvan interpretation of Peter Gabriel's vocals is uncanny, and Craig Blundell's drums are equally impressive. But of course everyone is here to hear the maestro play, and play he does: his leads on Firth of Fifth have always been some of my favorite guitar pieces and to see him play them live was an absolute treat.

A delightful evening of splendid music.

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