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Genesis Revisited! Steve Hackett reopens the musical box

May 15, 2013

  Got to post something on here, for what for me was one of the concert highlights of my life. I don’t know how anyone decides what is the best gig ever but this could certainly be a personal favourite.

I have been looking forward to this night for so long and I was in no way disappointed, when I saw Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited show at St David’s Hall in Cardiff last weekend.

I discovered Genesis in around 1980 and went to my first show in 1982. But my journey with Genesis, whilst I find something to enjoy in all eras, after all the arguments about Gabriel v Collins, has led me to the conclusion that for me it is about the Hackett era. I have discovered different bands more recently and wondered if the music of Genesis 71 – 77 could ever be displaced from the top spot. If I needed a reminder as to why I love this music so much then I got it on Saturday night. This is my music. I missed it first time around, I’ve seen the grainy videos, but boy this was it.

This is the fourth time I have been to see Steve now, starting with the acoustic trio in 2005. I have come to love Steve’s music but I remember sitting in a freezing cave in Cornwall and feeling goosebumps as Steve played Hairless  Heart and After the ordeal. This was one of my original heroes bringing just a snippet of my favourite music to the light.

This was the third time I have taken my wife to see Steve. I’ve got her well trained now. She enthuses about the guitar solo in Firth of Fifth even if she can’t get the title right! This was so far as she was concerned the best of the lot. I’ve brought her a long way from the Phil Collins fan she started out as.

Well trained unlike the lady in the row behind. I was amused to hear some of the conversation:

Wife: So what songs am I likely to know? Husband: Err um… Wife: Follow me follow you (sic) Husband: No, err um…

Husband: In the original line up, Phil Collins was just the drummer. The singer then was that other chap, err um..what’s his name? err um Me: Tell him My wife to husband: Peter Gabriel Husband: Oh yes…

Anne Marie Helder was a bonus – one of my favourite voices, although didn’t know the songs. A couple of Panic Room numbers would have been great.

Watcher of the skies was such a tour de force opening and the hairs were standing on the back of the neck. This is going to be something. The power of the intro, the lights. This is going to be worth the wait!

The song that took me by surprise was the Musical Box. We all know it but I’m not sure I would list it in my top 10 G tunes, but it was just huge. I honestly wonder if that song has ever sounded better. There was such energy and the song ended with the first standing ovation of the night, and for me a much greater respect for the original.

For me there were no real low points although for me the end of the Lamia is all about the guitar rather than the sax.

Back in 1982, I saw a very different set, including Abacab and Whodunnit, but my favourite song then as now is the that long one, Supper’s ready. In 1982 I was blown away when it was played in full, never to be played fully again by the band. So the anticipation of hearing it again 31 years later was huge. And I was not disappointed. The tears didn’t quite come but I was very moist eyed at “but now I’m back again, and babe it’s gonna work out right!” Literally in prog heaven with the Lord of Lords and the king of Kings. I was hoping that everyone would stand for the finale of the song, and I didn’t have the nerve to try to lead the way. After all the king stood for the Hallelujah chorus!

Standing ovation again. Firth and Los Endos. More standing ovations. What a night.

Hackett is incredible. He is and will always be my favourite guitarist. Seeing him live over these 8 years has given me such an appreciation.

Roger King is a rock, and hey he can play the intro to Firth too!

Always impressed with the multi talented Rob Townsend who added some keyboards and a banana to his armoury.

Lee Pomeroy I had not seen but he impressed.

Gary O’Toole was solid as ever and his vocals the strongest I have heard them.

And then there was Nad. I was not entirely convinced when I have heard Nad before even on the GR2 album, but tonight Nad nailed it and he won me over completely, To add to the vocal and  his stage presence he brought a level of theatricality which was just right.

As I say, what a night. Stuff I never thought I would hear live and I got the lot.

I had many other thoughts that day and in the days after.

I really hope the other G guys will actually get to see this show (I’m not holding my breath!). They all seem to be somewhat embarrassed by their musical past and yet the pleasure that their compositions brought to packed Welsh house was testament to the fact this music is so loved.

There is such majesty such beauty such power in this music. Turned out it was too loud for the lady behind but my wife loved it and is asking about the DVD!

It was great to see Steve playing in a big venue with a big production. I will probably never get to see the likes of this again but it was worth every penny to experience this.

Looking forward to seeing Steve again playing a Steve Hackett set, but this was a wonderful gift to fans of the most glorious beautiful mesmerising music of all.

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From → Rock Music

5 Comments
  1. It sounds like something I would have loved to have seen. I also was sad to be arriving on the Genesis scene after the narrative greats had started to decline. Marillion tried to take on the narrative mantle and I enjoyed their wordsmithing, but there has been little of the early Genesis grandeur in later years.

    “Six saintly shrouded men walk across the lawn slowly, a seventh walks in front with a cross held high in hand … “

    • It were great lad!

      Now Marillion – there’s a band I’ve rediscovered over the last 10 years. Last year’s “Sounds that can’t be made” was a beautiful piece of work

      • I’ve asked a friend if he wants to see Hackett when he is in St. Charles (down the road) in September.

      • You must do it Pete. You will not regret it!

      • I have sent him the link to you blog, so we will see if your account is vivid enough for him. It worked for me.

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