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Forums » Live » Peter Please Read! REVIEW: Houston (Cynthia Woods Pavilion at the Woodlands) June 16
Magick18 June 2011 at 7:31pmPosts: 56 (0 today)Status: offline
This is for all Lunatics, but I invite Peter to read it too.
OMG it was a SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE!!!
I won't go into detail about the setlist. Someone already did that:
I just noticed, though, that that setlist is incomplete. He also did Wallflower.
I have to confess that I had my doubts about how much I'd like the show, being that I'm a rocker/metalhead and generally don't care for orchestra except when it's mixed with metal! Deep Purple, Metallica, Scorpions, and others have all done great things with orchestras, and I love those, but orchestra by itself has just never moved me.
But, even though I'm mostly a metalhead, Peter Gabriel is my #1 fav artist of all time, and no one, NO ONE even comes close! It's like, Peter is waaaaaaay out here in the #1 slot, and all my other fav bands & artists are far, FAR behind in the #2 slot. His music has touched my soul in ways no one else ever has. He is the only artist whose works I avidly collect, to the point of acquiring every possible version of every song I can get my hands on. Why? Because of his VOICE. 10 different versions of any given song will have 10 different variations, and each tone, each inflection of his VOICE just enthrall me!
SO, there was never any question that I'd go see him live, regardless of who's backing him UP musically. I'd pay to see him sing with no musical accompaniment at all, if that was the only way to see him. (NOT suggesting that you tour totally unplugged next, Peter! haha) That's how important his VOICE is to me!
Nevertheless, my preference is to hear him with his rock band, because, well, I just prefer rock to orchestra!
SO, it was with a mixture of excitement and doubt that I dished out over $1100 for 2 front row, VIP tickets. I'm not rich, SO this was quite a big deal to me, to spend that much. But I am happy to cut corners elsewhere, and thankfully, my husband (who likes a few songs but isn't a Lunatic) was very supportive. I also had doubts about taking a non-Lunatic to the show.after all, wasn't he taking UP space that a true Lunatic was more deserving of? But I wanted SO much to share this special event with him, and I'm SO glad I did! He was VERY impressed, and at long last, Peter managed to touch his soul in ways that watching videos just didn't do! After 28 years of him not understanding why Peter's music was/is SO special to me, he now understands!!! For that alone, I THANK YOU PETER!
I will give my husband's account first: He noticed that the woman to his left had tears streaming down her face. Then he noticed other people with tears streaming down their faces. Then he looked at me next to him, and oh wow! I too had tears streaming down my face! And continued to have tears for most of the songs! At first he thought, "What is with these crazy people? They are CRYING! This is just a concert and everyone is - gasp - CRYING!"
But then, as the music continued, he began to understand.THANK YOU PETER!!! This profound experience will benefit our family in ways you will never know of. I know you already know this, but I will say it again: Your music touches our lives in profound ways!
I now understand why Peter did this. It's really true: Singers can hide behind the drums and guitar. Peter always gives his all in every performance I've ever seen live or on video, and I have watched a LOT of live performances! I've probably heard and seen dozens of versions of most of his songs. I love the variations, how he will do these sound effects with his voice on some versions and other sound effects on others. I especially love that weird primal, intensely emotional wailing thing he does - you know what I'm referring to, right? Like what he does in Blood of Eden, right after the 'moment' part?
Well, for most concerts, I might get to hear that wailing sound effect thing maybe 3 or 4 times during the whole show. And I crave more!
But at this show, OMG he did vocal stuff like that a LOT!!! Sometimes several times in the same song! And in songs he doesn't normally do that in, too! I was ecstatic!!!
His voice was RAW, EXPOSED. This was the BEST vocal performance I've ever heard him do! Every note was perfect, every tone, every inflection, was focused and intensely emotionally charged! There was just no way anyone could listen to this and not be emotionally affected and even blown away by the sheer intensity of it!
That I was in the front row, was certainly a factor, I'm sure. The last time I was this close to Peter was at a small club in Austin, 1982, when he opened with ROTH, wearing the monkey face makeup. And that show has remained in my top 5 best concerts of all time. (Keep in mind I've been to over 300 concerts in my lifetime.) But never before have I been able to truly see his facial expressions UP close, and that really enhances the experience for me. SO I don't think it was only because he didn't have his rock band, though that is obviously a major factor. Another factor might be that he wasn't having to concentrate on playing piano also. Whatever. All I know is that his voice was better than ever, and I am very appreciative! He really seemed to give 110%! His performance was absolutely STUNNING!
I'm not a huge fan of orchestra. I still would have loved to see Tony and company again. But guess what? To my surprise, I didn't even miss the rock band, except for during Signal To Noise and Digging in the Dirt. To me, those songs are both SO powerful, that I just really feel they work much better with rock. But I was really impressed with how well the orchestra handled even those 'heavier' songs. They actually kinda rocked out! I never imagined that an orchestra could actually ROCK, but they did! They really did! It was amazing and I was very pleasantly surprised! And of course, Peter's voice was SO powerful, that any missing of rock was only negligible.
Where the orchestra really shone was in Apres Moi. This was DAZZLING! Maybe because I'd never heard the original version until I looked it UP after Peter covered it, to me, it was a Peter Gabriel song. His version, with the orchestra, was the only version I knew. There was no rock version to compare to. This song really lends itself well to orchestra. OMG, this song is just SO incredible anyway, and I can honestly say I love the music as much as his voice! (That is saying a lot for me, haha!) It really is a masterpiece! To hear that live, with his exquisite voice accompanied by the dazzling orchestra, was truly a spiritual experience! (The whole show was a spiritual experience, actually, but this song in particular.) The orchestra seemed to somehow just fill the whole place and each note was dancing in the air, surrounding US, and penetrating our very being, digging deep into our souls, then UPlifting US to heights you just can't imagine unless you were there! I've seen the youtube videos of this song. They don't even begin to convey how intensely incredible it is LIVE!!
It's impossible for me to choose a favorite Peter Gabriel song. I might be able to choose my 20 favs. But I can easily say, this was the best song of the evening, at this particular live performance. It was just dazzling and stunning, beyond what words can describe! (Sorry for the gushing but that's the best I can do.)
Melanie's voice was sweet and beautiful as usual. She and Ane Brun did a fabulous job on Signal to Noise! Wow, I was amazed that they actually pulled that off! The song had a different flavor, but the 2 female voices really added a specialness and a poignancy that worked well.
I was really impressed with Ane Brun. She did 2 songs as the opening act, with just her small guitar and amazing voice! She's quite lovely and had a radiant smile, in addition to having quite an emotionally evocative voice. I can see why Peter chose her! I thought she clipped the words a bit too much on Don't Give Up - I would like to have heard her sing that in the way she sang the other songs, with full range. And I confess I'm rather partial to Melanie singing Don't Give Up - Melanie's version of it on the Houston Growing Up tour always got the tears flowing more than any other! That version by Melanie had such a sweetness to it, which I thought at the time was because she genuinely cares about her father!
Nevertheless, I was SO impressed with Ane Brun, that I fully intend to check out her other works!
Father, Son was especially poignant, as was Mercy Street. I was especially pleased to hear Wallflower and Intruder, both very powerful songs. Oh yeah, Peter's still got it!
It felt strange to be sitting down for most of the show. Occasionally someone would stand UP, then look embarrassed to realize no one else was standing. There were times when I really wanted to stand UP and dance, and totally abandon myself to the music like I normally do at concerts, but I didn't want to be the only one standing, in the front row! It wasn't until Solsbury Hill that everyone stood up and was dancing, like a normal PG show. The very fact that he was able to pull that off with an orchestra was amazing!
Bizarrely, even though everyone was sitting most of the time, the audience was actually very lively and even a bit rowdy! At times I almost felt like I was at a metal show, with all the yelling and cheering going on. This was cool and added to the excitement. It was obvious that everyone else felt the same way I did! (Although, I sure wish people wouldn't talk DURING the time when Peter is SINGING.) Peter made a comment at the end about this show not being the best quantity, but being the best quality. Yes, despite some empty seats, it was definitely a lively and appreciative crowd!
For those who have VIP tickets: We got to go to the sound check and that was really cool; like having a private concert with Peter! He sang 3 songs and talked to US a bit from the stage. There was a guy named Zack who was very helpful and really made sure everyone was well taken care of. Thanks Zack!
We'd been told we couldn't leave after the sound check but Zack got that worked out for US. If you have VIP tix and have any trouble with the venue, find Zack and he'll get you taken care of! They gave US a really cool bag which will surely be a collectible item!
I guess I have only 1 minor complaint: I would have preferred that Peter sing all of Washing of the Water, because that song is really special to me - it has helped me thru some really tough times - and I long to hear Peter do the whole song himself live. Very little footage exists of that song done live.
And, I will mention my wishlist, in case there is any room for changes on any upcoming shows: I would sure love for Peter to do Love to Be Loved. Ah well, we all have our wishlists! But overall, I am very pleased with the setlist and am very grateful for all the songs that were done.
Bottom line is: If you weren't planning to go see Peter and the orchestra, if you still can, DO IT! Even if you're a metalhead Lunatic like me, you WILL LOVE IT! It's a profound experience!
LOVE to Peter, Melanie, Ane, everyone in the orchestra, and all Lunatics! Thank you for an exquisitely amazing experience!
Sammy The Slug18 June 2011 at 7:43pmPosts: 1040 (0 today)Status: offline
Wowww! Thank you Monica for sharing your experience with us.
Ela18 June 2011 at 9:03pmPosts: 1334 (0 today)Status: offline
Wow! I can really relate to what you're saying Monica. I have a friend Deana that was with you at that VIP front row experience, and I bet she was sitting there with tears running down her face, because I know how meaningful PG's music is to her. My front row experience is coming up in less than a week, and I'm so excited. I will be sharing this experience with my two teenage children. My 15 year old son has never seen Peter Gabriel, but has certainly heard his music here at home, and in our car, since his Mom is a lunatic. My son likes PG's music, but loves classical and jazz music. I think he will really find this show with the orchestra just amazingly beautiful. My 13 year old daughter has seen Peter Gabriel with me several times, and she has several favorite songs that she hopes to hear him perform again. Thank you for your description of your experience. Laura
Duddy19 June 2011 at 2:51pmPosts: 5641 (0 today)Status: offline
Sounds like you've got it bad Monica! :-] PG's voice is a wonderfully emotional and expressive instrument. A great review, thanks for sharing your experience with us.
lore19 June 2011 at 3:05pmPosts: 1659 (0 today)Status: offline
Leal! MOnica!!! So happy to read your review, wonderful!!!
Big hugs to you.
Magick19 June 2011 at 5:53pmPosts: 56 (0 today)Status: offline
Laura: Yes I saw Deana at the show. She was a few seats over from US. Your kids are SO lucky! Taking them to Peter's shows as teens, is a perfect way to kick off their concert going experiences! My son's first 'real' concert (after TSO's Christmas show) was Peter Gabriel in Houston, 2003. He was 15 and already a huge fan of PG-era Genesis and Peter's solo works. He's now quite the metalhead but last week he and I turned his girlfriend on to the PG-era Genesis boxed set footage. I think she couldn't help but be impressed! I really wished they could have gone too, but we couldn't swing another $1k and anyway they had to stay home and take care of all the dogs and cats. (It was a 4-hour drive for US.)
Sammy & Duddy: Please be sure to share your own experiences too! I'm interested in hearing what others thought of the show. I'm surprised there hasn't been more such posting yet. Yeah, I got it bad. But looking around at everyone there, I know I'm not the only one, haha!
Lore!!! SO good to see you! I heard you posted pix! Where are they? Which show did you go to? Did you take your daughter? I emailed you before the show but didn't get a reply. But it's been SO long.I assume your email address has changed. Please pm me! HUGS!
JooleyAnn19 June 2011 at 7:21pmPosts: 134 (0 today)Status: offline
I happened to be sitting RIGHT next to Deana, and I think she had as amazing as an experience as we all did!
Words simply cannot describe how great the show was. I think that's why everyone is slow to post. ^_^
Magick20 June 2011 at 12:29amPosts: 56 (0 today)Status: offline
Yeah I saw her.enraptured!
I keep thinking about it.I really had to process the experience. I've concluded that, in terms of how emotionally charged the experience was for me, this was the best concert I've ever been to.
That's saying a LOT.
Magick20 June 2011 at 2:55amPosts: 56 (0 today)Status: offline
Different show, but pay special attention to 3:00 thru 4:12
And this doesn't even remotely come close to conveying the emotional intensity of what we experienced live!
Magick20 June 2011 at 3:07amPosts: 56 (0 today)Status: offline
I keep listening to 3:00 thru 4:12 again and again! Just can't get enough! Notice how he just casually walks up to the mic and then just starts wailing.OMG it was SO much more intense live! But I keep PLAYing that part, reliving it. Even my hubby keeps saying, "Man, that is some seriously good $hit!
lore23 June 2011 at 8:07pmPosts: 1659 (0 today)Status: offline
I pm'd you- let's talk again!
pmac10 July 2011 at 6:48pmPosts: 89 (0 today)Status: offline