Clip21 September 2012 at 7:20pmPosts: 7 (0 today)Status: offline
I was a fairly disapointed in this show. I'm a huge fan and this was show number 13 or 14 for me since 1980. There were obviously high points and some PG chills but they were few and far between. The show is disjointed from the get go with the accoustic/toned downed versions of come talk to me and shock the monkey. Thank God Family Snap Shot came up when it did, to transition to the "real" show. It's always a great dramatic peice. Digging in the Dirt was brilliant and so were No Self Control and Red Rain and really enjoyed Family and the Fishing Net. The other highlight was the fact that Peter's voice was surprisingly as good as I can remember from the last 5-6 shows. Now having said all this, the stage is way to small and cramped and alows for little band interaction. When they do, it all apears awkward. I love the mostly white lights and the 5 arm lighting rigs but there is simply not enough room on the stage for movement and full effectiveness. I found many of the So songs lacking the depth of sound and quite frankly, under rehearsed. Big time was really thin and weak, That Voice Again was simply brutle. It just appeared as though the sequence of songs were not well thought out either and there is really no flow to the show. Unfortunate, but I really believe that they did not rehearse enough nor did they allow for enough time to concieve and build the production. Dispointing for the price we pay for tickets these days not to mention the potential that could have been and should have been a better overall experience. I believe a little more effort in the pre production and rehearsals would have made a huge difference.
masternate6122 September 2012 at 4:27pmPosts: 72 (0 today)Status: offline
In Philly "That Voice Again" did not really work live. I can see why they do not perform much live. I was just happy to hear it live because I love the tune, but it did sound awful.
Also, I totally understand what you are saying about Family Snapshot. People in the crowd were actually booing and heckling Peter whenever he would speak, because they wanted him to turn the lights off. People were really upset about the house lights being on.
Ela22 September 2012 at 5:38pmPosts: 1334 (0 today)Status: offline
PG and the band are aware that there needs to be improvements on 'That Voice Again'. At sound check PG was working on improving, and changing up some of it to sound better. There were changes made at sound check, but I think because the changes were just made a couple of hours before the live show, PG was still not comfortable with the new mix. It's a work in progress, but he is aware, and is trying to fill the song in to sound like the original recording.
MidlandFox22 September 2012 at 6:15pmPosts: 50 (0 today)Status: offline
I'm not complaining about the Montreal show at all. Quite the opposite.
Given their ages, and the fact that all bodies and human abilities wane over time, I got a great show and pretty much what I expected from these gracefully ageing Titans.
The only thing that clearly did not resonate well with the crowd was the exceptionally over-"acousticized" Shock the Monkey - it was perhaps too radical a change on the familiar.
I absolutely love the return to concert programmes! I now have the original So tour concert programme that I bought in London at the Earl's Court venue sitting side-by-side with the one that I got in Montreal the other evening. That was a very plesant surprise to see.
Over the course of the last twenty-five years, thank you PG and colleagues in rendering some amazing music and performances, though I've been a fan since 1984 when I bought PG1 on cassette before boarding a train from Exeter to London Paddington one Sunday evening.
No, I was not disappointed with Montreal and am very glad that you guys are still performing! Thank you.
MidlandFox22 September 2012 at 6:33pmPosts: 50 (0 today)Status: offline
What would have electrified me even more is if PG had played "Across the River" - to me, that piece is almost as anthemic and stirring as "In Your Eyes" or "Biko."
"Wallflower" and "Downside Up" are two other favourites....
JCBH22 September 2012 at 7:11pmPosts: 30 (0 today)Status: offline
We saw the shows in Quebec and Montreal (and even a dress rehearsal in Quebec before the tour started) and we really loved the opening stuff...the acoustic renditions of Come Talk to Me and Shock the Monkey were terrific to us...so different, and reminiscent of what it would be like to hear them playing in the studio, which was PG's idea on this, as he explained to us.
The transition to Family Snapshot from quiet and subdued moving over to the drums and Manu building up and up were terrific, and a great segue to the rest of the rock part of the show. I agree that That Voice Again needs some work...it seems a bit harsh...not enough polyrhythmic fills like the original studio version. PG's voice on it is terrific, but the song is a bit harsh to me...but I know they are working on tweaks...we are seeing the shows again on the West Coast and I know it will sound more polished by then, as all tours go. We saw the U2 360 tour 6 times all over the world and it got better and better as it went. It is just the nature of the beast, especially when this band hadn't played together in 25 years, and some of the guys had never played these songs before. Having seen the show 3 times, I have to say it was a wow for my wife and I, who are both fans, and love the evolutionary process of them playing this material more and more...just my 2 cents.
jimmvv23 September 2012 at 4:23amPosts: 2 (0 today)Status: offline
I am a huge PG fan, first seeing him fronting Genesis at the Maurice Richard Arena in Mtl in 1973. I have seen PG and this unit deliver transcendent moments of musical magic. rythms that go on forever and lyrical delivery that emotionally dissects the audience. Brilliant stuff. Probably seen him 15+ times over the years in all sorts of venues.
However, at the show on Wednesday night in Toronto for me, nothing seemed to work to form a cohesive whole. The band never really caught fire and the show never really lifted off, mainly becasue of all the weight it seems to be carrying around. While it was muscially a fairly solid show, with an interesting first third with acoustic takes on SHOCK THE MONKEY and others, but it really had the "been there, done that" vibe.
Tony Levin was not his usual engaging self (too much time messing on the laptop buddy!) and PG delivered nothing new, except for a disappointing song 'in progress'. The Davids (Sancious & Rhodes) are hugely talented artists, but they hung back, just playing the tunes, their talents wasted. He's still using the same old choreo from the Robert Lepage shows from 15 years ago (albeit slower and clunkier). Even the closer, BIKO, sadly failed to ignite. I have seen him perform that song many times with fire and passion and he'd have 15,000 people in tears and testifying to man's inhumanities.. last night... nothing.
Visually, it was interesting, but far from arresting. There was lots of cool, processed live video (sometimes with an (stale) Blair Witch vibe) that gave fresh context to some of the old songs. But there were also 6 meaningless cranes topped with varilites and cams, pushed around the stage by count 'em 18 crew (!!), creating useless clutter that at times just made me laugh out loud.
Lighting was stark and plentiful, but nothing special. And the eight (8!!!) close-in followspots, with 8 operators hanging in slings for 180 minutes were only deployed 3 times ... unbelievable waste and needless clutter.
It's been a long time since I've seen so much deliver so little... a shame, really.
I'm going to write it off to: - 3rd gig on the tour, - back to back show after Mtl gig, and - no director. Also, the whole affair seemed vastly under-rehearsed, quite surprising and disappointing, coming from an artist like Mr. Gabriel.
Robert Lepage was sadly missed..
While it was mostly a pleasure to hear SO performed al the way thru, these days, if you are gonna charge $175 for a ticket, you gotta bring it, brother.
I'll look forward to the inevitable Blu-Ray document next year that will benefit from more performances and hopefully be way improved from what I witnessed last night.
Ihope to catch a show on the west coast leg toward the end and hopefully hard work andgood fortune will smile on this production.
My two cents.
sculduggery23 September 2012 at 12:38pmPosts: 152 (0 today)Status: offline
I'm gradually reconsidering my encore cd purchase plans based on the setlist (most of which I already have several live versions of already) and these lukewarm reviews... anyone else got any thoughts?
Clip23 September 2012 at 3:09pmPosts: 7 (0 today)Status: offline
Second comment here and sorry to be redundent, but I am surprised that somes fans appear to be fine with a "work in progress" production/show. Everyone has a right to their opinion and that's fine. I continue to be disapointed in what clearly appears to be a lack of reahearsal. I hate to say it but I feel like much, including the fans' were taken for granted.
Finally, there is not much time to get this show polished up as there are only 16-17 shows in the tour. Hope it improves for the others who will catch the rest of the shows.
RealFan23 September 2012 at 3:14pmPosts: 51 (0 today)Status: offline
Throughout the years I have accumulated a large number of bootlegs and having several live versions of a specific song is what this is all about (for me).
Having a copy of a show you've seen is something special in my view especially when its made available commercially.
In my view, little variations, hits and misses makes any version a bit more unique.
We all have different views about a performance and the many reviews show just that.
You can always purchase the encore CDs later or sooner as you feel like it.
Reading all the reviews is quite interesting. The good ones and the not so good alike. I haven't (yet) been deterred in my intention to purchase the encore CDs from reading any reviews.
I chose not to purchase the SMB box back in the days and I sort of regretted it.
As with all things PG (concerts, cds, etc) I find that I never get disappointed - it is always a great surprise / event.
In the end it's a very personal thing any way you look at it.
pete6623 September 2012 at 3:56pmPosts: 17 (0 today)Status: offline
Well here's a take from another long-time PG fan who's seen him live many times over the years as well... I think the new tour is brilliant and absolutely loved the Montreal show. The acoustic/electric/SO presentation was a nice surprise. I was expecting PG to open with SO then do some classics but the gradual build-up throughout the evening was quite a nice pace I thought. The entire acoustic set was a highlight for me and things just got better after that. Much to his credit, Peter spoke very good French almost all the time, delighting the loud Montreal crowd.
The visual aspects of the show were very cool and constantly changing, keeping things interesting on stage and on the screens. The large cranes didn't bother me in the least and the musicianship from all the players sounded just fine to these ears. What a treat to see the interaction between Tony Levin & Manu Katche!
I have to admit Peter moves awkwardly at times (doing a little 'jig' during I forget which song or marching around to the beat of 'Solsbury Hill') but then again whenever David & Tony fall in behind or beside PG with their little dance moves, you can tell they're having good fun, even though we've seen those moves before.
Things I would improve: not many actually... I would have the very lovely & talented Jennie Abrahamson sing her part in 'Don't Give Up' facing the audience most of the time rather than with her back to the crowd too often... I did not understand the lying on the floor & thrashing around bit in 'Mercy Street', too much theatre, not enough concert imho... and a tiny last detail: I would tell the tech at the lighting desk in the back of the venue to turn down some of his lamps. I understand he needs to see his knobs but one of his lights was seemingly pointed at our section of seats and was constantly in the corner of our eyes, annoying.
That said, I'm very happy with this concert and will be ordering the CD's (why don't ALL touring artists do this?) It'll be interesting to see if the setlist changes a bit through the rest of the tour. Perhaps a special Encore disc can be made available later if 'one-off' performances find their way into some of the shows.
Good on you Peter Gabriel for mixing things up a bit, success on the tour!
sculduggery23 September 2012 at 5:30pmPosts: 152 (0 today)Status: offline
Thanks for all the different perspectives!
thicker25 September 2012 at 9:44pmPosts: 1 (0 today)Status: offline
I loved everything about the show except the explanations about the transitions. It was just short of reading off the setlist before starting the show. Just come out and blow my mind, man!
It was my first PG show so I probably don't have the same perspective, but other than that I enjoyed it top to bottom.
Pat Parker26 September 2012 at 3:49amPosts: 2683 (0 today)Status: offline
I agree with much of what many have said, and not with some of what some have said - -
I love having the option of buying the encore cds -- I enjoy hearing the tiny, little fuck-ups that might happen from Peter (gladly not many -- only one in Philly-- according to him, not me -- in NY, there were many, many more (mostly Gabrielese) so I'm most likely not going to buy the cd).
I liked how the set was arranged and didn't even mind him telling me about it.
I wasn't too impressed with Shock the Monkey -- guess I'm so used to it being a bit more stronger sounding -- but it wasn't bad and PG likes audience participation -- this would have been the appropriate time for the audience to make it rock louder and stronger than the acoustic version.
I love PG's voice and it's as strong as ever! For anyone to be able to lie down flat on his back and sing -- with a nice strong voice, well, that's a big deal to me!
For the song Mercy Street -- I liked his lying on the floor -- just like the original form -- the song represents someone who is suffering and the rolling around on the floor, curled up in a ball/fetal position is what he is doing. Never too artsy for me -- it's the PG I know and love!
No Self Control is another old time favorite and again, done in the manner (or close to it) that it was done originally.
Basically, I do not think this show was quickly put together, nor is it just a "work in progress" -- I think that by the time they reached Philly (4th show in) they are getting it together and more in sync.
Thank you PG and all for the great shows. Happy to be able to catch them.
RealFan26 September 2012 at 1:05pmPosts: 51 (0 today)Status: offline
Happy to see your post Pat. I agree with you. PG is someone who 'thinks outside the box' and I believe that's one of the reason he is liked by so many people.
Imho his performances have always been reflected very well his creativity and talent (sometimes with the help of some other great artists). I was happy to learn about the 'original forms' of the songs you described in your post. I was missing out on the concerts in those days.
To me it's like going to see an art gallery. I look at the artist's work and I enjoy it (or not). I can't really say this painting is too much 'this' and not enough 'that'.
As for the 'work in progress' I also agree with you, I don't think it's the case either. I believe this show has been put together with as much care as possible. It's a big event and there are always things to refine.
During the sound check, Peter was talking to the tech guys in the back and discussing whether he should do part of a song on one side of the 'crane' and the other part on the other side. This crane was in front of him so he was concerned not to be completely hidden for a portion of the audience for the entire duration of the song. To me that showed concern to do better every time.