It goes without saying that Peter Gabriel is one of the most iconic figures in modern music history. Both as a solo artist and as a member of Genesis, Gabriel has more than carved his own place in the music business. He has performed countless concerts around the world during his career. And one of the greatest of those concerts would have to be his 1994 concert in Modena, Italy during his “Secret World Live” tour. That show was originally released on VHS that same year. It was re-issued on DVD by Interscope Records nearly a decade later. Now, nearly another decade later, that classic concert has been re-issued once more thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision.
Nearly two decades have passed since Secret World Live was originally released on VHS. Since that time, the footage has stood the test of time quite well. And thank goodness it did. This show is an example of everything that is right with live shows. The quality of the footage is a little bit grainy, given. But considering how much worse it could have been that quality gives this re-issue sort of a nostalgic feel. And the show itself was more than just a show. Rather than just having a band on-stage performing, Gabriel’s Secret World Live was an actual stage production. From the opening of the show, audiences are treated to what is a concert experience, not just a concert. Gabriel’s use of the telephone in the show’s opener, ‘Come talk With Me’ was a nice touch. And the addition of Paula Cole on backing vocals was an added bonus. Musically, the two made for a great combination.
Gabriel followed up ‘Come Talk To Me’ with another of his major hits, ‘Steam.’ The song by itself is a great song. The addition of the “steam” during the choruses made the song that much better. As minute as this might have been in the grand scheme of things, it was one more part of what is a great concert experience. Along with the use of the “steam” during the song, the band utilized every single bit of the stage for the music itself. Audiences who have never seen this performance before will love seeing how the band switches back and forth between the larger circular stage and the smaller “back” stage. How it’s done won’t be given away. But as a hint, it’s almost “magical” (hint hint) how it’s done. As with the already noted aspects, this one adds its own element of enjoyment to the full concert experience.
As the show closes, there is one more aspect that makes the show that much more amazing. In this case, it’s not from the band, but from the fans themselves. As Gabriel and company perform ‘In Your Eyes’, the audience in attendance pulls out their lighters, (yes lighters, not cell phones. That’s a sign of the times, huh) and proceeds to turn them on and off. The cameras capture the effect as the lighters glimmer like stars in the arena, all the while Gabriel and the band performing. It is perhaps one of the concerts most powerful moments.
The show put on by Peter Gabriel and the entire band in Secret World Live makes it one of the best true concert experiences in recent memory. The stage show alone didn’t make the show, though. The show’s set list is loaded with amazing songs, including the ones already listed. Along with the aforementioned songs, fans will also enjoy ‘Blood of Eden’, ‘Kiss that Frog’, ‘Solsbury Hill’, ‘Digging in The Dirt’, and perhaps his biggest hit of all, ‘Sledgehammer.’ For those who have picked up Gabriel’s “Live Blood” double disc concert that was released earlier this year, Gabriel’s rendition of ‘Digging in The Dirt’ in the “Secret World Live” show was far better than in the orchestral show.
So much more could be noted as to what makes this re-issue of “Secret World Live” so enjoyable. But fans would be best served to experience it all for themselves. “Secret World Live” is available now on DVD and blu-ray in stores and online. It can be ordered online at http://www.eagle-rock.com.
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