Friday, September 02, 2016

Concert Performances: Peter Gabriel

Postings have been light-to-the-point-of-facile lately, I realize -- not a lot of mulling or meditating, or even revising, before I hit "post." We're getting the elder bundled up and out the door for college, so that's just the way it goes. I do appreciate you sticking around, though.

And maybe that's not a bad segue into this next category of keepable DVDs: concert performances.
Just a sampling (sigh)...
Man, I've got stacks of those. In any given night of any given year I'll reach yet again for something I've already seen a half-dozen times. When it comes to rock 'n' roll, there are some performers I prefer to watch in the bloom of their youth. The Ramones, for instance -- I'll take London in '77 over River Plate in '96 any day you give me, thank you.

I'm surprised, though, by just how many performers I enjoy watching as they stay in the game into their twilight years. Led Zeppelin: I love The Song Remains The Same, but to be honest, I've given Celebration Day, their '07 one-off, more viewings. Plant and Page were never ones to jump around the stage, even in their youth -- the musicianship remains the same, you might say.

The crown jewels in this collection belong to Peter Gabriel -- 1994's Secret World Live . . .
. . . and 2003's Growing Up Live.
The setlist doesn't vary much from concert to concert. And watched back-to-back the experience can be a little gloom-inducing -- ten years takes its toll, after all. Peter transforms from a nimble-footed, dark-haired dude in his forties to a fella who's plainly in his fifties. No shame in that, of course -- the shame would be to pretend otherwise.

Perhaps what's most striking in these concerts is the choreography and staging, via iconic Canuckle-head Robert LePage. Beneath his direction the transformation of ten years is conducted movingly with both candor and grace -- a gift to all involved, including not just the accomplished performers assembled, but the audience as well.

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