8

Steve Hackett at Casino du Lac Leamy Theatre

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
There was also a nice surprise halfway through the set, when the group pulled out a song they'd been rehearsing, but had not yet played on the tour: "The Fountain of Salmacis," from Nursery Cryme, which hasn't been performed by Hackett since the last road trip before Genesis began making inroads in North America with its Selling England By The Pound (Charisma, 1973) tour. A faithful rendition that recaptured the symphonic extremes of Genesis' early days with Hackett and Collins, the guitarist simply introduced it as "new for us, old for you."

Hackett addressed the beyond enthusiastic audience a number of times throughout the set, doing his best with his limited French but doing far better in English, when he first spoke to the crowd after "Watcher of the Skies," saying "The abandoned ship of Genesis is back with a ghost crew." With Townsend covering a number of reed and woodwind instruments (including pennywhistle and recorder), as well as giving King some extra oomph with additional mellotron parts, his instrumental harmonies with Hackett on songs like Trick of the Tail's "Dance on a Volcano" and (not played together, as Genesis so often did) the same album's closer, "Los Endos" (where Sylvan appeared onstage for its one vocal line, "There's an angel standing in the sun") he was but one demonstration that this may have been a ghost crew, but it was one hell of a good one, capable of things Genesis was unable to do back in the day, like executing Hackett's overdubbed guitar parts in performance.

The set's pinnacle was, of course, Genesis' 25-minute epic, "Supper's Ready," from Foxtrot, and if Sylvan's performance wasn't already beyond good enough—and it was—he also demonstrated a stamina that Gabriel didn't have back in the day. As charismatic and captivating as he was, Gabriel's voice was rarely able to make it through a full set without losing his upper range—one of the reasons why he insisted on overdubbing his vocal parts when the Genesis released Genesis Archives 1967-75 (Atlantic, 1998), a decision met with considerable anger from his fans as his voice had deepened and become much huskier in the two decades since he left the group, though he had managed to address his stamina issues, making his new vocal overdubs far too obvious.

Two encores: an epic "Firth of Fifth," from Selling England By The Pound, where King restored the album's intro after Banks had excised it from live performance early on; and a finale that began with a hard-rocking intro which, after a brief pass through Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, found its way to "Los Endos."


It was a powerful conclusion to an evening that found Hackett and his group performing at the absolute top of their game. While any new music from Hackett is most welcome, it's important that he continue to keep the music of Genesis alive— whether as a small part of his regular live concerts or, as here, in a more concentrated effort that focuses exclusively on the music that, at least amongst progressive rock fans (and, based on his comments about sales, a group of people that continues to grow), has made him a household name. With a set this captivating, and performed by a group this good, Hackett's success deserves to translate into success for each and every member of the band, but in particular for Sylvan, a singer who placed in the unenviable position of filling some massive shoes, but who succeeded in doing so not through imitation, but through respectful reverence, the occasional total irreverence, and a commanding stage presence that suggests following him in whatever his next endeavor is will be a very good idea, indeed.


Photo Credit
All Photos: John Kelman

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Grand Union Orchestra at Wilton's Music Hall Live Reviews Grand Union Orchestra at Wilton's Music Hall
by Duncan Heining
Published: June 20, 2017
Read Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: June 18, 2017
Read Jean Luc Ponty Band at the Boulder Theater Live Reviews Jean Luc Ponty Band at the Boulder Theater
by Geoff Anderson
Published: June 17, 2017
Read ELBJAZZ 2017 Live Reviews ELBJAZZ 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 15, 2017
Read Mike Westbrook at Bury St. Edmunds Festival Live Reviews Mike Westbrook at Bury St. Edmunds Festival
by Duncan Heining
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Kurt Elling With The Keith Ganz Trio at Jazz Standard" Live Reviews Kurt Elling With The Keith Ganz Trio at Jazz Standard
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "WOMAD 2016" Live Reviews WOMAD 2016
by Martin Longley
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "bigBANG Jazz Gang" Live Reviews bigBANG Jazz Gang
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "The Tierney Sutton Band at SFJAZZ Center" Live Reviews The Tierney Sutton Band at SFJAZZ Center
by Asher Wolf
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Peter Gabriel and Sting at the Pepsi Center" Live Reviews Peter Gabriel and Sting at the Pepsi Center
by Geoff Anderson
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017
by Nick Davies
Published: May 13, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.