Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: The Van Buren
Date: Sunday February 25th, 2018
First off I would like to apologize to the readers, Steve Hackett and DZP as to the lateness of this review. I have been sick for the last 3 weeks with this flu.
I grew up in the 60s and remember having to listen to the top 20 on AM radio. Cars in the 60s for the most part only had AM radios and CKLW out of Windsor Canada was the station to listen to in the Toledo area. I was lucky enough in the late 60s to get the family stereo that had an FM radio. I discovered this underground FM station out of Michigan that played songs not heard on AM radio and at times even played full albums. This is how I got introduced to progressive and hard rock bands. I was able to hear Pink Floyd, King Crimsom and a band out of England called Genesis. I remember hearing “The Musical Box” from Genesis’s Nursery Cryme and being amazed at the complexity of the song. I also remember seeing Genesis for the first time in 1973 on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and was awed by the front man Peter Gabriel and the talent of the band. The original members of Genesis were lead singer Peter Gabriel, guitarist Steve Hackett, drummer Phil Collins, keyboardist Tony Banks and bassist Mike Rutherford. In 1975 Peter Gabriel left the group and Steve Hackett followed in 1977.
Since 1977, Steve Hackett has had a remarkable solo career. During the last 40 years Steve was produced 18 albums including his newest album, The Night Siren just last year. I saw Steve Hackett in 2016 when he did his From Acolyte to Wolflight Plus Genesis Classics Tour. You can read my review of that show here: www.beneathadesertsky.com/2016/04/05/steve-hackett-04-02-16 . If you like the music of early Genesis, then this is one of the few concerts that you will hear it. Steve plays a lot of different songs from his time with Genesis at all of his shows. Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel don’t seem to play any songs from that time at their shows. The only other band to play early Genesis songs is the band The Musical Box that I would also highly recommend.
The concert was divided into 2 sets with a 20 minute intermission. The first set were all songs from his solo years. Joining Steve were bassist Jonas Reingold, drummer Gary O’Toole, keyboardist Roger King and Rob Townsend on sax, flutes, and other stuff. They started the show with “Please Don’t Touch” from Steve’s first solo album over 40 years ago. It was amazing to watch Steve as his fingers danced across the frets while playing “Every Day”. Then Steve introduced us to his new album, The Night Siren with the next 3 songs, “Behind the Smoke”, “El Niño”, “In the Skeleton Gallery”. To help with lead vocals, Nad Sylvan joined the rest of the band for “When the Heart Rules the Mind” and “Icarus Ascending”.
The second set was exclusively songs from his Genesis years. The nice thing this time was that Steve played a lot of songs that have not been played live since the early Genesis years. They started the set with one of my favorites, “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight” from Selling England by the Pound. Though not as flamboyant as Peter Gabriel, Nat Sylvan does an outstanding job of recreating the Genesis sound. The emotion and soul Steve put into “Firth of Fifth” brought the crowd to its feet. They ended the second set with “Supper’s Ready” and afterwards everyone was standing and yelling for more. For the encore, they came back to play another solo song, “Myopia” and followed it with the Genesis song “Los Endos”.
Steve truly ranks up there with some of the best guitarists from the 60s. He might not have the flair of a Jimi Hendrix or Peter Townshend, but his style and technical excellence cannot be questioned. He is considered a major influence on many of today’s great guitarist. Probably the one song that I wished he would have played was “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” but to hear some of the lesser played Genesis songs was great. If you loved early Genesis music or really want to hear a great guitarist then Steve’s show is a definite must.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018
Steve Hackett Setlist: (Album/Band)
Please Don’t Touch (Please Don’t Touch)
Every Day (Spectral Mornings)
Behind the Smoke (The Night Siren)
El Niño (The Night Siren)
In the Skeleton Gallery (The Night Siren)
When the Heart Rules the Mind (GTR, GTR)
Icarus Ascending (Please Don’t Touch)
Shadow of the Hierophant (Voyage of the Acolyte)
Dancing With the Moonlit Knight (Selling England by the Pound, Genesis)
One for the Vine (Wind & Wuthering, Genesis)
Inside and Out (Spot the Pigeon, Genesis)
The Fountain of Salmacis (Nursery Cryme, Genesis)
Firth of Fifth (Selling England by the Pound, Genesis)
The Musical Box (Nursery Cryme, Genesis)
Supper’s Ready (Foxtrot, Genesis)
Myopia / Los Endos (Till We Have Faces/Los Endos, Genesis)