Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Steve Hackett @ The Pantages Theatre in MINNEAPOLIS 10/7/19

October 22nd, 2005, at Rossi's Bar in downtown Minneapolis, Steve Hackett last played Minnesota.

Since then, he's toured somewhat regularly in North America, including in Chicago in 2010 where I saw him and his band last with Renaissance.

So 14 years since his last performance in my home state, and it fell on the same evening of the Twins vs Yankees Game 3 ALDS playoff game. I bought my ticket for Mr. Hackett and company back in March, which was before the Major League Baseball Season had even began, lol.

But, this isn't a review of that game, the series, or the Twins Season (maybe soon?).

I can just say, this was without question the best, tightest, most epic performance I've seen from Steve Hackett and his band. And this was the 4th time seeing them, 5th seeing Steve.

He has a great band, with the likes of Jonas Reingold of The Flower Kings on Bass, Nad Sylvan vocals (Agents of Mercy, Solo, Hackett's Genesis Revisited II), Craig Blundell on drums (Steven Wilson), Roger King on keys, and Rob Townsend sax, flute, vocals.

I very much enjoyed the 1st set of Steve's solo work, including some of the material off his I guess very well received new record At the Edge of Light. Epic, heavy, moody, atmospheric.

Also the version of "Everyday" and "Spectral Mornings" namely really sounded wonderful and very "live." The whole band seemed so in tuned and in great spirits, extending many parts out.

Of course the 2nd set was the complete Selling England By the Pound, an album that has been an all-time favorite of mine, since the point I was fully won over by Genesis nearly 20 years ago (2000/2001/2002).

"The Cinema Show" is my favorite and it did not disappoint. They totally pulled every second of it off, and added some flourishes and different dimensions. Blundell is quite the master, channeling his inner-Phil Collins. As well as Roger King on keys pulling off maybe the greatest Keyboard section ever in Rock music.

I gotta say though, "Firth of Fifth" totally got me as well. I have always loved it, but also heard it maybe more than anything on this album. But seeing those guys pull it off live, made me respect and love it again.

And maybe the most impressive moments of the set and show was "The Battle of Epping Forest." I grew to adore that tune, as busy, quirky, and drawn out as it does get. The vocals are incredibly wordy with long run-on narratives. Plus the characters channeled. Its extensive arrangements and journey through the tale comes across as a mouthful, but it totally grew for me to appreciate how difficult and meticulous it is.

And for that, I totally applaud Nad's performance.

A couple of other things not to forget. The extended almost jam added in the middle during "I Know What I like" I really dug. I love that tune, but sometimes when it ends it makes me sad it's over. I have a HUGE nostalgia for it, going back to the early 2000's at work. I almost was brought to tears in moments last night remembering those days at work with it on. And to see it live and have them add more to it, totally worked for me.

And for them to include "Deja Vu" which Steve mentioned was a tune they wrote and maybe demo-ed? during the making of Selling England. I had never heard it, nor heard of it. I enjoyed it, although it reminded me more of something from his solo music.

I'd love to hear a demo of it anyway, especially with Peter Gabriel of course.

But I guess it did come out on the 1st Genesis Revisited album with Paul Carrack on vocals. I can't remember if I own that, or the 2nd as I bought at least of them on CD in the early 2000's.
But it's on YouTube here

Set List

Under the Eye of the Sun
Fallen Walls and Pedestals
Beasts in Our Time
The Virgin and the Gypsy
Spectral Mornings
The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere
Clocks - The Angel of Mons


Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Firth of Fifth
More Fool Me
The Battle of Epping Forest
After the Ordeal
The Cinema Show  
Aisle of Plenty
Deja Vu
Los Endos
Dance on a Volcano