|basement tapes||concert reviews||cd reviews||interviews||ticket swap||music news|
Story By Andy Argyrakis
Though it's already sold out all across Europe, American fans were forced to flock to either New York or Los Angeles to catch an exclusive trio of shows that were once again backed by the symphony. In the final night of Gabriel's all too short Stateside stand, he split the two act evening between remakes, hits and a handful of rare album cuts, building up the momentum with each creative re-arrangement and rousing crescendo.
Out of the Scratch My Back material, tracks like David Bowie's "Heroes" and Elbow's "Mirrorball" earned soft-spoken but still epic readings that served as perfect accompaniments to the Hollywood Bowl's lush outdoor surroundings. Though the temperament started somber on The Arcade Fire's "My Body Is a Cage," the orchestra soon exploded and Gabriel followed suite with his signature groans, which sounded occasionally winded and a bit more weathered than his younger years, but were nonetheless nothing short of hypnotic.
Those qualities were even better displayed during the second half, from the already string-friendly ballads "San Jacinto" "Mercy Street" to sing-a-longs such as "Red Rain" and "Solsbury Hill." The normally chugging percussion of "Digging In the Dirt" morphed into a sweeter disposition, while the always pleasant "In Your Eyes" was cast in tender light as the love ballad in which it was originally intended (instead of the African-inspired jam session it's become on conventional tours).
Compared to all of his past performances, the New Blood Tour was certainly a once in a lifetime experience likely to be revered amongst core fans forever. Of course, it can't compare to a full rock band experience with all the interactive visuals Gabriel generally brings around on the road, but if his recent pacing is any indication, chances are that won't happen for at least another half decade, provided retirement doesn't come first.
Return to Reviews
Return to Menu