19 September 2021

Review: Steve Hackett – B’ham Symphony Hall 14th Sept 2021

14th September 2021

“Seconds Out” UK Tour

As they say “Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be”, but in the case of Mr Hackett and his team of professional musicians, on the current tour we went Back To The Future because not only did we have a carefully crafted set of songs, I think I speak for everyone when I say that Genesis are going to have a challenge to rise to when they start their tour on Sept 20th.

It all kicked off at 7.45 and with a short set of only five songs (Opening with “Clocks” from Spectral Mornings, we also got the first track of the album “Everyday” and when you consider this music first saw the light of day back in 1979, it hasn’t aged one bit….and that solo !!!). We also got two tracks from the brand new album “Surrender Of Silence” – “Held In The Shadows” and the wonderfully sinister “The Devil’s Cathedral” all topped off with an abridged version of “Shadow Of The Hierophant” – powerful indeed as it grows to a crescendo. I have been to see Steve live many times, but every time he just seems to be getting better and better and at the age of 71, shows no sign of slowing down – he truly is The Dave Grohl Of Prog !!!
Have so much admiration for his persistence and passion for not only creating new, exciting and ground-breaking music, but also for keeping the music of Genesis very much ALIVE.

With the first half in the bag, after a 30 minute interval, we came back to the second half, or “Seconds Out” in its entirety, in chronological order including probably one of greatest Prog epics of all time – “Supper’s Ready”. Doubt Genesis will be adding that one to the setlist…..

This is one helluva lineup – Jonas Reingold on Bass, vocals and Juggling (don’t ask), Rob Townsend on wind instruments, keyboard and vocals, Roger King on Keys, the mighty Craig Blundell on drums and percussion, Nad Sylvan on vocals and of course, the man himself centre stage on guitar and vocals. I think back to early solo albums where Steve took on lead vocal and I have to be honest, there have been a few times in the past where I’ve thought “stick with the guitar dude”…BUT, of late, his voice has totally improved with age and although you might argue that he now writes songs to suit his vocal style, even when he takes on older material, the voice has moved on and evolved. I’ve always thought of Steve as the reluctant frontman, but over the past decade, especially with the Genesis Revisited tours, his confidence has improved immensely and we even get the odd joke – ol’ Steve is fast becoming a regular comedian, I love it – even though every hardcore Genesis fan was probably beaming from ear to ear for the entire second half anyway . It certainly keeps things light, although in the “Seconds Out” set, the music spoke for itself and we zipped through the album in what seemed far too quickly and whereas there are some excellent Genesis tribute bands out there, an evening with Steve and friends is the closest you’ll get to recreating the classic Genesis years when Prog was fashionable.

As you’d expect, the sound in the venue was amazing and as for the lights – what can I say ?? Check out the cover of the original “Seconds Out” album and the lighting guys SOOOO recreated it perfectly. Not being a professional photographer, I did manage to squeeze out some half decent pictures from our stalls seat using my Huawei P30 Pro (see attached), but I’m sorry, although the lighting was superb from start to finish, NOTHING can replace checking out this trip down memory lane IN PERSON and with venues selling out, despite the year long wait to witness this memorable show, you might just be lucky enough to sneak into a venue near you at significantly lower cost than the “real thing” I hasten to add. Guys – even if you have to travel the length of the UK and you love Genesis – this is definitely your “go-to gig” of 2021.

Book it, Be There and Be Astounded

   

Steve Gould (MMH)