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Peter Gabriel

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5 stars A show that should not be missed...I, as a Genesis (Gabriel's era), always dream of seeing some old material from Genesis in their hey-day, sadly it seems that this kind of document is not available. But you see this one and you just recreate what it would have been if we can have some of that so-long awaited material (that doesn't exist).

The Show of Gabriel, particulary in this DVD, is simply fantastic...This concert promotes one of their best albums "US"... Songs that are performed like Talk To Me, Across The River- Slow Marimbas-Shaking the Tree (three different songs that are linked together), Digging In The Dirt, Secret World...along with the classics Sledgehammer, Kiss That Frog and Solysbury Hill makes this a excellent collection of tunes performed live with great musicians as Tony Levin, Manu Katche and the appeareance of Paula Cole on backing vocals (she would later begin her solo career with some success).

All in all we have Peter Gabriel, the one who never lost his essence when leaving Genesis and making great music...Gabriel's my hero!

Report this review (#33505)
Posted Monday, December 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This live performance took place almost one decade before the "Growing UP" video, but the overall quality of the show was also remarkable. Of course, Gabriel looked much younger and much more energetic - stage act wise. Having, seen the amazing show of "Growing UP" dvd I still enjoy - very much - the "Secret World" video. Before the DVD came out in 2003, I had the laser disc video and audio CD that I purchased sometime in 1995. Due to the availability of technology at that time there were different set list between audio and video version. The video version contained "San Jacinto" that I love it very much but did not have the "Red Rain" (which actually I love as well). While the audio CD had the other way around: it had "Red Rain" but did not have the "San Jacinto". It's funny then when the DVD version was released in 2003, "Red Rain" was not included despite the larger capacity of DVD. Well, it's probably the video master in this part has lost or gone. The show line-up includes Manu Katche (drums), Tony Levin (bass, vocals), Paula Cole (vocals), Peter Gabriel (lead vocals, keys), David Rhodes (guitar, vocals), Jean Claude Naimro (keys, vocals), Shankar (violin, vocals), Levon Minassian (doudouk). The huge stage was designed by Robert Leppage. The live show took place on 16-17 November 1993 at Palasport Nuovo, Modena, Italy. Well, I don't know why Peter Gabriel (and Leppage of course) always choose Italy as the venue for live video shoot. It's probably Italy is the largest fan base for Peter Gabriel.

Overall, this is an amazing show of Peter Gabriel to promote "US" album that was released around the time of the show. Regardless you are a fan of Peter Gabriel or just a music buff, you would enjoy this video. It's a wonderful live act featuring best tracks of Gabriel until "US" album. It starts off excellently with "Come Talk to Me" where Gabriel sings inside the telephone booth. His stage act is fantastic where he sings with a theatrical style in confident manner. Paula Cole who appeared suddenly on stage through a hatch at stage that has an access underneath the relatively tall stage floor. It's a very nice duet with great solo drum. Yeah .. Manu Katche rules! I like his drumming style and sound. I guess, Manu Katche is one of the best rock drummers in the world. IMHO his style is similar with Phil Collins drumming with intense influence of African and world music. Bravo Katche! You did a great job throughout the show!

"Steam" is performed differently compared to studio version. The intro part has been added with a melodic segment, in ambient style, featuring Gabriel speaks Italian and some additional singing of "In your steam, we learn everything we've seen .." (or something like that..). Despite the disco nature of this track but I love it very very much, especially in this live version. I like the part where Rhodes and Levin walks to the front direction of the stage with almost the same body language when they voice "Stand back! Stand back!" . uughh man . what a wonderful shot! Well, I think the beauty of this track is on the uniformity of stage acts of three guys: Rhodes, Levin and Gabriel. "Across the River - Slow Marimbas" features Shankar on violin. "Blood of Eden" is my favorite track and performed amazingly by the duet of Gabriel - Cole. It's a mellow track with a great melody and composition. "In the blood of Eden lie the woman and the man ." what a tasty melody this segment is! "San Jacinto" is another favorite as well. The tempo is slow but the way this song was composed has made it "heavy" to my ears. It has powerful textures that project the song to have an emotional impact to listeners. I feel it that way whenever I listen to this track from Gabriel 4th album "Security". The music is basically empty with a lot of quiet passages but it creates a powerful nuances, especially performed live! "I hold the line - the line of strength that pulls me through the fear ..".

"Washing of the Water" is even a much more quiet track featuring mostly the powerful voice of Gabriel - the instruments sound appear very thin at the back, accompanying Gabriel's voice. Lyric-wise, this track is probably best to describe the tsunami experience that has just happened recently on 26 December 2004 in my country. Look at the lyrics:

"So deep, so wide will you take me on your back for a ride / If I should fall would you swallow me deep inside/ River, show me how to float / I feel like I'm sinking down. / Thought that I could get along. / But here in this water. / My feet won't touch the ground / I need something to turn myself around" "Going away, away toward the sea/ .. / Letting go, it's so hard/ The it's hurting now/ To get this love untied / So tough to stay with this thing ."

[Sorry for being melancholic. The real situation is really bad in areas impacted by tsunami, especially on rainy situation nowadays - thousand people have no shelter. With a great music like Gabriel's creation, I symphatize to the root and feel deeply connected with the people who are suffering with this disaster. -- Would appreciate if Peter Gabriel come over to Indonesia doing a gig for the people impacted by tsunami. He did visit Bali couple years ago for travel pleasure and sound experiments with other three top notch musicians. No gig at that time.]

I also like the modified intro of "Sledgehammer" where Peter Gabriel steps into the stage with a predetermined motion accompanied by a bass and drum in quiet mood. Whwn he reaches at the front of the stage then the music starts to hammer the audience. In "Secret World" there is a huge dome that moves down from top to the stage floor when the song ends. This is probably the trademark of this live set while in "Growing UP" Gabriel uses huge steel platform. "Don't Give Up" is another excellent track, performed flawlessly by the band. I like the positive lyrics of this track.

Well, sorry for long review. You don't have to read actually. For me personally, this show is so great that it deserves a review as thick as Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" novel, I think. I can do that, but I'm sure that you will not be interested with it at all - as I'm not a novelist .. BUY THIS DVD!! And . Keep on Progging!!

Progressively yours,

GW - Indonesia.

Report this review (#33506)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars I've already done a review about the album Secret World, and I gave Peter only four stars, rating that I believe is too high for the CD, but there's no 3.5 stars which would be the exact rating for an album full of good music but that doesn't offer something really new, especially when we can't see the show.

But the case of he DVD is absolutely different, because we must judge not only the music (which excellent in most of the tracks), but also the show and the skills of Peter Gabriel to deal with the audience.

I'll start with the act, the beginning with the telephone booth and all the band rising from the floor is simply spectacular, especially because the dynamics of the song Come Talk to Me is ideal for the show, Paula Cole's voice even when not perfect is good enough for the purpose of the concert and the chemistry between Peter and Paula works perfectly. A delightful track with a spectacular show, surely one of the best of the DVD.

Another highlight is in Gabriel's hymn, which can't be other than Solsbury Hill, the syncopated movements of Peter, Tony Levin and David Rhodes and the great violin by Shankar, give the visual and musical aid that the track needs, much better than the bicycle ride that Gabriel used in Growing Up.

Of course I couldn't forget la piece de resistance (Secret World) this atmospheric track that has a clear Genesis influence is incredible, Peter does a fair job at the keyboards and the joke with bag is the perfect first ending for a concert.

Even Gabriel's weakest songs like Sledgehammer and Don't Give Up seem fresh in this DVD. The first one for the almost Olympic run that Peter did with no effort (when he had 50 pounds less) and the reaction of the crowd, something that in this case that I don't understand, really people seem to love this track.

But Don't give Up is a special case, I can't resist this song even with the great Kate Bush or even with Sinead O'Connor in the Amnesty International concert, but there's something special in Paula Cole's voice that makes this version less dangerous for the diabetes patients and more human, even when she fails the high notes sounds great.

About Peter's skills with the audience there's not much to talk, everybody knows he always had a special connection with the crowd, even when he was the frontman of a band like Genesis that almost nobody liked he was loved by the fans, but with the years this has improved, he doesn't need costumes or weird stories, just his personality.

If the CD deserved 3.5 stars, the DVD deserves IMHO 10 stars, so I'll give the highest rating possible in Prog Archives, 5 very solid stars and consider the DVD among my 2 or 3 all time favorites.

If you like Peter Gabriel's music and show, buy the CD, I promise you won't regret.

Report this review (#33507)
Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Are you a Peter Gabriel fan? If so, have I got a show for you! The SECRET WORLD LIVE DVD provides the best seat in the house for a fantastic 1994 performance in Modena, Italy, during Gabriel's bravura "Secret World Live Tour."

The DVD captures Gabriel (replete with hair, ladies -- unlike on the later "Growing Up" tour!) at the height of his powers, and the master performer is joined by an absolutely top-notch band (who, even by themselves, would have represented a fabulous ticket!) We get the inimitable, long-term Gabriel band mate and stellar session man Tony Levin on bass, Gabriel's regular axesmith (and friend -- it shows) David Rhodes on guitar, and the incomparable Manu Katche making it all look easy behind the drum kit. Add to that "can't miss" equation the lovely and talented Paula Cole on backing vocals, violinist extraordinaire Shankar on a unusual, haunting-sounding double instrument, and newcomer Jean Claude Naimro expertly providing main keyboard duties, and you have the tasty ingredients of an aural and visual feast. (This is an awesome band, and the great pleasure they take in performing Gabriel's material is apparent throughout, with all concerned exuding infectious charisma and camaraderie.) The choreography, cutting-edge stage setup and accompanying technology is unique and artful in itself, and to top it all off, there is a guest appearance by African associate Papa Wemba and Molokai (his troupe of colourful singers/dancers) during the jubilant finale.

The material presented is, of course, superb, and includes flawless and energetic versions of favourites like "Steam," "Shaking the Tree," "Blood of Eden," "San Jacinto," "Solsbury Hill" (if the joyous performance of that one doesn't make you grin and sing along, you have a real problem!), "Digging in the Dirt," "Sledgehammer," the title track, the achingly beautiful "Don't Give Up" (Cole shines in Kate Bush's old part!), and a sublime, life-affirming version of "In Your Eyes" to close the show. Watching this magnificent DVD is a truly uplifting experience, and my whole family (including two kids, ages 9 & 12) really love this disc!

If you don't yet have a DVD player with surround sound, I urge you to invest in one as soon as possible, because performances like SECRET WORLD LIVE are a music lover's dream come true! Worth every penny, and then some, this is one that Gabriel's many fans will want to experience again and again. No reservations whatsoever: five well-deserved stars. A MUST!

Report this review (#33510)
Posted Sunday, April 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just got through watching this for the 1st time and now got it going for a 2nd time. Never seen Pete solo, just with Genesis in ' 72. Absolutely terrific! His theactrics still mesmorizing and tasteful. His magic tricks still there, (remember the black hood and white gloves trick with Genesis?). What really kicks me is Tony Levin (usually a straightfaced type on stage) just having a ball onstage with all the antics going on. Peter just pulled out all the stops here on this tour, sorry I missed it. He still can keep a light-hearted atmosphere while still being serious. To get a little arty, it seems that the film was delibritley filmed with a little grain which is ok, kind of reminds me of Marty on The Last Waltz (for you die-hard proggers, Martin Scorsese directed one of the best concert films of The Band's farewell concert in ' 76 and has become a staple of concert filming). Now to get technical here, if you don't have an amp with DTS capability, you better get one with this. The sound is absolutely immersive! The drums just thunder all around you. Manu Kache, IMHO is got to be one of best drummers today. As for concert DVDs, I have to rank this with Zep's DVD, Roy Orbison's Back and White Nights and Eagles Hell Freezes Over disc's as far as sound. All in all, great performance, stellar sound and great Peter, hair and all! Enough said, a full 5 stars.
Report this review (#33511)
Posted Friday, April 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Marvelous!

What can i say about Peter Gabriel that has not been said?, nothing...

Maybe i will repeat of the things that the most of the people refer to him, in his concerts, his theatrical performance, his superb voice, and his show in the concert, everything is just great. Secret World Live is an album, or in this case a DVD which show us the best of Peter Gabriel, i wish i was there , i saw him in Mexico, it was great, emotional , but not as excellent as in this DVD for example.

Fifteen songs , but 15 greeeat songs are here in this show, starting with Come Talk to Me, which show us since the beggining the road of the Video and concert, Peter is singing while he´s in a telephone box, some kind of act, and that´s in the most of the songs, one thing that i love here is that every Gabriel fan could be happy with the song selection, evrything from happy and danceable songs, to softer and calm tunes, passing for challenging and classic music, i mean you will stand up when you listen to Steam for example, but then with the ebautiful Blood of Eden you will close your eyes and enjoy the beauty of the music. In this tour we can see great musicians such as Tony Levin (who has his own show) and the exquisite prescence of drummer Manu Katche, also with the traditional african crew and sound that Gabriel has always loved and well placed in his songs.

As a video i think is great, because you will keep the eye on it without separate it, all the momenst are great, not really a weak point, besides music is great, the quality sound awesome and all the images, the performances are sooo great, that im sure you could love it without being a Gabriel solo fan, ery enjoyable and higly recommendable.

For sure 5 stars... easy!!!

Report this review (#33512)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars An Excellent addition to any prog music collection, that is what this amazing live show is. I have ti admit the temptation I had to put the 5 stars. But I don't do that often I'm afraid, and this is not a "masterpiece of prog music", but the best show I've seen on video in my whole life. Perfect setlist, wonderful musicians (Tony Levin, Manu Katche, Davis Rhodes, Pala Cole, Shankar, etc.), excellent camera direction and edition. You're gonna dance, you're gonna laugh and cry and you're gonna feel like you were there in fact. Don't miss this.
Report this review (#38800)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I prefer the other live DVD, because this one is very poppy and contains few prog .. but the music sounds great, Peter's voice sounds better here (he's younger), the songs have great melodies, a great female vocalist, and of course, it is a good upbeat show.

The highlight of the DVD for me has to be In Your Eyes ... It is already a beautiful song, but here it is stretched and played with perfection. It is musical ecstacy.

My Grade: B+

Report this review (#41740)
Posted Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cluster One
4 stars From his early days as a singing flower, to his most recent "Growing Up" Tour Peter Gabriel has always been a very visual performer. His 1994 "Secret World" Live Tour is no different. From revolving video screensand bottomless suitcases, to phone booths and a unique treadmill stage, Gabriel's Secret World stage show is a visual extravaganza that is entertaining to the viewer. Almost every song performed during this tour seems to have some sort of unique feature to it, making the show at times intimate, and at other times fun.

While frequently eye-catching (especially the camera work in 'Digging In The Dirt'!), the focus on visual stimuli at times does take away from what should be the central focus of any performer: the music. The DVD medium is visual after all, so most fans should appreciate the the work Gabriel and crew put together.

The music for the tour is primarily from Gabriel's 1992 studio album "Us", and is predominantly more 'pop' than 'progressive'. It is enjoyable, but connaisseurs of Gabriel's earlier (read: more progressive) albums might be disappointed with the sparse few songs representing this part of his solo career. Only 'San Jacinto' and 'Solsbury Hill' make an appearance, the former being quite moving and memorable, and the latter, surprisingly, coming across as quite bland and poppy.

The musicianship, as frequently noted in other reviews, is top-notch! I always get a kick seeing Tony Levin (of Crimson fame) playing Gabriel's more easy-going grooves. Seems like night and day when you compare his work with latter-day Fripp vs latter-day Gabriel music. Both excellent in their own right, but you can not get two more different styles!

There is a flaw that I'd like to point out about this DVD film of the Secret World show. That is the audio sync. It seems (even though not all that noticable) that the audio used for the film doesn't always sync up with what is actually being sung. This is not to say that Gabriel et al are lip-syncing! (Far from it) It just appears that maybe different versions of songs (from shows other than the night the film was recorded) are/were used at times.

An excellent, and visually pleasing film. Recommended, especially to latter-day Gabrielites!

Report this review (#47285)
Posted Monday, September 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This DVD is awsome! Apart from the good songs it's got, the whole visual thing is just amazing! Peter and his band sound really cool, here. The concert was really well made: it had a large stange featuring a square-shaped one, then a long kind of corridor and anotherone round-shaped. The band moves constantly from the square to the round stage. The light effects and the moving screen make the whole thing really awsome, as well as other things. There's one point on "Secret World" where Peter takes a kind of sutcase, puts it on the floor, opens it and it seems the whole band got into it (There was really a hole on the floor and the sutcase and the guys got under the stage throuhg the hole in the sutcase). You should also see " Digging in the Dirt". I got this almost two years ago as a present ( By that time I didn't know much about Peter's solo career, by that time I only listened to him in the Genesis era). Then, I thought the video was really great, and I begun liking the songs in here and I wanted to have some on a CD, so I downloaded :"Come talk to me", "Steam","Shaking the tree", "Solsbury hill", "Secret World", "Don't give up" and "In your eyes"(I was missing "Sledgehammer", but it was a good CD, anyway). Well, whatever. This is a really good video and it's really worth having. If you can't get it, just buy the album (listening to the songs is still a really enjoyable thing to do). If you can't get the album, well, download the whole of it, or just its highlights as I did. Awsome!
Report this review (#62912)
Posted Monday, January 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Many times people take for granted a name, or a brand, based on previous success. This is what happens here. I ve read these reviews and man, was I impatient to get this DVD. And I have to say I was very disapointed. Peter Gabriel who I know from Genesis is performing pop-rock for a couple of hours. The performance in itself is ridiculous, to say the least. So what is the "Secret World" of P. Gabriel? The african ancient tribal moves, it seems. I don't even know how to classify this.. cause it's not prog rock at all. This is simple music for punk kids, using cheap, well known avenues to get to be liked. Where is the performance from "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway? where is the Foxtrot unbelievable creativity ?.. This is just a poppish shadow of a past great musician. People who say they liked this DVD are either under influence, or don't have a clue of what good music is. I have complete discographies of King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Van Der Graaf Generator, Genesis (until 1978), Yes (until 1978), Pink Floyd (until 1980), Jethro Tull (until 1978), Tangerine Dream (until 1979). This is (was) true prog rock, not the umbayah hip-hop Mr.r Gabriel tries to push down our throats. To be honest with you, I can't buy it (even though I bought the DVD). I watched it several times, with intervals between sessions. It just doesn't run. It doesn't even walk.. it's more like crawling. I feel sorry for him, because I love Genesis with Gabriel. It is one of my most favorite prog rock groups. But this sucks real bad. And what is Tony Levin doing by participating to this non-sense? Another well respected musician, doing a travesty and trying to make us believe that it's good art. IT IS NOT. My only recommandation is not to purchase this DVD, even if you are a fan of P. Gabriel. Of genesis era, of course. I have his first solo album, and I consider it decent. Not great, but decent. Everything went downfall ever since, though. And this live performance is just outrageous for me. I would give it zero stars, but there is no rating with zero stars. Very poor music, mediocre performance, not even finishing the songs as they were onthe albums.. ohhhh don't get me started again. Just... don't buy it. With all respects for the site and people who invented and maintain it, Vali
Report this review (#86767)
Posted Friday, August 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a good DVD and visual performance from Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin and company. Peter Gabriel has the personal prescence as usual in driving his message home. There are some great ' jamming' moments too at certain times on the DVD. The quality is superb and I would have to highlight the following tracks from a live visual performance. Production wise we all know Gabriel will get the sound right! ' Across The River'- magical stuff ' San Jacinto' - beautifully done and arguably his best song ever ' Washing of the Water' ' Solsbury Hill' - still brilliant and ageless ' In Your Eyes'- A great way to end of a spectacular live performance. Recommended to all diehard Gabriel fans, you probably own this already
Report this review (#102529)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars As I have already mentioned in the "UP" review I kind of lost track of PG after the "US" album until my brother had purchased the wonderful live DVD "Growing Up Live". This DVD made me more PG hungry sort of speak. So after buying "Growing Up Live" myself I purchased the excellent "UP" followed by this DVD: "Secret World Live".

I must admit that my personal preference goes out to "Growing Up Live". Having said that I must add that "Growing Up Live" has won by a small margin, since "Secret World Live" is also a wonderful DVD.

I agree with Zitro: all 15 tracks on this DVD are gems, but "In Your Eyes" really stands out. All instrumentation is played to perfection and once again a PG DVD is not just to enjoy the music itself. PG really uses the medium to the max by creating a great show and it seems he is really enjoying to do so. PG's DVD's are there to be watched, preferably with the sound cranked up a bit, as if you were attending the concert yourself.

4 stars once again easily deserved.

(I will save the 5 star rating for "the other live DVD" )

Report this review (#109827)
Posted Tuesday, January 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a really great concert film from my personal favorite phase of Peter Gabriel's solo career. Captured from the performance in Globen of Stockholm, the impressive musician line-up breathes healing life to Peter's compositions from "Us" album and the classics from 1980's recordings. Tony Levin plays the bass guitar, Manu Katché evokes both rhythmic and melodic tones from the drum set, and there are also visits of Shankar on violin and Paula Cole singing the supportive vocals. The fine melancholic and ethnically colored compositions allow a pleasant evening of 1990's artistic pop/rock aesthetics, and also giving some stimulation to the senses seeking any intellectual aspects from the music too. Touching "Come Talk to Me" opens the set, showing us some of the stage mechanics of the concert hall. Some favorite picks here are the melodic and peaceful numbers like "Blood of Eden" and "Washing of the Water", but the band manages also to kick out some nice afro grooves from the positive rocker songs too. "Digging in The Dirt" works here well, melting with the man's hit "Sledgehammer", which is the best version of this song I have yet heard. Also the long "Secret World" is a truly powerful highlight here. One of my most favored pop/rock concert films from modern times, focusing to my fascination of being able to see the musicians and trying to get impressions from the concert event. Though I grow to unlearn my personal contradictions towards studio recorded albums, the live concert stage remains as the optimal context for sensing musicians' emotions and searching channels between the artist and audience on short strands of our experiencers on the vast oceans of space-time.
Report this review (#113095)
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars When it comes to music DVDs I find the majority of concert videos rather boring after one viewing, to be perfectly frank. Multiple shots of sweaty, posing rockers from every angle imaginable only goes so far with me. That's what makes this great live show even more special because it never fails to entertain and surprise. I've already posted my rave review of the CD of "Secret World Live" so I'll just concentrate on the visuals this time.

Sadly, I've never seen Peter Gabriel in person (although he's still on my list) so this may be the closest I ever come to experiencing the thrill and, in that sense alone, I feel that I now know exactly what it would be like due to this footage. Obviously the man is a charismatic performance artist that knows how to engage his audience and give them something they will remember forever.

Acute anticipation is registered clearly on the faces of the crowd as they hold lighters high in the darkened arena, waiting for the extravaganza to begin. A single red phone booth suddenly rises from the stage with Peter inside, lit from below as the opening strains of "Come Talk to Me" fill the room. Soon he is joined by his fantastic band members as they, too, rise from beneath. The door finally opens and Gabriel bursts out clutching the phone to his ear, the wire stretching and stretching like some existential umbilical cord as he fights and struggles to move away from the confines of the booth to reach the svelte Paula Cole who stands beckoning and singing to him from the second stage. It's a stunning, arresting way to start a show. (I also must mention that the close-up of drummer extraordinaire Manu Katche allows you a brief and rare glimpse of the man's passionate and powerful skills.) On the lively "Steam" Tony Levin on bass and David Rhodes on guitar accentuate Peter's theatrics by falling right into step with him before he takes the song right to the crowd out on the circular stage #2 in the middle of the hall. The dramatic aura the group creates on the instrumentals "Across the River" and "Slow Marimbas" as Gabriel picks up a long oar and steers the group gracefully out to stage #2 is awesome. This is no ordinary "Hello, Cleveland!" rock & roll gig, that's for sure.

As they start up the spirited "Shaking the Tree," lo and behold a modest-sized tree grows out of the middle of the stage as Peter & Co. dance joyfully around it throughout the tune. The honest energy and enthusiasm displayed by the band is impossible to fake and you can see they're having the time of their lives right on their faces. Their professionalism and total commitment to Gabriel's performance is exhilarating. With the tree still in place they next deliver the poignant "Blood of Eden" as the stage becomes fully bathed in dense red light. The subtle mood they establish shifts the emphasis to the emotional singing of Peter and Paula. "San Jacinto" may be the highlight of the concert for me but perhaps that's just because I love the song so much. Gabriel's expressive hand and body gesturing as he glides along the peninsula between the two stages is mesmerizing. A strikingly large picture of a full moon towers in front of him as he makes his slow journey and at the end his undulating shadow is projected up on the huge screen like the phantom ghost of some Native American medicine man. It's a perfect scene to compliment the haunting, eerie atmosphere the band creates.

Book-ending their soulful rendition of "Washing of the Water," the incredibly hot and funky "Kiss that Frog" and the universally recognized "Solsbury Hill" both demonstrate how choreographed moves don't have to come off as being hopelessly corny or awkward. It's a fact that no one here will ever be mistaken for Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, but Peter and his bandmates are simply having a ball and they aren't bashful about showing it. It's hard to believe these highly-esteemed, cream-of-the-crop musicians are having so much fun at the workplace. "Digging in the Dirt" is one bizarre detour off the interstate highway, though. Gabriel's stationary head-cam provides a freaky, slightly disorienting yet undeniably imaginative point of view that's unlike anything you've ever seen at a rock show. On the driving "Sledgehammer" Peter, Paula, Tony and David traverse the two stages freely, completely involving the gyrating audience that surrounds them.

Gabriel begins the magnificently sublime "Secret World" at his keyboard, then moves out to front the group as they trek through the ever-changing moods of the song. Pulsating strobe lights help to emphasize the torrid jam at the end before a row of travel cases comes streaming down a conveyor belt toward the band like lost refugees from an airport's baggage claim. Peter picks up the largest trunk and carries it out to the middle of the room where one by one each of the musicians walk away from their instruments, step inside of it and disappear from sight. Tony Levin, naturally a favorite with the audience by now, bids a reluctant adieu to his adoring fans before being the last to leave. Gabriel then closes up the bag and walks to stage #2 where a massive canopy drops over him. It's all very cool, folks, very cool. When it lifts for the encores the whole group and their equipment has reappeared as they play a somber version of "Don't Give Up" on a stark set. It works beautifully for this heart- wrenching tune. The concert ends with their phenomenally euphoric version of "In Your Eyes" that draws every person in the place (as well as the viewer at home) under its spell as the magic of tribal, celebratory dancing casts its irresistible charm over all in attendance. The arena nearly levitates. Wow.

If you've never quite figured out why Peter Gabriel is still considered one of the greatest performers to ever grace a rock & roll stage then you owe it to yourself to see this. The music is outrageously stunning and the visuals are breathtaking. You get the whole package. This is Mr. Gabriel at his peak of popularity and middle-age vitality and I have no problem in proclaiming it the best live DVD ever. It's that good. 5 very bright stars.

Report this review (#134738)
Posted Friday, August 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is so boring! A girlfriend of mine bought the dvd and so I got a bit interested being a fan of the old Genesis. Quite a dissapointment. For hardcore popmusic this is even a bad liveshow. I don't understand what might be the relation with this music and progressive rock. It is to simple for crossoverprog and progrelated. It must be the reputation of this once great artist that convinced a lot of people. Further a lot of symphonic amplification is used, but not in order to make atsmospheres. It reminds me of the latest Pink Floyd work.. without a soul, without a goal... without meaning. Like the music is composed by a chordgenerator on an msdos computer. No, I realy can't share the opinion of the most people that voted this dvd even in the top 20 best progdvd's ever. It just ain't prog. It just ain't interesting too. One star...
Report this review (#178186)
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Peter Gabriel - Secret World Live DVD

Review by progkidjoel

Peter Gabriel is a brilliant songwriter, and one of the few who can do what he does with such mastery and finesse in studio in a live setting. This DVD proves this, without a doubt. It contains a brilliant setlist, showing a range of Peter Gabriel's possible musical genres and expressions, from pop to full blown prog, and it does this all in a brilliantly majestic performance. Nearly every track is a highlight on this one, particularly SOLSBURY HILL (a personal favourite) which is a brilliant pop tune with massive prog overtones, and is played fantastically in this live performance with Peter Gabriel and his crew. IN YOUR EYES also stands out massively because of its massively energetic performance.

This is recorded fantastically, and leaves little to desire sonically. TONY LEVIN gives a powerful and energetic performance on the bass and Chapman Stick in this particular concert, and PAULA COLE does the same on vocals. The camera angles are always appropriate and engaging, and does what many live recordings find difficult to do - Show the audience what is appropriate 90% of the time.

A fantastic DVD, and easily reccomendable to nearly any prog (or in this case pop) music lover.

Enjoy, and buy it!


Report this review (#213126)
Posted Friday, May 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Gabriel has of course a name to hold up when it comes to playing live. So I was pretty curious to see this show, decades after I've seen him perform live myself. And great this is!! The stage setting is absolutely awesome, with the musicians standing 'in the round'. The lighting is superb and gives you a hell of a watching experience. But it's the music that it's all about. And that is great too. From the start you witness a very professional show with a well-thought choreography and use of sober but effective means like a real British telephone booth. 'Come talk to me' is a very good opener with ample possibilities for Gabriel to shine a light on him and on Paula Cole, no doubt a real asset in this performance. The sound is clear, the mix of instruments well balanced, the songs are performed in a sometimes very surprising manner. My personal favourite is no doubt the ballad 'Blood of Eden' that sends numerous shivers down my spine. So beautifully sung and played, almost unbelievable. But actually all songs are very, very good, including 'Don't give up' in which Cole succeeds in singing Kate Bush' part convincingly enough.

Yet there is one thing that turns out a bit annoying when watching the show. There is hardly if any room for spontaneity. All that is done and played is extremely well organised and performed but where is the interaction with the public? If there had not been any public, hadn't they played then anyhow? It is like a professional play instead of a rock concert. In that respect this show is probably a bit too much thought of, too much produced, too perfect. Therefore I won't give it 5 stars but keep to 4,5. Because it is a very, very good dvd.

Report this review (#301307)
Posted Friday, October 1, 2010 | Review Permalink

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