SECRET WORLD LIVE
10 out of 10
Just this month I have seen the be all end all live show of live shows. Hands down, the best show I have ever seen or been a part of. I have seen, work at, or worked with around 1,000 shows over the years, and this month I saw Roger Waters the Wall Live. And it was amazing. You can read my review of it right HERE.
I say this because in that review I posted the top 5 shows I had ever seen. And I was wrong. I am fixing that here and now.
In 1993 I was in the US NAVY and home ported in the Bay Area of California. We were underway so much that we never got so see many shows, and we didn’t dare buy tickets in advance because we never knew if we’d be in the country let alone town come the day of the show.
So it was a happy accident that we were in Oakland the day Peter Gabriel brought his magnificent Secret World Live tour to town. We didn’t have tickets to the sold out show, but we went anyway, confident we could score them from the scalpers out front. And we did just that.
While Peter Gabriel was never that big on my radar, I knew who he was, and I was familiar with his body of work. That was prior to his phenomenal US album. I mean, everyone knew his big album SO, and the megahits off of it Sledgehammer and In Your Eyes (best use of music in a movie ever kudos go to Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything… . Who can forget John Cusack standing on the hood of his car with a boom box over his head blasting the song at a sleeping Ione Skye?). Red Rain and Don’t Give Up where on there too, I mean to say it was a good album. But in 1986 when SO came out I was ‘all metal all the time’ and didn’t appreciate the great songwriting, musicianship, and lyrics that made up SO. It wasn’t until Gabriel released US that I really connected with his music.
Which brings us back to Secret World Live. Watching the DVD was an eye opening experience. So many things were forgotten about that night in Oakland, or taken for granted, or simply softened by the passage of time. Being able to relive it now is a special treasure for me.
Secret World Live was one of the most innovative shows I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to ruin anything here, but the opening song Come Talk to Me and the English phone booth was one of the aspects I hadn’t forgotten and highly recommend you see. Pretty much every song is ‘acted’ out on stage, whether it’s lighting, props, or a giant hill of dirt. The set list comes alive on stage in a myriad of lights, bodies and effects.
Peter Gabriel’s band is simply remarkable. With Many Katche, Tony Levin, David Rhodes, Jean Claude Naimro, Shankar, Levon Minassian, and a relatively unknown (at the time) Paula Cole on vocals with Peter, they take a large collection of instruments from song to song and weave a tapestry of sound as thin and soft as a silk worm’s trail to something as loud and raucous as a Sledgehammer (see what I did there?) with a stunningly brilliant deftness.
All of the expected Gabriel hits are here, Steam, Blood of Eden, Solsbury Hill, Sledgehammer, Don’t Give Up, In Your Eyes and Red Rain. The bonus material consists of a ‘making of’ some special remixes with tour photos, a time lapse of the stage being built, and a bonus track from 2011.
There is no reason why you should not get this DVD. It has everything. I didn’t give it a 10 out of 10 because it brought back some great memories for me, it received the 10 because it is a ridiculously amazing show that everyone should experience once. I could go on for another two pages about the band, Paula Cole’s vocals, Peter Gabriel as a front man and ring master, The effects of the show, video, lighting, sound, camera work, and how it all comes together to rival anything Pink Floyd has ever done, or how it is light years beyond anything U2 could ever hope to do.
Want to see how a real rock show is done? Secret World Live is the way to do it.
Want to see Peter Gabriel at his best? Secret World Live is the way to do it.
Want to see Paula Cole before Dawsons’ Creek fame? Secret World Live is the way to do it.
Want to see Come Talk to Me, Steam, Digging in the Dirt, and In Your Eyes brought to life? Secret World Live is the way to do it.
See a trend here?
Secret World Live reminded me that even though I thought I’d seen it all, sometimes we forget the magic that we have experienced, and we can still have the breath knocked out of us by the brilliance that we have witnessed in the past today.