Way back in 2012, former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett released a follow-up to his 1996 album Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited, which, as the title suggests, featured a number of classic as well as lesser known Genesis songs. On Genesis Revisited II, Hackett pulled out all the stops and, together with a host of guest musicians, finally took on long-time fan favourites such as the gargantuan Supper’s Ready, The Musical Box and Return of the Giant Hogweed. Now, there’s the live document Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith to accompany that release.
As Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith comes in a lavish 5-cd box set, with the set list spanning three cd’s and a dvd (a second dvd offering a small but enjoyable behind the scenes featurette), the best option would seem to review the dvd here, as it logically offers the most complete of the experiences here.
If you’re a fan of the older, more progressive Genesis of, say, up to Wind and Wuthering, you’re in for a treat here, although chances are you already sneaked a peak at the tracklist below and figured that yourself. We’re being treated to what’s arguably the best stuff Genesis has ever put out (at least whilst the band was fronted by Peter Gabriel). At the very least, it’s the most complex. Complexity apparently does not matter one iota for Hackett and his band, though, as the nineteen songs are translated from the studio to the live stage without losing any of their quality. The show itself is adequate. Nothing spectacular, but lots of moody lighting and a video screen in the background. Then again, it’s the music that counts, and you can’t say anything wrong about the performance itself.
Perhaps the biggest star of the Genesis Revisited tour is Nad Sylvan, who does such a good job of channeling early Peter Gabriel it’s almost eerie. If you close your eyes (or just listen to the audio cd’s), you’d swear you’re listening to Gabriel himself. He’s that good. Just as unbelievable is the musical execution, which is just about perfect. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard and seen a live performance this good. The band doesn’t miss a single beat here, which is both an asset and a curse, depending on whether you already own the Genesis Revisited II album. The tracklist is wonderful, of course, but deviates only slightly from what the studio album already offered, and the songs are performed so perfectly that, beyond I Know What I Like, Dance on a Volcano, Firth of Fifth and Los Endos, there isn’t really any incentive to buy Live at Hammersmith if you already own the studio release.
Still, every fan of Steve Hackett and Genesis will eagerly lap this up and be able to thoroughly enjoy what’s on offer here. It’s a cracking set of songs, performed by an exceptional group of musicians. Live at Hammersmith shows Hackett on the very top of his game. Mandatory stuff for every fan, even if you never even touch the three discs spanning audio track.
Label: InsideOut Music
- Watcher Of The Skies
- The Chamber Of 32 Doors
- Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
- Fly On A Windshield
- Broadway Melody Of 1974
- The Lamia (feat. Nik Kershaw & Steve Rothery)
- The Musical Box
- Shadow Of The Hierophant (feat. Amanda Lehmann)
- Blood On The Rooftops
- Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers…
- …In That Quiet Earth
- Afterglow (feat. John Wetton)
- I Know What I Like
- Dance On A Volcano
- Entangled (feat. Jakko Jakszyck & Amanda Lehmann)
- 11th Earl of Mar
- Supper’s Ready
- Firth Of Fifth
- Los Endos (incl. Slogans)
- Steve Hackett – guitars, vocals
- Roger King – keyboards,
- Gary O’Toole – drums, percussion, vocals
- Rob Townsend – sax,flute, percussion,
- Lee Pomeroy – bass
- Nad Sylvan – vocals
- Nik Kershaw – vocals
- Steve Rothery – guitar
- John Wetton – bass, guitar, vocals
- Jakko Jaksyzk – guitar, vocals
- Amanda Lehmann – guitar, vocals
Review by Ralph Plug