Review: Peter Gabriel – Back to Front

Peter Gabriel is one of the greatest things that ever happened to music and me, so it was only natural for me to attend the greatest sermon that ever graced my eyes. Yes, I tend to use hyperbole when talking about gods, so please bear with me.

The Back to Front concert hosted on the 8th of May of this sweet year (joking, this year has been everything but sweet to me) was met with great expectations by me, and I am happy to say that these expectations were surpassed by Mr. Peter Gabriel.

I tend to Google the plot synopsis before I watch movies and TV shows, but I never look for set lists online, because I want my live experience to be virgin and genuine. So, except for one video of In Your Eyes, I didn’t know what to expect from Back to Front.

Mr. Peter Gabriel is very punctual, fortunately, and I did know that, but I didn’t expect to see him at 8:00 on the stage, announcing the beautiful Jennie Abrahamson & Linnea Olsson, who served as his backing vocals too.

I was glad to see that this great artist I have loved since I was little was still full of energy, with his raspy voice somewhat changed – it has a deeper, more serious tone, but it’s still sweet and full of hope. Whenever I listen to him I managed to drift away and dream of home, and dream of dreams, all the while I’m dancing and floating in space.

I tried several times to tell you about this experience, but I never had the full dictionary available. I am so sorry for being so poor with regards of words, and I am sorry I lack the imagination to tell you about one of the most awesome experiences I had when it comes to live music.

I remember the crowd, that special crowd you see only when live „old music” is playing. The crowd that suffered the limitations of the old regime, the crowd that found liberation in music, the crowd that still has values and still dreams while having its eyes open.

I remember not fitting in that crowd, because I am too young to fit in there, but not fitting in the Tiesto crowd either, because that doesn’t make me feel safe or warm, but I also remember Mr. Peter Gabriel making me feel at home with his music, so I guess there’s no greater achievement for an artist.

I remember feeling quite unsure of how to dance and act during O But, but I remember feeling full of home while listening to Come Talk To Me. Shock The Monkey was great, of course, and innovator, but then Family Snapshot followed, and I was left WTF?!

Digging In The Dirt was there to remind us of Perter Gabriel’s eclectic taste in music, as were Secret World, and The Family And The Fishing Net. No Self Control was awesome, musically and visually, and with Solsbury Hill the Master touched old fans and new ones alike. This part of the concert ended with Why Don’t You Show Yourself?, a song that’s part of the soundtrack for a movie that’s a part of a trilogy about drugs, prostitution (I think) and religion. The song has a message, but I think its concept was lost somewhere on the way, because the public was very bored during the performance.

The peak of the concert was, of course, the reiteration of So, the 1986 album. Red Rain started this session with red visuals, and everyone singed along with Peter Gabriel. Sledgehammer followed up and everyone was already high on music, but when Don’t Give Up started it was clear that this is the best version of the song. I am sorry, Miss Bush, but Linnea Olsson beat you at your own game. That Voice Again and Mercy Street slowed down the people, but thank god for Big Time, whose only purpose was to renew everything in anything. This song is truly so much larger than life, even after all this time. We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37) is so underrated, and I really don’t understand why, and so is This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds). These two should’ve been taught in music classes, because stylistically they are so out of this world, I can’t even begin to…

The concert should have ended with In Your Eyes. Where else can I see 40+ year old guys singing songs that belong on teen flick soundtrack? But no, the next two songs pushed the public away, at least here in Romania. The Tower That Ate People and Biko ended in a distant note what should have been left at awesome.

The whole concert was a great experience, and I must admit that the crowd was even more engaged in the show than I expected. Even though some of the songs were a little bit too artsy fartsy for their own good, Peter Gabriel pulls that off, so kudos for him. I’d love to see him again!