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Peter Gabriel performs the So record at the Nokia Theather, Jones Beach

Peter Gabriel has taken to touring again– this time with the original band of the So album, including innovative bass player Tony Levin, drummer Manu Katche, and guitarist/backing vocalist, David Rhodes. Gabriel’s performance on Sunday evening at the Jones Beach Nokia Theatre gave new life to the album, played in its entirety for his Back to Front tour.
Opening for Gabriel was a lovely surprise set from vocalist Jennie Abrahamson, who played a short acoustic set with bassist and vocalist Linnea Olsson. Abrahamson’s ethereal manner and vocal style set her perfectly between vocalists like Elizabeth Cocteau and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. With just her piano and Olsson’s bass and on-point harmonies, Abrahamson performed her single, "Hard to Come By," as well as a cover of "Atoms for Peace" by Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

Though the audience itched for Gabriel to commence the show, the artist took the time before his set to present the legal team for jailed Russian punk band, Pussy Riot. Also present were the husband and daughter of one of the band members, who are currently fighting their conviction. The incident has sparked global concern for the welfare of the band, who are serving their sentences in a Moscow prison.

Following his plea for support for Pussy Riot, Gabriel announced to the crowd that the show would be performed in three parts: an acoustic set, an electric set, and finally, the So record. Starting with "Come Talk to Me," Gabriel worked his way through an acoustic "Shock the Monkey," and "Family Snapshot," finally leading into So with the full band performing "That Voice Again," "SledgeHammer," "Red Rain," and "Don’t Give Up," assisted by Jennie Abrahamson for the parts originally sung by Kate Bush.

Since his days as the original frontman for Genesis, Gabriel has build a reputation for his wild, unique live shows. Though limited with the constraints of a theater on the water, the artist did not disappoint with a full light show and effects. Crawling across the stage during songs like the darkly emotional "Mercy Street" were tall light stands that lurched downward over a supine Gabriel. "In Your Eyes" became a near-ten minute session supported by light show as the band danced around the stage, with Abrahamson stepping in again to offer a string of improvised vocal melodies over the bridge and chorus. Another circle round with the entire band, including Olsson, for "We Do What We’re Told," resembled a seance of sorts between the song’s intrinsic uncanny nature and Olsson and Abrahamson’s childlike vocals.

Overall, Gabriel proved to fans that time has not rusted his caliber as musician or performer. A flawless performance showed no sign of the artist slowing down any time soon. His energy and unmistakable tone have made Gabriel a relevant artist through the decades. With a mainstream lacking such truly gifted progressive artists, take the opportunity to see Peter Gabriel performing his award-winning So while you still can.

© ConcertBlogger, by Rachel Margaritis
Last modified onSunday, 30 September 2012 12:15


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