Peter Gabriel London Hammersmith Apollo
From page 98 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
Without frontiers. Save a stage barrier.
Creeping from the shadows to hiss and purr
through a cinematic rendering of his wire-taut stalker anthem Intruder , this show is a bold statement of intent. At last year’s O2 gigs, Gabriel performed his entire Scratch My Back album of orchestrated covers before delving all too briefly into his own backcat; tonight the focus is on Gabriel material, the orchestra emphasising the contrasts in his majestic canon.
So Darkness veers between soothing and serrated, terror and comfort; Red Rain is as obscene and powerful as a Tarantino set-piece; Signal To Noise builds from a faint throb to a crescendo of pure alien drama. The New Blood orchestra revels the challenge, recreating the earthy heartbeat of Rhythm Of The Heat , the Inca percussions of San Jacinto and the African funeral drums of Biko with plucked-string aplomb.
And when Gabriel’s not out to shake us, he’s straight-up sublime. A chest-swelling Mercy Street , a heartbreaking Don’t Give Up , A jubilant Solsbury Hill that sees an audience rush the aisles at an orchestral gig for possibly the first time since Metallica. That time it was to strangle the conductor, this time we’ve embraces on our minds. Monumental.