Steve Hackett | Sage Gateshead | 17May 2017

Reviewed for The Northern Echo

Steve Hackett, one of Prog-Rock’s finest and most prolific guitarists returned to the Sage this week with a new tour offering an opening set of career-encompassing solo material followed by a Genesis set largely focused on their 1977 “Wind and Wuthering” album, his last with the band.

Opening with “Every Day”, he followed with “El Nino”, the first of three numbers from his latest album “The Night Siren”. “Behind The Smoke” and “In The Skeleton Gallery” proved dramatic, but this was topped by “Shadow of the Hierophant” which featured the long haired, kilt-wearing bassist Nick Beggs sitting cross-legged on the floor playing his bass pedals with his hands.

The Genesis material was beautifully handled - “One From The Vine”, “Blood On The Rooftops” and “Afterglow” were all highspots. The keyboard intro to “Firth Of Fifth” elicited cheers and Hackett duly delivered a note perfect version of the song’s iconic guitar solo. “The Musical Box” was greeted rapturously, “Inside and Out” was the evening’s rarity, and “Los Endos” brought the evening to a thunderous close.

Hackett’s band is superb – drummer/vocalist Gary O’Toole, keyboardist Roger King and multi talented Rob Townsend on saxophone, flute and keyboards joined the aforementioned Beggs and vocalist Nad Sylvan. The flamboyant Sylvan, in his finery, succeeded in the unenviable task of handling both the Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins vocal parts without imitating either.

It is a pleasure to not only see Hackett continuing to release top quality solo albums, but also keeping the memory of classic Genesis songs alive in such splendid fashion.


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