Hall of Fame inductee (2010), Steve Hackett has been long regarded as a guitar pioneer, having been accredited with starting the ‘tapping’ technique later made famous by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, and also for his sweep picking. He has been an inspiration to many generations of budding guitarists, so it was no surprise his shows here in Australia had gathered much interest.
Having not been a huge Genesis fan myself, it was with a certain level of trepidation that I made my way to the Palais Theatre. I mean, of course I was familiar with Genesis, but only a fraction of their very impressive and vast body of work. So, as I took my seat in the stalls, I had a very open mind as to what I was about to bear witness to.
Steve Hackett joined Genesis in 1971 after Peter Gabriel, the vocalist for Genesis, replied to an advert that Steve had placed seeking like-minded musicians to play with. Genesis was looking to recruit a guitarist, and after auditioning, Hackett seems to be the obvious choice.
The first Genesis recording to feature Steve, was the 1971 release “Nursery Cryme”, after which he contributed to another 5 studio albums, 3 live albums and 7 singles.
Steve released his first sole effort, “Voyage of the Acolyte” whilst still a part of Genesis in 1975.
Spending his life as not only a phenomenal guitarist, but also a singer, songwriter and producer.
The evening started off with an introduction to some of Steve’s solo work.
Opening with ‘Every Day’ and ‘Il Nino’, and then moving onto ‘In the Skeleton Gallery’, ‘Behind the Smoke’ and ‘Shadow of the Hierophant’
One thing that was particularly noticeable from the outset was the outstanding lighting. Given Steve’s unbelievable guitar prowess, the lighting was choreographed and timed perfectly to enhance the mood of every song.
Having enlisted a quality team of musicians to join him on this tour, including Roger King on keys, Gary O’Toole on drums, Rob Townsend on sax/flute, Nick Beggs on bass and Nad Sylvan on vocal duties (for the Genesis tracks), Hackett was set to produce an amazing performance.
Transitioning into the Genesis material, ‘Squonk’ was first followed by ‘Dancing with the Moonlit Knight’ and ‘Fly on a Windshield’.
It was then quite clear what the audience were there to see, with the Genesis tracks being totally lapped up.
‘Broadway Melody of 1974’, ‘The Carpet Crawlers’ and ‘Eleventh Earl of Mar’ are the next string of gems to bestowed upon us.
The amazing lighting was continuing to accentuate every note, with heavy green and blue hues making it have a definite psychedelic feel.
Fan favourite, ‘Afterglow’ came next followed by ‘Dance on a Volcano’ and one of my own highlights, was when Steve played ‘Firth of Fifth’ which is arguably one of his best known solos.
Rounding off with ‘The Musical Box’ and ‘Supper’s Ready’ to close out the main set.
Time for the encore, and the audience were treated to ‘Myopia’, ‘Los Endos-part1’, ‘Slogans’ and ‘Los Endos-part2’ with a final conclusion, which got the audience to their feet to give a huge and well deserved round of applause.
It was hard to believe that such an amazing sound and technical ability was nearly lost after Steve severed nerves and tendons in his left hand when he accidently crushed a wine glass. Thankfully, however, he recovered and went on to continue a very long and creative career, which I am now fortunate enough to say I have seen for myself.
Review Contributed by Jodi Marino. Photo Gallery can be found HERE