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Gabriel may be less wired than before, but he commands the arena with effortless charm and charismatic presence, his voice retaining all its paradoxically fragile power. Presented in the main with an understated blue light and shot in an unobtrusive, gimmick-free style, the concert begins and ends in virtual darkness with Gabriel alone at a keyboard; from the opening "Here Comes the Flood" to the final "Father and Son", Growing Up is rock theatre of rare intimacy, emotion and intelligence.
On the DVD: Peter Gabriel: Growing Up Live is presented with a flawless 16:9 anamorphically enhanced picture and three soundtracks: rich and clear stereo, excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 and even more precise and detailed DTS. The Story of Growing Up is polished nine-minute documentary in which Gabriel talks about his ideas for the tour and the presentation of some of the songs. Tony Levin's View (five minutes) sets the song "More Than This" to photos taken by the bass player. Finally there are six sets of subtitles, including English. --Gary S Dalkin
The set list largely remains the same (some people got a few alterations at their live shows) and thankfully keeps the stunning opening track 'here comes the flood' and the quiet closing of 'father son'. Fan's of Gabriel's 'Secret World Live' will be glad to know that the visuals are far better than it's prediccessor and that the sound quality is still of the highest standard.
Peter always looks at home on the stage and his preformance is nothing short of his best. Their are few artists out their who sound as good live as they do in the studio and Peter is certainly one of them.
The big question is - will their be a live album to support the DVD? Again fans of 'Secret World Live' will have the live album close to the CD player just as I do. We can hope!!
In short, after almost a decade of being away from the world stage 'Growing Up Live' just shows that even in his Fifties Gabriel still remains as cutting edge as ever. This is the perfect addition to any fans collection.
THE DVD (131 Minutes)
The disc loads quickly, and has a simple and effective set of selection screens. The set includes a few old favourite such as Red Rain, Mercy Street, Solsbury Hill (performed by PG while riding a bike around the stage).
The first number starts with PG on his own playing a stripped down keyboard version of 'Here Comes The Flood' to great effect.
It's at these quiet moments that you realise just how good the audio is. You really do need to pump this disc through Digital Surround system. PG used his Real World recording Studios for editing the disc. The result - a powerfully immersive and crystal clear audio production.
The live shows utilised digital realtime video editing, and all that footage (the show on the disc is from one show in Milan, and not spliced with an assortment of different shows)provides both intimate on and under stage clips, and 'in the gods' boom mounted clips with 360 degree rotating capabilites.
The colour is very good rich with dense blacks. The momentum of the whole gig has been caught beautifully in all its full-on digital, multi-media glory.
If you liked Previous Gabriel gig video (Secret World Tour) you will definately enjoy this more...unless of course you don't like the new album.
Very accomplished, very professional, they all look like they are having a ball.
No tantrums, no attitude, no bum notes.
The story of Growing Up, Tony Levins tour photos, Noodle: Mac OSX, and Windows interactive special.
Gabriel continues to show how it should be done with this live DVD. Own it.
*The Good: The setlist / The Lighting / The Direction (Hamish Hamilton deserves some sort of large golden medal for this one) / The Sound / The Atmosphere (thanks to a great crowd) / The Band (so Good!) / The technical aspects of the show are done with expert precision and to maximum effect / Amazing songs /
This is truly musical theatre. The addition of elements such as the Zorb and the Light Jacket and the expert delivery of every song further cements this as one of the tours sure to be remembered for a long time.
*The Bad: The show had to end
Bottom line : See this DVD and see it with some Volume, it is by far my favourite !!
PG's voice has improved with age - there's a melancholic, soulful edge to his delivery now and on some of the slower material here [flood, father son] it really is very moving indeed.
the mechanics of the show are fascinating to watch - i enjoyed seeing the 'orange' men at work in the split screen. to me it made sense given the theme of the show [and PG's explaination of Downside Up]. amazing use of technology which manages never to overwhelm the music, just enhance it. also, for such a big production on the stage, the music is actually quite sparse, with the musicians playing very economically - less is truly more in this instance. it leaves an eerie breathing space when you're listening which is a delight. so if you're a fan of flashy guitar solos you might be disappointed!
and if i haven't convinced you yet, just get the DVD for the Blind Boys of Alabama at the end of Blue Sky. i defy you not to be moved.