Peter Gabriel - Back to Front Tour - Toronto 2012

Peter Gabriel Back to Front Toronto 2012 ok ok no

Peter Gabriel thrills the crowds at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, with 'Front to Back' - The 25th Anniversary of the So Album.

Remember the days when you would put on an album, get comfy on the sofa & spend a enjoyable hour listening to the complete LP, while reading every single word on the jacket cover - a thing of the past these days.

With today's iTunes and most people simply buying one song at a time, which gets added to the shuffle of endless one hit wonders. The depth of an artist's collection are going unheard, the art form is dying.

Perhaps, it's nostalgia that brings it all back, I was just thirteen years old and hurried home from the record store with Peter Gabriel's Security LP & did just that, planted myself on the sofa and listened to album from start to finish; the way it was intended. 

Gabriel doesn’t hit the road that often, making this one of the most highly anticipated Concert Tours in 2012. Arriving at Toronto's Air Canada Centre on September 28th, saw Peter Gabriel bring the 'Back to Front Tour' - The 25th Anniversary of the So Album. The band consists of all the original musicians from the 'So Tour' (Tony Levin, David Rhodes, David Sancious & Manu Katche), all terrific performers in their own right.

The concert started with Peter Gabriel explaining the format for the concert: An acoustic set, an electric set and then the entire SO album, the way it was released & likely the first time anybody has ever done this.

ok ok no Peter Gabriel So 25th Anniversary Tour

Back to Front Tour Toronto Peter Gabriel

The first set was comprised of a unfinished song and amazing de-constructed version of Shock the Monkey. It was at this point, I knew why this man is able fill stadiums full of fans from their early teens and bring pensioners to their feet.


Peter Gabriel in Your Eyes

The Electric set featured, Family Snapshot, Digging In The Dirt, Secret World, The Family And The Fishing Net, No Self Control and the ever favourite classic Solsbury Hill.

Similar to the original So tour, the mobile lighting cranes return. Each one featuring a long arm which pivoted in all directions with four lights fitted to the ends. Moved along a track set around the stage, each crane was controlled by men clad in black outfits and masks.

The cranes where not only a lighting device, but a method of convey emotion; soothing at times, threatening at others, they helped create the atmosphere perfect for each song - at times Gabriel would reach out to touch the lights. My words do no justice for how this is visualized during the show.

Seamlessly moving into the final set with Red Rain, the backdrop bathed in red offering a very dramatic effect.

Don't Give up performed with back-up singer Jennie Abrahmson, while she did a good job, no one could fill Kate Bush's shoes in my eyes or ears . . .

Mercy Street, one of my favourite songs from the So album, saw Gabriel lay on the ground while the crane lights hovered over him. An intensely emotional song based on the book of poems by Anne Sexton, institutionalized for mental therapy. Sexton made 5 suicide attempts, the 5th being successful . . .  Gabriel portrays the the helpless & despair in Mercy Street.

We do What We're Told (Migram's 37) followed, based on Stanley Milgram, a Yale professor who had subjects administer electric shocks to a person if they answered a question wrong. The person being shocked was an actor who writhed in pain as the shocks got more intense. Milgram wanted to see if the subjects would administer the shocks when the experimenter told them to, even though they were causing apparent pain in the person. Almost all subjects administered the highest level of shock despite the actor pounding the wall in apparent agony.

During the song, the lighting cranes were moved to the front the stage & following a very mechanical and methodical motion . . . We Do What We're Told

Followed by 'This Is The Picture - Excellent Birds' (the Album version features the legendary Laurie Anderson)

In Your Eyes, one of the bigger hits from the So album, always a favourite with the audience, the band on stage, especially with the extended long format version.

Encore performance, The Tower That Ate People - featuring a nice surprise, showing that you can never under estimate Gabriel - During the performance, a round lighting fixture slowing moves down and engulfs him in a white large tube.

The last song of the night was the legendary Biko, a South African activist who was brutally killed while jailed. Long used as the anti apartheid slogan song, Gabriel dedicated to “all the young people facing injustice in the world”. An emotional show with ends with Gabriel walking off stage with the words, "It's up to you!" One by one the band members leave, until the just the drums remain.

             Peter Gabriel, you are one of a kind . . .  performer extraordinaire!

01 **Untitled Song**
02 Come Talk to Me
03 Shock the Monkey
04 Family Snapshot

Full band:
05 Digging In The Dirt
06 Secret World
07 The Family And The Fishing Net
08 No Self Control
09 Solsbury Hill

So live:
10 Red Rain
11 Sledgehammer
12 Don't Give Up
13 That Voice Again
14 Mercy Street
15 Big Time
16 We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)
17 This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds)
18 In Your Eyes

19 The Tower That Ate People
20 Biko

Peter Gabriel - On NPR Audio Interview (33 minutes)