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Steve Hackett - 'The Total Experience - Live In Liverpool' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2c/0d/27/steve-hackett-the-total-experience-live-in-liverpool-36-1476123500.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 10, 2016    
 
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This is a "must have" for Steve Hackett and Genesis fans. Brilliant!

I had the privilege of witnessing two gigs of Steve Hackett's 'Acolyte To Wolflight' Tour, but neither represented the total experience as whilst both guests, Amanda Lehmann and John Hackett, were present at the London date, due to time constraints 'A Tower Struck Down' was truncated to fit in the full version of 'Shadow Of The Hierophant'. Here, on this 2CD/2DVD collection, we get the whole nine yards. It's all well shot with multiple camera angles, but not too much flitting between them, and with excellent sound this really conveys just how hot Hackett and his band were during the tour, and indeed how good the entire production was; with terrific lighting enhancing the music.

As an aficionado of Hackett's music, I could very easily quibble about favourite tracks he omitted from the set, but I think he got the balance spot on with the new album getting good exposure whilst also delivering some classic solo material. There is no way he could leave out 'Spectral Mornings' or 'Every Day'; the re-introduction of 'Star Of Sirius' is also welcome. The new tracks shine very brightly indeed with 'Love Song For A Vampire' being particularly notable for its power and intensity. I suspect that will be a live staple going forward. However, if I had to choose a highlight from the first set it would be the inclusion of the quite superb 'Icarus Ascending'. Nad Sylvan does a sterling job on the vocals, so memorably sung by Ritchie Havens on the album.

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The second set then takes in Hackett's Genesis legacy, music he is very proud of and determined to keep alive for the many fans starved of this material. Hats off to him again for not re-treading the same as the 'Genesis Revisited' tours as in the main he's selected different and, in some cases, probably unexpected, material. I got that same frisson of delight on hearing 'After The Ordeal' as I did during 'Icarus...' and despite it not being a guitar track, he pleased the cognoscenti with 'Cinema Show'.

Rounding out the set in very fine style are the Hackett track, 'Clocks' – albeit with its overly long drum solo – and the absolutely obligatory 'Firth of Fifth', a track that encapsulates all that is great about the man's music.

DVD extras include three videos for songs from the 'Wolflight' album plus two documentaries. The first is behind the scenes at the Liverpool gig and the other being of rehearsal footage. Across the two, there are multiple interviews with band members, tour management, sound engineer, lighting man etc. Mostly, these are worth watching; my only gripe being some of the editing. I'm not sure we need to hear from almost everyone interviewed, some more than once, that the show was in two parts, solo stuff followed by the Genesis bit. That aside, this is a "must have" for Steve Hackett and Genesis fans. Brilliant!

Gary Marshall

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