When I read over the summer that Peter Gabriel was touring around the 1986 album “So,” I got a leetle beet OCD, didn’t consider whether or not I truly wanted to see the show and bought tickets.
Of course last night, I’m like whatever. I totes didn’t want to go. I’m glad I did. John Cusack was there.
My first exposure to Peter Gabriel was the video for “Sledgehammer,” which confused the crap out of me. I was five. It had fish, that weird exotic flute-ish sound, stop-motion graphics and references to fruitcake. Like, wtf? A few years ago that tasty bass line sucked me in, and I haven’t turned back. Other than that, Peter Gabriel to me was John Cusack and a boom box for “In Your Eyes” and the airy, light “Solsbury Hill,” which must have been in some early 2000ish movie cause peeps playing it like wildfiya those days.
The show was at the Hollywood Bowl – a behemoth of a venue (seats 18k) and LA’s kind of go-to for big shows. It’s hilly and expensive and surrounded by trees. The stage reminds me of an igloo, white and domed. You either have to pony up 22 bones to use the stacked parking lot or park out of your way and walk. The place is an energy vampire.
Pete is an interesting guy. I’ve heard he’s bipolar, which would explain his oeuvre of really heartfelt love songs combined with some intense industrial angry stuff, some he played last night and none of which I had heard. To me, his work is really binary, in turns revealing what seem to be the disturbing thoughts of his tormented mind and a resulting belief that love is his only deliverance.
He’s now in his sixties, as far as I can tell, his once-full head of hair replaced by a white patch that lines only the back of his head. He wore a long black robe thingy – almost in an effort to take nothing away from the music. He struggled with some of the higher notes, and I was surprised by how much it didn’t faze him; it demonstrated a kind of sage appreciation and understanding for/of getting older. He loved being up there.
I think the thing that most resonated with me was his voice. I had never fully appreciated its uniqueness, its honesty – it’s one of those voices of a generation. It’s more Generation X, which makes me take pause thinking about how uncool I am, but nonetheless.
John Cusack himself brought out a boom box before the beginning of “In Your Eyes,” in homage to the romantic scene in 1989’s Say Anything. Every girl knows the one. Come on, guys do too. Cusack looked on approvingly from the side of the stage as Peter sang. We’re all older now, but these are the things we won’t forget.
Concert no. 1 = COMPLETE