Saturday, May 8, 2010

Peter Gabriel at the Hollywood Bowl Review by KAT of KAT TALES TV

The Visuals were stunning at times so beautiful that I didn't film them. Peter Gabriel has a voice that reaches into crevices and baptizes you.

Gabriel is like two competing angels One full of hope

and the Other warns of darkness. He is obsessed with blood imagery. It colors his lyrics. So many great songs all with out guitar or drums just with an orchestra.

At times I was sad. Watching Gabriel in concert is like watching a beloved family member grow older, larger while letting himself go and it frightens me. Makes me realize again that we all grow old if we are lucky. But what magnificent gifts he brings this angel called Peter Gabriel.
When "IN YOUR EYES" was played so many people were crying.

There was a serious desire to dance which caused an inherent problem. This concert was again with full orchestra with no drums and no guitar. Many times the music soared but something geriatric did happen like one of the previous reviews hinted. While I was looking up information on the concert prior to going, one review was critical of the older Peter Gabriel at the time I didn't get it but sitting there waiting to hear "SLEDGE HAMMER", I understood the slur. Matter of fact at one point during the concert feeling the need to get up and move around, I walked with a friend in one of the large aisles and mocked the stifleness that I was feeling by pretending to "get down" to whatever was playing. I laughed and so did my friend and it gave me some momentary relief for being sedentary.
Back to the visuals, Peter Gabriel has always been known for pushing the directorial landscapes of music videos. His concerts are no exception from the handsome conductor with the hypnotizing movements to the cameras catching the actions. Amazing dissolves from the singer to symbolic atoms of light. Other times a giant screen was used to emulate a body scanner for security at our terror crazed airports. Gabriel's obsession with blood ran through out the concert, on the large screens and on the main stage. One of my dislikes were the over head shots that looked down directly at whom ever was singing or the conductor. Those angles were not flattering or interesting to me. Neither was the helmet cam that scammered through the New Blood Orchestra (Peter Gabriel's name for his musicians). Those shots were irritating and useless to me. An over use of the technology that was so relentlessly available during the course of the show. It was entirely unnecessary and was over kill.
And speaking of over kill, another twist of the concert was how many drunk, angry, over weight and obnoxious people were at the show. I'm not joking. Through out the concert from our entrance, to going to buy water, to walking to our seats, men were blatantly staring, yelling to get attention, saying obnoxious things and just plain gross. We wondered what was going on? Do these people ever go out? Also, so many people were so intense. One person that we had the misfortune to sit near, took over 2-3 seats with his legs spread and his baggage. His belongings were so large. They were like carry on luggage in the middle of the row. Instead of him pushing it under the bench, he left it in the aisle so people tripped on it. He looked like the Unibomber. He sat at one point with is head down and looked like he was going to blow any moment which made me sit even closer away from him towards my friend. I saw one guy falling down the concrete stairs drunk. Alot of piggish behavior. Many people that we talked to noticed it as well. Very strange and it killed some of the enjoyment of the show. We also noticed that the Hollywood Bowl sold humongous containers of wine which encouraged the over drinking. You could hear wine/beer bottles breaking through out the show and people kicking the empty plastic glasses that were littered in the aisles adding an annoying distraction to the performance. The concert was primarily full and I can't imagined how many of those drunkards went and got into their cars after the show.
I saw Peter Gabriel several years ago in another venue and it was great with a light/livelier with a more sober crowd so this was a let down. If Peter Gabriel's next concert tour is like this one, I will have to skip it and just prefer to listen to him in the comfort and safety of my place not in an arena with a bunch of ancient Greeks and Romans in a drunken orgy.
So in total, are a majority of fans of Peter Gabriel reflective of the piggish drunks of the Hollywood Bowl crowd? I don't know but I hope not. I love Peter Gabriel but not in last night's type of atmosphere.


  1. unfortunately, your comments on the crowd are more the norm than the exception at the bowl in general in recent years...particularly with rock-oriented shows. just the amount of loud talking that people think is acceptable in an open-air setting is distraction enough. i lucked out and had a reasonably respectful group immediately surrounding me. i didn't find the technology over-kill. in fact, it was the most creative and impactful use of the visual and aural capabilities of this venue that i have ever experienced. the acoustics were also wonderful from where we were sitting. i, too, was hoping he would launch into a few of his more danceable hits, and think it wouldn't have detracted from the more reflective tone of the rest of the show (i wouldn't go so far as to call it geriatric). was also bothered that the show started so late. the opening singer had such a lovely voice. why didn't they let her come on a bit earlier and do more than 2 songs? thanks for your coverage of the show!

  2. Hey Kat, I completely agree with your very insightful review. Couldn't have said it better myself. Imagine paying HUNDREDS of dollars for a pair of tickets just so we can endure distractions like those you and I had to face. Outdoor venues kind of suck anyway. It wasn't a complete loss, however. I was introduced to Ann Brun's music. That's priceless. I'm now an instant fan..J.T....

  3. Waaaay too many "Sledgehammer" geeks carrying on bellowing conversations....with security guards! Man, the security people were louder than the drunks....and I guess they were paid by "bust" 'cause all they seemed to do was buzz around with flashlights shouting at people for whatever it was they were "doing". Post security at 20 yeard intervals and keep them there all during the show. It'll discourage rowdiness and let the punters enjoy the show.

  4. Hey Kat,
    Thanks for the review. I loved the show, even though, a few times I was anxious to hear something, anything upbeat.....
    Gabriels voice was full and mellow at the same time. I found myself closing my eyes and gliding through the melodies in a half trance like state,enjoying every bit of it.
    As far as the behavior in the crowd, I'm afraid that's the way it is anymore. A shame , isn't it? We too, found a few people around us talking, texting and generally not paying too much attention to the show, and, certainly, not caring about disturbing people close by. Those damn phone....OK, they're not talkig on them, but the lights and constant texting...Come on, can't you tear yourself away from technology for 2-3 hours?
    Seems any cshow or venue we attend there are so many rude people.
    But, we get through it and the show was enjoyable.

  5. Actually, I rather disliked the show. From where I was sitting (admittedly in the nosebleeds) the audio was horrible. They really need to check the mix in the "cheap seats" before finalizing it.

    Also, the mix of songs were not inspiring - in fact they were just the opposite - oppressive sums it up. And I much prefer Gabriel's more somber music... so that is saying something.

    Finally, Anna Brun and her Bjork-like warblings were just all wrong against Gabriel's soaring grovel. It just didn't work for me.

    All in all, I was disappointed in the show (and, no, not because he didn't play Sledgehammer).

  6. I also thought it was a terrible show. One of the worst I've been to and I see a lot of shows. His voice sounded amazing, but he sucked any joy and life out of the songs. There was just something incredible flat about it.

  7. No offense to Gabriel!!! I have been a huge fan for years and will always love his music. Having said that, I thought the show sucked. I had a hard time staying awake. With such a massive library of great material,I only heard a handful of what I wanted to, and no it wasnt Sledgehammer. I thought the brunette singer sucked, and was flat most of the time. He can afford to hire an entire orchestra, but cant find a suitable replacement on "wipe out the noise" to sing the tribal part. What a horrible show and a massive waste of money. Not having any guitar or drums made everything empty, while lacking dynamics. In a word....BORING

  8. Prince Frederic von Anhalt was there sitting near the back! I'd never have thought PFVA would be a Peter Gabriel fan. Or he was just hoping that there would be someone really famous there and he'd get noticed.

  9. I appreciate all your comments.

  10. Just wanted to be clear, in regards to to my dislike of certain camera angles, I meant the camera angles that went straight down from above. For instance when the dark hair female singer was singing, the camera went straight down from her head to her chest. I don't want to see the scalp of a singer or up her nose.
    My Best

  11. What can I say? Whenever I go to a live show I hope that the show will rise to one of my top ten....doesn't have to be the best, but I hope it'll be up there....sadly...this show might just be in the bottom ten....Sorry.
    If he could have mixed it up a bit instead of giving us a full first hour+ of "funeral dirge".

  12. Kat,

    Thanks for your footage and review.

    You were not alone in your frustration of weenies. My friend and I had a very loud and very drunk man behind us who kept shouting things like 'play Red Rain' or 'Nice one' - in fact we could not hear the closing song because of him shouting things like 'it's just the orchestra - bring out Gabriel again!'

    I think that alcohol is not the issue; failure to remove obnoxious weenies from the show is. (Disney Hall would never stand for this stupidity.)

    On a good note, I loved how Gabriel's music grew and matured with beauty and dignity. He was, and remains, a wonderfully creative force.