Review: Steve Hackett – 'The Total Experience: Live In Liverpool'

“What we have to bear in mind, when choosing the songs, is what they mean to the fans. Time has a way of turning them into an emotional calendar for people. These songs take on an importance and become part of their lives. So, when I do them live, authenticity is important.” The good news is, the music on this recording is as deep and as contemplative as the day I first heard it, and Steve Hackett is true to his word. Part of that ‘authenticity’ is the vocal of Ned Sylvan, who covers the Genesis tracks better that I could have expected. I have seen him perform a number of these tracks before, but somehow he manages to capture the complex lyrics that Gabriel put together, while honouring the structure that the songs took on when Collins assumed vocal duties. It’s inevitable that we have favourites, and for me, the ‘Firth Of Fifth’, ‘The Musical Box’, and ‘The Cinema Show’ are as immense as the recording in Paris in 1976. It’s spellbinding, and time is irrelevant. From Hackett’s solo work the, ‘Shadow Of The Hierophant’, and, ’Ace Of Wands’ stand out for me. Both are songs from the ‘Voyage Of The Acolyte’. ‘Hierophant’ seems to take on a life of its own when performed live. Vocal duties on this one fall to Andrea Lehmann, who has played this track with Steve Hackett often, but the performance takes on its own life each time I hear it. Every time on firing up this song is like the first time. Steve Hackett is the torch bearer for progressive music. There is no road left  untravelled, and no new world left undiscovered. He is a humble man, but this recording bursts with his willingness to give everything to the audience, and based on the quality on show, we can only hope that he continues to record, release, and tour his music well into the future. This is sheer passion, and the immense musical talent displayed is breathtaking. It’s also very pleasing to see Steve Hackett take a moment to enjoy the music that he has created, and for the audience to show their appreciation for a true musical driving force. Setlist: • Corycian Fire intro • Spectral Mornings • Out Of The Body • Wolflight • Every Day • Love Song To A Vampire • The Wheel’s Turning • Loving Sea • Jacuzzi • Icarus Ascending • Star Of Sirius • Ace Of Wands • A Tower Struck Down • Shadow Of The Hierophant • Get ‘Em Out By Friday • Can-Utility And The Coastliners • After The Ordeal • The Cinema Show • Aisle Of Plenty • The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway • The Musical Box • Clocks • Firth Of Fifth CD 1 – songs 1 to 13 inclusive CD 2 – songs 14 to 23 inclusive DVD 1 – covers the entire setlist DVD 2 – covers rehearsals, a behind the scenes documentary, and videos for ‘Wolflight’, ‘Love Song To A Vampire, and ‘Corycian Fire’ Review: Craig Grant]]>

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