Steve Hackett – Montreal Review

Steve Hackett – April 9th 2016

Steve Hackett is having fun.

Regardless of the preciseness, hard work and experience  which goes into his guitar playing, bottom line – Steve Hackett (the former Genesis guitarist ) is having fun.

On a chilly Saturday evening at Place des Arts, “Corycian Fire” from Steve’s brilliant  2015 album Wolflight immediately warmed the crowd. A mass predominantly consisting of aged Genesis fans. Hackett’s deft touch welcoming souls into what would become a three hour tour.


“Spectral Mornings,” showcased Hackett’s tenderness and bending like a diamond on display. Note-for-note duplicating the record’s virtuosity along with it’s diversity. Never straying except into the consciences of the creative.

“Love Song to a Vampire”, a ballad introduced through Roger King’s masterful piano, soft and soul exploring. The  ‘Wolflight’ track placing Hackett as important today as his Gabriel— inspired yesteryear. ‘Genesis sounded like Hackett’ could be argued.

Roger King

Hackett and his band were tight.

Roger King ( keyboard), Roine Stolt  (bass and 12-string guitar), Gary O’Toole( drums percussion and backing vocals), Rob Townsend (Reed instruments, keys and percussion)were the core. The frame for an examplenary body of work.

Nad Sylvan, the gentle giant – rounded it all together (he voiced the Genesis tunes in the second half). Part overgrown pixie, part Peter Gabriel; Sylvan admirably filled a hard void with an octave perfect effort. Angel- like wings adding images for the ages. Scaring some, leaving no one indifferent.


If Hackett did not have everyone in attendance in love with the performance, leading on 12-string with ‘the band’ lending background vocals on the tune ‘  The Loving Sea’ cemented the musical foundation. The tune  was dedicated to Steve’s wife Jo. Ambiance and love, the arrow to her and the audience’s heart.

Hackett is a prog- Rock kinda guy. Genesis, heavily influenced by cartoons and fairy tales and Hacketts’s solo work as engaging, creative and fun.
“Icarus Ascending,” “Star Of Sirius,” “Ace Of Wands,” “A Tower Struck Down” and “Shadow Of The Heirophant,” closed the solo ‘first act’.

‘The Voyage Of The Acolyte’ complete, The ‘Wolfflight’ soaring. Nostalgia was about to be revisited.


Original Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks was the instigator for the pleasures of “Get Um Out By Friday”.

Roger King admirably allowed the spirit of Genesis into the room on the onset of act two. Vocalist Sylvan providing fodder into Genesis purists after – show discussions as the second half, ‘Genesis revisited’, commenced. ‘Genesis created Hackett’ arguments began.


“Can-Utlility and the Coastliners” from Foxtrot (1972), caught everyone off guard except Hackett’s expertise as a player. Old dogs do not require new tricks. Hackett’s fingers as quick as a foxtrot over a garden wall. A song ripe for talent and Hackett delivered.

Townsend was brilliant all night. Flute, Sax – always allowing spaces as his notes pleased the ears.“Cinema Show” doing just that as his Sax, the tune’s Sax – brilliant as the sun’s rays on a worn out piece of metal


Everyone knew  “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” and “The Musical Box,” were coming.

The masterpieces were pieced together Saturday by a band not just collectimg paycheques. They are a band which stepped it up repeatedly.

Stolt nailing the bass. King filling in and leading as a perfectionist. Townshend, gluing the music with intermittent bursts of expression while the old pro Hackett stunned the ‘punters’.


Genesis and Hackett songs seem like hard work. Complex. Attempting air guitar or invisible drum rolls evokes memories of sweat.

As  “Clocks (The Angel Of Mons)” and  “Firth of a Fifth,” placed exclamation points on a evening’s (life) work, the Montreal audience was hot with applause. Genesis and every member past, present or future can do no wrong in Montreal.

Some – such as Hackett, can do no wrong better than others …



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