Today’s music is lost …
That is the first thing that comes to mind midway through the third song in a Steve Hackett show.
Whether he is revisiting his solo catalogue, traversing backwards through time and dipping into the Genesis well or orchestrating his new record, one thing is common. The songs are complete, diverse and filled with musicality and storytelling. In other words; Hackett is a true artist.
The show commenced in the present as Hackett and his A list band showcased tunes from the new album The Night Siren. The studio version contained the band with an additional twenty musicians from around the world. All handpicked by Steve to get his message of peace across. In the words of Hackett to a sold out Place des Arts ; ‘Music brings people together unlike politics …
Please Don’t Touch, Every Day, Behind the Smoke, El Niño and In the Skeleton Gallery were mesmerizing. In this day and age when the top selling shows at The Bell Centre are poisoned by over-the-top dance routines, auto – tuned vocals and divas both male and female, Steve Hackett is a breath of fresh air blowing strongly from the past.
Hackett and his former band Genesis were ( along with King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer) cutting edge in the late sixties / early seventies.
Predating Glam Rock, Disco and Punk music, Hackett et al combined fairy tale sensibilities and classical music into Rock n Roll. Orchestrated symphonies into energetic jams. Fast forward to 2018 and albums such as The Night Siren and Wolflight from 2015 are crafted from the same lump of minstrel -influenced clay.
Sculpting along with Steve on the tour are musicians Roger King (keyboards), Gary O’Toole (drums/percussion), Rob Townsend (saxes/flutes),Jonas Reingold (bass, stick & twelve string) and Nad Sylvan on vocals. Six magicians working on unison to paint a live masterpiece.
Most Rock shows ( including Genesis post 1980) rely on hits to generate ticket sales and audience reaction. Unlike his Alma mater, Hackett does not.
‘ I don’t like hits ‘ Explained Hackett introducing the one song he had a hit with on MTV with his project GTR . ‘ Bad luck …no no no hits – thank you ‘
What Hackett relies on is talent and craftsmanship. Songwriting. Much like early Genesis who really didn’t hit the mainstream charts with regularity until A Trick of the Tail in 1976 ( ironically the first album without Hackett ).
Following a brief intermission , the group of maestros returned and plunged profoundly into the Genesis pool. Into the deep …
Dancing with A Moonlit Knight, One for the Vine and Inside and Out. A trio of classic Genesis songs which evoked passion from the punters. The genesis of Genesis is Quebec and Montreal after all. A Province and City which catapulted the band around the world. The mostly ‘over fifty’ male crowd at Theatre Maisonneuve – fitted with Genesis Peter Gabriel / Steve Hackett DNA.
Firth of Fifth, The Musical Box and Supper’s Ready. Complete with Nad Sylvan doing his best Gabriel / Collins impression; pre – video Genesis were in the building. Hackett grinning ear to ear playing songs from Selling England by the Pound. His favorite album and Firth of Fifth – Hackett’s ‘ masterpiece’.
Los Endos was the encore. A firm and passionate version from the album Trick of the Tail delivered with perfection from Hackett and his mates. A tune as poignant, if not more so than it’s release in the mid seventies.
Music that is not lost …