Peter Gabriel puts on stunning show in Glasgow as legendary frontman looks forward

It was the first time that Gabriel had performed in the city since 2013
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As the large clock ticked down to 8pm when Gabriel was to take the stage, there was a real buzz of excitement amongst the crowd as the 73-year-old made his return to Glasgow for the first time in almost ten years.

There’s been a lot of attention in recent times given to AI (artificial intelligence) which the former Genesis frontman joked about early on in the concert as he spoke about the contrast between his gig and Abba’s Voyage in London in which he made a quip about going in the opposite direction to them and now being “20 years older, 20lb heavier and bald.”

Peter Gabriel on the i/o world tour. Picture: York Tillyer (Realworld)Peter Gabriel on the i/o world tour. Picture: York Tillyer (Realworld)
Peter Gabriel on the i/o world tour. Picture: York Tillyer (Realworld)
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Although he may be one of the last in a generation of classic rockers, there was plenty for any musician to learn from Gabriel as he had the audience in Glasgow in the palm of his hand for the entire concert as he spoke about different aspects of life and the earth in between songs. He also showed that he still has some moves about him which were best displayed when he closed the first set of the night with hit song ‘Sledgehammer’ from 1986 as he danced around the stage to the funky backbeat of his excellent band which includes David Rhodes, Tony Levin and Manu Katche who all appeared on his legendary album So.

The full setlist at the OVO Hydro was:

  1. Washing of the Water
  2. Growing Up
  3. Panopticom
  4. Four Kinds of Horses
  5. i/o
  6. Digging in the Dirt
  7. Playing for Time
  8. Olive Tree
  9. This Is Home
  10. Sledgehammer
  11. Darkness
  12. Love Can Heal
  13. Road to Joy
  14. Don’t Give Up
  15. The Court
  16. Red Rain
  17. And Still
  18. Big Time
  19. Live and Let Live
  20. Solsbury Hill
  21. In Your Eyes
  22. Biko

There was a break between both sets as ‘Darkness’ opened the second set of the evening with it closing on Solsbury Hill. Gabriel then took to the stage for two encores which included ‘In Your Eyes’ and then ‘Biko’ which closed the concert with a powerful image of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko as Gabriel departed the stage after he had reminisced about having a great connection to the city to the days of Green’s Playhouse.

This was no greatest hits tour as a large amount of the material which he played will feature on his forthcoming album i/o which is yet to have a release date. His refusal to play into nostalgia was positively met by the audience who immersed themselves into the experience which at times felt like a theatre production due to Gabriel’s magnificent stage set up which included complex visual spectacles arranged by theatre director Robert Lepage which included specially commissioned artwork from the likes of Ai Wei Wei.

It was a powerful experience with the concert having a rich mix of striking complex visuals and melodic sounds matched by Gabriel’s terrific stage presence who had the crowd chanting and waving arms before the arena lights came on.

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