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I'm Chris. I'm 22 years old and I'm into a large variety of music, from Metal in its many forms (mostly the extreme ones) to Goth and Postpunk, Reggae, Jazz, Prog, Techno, Ambient and Film Scores. This is where I rave about albums I really like, and other stuff.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Peter Gabriel - Encore Series 2007 (23.06.07 London, UK)

Peter Gabriel - Encore Series 2007 (23.06.07 London, UK)
"Official Bootleg", themusic.com

The Encore Series. As an idea, this is just great. A soundboard recording of all the individual shows from the tour released as a double CD that you can buy. Really, this is the ultimate concert souvenir. Peter Gabriel first released Encore Series albums for his Growing Up and Still Growing Up tours in 2003/4, and then for 2007's Warm Up tour (and then again for his 2009 shows). Presented in a double digipak sleeve with artwork it does have a very "official" feel to it. The show in question here is the one I attended, at the festival Hyde Park Calling in June 2007. It was one of the greatest, if not *the* greatest concerts I've ever seen and being a big PG nut it was just brilliant to be able to see him live after waiting something like 13 years for the chance.

The "Warm Up" tour was a bit of a special one. Prior to the tour, PG posted a big list of songs on his website that hadn't been played in a few years (some not played since the early 90s, some going back even to the early 80s) and allowed the fans to vote for the ones they wanted to hear the most. The resulting set lists were then built around the results of the voting. Take a look at the tracklist and you see oldskool titles like "On The Air", "Intruder" and "I Don't Remember", all of which feature on the 1983 "Plays Live" album and have most likely not been played since then at all. "No Self Control" is performed as per the original version, not the jazzed up version from the "So" tour and onwards. "Lay Your Hands on Me" is a real nice suprise as is the more obscure "Lovetown". Of course a selection of the usual hits are offered: "Solsbury Hill", "Sledgehammer" and "In Your Eyes" as well as "Steam". Along with "Blood of Eden" this is all that was heard from my favourite "Us", as this was a festival show it was sadly trimmed down a little: other concerts were lucky enough to get the amazing "Secret World" and "Digging in the Dirt", but I can't complain really as I chose to go to this and it wasn't the only UK date.

Now to the sound. It's a soundboard recording offering a good balance between band and crowd. Professionally mixed, of course, so no worries there. The main point of the Encore Series is its "warts and all" approach: this is not a polished, edited "live" album: this is a LIVE album. All the mistakes are included, and there are a few: PG occasionally messing up a line or two, the noticeable off key intro to "Rhythm of the Heat"...but this is forgivable in light of the really strong performances by the whole band and my own personal bias, I should think. Its great to be able to actually listen to this show and have a relic of it, given it was now 5 odd years ago I couldn't remember the details as much as I would have liked and I was also suprised I could still even get the CD. A great thing to get if you were at one of the shows.

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