at The Sage, Gateshead, U.K., May 15, 2013

If you grew up in the ’80s, the chances are that the name Genesis conjures up memories of quirky Pop songs sung by that housewives’ favorite cheeky Cockney, Phil Collins.  Yet if you step back a few years into the ’70s, Genesis was a very different beast altogether.  Fronted by the enigmatic Peter Gabriel with Collins tucked safely behind the drums, Genesis were one of the leading purveyors of Progressive Rock, whose music was characterised by sprawling epics, intricate time changes, and dramatic, symphonic passages.

Whereas Gabriel and Collins took the lion’s share of the limelight in Genesis, it was arguably guitarist Steve Hackett’s musical input that not only propelled Genesis to the very top, but was the very heart and soul of the band.  Genesis were never the same after Hackett left in 1977 following the release of Wind and Wuthering.

Steve Hackett

While both Collins and Gabriel went on to enormous solo success outside of Genesis, Steve Hackett quietly set about releasing well over 20 albums to great critical acclaim.

With Genesis in a seemingly permanent state of retirement for the past few years, the chances to see any of their classic songs performed live has been restricted to the odd tribute band here and there.  Fortunately, Hackett decided to celebrate his tenure in the band with the recently released Genesis Revisited 2, an excellent double album featuring newly recorded versions of Genesis classics, and to construct a live show based around his Genesis material.

For music of this stature, The Sage really was the perfect place for a show like this and with tasteful, atmospheric lighting enhancing the ambience, combined with artistic video displays, this was a treat for Genesis fans.

Steve HackettAlthough  the 25-minute epic “Supper’s Ready,” the jewel in Prog Rock’s crown, sent fans into delirium, it was perhaps the more succinct “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” and “The Lamia” with its haunting, ethereal choral backing that impressed the most, along with a shimmering “Entangled,” which sent shivers down the spine as it reached its rousing crescendo.  This was music of the highest calibre.

Hackett, alongside Steve Howe from Yes and King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, became the standard bearers for a generation of bands that put an unattainable standard of musicianship to the very forefront of their craft, and when he stepped forward for the solo during “Firth of Fifth,” it truly was a show-stopping moment.

Johnny Rotten and Co. supposedly consigned music like this to the confines of history back in 1976, yet as the grandiose “Los Endos” reached a bombastic climax, you just had to look around the packed hall to realize there will always be a place for well-crafted songs performed by musicians at the very top of their game.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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