At The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., October 16, 2021

Steve Hacket (Live at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., October 16, 2021)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It’s been quite a couple of weeks for lovers of Prog Rock giants Genesis in Newcastle. A fortnight ago, Genesis themselves made their first appearance in the region in almost a quarter of a century as part of their Last Domino Farewell Tour and now it’s the turn of Steve Hackett, guitarist during their classic ’70s period.

Since leaving, Hackett has been more prolific than all of the Genesis alumni put together with no fewer than 26 solo albums released including two this year alone. The fact that his innovation and creativity shows no signs of abating while maintaining such a high quality of output is astonishing.

Tonight, was a show of two halves. Literally. The first half focussed on his solo work with the supremely melodic “Held In The Shadows” and the deliciously fieldish “The Devil’s Cathedral” from his latest release, Surrender Of Silence sounding every bit as thrilling as opener “Clocks – The Angel Of Mons” from his 1979 Spectral Mornings and the slow burning drama of “Shadow Of The Hireophant”.

After a short interval, the second half delivered the main course of the classic Genesis double live album Seconds Out in its entirety from opener “Squonk” to “Cinema Show” including the haunting “Aisle Of Plenty” addendum.

While “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” was probably the closest to a Pop song that was aired all night it was the majestic Prog Rock of Afterglow with Nad Sylvan singing with an intense passion while a stunning curtain of spotlights created the perfect accompaniment to the music.

“Firth Of Fifth” never fails to reach the heights and this evening was no different as Hackett’s beautiful guitarwork was masterful, showing a grace and melody few others possess earning the first long ovation of the night.

Hackett has certainly pulled together a world class ensemble of musicians befitting a guitarist of his stature from the fluid drumming of Craig Blundell and the slick bass playing from Jonas Reingold of The Flower Kings, it was a sight and sound to behold. With the atmospheric keyboards of Roger King and the woodwind of Rob Townsend adding the icing to the cake, every part was an integral piece of the overall sound, all essential, nothing superfluous. On Prog Rock’s piece de resistance, “Supper’s Ready”, every sinew of musicianship was stretched over it’s nigh on 30-minute length. Breathtaking stuff.

Encores “Dance On A Volcano” and a dramatic “Los Endos” closed the show in suitably epic style as an excitable and hugely appreciative Newcastle crowd roared their approval leaving Hackett and his band visibly moved by the reaction.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • 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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