New Blood: Live In London (DVD)

Peter Gabriel

Eagle Vision, 2011

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Pushing the envelope and constantly reinventing himself is not new to Peter Gabriel, and it’s something that his fans are quite used to. So taking his songs on the road and doing a tour with a 46-piece orchestra instead of a rock band might not seem that shocking Gabriel’s fans. However, this definitely is somewhat of a strange concept, since the danger of losing the vitality of a rock show by swapping carefree rock musicians with uptight classical musicians is almost too apparent.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

What is more surprising than the fact that there was a missing rock band on Gabriel’s New Blood tour was that the rock band was not missed at all! The lucky ones who managed to be at one of these concerts would attest to this. Although a totally new experience, the New Blood tour was anything but drab. All the songs on this tour had completely new treatments, perfectly suiting an orchestral sound. This wasn’t just taking any Peter Gabriel song, and adding some strings and brass to it.  Even the song selection seemed thoughtful – hence no “Steam,” “Sledgehammer,” or “Big Time,” which might not be the best choices for this setting.

As is the case usually with Peter Gabriel, this tour was a rich audio-visual experience, with the visuals playing a huge part in making the concerts more spectacular. The dramatic sounds of the orchestra rending Gabriel’s loaded songs wouldn’t have the same effect without the splendid lighting and imagery effects. The lanky orchestra conductor Ben Foster had his own visual dynamic going on with his extremely animated (almost stiff-necked and steely), robot-like conducting style.

The DVD, recorded live on the two London shows, was filmed in 3D. But the experience isn’t compromised without the 3D effects, as this was shot with no fancy motives. Apart from a couple of contrived 3D moments, this was intended to be a regular concert movie. Although it is a good recount of the two shows, the DVD obviously is no competition to actually being in the audience. It doesn’t capture the depth and magnificence of the show, and for someone who has actually been to one of the shows on this tour, this DVD might pale big time in comparison, or even come across as anemic. However, though the visuals aren’t as compelling, the music still is. In which case, the New Blood album might be a better deal.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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