Secret World Live (2012 reissue DVD)

Peter Gabriel

Eagle Vision, 2012

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


The remastered release of Peter Gabriel’s marvelous Secret World Live concert movie is worthy for those unfortunate fans who might have missed the Secret World tour or the original DVD, which was released in 1994. Even for those who were lucky enough to be in the audience, this DVD would surely bring back memories of the iconic image of Gabriel stepping out of a telephone booth. And why shouldn’t one miss out on reliving the experience of being part of this tour, since this movie does complete justice to the fact that this would have been one of the best concerts one would have ever been to.

Gabriel is known for his cutting-edge music videos; in fact, the video for “Kiss That Frog” ended up as a CGI music video/motion simulator ride film and toured the world. Hence, it is no surprise that these concerts, which were filmed across two nights in Modena, Italy, were a spectacle on a grand scale. From the two-stage concept – “male” and “female” – to a giant rotating screen, to all sorts of props, Gabriel masterminds an all-encompassing theatrical experience without making the show overly cheesy.

The movie exquisitely captures the magical concert experience, and it is quite epic in the way it does it. In fact, the movie adds another chapter to the tour, creating its own unique spin on the shows, which in itself is an experience. From the way the concerts are shot, each track can be a music video on its own, most notably the performance of “Digging In The Dirt,” which is presented in its entirety through the quirky view of the headcam that Gabriel wears during the song’s performance.

The real essence of the movie is how beautifully it captures the musicians performing on this tour, whose roster is a long name-dropping list: Manu Katche on drums, Tony Levin (flaunting his creation “funk fingers,” alongwith the assortment of uncanny bass guitars he plays throughout the shows), and Shankar (with his extraterrestrial electric double violin) are just a few that are totally amazing to watch.

Aside from the main feature, the extras in this reissue do offer some desirable nuggets. It includes the performance of “Red Rain,” which was not a part of the original DVD. It also has a pretty cool timelapse film of the assembling and disassembling of the complex stage. Additionally, it contains a remixed “quiet” version of “Steam” that sounds totally different form the original and has the orchestral performance of “The Rhythm Of The Heat” from the New Blood: Live In London DVD: a bit of promotion, one can say, from the producers of the DVD; nevertheless, it is an awesome complimentary live performance for those who already haven’t checked out the New Blood DVD or haven’t seen Gabriel perform with a 46-piece orchestra.

Secret World Live is one of the best concert movies of one of the greatest tours ever. Not that a Grammy recognition is any testament to good work, but the award for Best Music Video – Long Form that this movie won in 1996 was a Grammy put to good use. Even after almost twenty years, the concerts are still jaw dropping. As Gabriel embarks on a 2012 North American tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his legendary record So, this reissue comes as a reminder to catch this genius live while he is still performing.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2012 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Eagle Vision, and is used for informational purposes only.