When is a tribute band not a tribute band? It’s a question that begs answering this evening. RTM has written on numerous occasions about our dislike of bands called Iron On Maiden, Tin Lizzy or whatever. Never been our thing.
Tonight we are here to see Steve Hackett play songs made famous by Genesis. Now, let’s be honest, there is a key difference here. Between 1971 to 76 Hackett was the guitarist in Genesis, so if anyone is entitled to play them, you would suspect it’s him.
So it is in fact that he is in this room for the second time in six months – and close to full it is too. RTM heard rave reviews of the first concert, so when the second leg got announced, starting at Symphony Hall, where the last leg ended, we had to get down there.
Tonight’s gig is unashamedly Genesis, with more or less the same setlist as back in May. Last year Hackett released the “…Revisted II” record, a second volume of re-interpretations of songs from his past, and stunning it is too.
A weighty show, clocking in at two and a half hours, begins with “Watcher Of The Skies” before continuing with “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” – our absolute favourite Genesis song - and the band do it justice with a brilliant rendition.
Music like this needs a fabulous band, and luckily it has one. The musicianship is exemplary, not least from Hackett himself, who is a superb guitarist, routinely playing majestic solo’s, with arguably the pick of these is “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe).
What it also needs is a fair measure of theatrics, and extrovert singer Nad Sylvan provides it in spades, elevating this from mere concert to performance, as does the brilliant video show that plays behind the music throughout.
The great thing about the Symphony Hall is that it is a venue that although large, is somewhere with a real intimate feel, and really, you could be watching brilliance in your living room at points, despite the fact there are well over a thousand people crammed inside.
The early Genesis classics keep coming – and “Suppers Ready” is particularly good – and Hackett is really the only person that is mining this stuff for our enjoyment. So to answer the first question we posed: A tribute band is not a tribute band when it contains an original member who is playing music he help create and doing so in a quite marvellous way.
Hackett was spellbinding tonight, and if he wants to sell England by the pound again we will buying.