New Steve Hackett video - Somewhere in South America



Camino Records CAMCD29 (2 CD)

Camino Records CAMVT29 (VHS)

Set list:

The Floating Seventh, Mechanical Bride, Medley, Serpentine Song, Watcher Of The Skies, Hairless Heart, Fifth Of Fifth, Riding The Colossus, Pollution, The Steppes, Gnossienne # 3, Walking Away From Rainbows; Sierra Quemada, The Wall Of Knives, Vampire With A Healthy Appetite, A Tower Struck Down, Lucridus, Darktown, Camino Royale, Intros, In Memoriam, Horizons, Los Endos.


Official Steve Hackett web site

Back to Dusk #41


  Watching this video, listening to these songs, I started thinking that we, the 'fans', are really weird. I personally heard and read, the negative remarks about the 'Italian Tour' the Steve Hackett Band did on July 2000, when Steve, past 9 years since his last electric tour (not considering the 4 gigs with the 1996 Japanese dream band), came back with his Fernandes, choosing Italy to introduce the fans a live show featuring some new songs.

I heard and read complaints about the fact Steve didn't talk at all during the shows (didn't realizing the particularly dark atmosphere of the show, in fact during the acoustic shows did before and after that tour Steve was rather talkative). But I also heard and read complaints about Steve's band (against the leader's thought, which in Molfetta declared that was the best band he ever had, Genesis included) and, these are the worst ones, complaints about the set list: those who thought Steve's dedicated a too little space for Genesis (if 4 or 5 songs means little…), those who didn't like the new material, and those (including myself) who complained about some choice of the set.

But if we try to be honest for a moment, we must recognize Steve Hackett, at least in the last 5 years, being the only Genesis member, doing a good job in terms of continuity, coherence and quality. The electric tour which, during the summer legs, he presented to Italy (2000), South America (2001) and US (2002), showed him in a brilliant shape. He got such a solid band who plays so well, and an excellent choice of set lists, which took a look at the past without being pathetic or nostalgic, projecting himself to the future with some unreleased songs, being in my opinion some of the best things he ever wrote, and I'm even a bit disappointed seeing these songs presented for the first time on a live CD and not in a studio version.

It's true (and I wrote the same on issue 33) the new songs heavily relies upon Crimson influences. But also we should admit that if “Talk to The Wind” wasn't ever wrote, a song as “Serpentine Song” would be an astonishing tune. And that “Mechanical Bride”, with those typically Hackett-esque oddities, is a powerful live opener, after the 'noise' introduction of “The Floating Seventh”.

Genesis are widely represented by five songs, even tough they're shortened versions, which was quite a wise choice, in order not to take a risk of ruining them with bad vocal performances, especially in front of such a traditionalist audience of Genesis fans.

Representing the rest of Steve solo career, there's the '93 medley (which features “Myopia”, “Los Endos”, “Imagining”, “Ace Of Wands” and “Hackett To Bits”), a bunch of songs from “Darktown” (title track and “In Memoriam”) and “Guitar Noir” (“Walking Away From Rainbows” and “Sierra Quemada”) and a few great old favourites: “Camino Royale”, “The Steppes” and also “A Tower Struck Down”. At the end the only things I personally could live without were the usual “Riding the Colossus” (aka “Depth Charge”) and “Vampyre With A Healthy Appetite”, one of the less convincing song of the entire Steve career, which isn't certainly the thought of the composer since he plays it so frequently and evidently loves it.

Waiting for the DVD, available on January 27th, featuring interesting extra material filled with backstage and soundchecks from Italian 2000 tour, the concert, recorded at Buenos Aires' Teatro Coliseo on the 1st July 2001, was released on 9th December in a double digipack CD and on VHS. We know that Billy was given, actually, only the official broadcast recording of the local network, which didn't keep all the other cameras recordings (for this reason the multi-angle feature won't be present on the DVD). So don't expect for any extra features but only a professionally shoot of the gig, with a few cameras, a good audio and video quality, in which you'll see an excellent performance of a fine band, comprising apart from Steve, Roger King on keyboards, Gary O'Toole on drums and backing vocals, Terry Gregory on basses and backing vocals and Rob Townsend on saxes.

Mario Giammetti