Astor Theatre, 26 Jun 2022
Steve Hackett and his band brought their Australian tour to a triumphant closure to standing ovations (three of) at the glorious Astor Theatre, Mount Lawley, Perth.
With tonight’s concert being the Covid19 reschedule of the cancelled 2019 tour Steve to give in a abundance with a two set concert. The first set focused on the 1977 live release “Seconds Out”, with the second set being dedicated to the earlier “Selling England by the Pound” (1973).
A visually stunning lightshow was the backdrop to allow six extremely gifted and talented musicians to combine their skills in an extravagance of seventies prog rock at it’s finest.
Nad Sylvan’s vocal range was totally suited to the Genesis songs, with his ghostly walk-ons and walk offs seeming supernatural. Jonas Reingold on bass and guitar was resplendent. Similarly Roger King with sumptuous keyboards added layer and texture. Rob Townsend on saxes, flues, percussion and keyboards gave supplementary swing, starta and gradations.
Craig Bludells drum solo during the final encore deserves special mention. It was mind boggling in it’s intensity following over two hours of thunderous pounding and intricate beating.
The stage set up was ideal with Rodger and Craig being raised on either side. Jonas was below Craig with his position was replicated on the other side, but not as extreme, by Rob. Sylvan was to the left of Rob leading to the centre stage which was taken by the mythical Steve Hackett. In the slower moments or when on the others took the limelight he sat back on a well-positioned stool.
I found that Steve’s virtuosity came across in the live setting with much greater depth, speed and light than on studio recordings. The version of Supper’s Ready was awe inspiring and Steve’s solo spot near the end totally breath taking. It brought the first set to a close and the first of three standing ovations in the Astor church.
On other times his deft touches was spine tingling. One of the ‘Selling England by the Pound’ songs turned into an almost jazz jam that seemed endless.
There was some early technical difficulties early on with some unintended feedback distortion following the might opener “Squonk”. Ben (sound desk) worked hard to overcome this and go on to produce an amazing sound.
This was a stunning night and it was great to see a full house once again at the wonderful Astor Theatre.