DVD review: PETER GABRIEL – Live In Athens 1987

Eagle Rock (BluRay)

There are two things you can be certain of with a Peter Gabriel gig – you know it’s going to be a great show and you know you are going to be entertained. Back in 1987 Gabriel was touring the highly successful “So” album and, having spent and having spent many months on the road, wound the tour up with three shows in Athens.

These shows were recorded for what would become his first concert film- now they have been stunningly re-mastered with only the bands clothes and some of the choices of instrument giving away the fact that the original tapes are over a quarter of a century old.

For the first time we are treated to the entire opening act from Youssou N’Dour, an energetic set of world music, it sets up the evening brilliantly. With the main show from Peter Gabriel you get everything you would have seen on the night, or three, and more. With atmospheric songs like “San Jacinto”, “Mercy Street” and “Here Comes The Flood” fitting in nicely alongside the bombastic “Intruder” or “Shock The Monkey” and the mega hits such as “Sledgehammer”, “Games Without Frontiers”, “Don’t Give Up” and “Solsbury Hill”.

Youssou N’Dour joins the band for “In Your Eyes” before Gabriel delivers an emotionally charged “Biko”. The show perfectly captures Peter Gabriel and his stunningly tight backing band at the absolute peak of their ‘80’soutput. Extra material on the first disc includes the “Sledgehammer” video mixed in 5.1 audio and a 1986 interview with Paul Gambaccini in which Gabriel talks about his plans for the videos for and touring of “So”.

The second disc “Play: The Videos” features 23 promotional films, and you get the sense that these are some of these groundbreaking videos that helped shape the music promo’s of today. Extra material on this disc includes “Don’t Give Up” live in 2004, promo videos for “Modern Love” and “The Nest That Sailed The Sky” and a handful of trailers for other Gabriel films.

All in all this is a very nicely done package, the care that has been taken in re-mastering the live sound and film footage is outstanding and I can see this selling very well.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

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