Peter Gabriel Plays South Philly

It’s never a bad idea to give the people what they want. When Peter Gabriel toured the ironically named ‘Up’ a decade ago, he showcased virtually all of the quirky album and tossed in just a few familiar cuts. Audience reaction was minimal.
Fast forward ten years and Gabriel is on a tour, which showcases his most accessible and popular album, ‘So,’ which was released a quarter century ago.
The uncompromising Godfather of prog-rock delivered ‘So’ front to back in front of an enthusiastic crowd Friday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Gabriel kicked off the show with a short acoustic set, that included a new song dubbed ‘OBUT.’ The popular ‘Shock The Monkey’ was followed by ‘Family Snapshot,’ a visceral look back at the Kennedy assassination.
Before slipping into ‘So,’ Gabriel and his band, which still features the rock solid bassist Tony Levin, delivered the brilliant deep album cut  ‘The Family and The Fishing Net’ before a version of the creepy ‘No Self Control.’
And then there were the fan favorites from ‘So,’ starting with ‘Red Rain.’ Jennie Abrahamson did her best Kate Bush during the ‘Don’t Give Up’ duet. It was a reminder of how terrific the ‘So’ tour was back in the Reagan era. It was more theatrical and featured a younger Gabriel, who was at his most energetic and inventive back in the days when he sold out the Spectrum on consecutive nights.
But Gabriel still has the voice, the band and the passion. He capped the night with what he has closed shows with for 30 years, which is ‘Biko.’
Gabriel isn’t the same fellow, who entered from the rear of the Tower Theater banging a bass drum as he marched up the aisle a generation ago, but he still has the touch.


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