Steve Hackett

May 9, 2023 - Muziekgieterij, Maastricht (NL)


Ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett (73) has released twenty-eight solo albums until now and he still tours all over the world, playing the Genesis legacy and his brilliant solo work. In recent years Hackett paid tribute to iconic Genesis albums and he played them in its entirety. He did Selling England By The Pound
Steve Hackett
(1973) in 2020 and in 2022 he performed one of the best live albums ever, being Seconds Out (1977). This 2023 tour featured the classic fourth album Foxtrot (1972) while the rest of the show was filled with highlights and personal favourite tracks from his solo albums, for example Spectral Mornings (1977) and his successful debut album Voyage Of The Acolyte (1975).

During this tour Hackett's band consisted of singer Nad Sylvan, keyboardist Roger King, saxophone and flute player Rob Townsend, bassist Jonas Reingold and drummer Craig Blundell. The show in Maastricht opened with the instrumental Ace Of Wands, a track that features a very Genesis-like melody. It was followed by The Devil's Cathedral, a track from Hackett's latest album Surrender Of Silence (2021, see review). A very bombastic piece on which the organ overture almost sounds like a classical piece of music. After this very experimental track Hackett played two classic songs. First of all, his instrumental guitar gem Spectral Mornings and Every Day. For me the first one was the highlight of the evening, the latter featuring one of the best guitar solos of Hackett ever! Every Day is an absolute live favourite of Hackett and his fans, and it is his most played solo song till now.

A Tower Struck Down, from his debut album features a rather superfluous bass guitar solo by Jonas Reingold as far as I'm concerned and Camino Royale, from the album Highly Strung (1983) turns into a 'spontaneous'
Nad Sylvan
jam session, which sounds rather refreshing, although Townsend's saxophone solo is way too long here. Shadow Of The Hierophant is the last song before the break. This song was composed by Hackett and Mike Rutherford and was intentionally meant for the Foxtrot album, but certain Genesis members didn't approve. However, it's an amazing song with lots of mellotron and soaring guitar work but unfortunately only the closing section was played probably due to the absence of singer Amanda Lehman.

After a twenty-minutes break a remarkably familiar mellotron melody caught the attention of the enthusiastic audience. They were treated to the epic Watcher Of The Skies, the opening track of the iconic album Foxtrot. Get 'Em Out By Friday was the next highlight of this evening, especially Reingold's bass hooks and lines were impressive. However, the absolute masterpiece of this evening is Supper's Ready, Genesis' magnum opus. 'Walking across the sitting room, I turn the television off. Sitting beside you I look into your eyes,' sang Nad Sylvan and so began this twenty-three-minute symphonic musical that still sounds amazing, despite the fact that the song was recorded in 1972! Vocalist Nad Sylvan stood his ground during this epic, but of course he isn't Peter Gabriel. Especially during the song Time Table was Sylvan at his best.

The encores, Firth Of Fifth and Los Endos, were really no surprise, but Firth Of Fifth, featuring one of Hackett's best guitar solos ever, is always a treat indeed! Blundell's drum solo is again rather superfluous, and I would rather have heard another Hackett song, but I can't complain as this was an amazing evening, with outstanding old-fashioned prog rock. See you next year, Steve.

Martien Koolen (text and pictures, edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Steve Hackett:

Set 1
Ace Of Wands
The Devil's Cathedral
Spectral Mornings
Every Day
A Tower Struck Down
Camino Royale
Shadow Of The Hierophant (instrumental section only)
Set 2
Watcher Of The Skies
Time Table
Get 'Em Out By Friday
Can-Utility And The Coastliners
Supper's Ready
Firth Of Fifth
Myopia / Slogans / Los Endos

Line up Steve Hackett:

Steve Hackett: guitars
Nad Sylvan: vocals
Roger King: keyboards
Rob Townsend: saxophone, flute
Jonas Reingold: bass guitar
Craig Blundell: drums

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