25 March 2011
Peter Gabriel at Hammersmith Apollo
It was a last minute decision for me to get a ticket to the concert. Although I'm a big fan of Peter Gabriel, over £70 for a ticket was stretching the budget just a little too much. However a couple of days before the concert I started following the official Peter Gabriel twitter account [@itspetergabriel]. I knew the concerts were upcoming, but wasn't sure exactly when until seeing rehearsal photos tweeted. So I decided to see if I could find a reasonably priced ticket. Ticketmaster, no joy, still over £70. A couple of other websites were around the £50 mark, but then I found getmein.com. They had tickets for the Thursday show for just £15. I'd never heard of getmein.com before, but its a Ticketmaster company, so surely could be trusted?
So the day before the concert I purchased my £15 ticket. After several confusing emails, one saying an e-ticket was going to be emailed, and the next saying the ticket was being sent by special delivery (and might take 72 hours to arrive), I was a little concerned. After a couple of worried phone calls to getmein.com, and an agonisingly long way for the postman, my ticket arrived. I could go to the ball!
I arrived at the Hammersmith Apollo at 6pm, and found myself parking 20 seconds walk away for just £2.50. Result!
At almost every Gabriel gig I go to, I meet up with my friends, and fellow fans, Alan & Ian.
The first half, I was sat up in the gods, just behind a man with the biggest head ever. Musically, the songs he played that half were good, but Wallflower asides, weren't really anyone's favourites. The first half for me can be summed up in one word... "meh...".
At the half time interval, I found my friends in the smoking area outside, and also got recognised from a wedding I photographed last year in the Midlands. She recognised the hat first, me second. Hello Lucie!
Alan has a habit of never sitting in his assigned seating, and always pushing his luck by taking empty seats closer to the front. This time he'd found 3 empty seats, 3 rows from the front. I followed him back in. This was more like it. If you can't see the whites of the performers eyes concerts just don't interest me much any more.
The second half was much more like the Peter Gabriel I love. Standing ovations came after Signal To Noise & Rhythm of the Heat. When Solsbury Hill started, there was a mad rush to the front, and I found myself standing just a couple of rows back. Happy days!
Gabriel might be 60, but he can still hit the notes, and can still put on a hell of a show. Brilliant stuff Peter!
The reason why the two London gigs happened was because of an offer to Gabriel to film it in 3d. Personally I think 3d is bullshit, but I have to say their cameras were rather impressive.
Unlike the last time I was close enough to the front of the stage to photograph a Peter Gabriel concert (follow this link for photos), this time I only had with me my compact Canon S95. While it might be one of the best cameras in its range, it was always going to struggle with getting quality pictures in this environment. I was pushing the camera, not to mention NoiseNinja in post processing to the limits here.
I tried to get good photos, but essentially these are just "happy snaps" from a good night out.
Update: Just wanted to say hello to the fellow lunatics who have found me via the Peter Gabriel forum. :-)
Update2: For all those interested, this is the set list...
The Boy In The Bubble
Washing Of The Water
The Book Of Love
The Power Of The Heart
Digging In The Dirt
Signal To Noise
The Rhythm Of The Heat
Blood Of Eden
In Your Eyes
Don't Give Up
The Nest That Sailed The Sky