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Gabriel Grows Up

Singer brings new album out on the road

Peter Gabriel will kick off his Growing Up Live Tour on November
5th in Atlanta and the singer gave fans a taste of what to expect
from the live show at his press conference announcing the tour, in
support of Up, on September 25th in New York.

On a bare stage at Manhattan’s Supper Club, Gabriel was
accompanied by longtime band members Tony Levin (bass), David
Rhodes (guitar) and several newcomers, Richard Evans (guitar,
mandolin and flute) Rachel Z (keyboards) Ged Lynch (drums) and
daughter Melanie Gabriel (backing vocals) for a forty-five minute
set that five new songs from Up (“Darkness,” “Growing Up,”
“No Way Out,” “My Head Sounds Like That” and “More Than This”) and
two classics So‘s “Sledgehammer” and “Mercy Street.”

Not the type of artist to rest on past success, Gabriel clearly
intends to focus the tour on new material, though he realizes some
fans may resist. “It’s the same thing for every musician,” he says.
“In the first six to eight weeks [of the tour], people are starting
to get to know [the new songs]. After that period, you hope people
will be more familiar with the music, that you’ll get less hostile
reactions,” he joked.

Many of the world music elements from Gabriel’s past
incarnations will be absent, as his touring ensemble is much more a
rock band, heavily reliant on pre-recorded sounds to reconstruct
the dense, electronica-tinged music of Up.

Still, some songs from Up are proving difficult to take
on the road. “Signal to Noise” features a stunning wordless vocal
from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, but the great Pakistani singer died
five years ago. “We may put something of him on video,” Gabriel
said. And “Sky Blue” relies on a soaring ensemble vocal from the
Blind Boys of Alabama, who are not available for this tour. Again,
Gabriel suggested, video may provide a virtual solution. Or the
songs simply may not make the set list.

The tour is also proving to be a family affair, with daughter
Melanie in the band. “We come from the ‘nepotism works’ stable,” he
said Gabriel’s other daughter, Anna, is traveling with the band to
shoot a documentary on the tour. “It’s fantastic to have my family
involved, a real pleasure.”

The tour runs through December 15th in San Jose, California, and
reunites Gabriel with theater director and designer Robert Le Page,
who helped create the look of Secret World Live, Gabriel’s 1993
tour. “He’s one of the most gifted people around,” Gabriel. “His
theater stuff is wonderfully witty and elegant, great to look
at.”

On stage, Gabriel will play in the round, and feature a center
stage with multiple levels. “We’ve switched ninety degrees,” he
explained. “There will be an ‘up’ stage and a ‘down’ stage, and we
hope to play with that.”

Tickets will initially be available through Gabriel’s Web site
to club members, and will soon go on sale through Ticketmaster.

Peter Gabriel tour dates:

11/5: Atlanta, Philips Arena

11/7: Cleveland, Gund Arena
11/8: Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
11/11: Washington, DC MCI Center
11/13: Chicago, United Center
11/15: Minneapolis, Target Center
11/17: East Rutherford, NJ Continental Airlines Arena
11/18: Philadelphia, First Union Center
11/21: New York, Madison Square Garden
11/25: Boston, FleetCenter
11/26: Uncasville, CT, Mohegan Casino
11/28: Montreal, QC, Bell Center
12/2: Toronto, ON, Air Canada Center
12/3: Auburn Hills, MI, Palace of Auburn Hills
12/5: Denver, Pepsi Center
12/8: San Diego, CA San Diego Sports Arena
12/11: Los Angeles, Staples Center
12/12: Phoenix, America West Arena
12/14: Oakland, CA, Oakland Arena
12/15: San Jose, CA, HP Pavilion at San Jose

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