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Peter Gabriel Encore Series 2013

Peter Gabriel live - Back To Front Encore Series 2013

Live in Europe 2013 - 18 concerts as 2CD and 24bit/96khz Download

Peter Gabriel has brought out another Encore series for the Back To Front tour 2013. Every show is available as an official soundboard recording. Unlike the 2012 Encores, the new series is available directly from Peter Gabriel’s website.

The outside
Apart from the new tour logo, the CD road case matches the 2012 roadcase. Small wonder, as it is from the same manufacturer. The exact measurements have not been published, but they are likely to be the same as for the 2012 roadcase, as there would have been room for more CDs there.
As a bonus there is the tour program in the shape of a CD booklet. It contains only those photos that appertain directly to the tour and the tour dates, while the big program that was available from the shows also had some pages dedicated to Gabriel’s other projects and interests.
The box also contains five tour photos as separate prints. The CDs come in the same cardboard cover as the ones that are available separately. As before, they are simple brown cardboard. On the front there are the five jumbled faces, the show date and city. The track list on the back is printed in slanted, intentionally smudged letters. The inside contains the list of tour dates. The CDs are white with clean black print. The Encore concept that was set up in 2003 has thus been continued without any major changes.

New: 24 bit downloads / no USB sticks

There is a new option: All shows are offered as high quality download, but only to those who buy the 2CD or collector’s box sets. The CDs come with a code that leads to a special Bowers & Wilkins page from which you can download the 24bit / 96kHz version. The download codes are one-way codes, i.e. you have only one try per show.
We have been able to test this for you. This website takes you to the individual show downloads, you enter the code and receive confirmation that a link is being sent to you in an e-mail. This can take up to an hour. Clicking on the link in the e-mail triggers the download of a gigantic zip file (roughly 1.7GB per CD, i.e. up to 3.5GB per Encore).
The USB sticks have been discontinued. After the experience from the previous tour (low demand but higher production costs) it was decided not to have USB sticks anymore.

Digression: Music Streamer II

The high quality download makes sense only if you play it with adequate equipment. Few people have a sound card that could even begin to live up to those demands. There are, however, specialized devices that can stream high quality recordings to a hi-fi set using special technology. One of these devices is the Music Streamer II, which we use (at least in parts) to test, listen to and review the Encores. We will also provide you with a report on how that works out.

The Band

.… is exactly the same as in 2012: Manu Katché on drums, David Sancious on keyboard and acoustic guitar, Tony Levin on bass and David Rhodes on guitars. Two “new friends” have joined them in 2012: Jennie Abrahamson and Linnea Olsson offer backing vocals.


Peter introduces a new song called Why Don't You Show Yourself. Unlike O But it is finished and will be used in the closing credits of the movie Words With Gods, which will come to cinemas in 2014. Early on Games Without Frontiers was played at two shows with the use of so-called Magic Cubes that endlessly repeat samples from an instrument. Games Without Frontiers was soon dropped from the set for reasons unknown.
The evening is divided like a three-course menu, as Peter Gabriel explains beforehand. First there is an acoustic 'rehearsal', then an electric part and finally the whole So album. Encore are The Tower That Ate People and Biko for every show. The Up album is not represented at all...

Peter Gabriel plays the songs mainly in the same arrangements he used in 2012 (see our review of those).

The recordings
The quality of the Encores is as good as we are used to for it to be. The mixes are very clear and well-balanced in treble and bass. Sometimes single instruments stand out. The audience can be heard rather quietly.

The shows en detail

Back To Front - the shows reviewed

28/09/13 HERNING, Denmark -Jyske Bank Boxen

Sound: Some instruments cannot be heard at all in some parts while they are overpowering in others. There are a couple of volume peaks in certain songs that are soon corrected (e.g. an overly loud keyboard at the beginning of No Self Control). The drums sound tinny frequently. The sound seems very bright, with the odd bass boost, so what we have here is a sound experience that is rich in contrasts. That Voice Again, for example, has a peculiarly extreme contrast between treble and bass. Biko uses a dominant Both Sides tour-style industrial sound on the drums. The audience can be heard rather quietly, its volume is raised to audibility just here and there.
Fuck-Ups: Peter messes up the lyrics in the beginning of Red Rain, but the band aren't priceworthy either. Peter's mike is mute for Sledgehammer so that the audience begin singing the verse. The striking keyboard sound after „sledge … sledge? … Sledgehammer!“ is missing. Peter also starts over Mercy Street with hardly anybody noticing. It seems he missed his cue; he quietly says „Let's do it again“ and Manu Katché starts over.
Special moments: This was the world premiere of Why Don't You Show Yourself, a new song of Peter's from the film Words With God. It is performed with band and cello. It was also the first time the Magic Cubes were used for Games Without Frontiers. Each cube contains samples pre-recorded by the musicians that are triggered by turning the cube. The song itself is played live later. The version is not really new, but has been freshened up a bit.
Further information / Comparison with other Encores: This was Peter's first show after his sabbatical. You can hear in his voice that he has not gone completely into tour mode – he would sing much better in later shows. Peter also sings the complete second verse of Shock The Monkey in a high voice (unlike later shows). There is also a variation on the lyrics in Secret World: „seeing things that were not there, in this state of disrepair“. What looks like a lyrical fuck-up continues like this „and I make myself a prayer, down by the railway siding...“ Gabriel would do this in all shows.

Summary: This show is a feast for those who want to see how a show slowly comes together. The band are not comfortable yet, there are many small hitches and the mix is not yet at its best. Sometimes you get the feeling you are at a rehearsal. There are some peculiar moments to it, but it captures the mercilessness of the live-show. The audience appear a bit offish, but then it may have been recorded very quietly. If you want to have a perfect show you might want to give Herning a berth.
* order this Encore from 2CD

30/09/13 AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - ZiggoDome

Sound: Moderate. They are still looking for the best mix, which leads to a certain lack of balance. Individual instruments are too much in the fore again and again. The whole Encore CD has been mastered with a rather low volume.
Fuck-Ups: There is an abundance of bum notes and issues with the sound samples. The rhythm loop for Digging stops and starts over after one bar. The wrong back loop is played at the first loud bit in Secret World, which leads to disrupted harmonies; the song is shortened by the last verse, the quiet bit and the final climax, i.e. they simply try to bring the song to some sort of end. In Fishing Net there is some confusion as to where everybody is in the song; this has an effect on the harmonies, of course. The guitar drops out during Solsbury Hill.
Special events: In his explanation about the three parts of the evening Peter speaks some Dutch and jokes about how badly he does it. Games is played for the second and last times. Peter's explanations about the Magic Cubes are shorter, the performance of the song is better than in Herning, but not really satisfactory.
Other information / comparison to other Encores: The whole evening leaves a subdued impression. There are numerous bum notes and insecurities. Both the band and Peter seems tense and unrelaxed. Only the So part is more stable, though not really free from problems. The audience are very disciplined and wait until the final note has ended before they begin to applaud.

Summary: Neither Peter nor the band nor the mix are spot-on. Not recommended because of the number of mistakes and wobblies.
* order this Encore at 2CD

01/10/13 BRUSSELS, Belgium - Voorst National

Sound: Brussels seems more compact and consistent than the first two Encores. Interestingly, there are always different instruments that are over-accentuated, as it were. Frequently it is Tony's bass or Peter's keyboard, rarely David's guitar that is affected. Some passages have a more gentle mix, which helps Why Don't You Show Yourself, but is not quite the optimum for the first loud bit in Secret World. The audience are pleasantly present in many places of the mix.
Fuck-Ups: The first part is comparatively flawless, but the beginning of Red Rain is messed up big time. First there are no keyboards, then there is not guitar. Peter appears a bit confused in The Tower That Ate People; at first he comes in late, then the distortion effect needs adjusting.
Special events: Peter speaks in a mixture of different languages and finds it as difficult as he did in Amsterdam. For the audience it is entertaining, though.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
O But has very much come together here, Why Don't You Show Yourself has visibly improved since the first two shows. There is another peculiar keyboard solo of David Sancious' for In Your Eyes.

Summary: This is the first show that hits the nail on the head. You get to hear the detailed work at the soundboard with many tiny corrections that bring out interesting details of the individual instruments. Add to that some minor issues that enhance rather than disturb the live experience, and you have this recommended show.
* order this Encore at 2CD

03/10/13 VIENNA, Austria - Stadthalle

Sound: Unbalanced. Several instruments have to be adjusted in the mix because they are too high or too low in the mix, particularly in the beginning of songs.
Fuck-Ups: Gabriel comes in too early for the second verse of Digging. Secret World has another problem with the backing loop. Tony (!) messes up the beginning of Sledgehammer playing bum harmonies. Peter does not find the rhythm for the piano interlude in The Tower and botches the passage.
Special events: Gabriel tries his hand at German announcements for the first time on the tour. Here and later on he will have problems with the “wohlschmeckender Teil“ (delicious course).
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
No big issues, but nothing to write home about either. Gabriel and band seem determined but tired, there is a large number of tiny mistakes. Peter either has a bad voice day and tries to preserve his voice – or he simply does not hit the high notes.

Summary: A show that is in between fumbling and straight. Everybody is still looking for a solid foundation.
* order this Encore at 2CD

05/10/13 BELGRADE, Serbia - Kombank Arena

Sound: There is obviously an echo in the venue (which is a good thing because Gabriel's voice  gains effect in songs like Digging In The Dirt). Otherwise the mix is very clear and precise. The acoustic part is crystal-clear and well-balanced. Digging finally has some oomph, and so does The Tower. The vocals in Mercy Street are a bit quiet. The audience seem a bit diffident between songs (not a peep from them at the beginning of Family Snapshot), but they do sing along eagerly. Several loud cries can be heard, as can the smalltalk of some ladies in the audience.
Fuck-Ups: No big musical mistakes, just some flaws in the mix. When Manu Katché comes in for Come Talk To Me he cannot be heard at first; Red Rain begins with an overpowering keyboard. Both issues are solves carefully and gently. Peter has minute problems with his voice. There is a peculiar break in the audience mix between The Tower That Ate People and Biko.
Special events: Peter welcomes the Serbian fans to Belgrad and makes a point to also welcome the fans from Zagreb – the concert had been scheduled for the Croatian capital but had to move because the local promoter went bankrupt. Peter comments his attempts at speaking Serbian with „there's lots more of your language being destroyed“. He links Biko to the history of Serbia and repeats this at an unusual length at the end of the song.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
Peter sings the third verse of Come Talk To Me in a lower register for the first time on the tour.

Summary: This show is special as it is Peter's first in Serbia. It is a good show with a good mix. The band sound much more competent and the mix finally conveys the power audiences remember from the shows. The best Encore so far.
* order this Encore at 2CD

07/10/13 MILAN, Italy - Mediolanum

Sound: The venue in Milan also has an echo, but it does not matter much during the show. The audience can be heard clearly, the overall atmosphere is as if the show had been recorded from a little distance or the centre of the venue. This adds a warm, lively (concert) character to the show.
Fuck-Ups: Gabriel hits bum notes on the piano in the quiet middle section of Secret World; he also mistimes his cue for the second verse of Picture.
Special events: There is an audible cut in the applause before Digging begins – rather unusual. The audience can be heard singing the horn phrase before the proper intro to Sledgehammer (as in the Growing Up Live film).
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
Everybody seems to have found their feet. The show is focused and strong up until and including Solsbury Hill. Then it becomes a bit erratic, they lose the precision. Still, Picture and Tower stand out for their energy and fire.

Summary: The first half of the show is convincing, while the second half tends to fall apart a bit. Still worthwhile getting for the great atmosphere and the fun the musicians audibly have.
* order this Encore at 2CD

08/10/13 GENEVA, Switzerland - Le Grand Saconnex

Sound: Much emphasis on the treble. The instruments are not always balanced against each other. Still powerful and convincing in songs like Tower.
Fuck-Ups: Peter starts over Family Snapshot and comments that the first version was „a bit shorter than usual“. His piano part in Tower does not keep time. Depending on what you choose to believe, David Sancious' solo in In Your Eyes is either very creative or terrible.
Special events: For the first time on this tour the show begins with The Feeling Begins with guest musician Lévon Minassian on the doudouk. A fine, sensitive performance that is, astonishingly, called an „extract“ on the CD. Is this an edit from a longer live performance? Peter speaks French, and quite fluently. In Secret World he plays down the pitch in the exuberant parts – this has not been done on the tour which is way the harmonies always sounded strange. It is not really precise yet, though. A xylophone has been mixed into the sample loop for No Self Control (similar to the 2007 tour). Not bad, but it takes away some of the space David Sancious could use for jazzy fill-ins. After Don't Give Up some jerk keeps calling „Hi there!“ between songs. The French introduction to Biko is quite long, and so is Peter's English encouragement to participate.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
A powerful performance at first, almost with routine. After Solsbury Hill Peter and the others seem to lose their wind, and the music loses its precision from there on. The beginning of Red Rain is blotchy, That Voice Again not quite there, Peter's voice breaks away in Big Time.

Summary: The band are alive and play a strong show, though not always at their best. After a lively first part they lose momentum. Still not completely bad.
* order this Encore at 2CD

10/10/13 PRAGUE, Czech Republic - O2 World

Sound: Unusually well-balanced. No instrument is overpowering in the mix, there are very few corrections in the mix during the show. The venue has a slight echo that provides a pleasant, warm sound.
Fuck-Ups: Few. The band play well and mostly flawless. PG does not mess up anything either. During the first chorus of Biko there is a strange shift in sound as if there was a brief surge in the master volume.
Special events: Peter tries to speak Czech but does not comment on it. The xylophone loop is back for No Self Control. David Sancious' piano solo in In Your Eyes grows ever stranger.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
The show goes well, a routine performance by the band without major flaws, but unfortunately also without that spark of inspiration. It does not show much in the beginning, Shock The Monkey in particular is very spirited. But as the show progresses the evening begins to drag on. Red Rain is kind of unsorted, That Voice Again confused, Big Time rather thin.

Summary: Soundwise this could be a good evening, but it does not really go beyond average.
* order this Encore at 2CD

11/10/13 LEIPZIG, Germany - Arena

Sound: This show is considered one of the best soundwise, though the venue is not quite suited for a good concert sound. Hats off to Ben Findlay for that. The Encore shows a bit of the echo, but that adds to the live atmosphere. The drums sound very cold here, the mix between instruments is well-balanced. The guitars have the upper hand in Digging In The Dirt, so have the keyboards in Big Time.
Fuck-Ups: Peter fumbles up the beginning of Come Talk To Me and starts the song over with an ironic aside about "one of Peter's fuck-ups". The beginning is rather cautious and less playful then. There is an extremely loud microphone moment in Digging In The Dirt. The beginning of Solsbury Hill is a bit wobbly. Peter seems slightly unsure about the lyrics in Big Time, but safely avoids a major fuck-up.
Special events: As usual in German, Peter speaks mainly in German. The xylophone loop seems to have become a standard part in No Self Control. Interestingly, it did not stand out during the show (when you were there).
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
The band have become more secure and the sound better balanced. Leipzig has a superior version of Red Rain. Peter has a bit of trouble with his voice in places. Mercy Street shows that Peter can or needs to sing in a different way when he is lying down. This was not so apparent before. David Sancious' solo in In Your Eyes is still peculiar, continuing a tour tradition.

Summary: A very fine mix and the band are really coming together on this one. Tiny weaknesses in Peter's vocals do not matter much. Recommended.
* order this Encore at 2CD

13/10/13 STUTTGART, Germany - Schleyerhalle

Sound: Not quite perfect. The keyboards are very strong in the mix. Though you can hear the bass very well in many songs, e.g. Secret World, but for a first-rate mix there is not enough power. The acoustic part is fabulous, though. The audience can be heard nicely. Towards the end of the show there is more echo in the venue, but you will notice that only during quiet moments and the announcements.
Fuck-Ups: Nothing special. Gabriel seems to play a note by accident in the beginning of Come Talk To Me. In the beginning of We Do What We're Told the guitar has apparently not been fully plugged in. Biko begins with a keyboard sound that seems like ten times too loud. The audience cheers early in Family Snapshot. Did someone hit the light switch too early? The band performance is solid and well attuned to each other.
Special events: Some jerk disrupts the ending of Mercy Street by shouting. What those idiots are thinking I will never understand.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
The Stuttgart version of David Sancious' keyboard solo for In Your Eyes is the best so far. The Biko introduction is shorter than usual. Peter has slight problems hitting the high notes.
Summary: Not an outstanding mix, but a solid performance.
* order this Encore at 2CD

15/10/13 PARIS, France - Palais Omnysport Paris

Sound: Very good. A balances mix throughout, with good acoustics in the venue. The audience can be heard well. At times you can hear instruments you would not normally notice, e.g. the guitar in No Self Control.
Fuck-Ups: Just tiny bits, everybody is very focused. Peter does conserve his strength at times, for example in Shock The Monkey. The pitchdown in the strong middle part of Secret World is still a bit troubled. The final bit of Solsbury Hill sounds particularly thin this time (too much running around perhaps?). Same thing for This Is The Picture.
Special events: In the beginning we get to hear Minassian play The Feeling Begins on the doudouk in a very sensitive and beautiful version. Daby Touré joins in from the second verse of In Your Eyes onwards. Judging from the recordin, as a totality the song could be a little bit more lively. Peter speaks fluent French which only „collapses“, as he puts it, when he asks the audience to applaud for the crew. His introduction to Biko is the longer for it. The audience sings the brass phrase for Sledgehammer very loudly before the song begins. Manu Katché receives particularly large applause when he is introduced (and elsewhere).
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
Everybody is very focused, but they do not play quite at their best. The show seems a bit breathless at times – the visual input would probably have shown a powerful, agile performance. Perhaps they are a tad too ambitious, after all, they are playing Paris, not Thingytown. Peter is audibly out of breath in the beginning of Why Don't You Show Yourself?, apparently spent from Solsbury Hill. Sancious adds fine, jazzy fill-ins towards the end of Don't Give Up, and the improvised part of Mercy Street is prepossessing, too.
Summary: A lively show, accomplished in parts. Musically not always up there, though, but it sounds beautiful at times.
* order this Encore at 2CD

16/10/13 DÜSSELDORF, Germany - ISS Dome

Sound: A fine mix considering the difficult acoustics in the venue. The keyboards are a tad strong in many songs. There is little echo, and not much audience either, but they were rather restrained that night.
Fuck-Ups: Few. Peter mixes up the lyrics somewhat in Sledgehammer and Big Time. Otherwise it is a very precise show.
Special events: Peter speaks German, get stuck on wohlschmeckendem (tasty) and jokes that the Germans all understand English anyway.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
The show feels comparatively short. Peter and the band hurry through the set, with almost no introductions and just a short one for Biko. Interestingly, Stuttgart was even shorter. David Sancious plays his In Your Eyes solo again completely against the grain of the tune. The band seemed a bit tired in the show though one would not know that from the Encore.
Summary: A precise performance with slightly strong keyboards. Compared to other shows the audience are rather unenthusiastic.
* order this Encore at 2CD

18/10/13 HAMBURG, Germany - O2-World

Sound: Well-balanced again, with nothing to complain about.
Fuck-Ups: Peter comes in a „little early“, as he puts it himself, for the third verse of Come Talk To Me. The guitar intro for The Family And The Fishing Net is too loud in the overall mix, but this is soon corrected. Gabriel sounds strangely jittery in Sledgehammer, as if he were constantly moving around. Which may have been good for the show.
Special events: Peter's German announcements are nearly fluent and he does them with good routine. Yet he obviously tries to protect his voice. Throughout the evening one notices that he transposes the songs to a lower register (Talk, Monkey, Show Yourself, Big Time, Biko) or that his voice becomes rather thin (No Self Control). Some jerk needs to make himself known at the a capella intro for Mercy Street, luckily before they start singing. Before the start of We Do Peter fiddles around with the mike stand, which causes a loud creak. The audience laugh, another creak, more laughter – intentionally?
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
You get the feeling that now they are halfway through the tour the band relax a bit. Tiny imperfections creep in. Sancious in particular hits several wrong notes (Don't Give Up), and many a song seems dull, as if it had been played too often (That Voice, Picture, Biko). There is rhythmic clapping before The Tower That Ate People – a first, so the atmosphere in the audience must have been good! The Biko announcement in German is long and very committed.
Summary: A peculiar evening. Good audience, good mix, but a bit short in brilliance and some so-so performacnes. Not quite the tour highlight.
* order this Encore at 2CD

19/10/13 BERLIN, Germany - O2 World

Sound: A bit bass-y at times, but it is the higher frequencies and particularly the keyboards that make the sound here. This is particularly obvious in Big Time. The drums are a bit low in the mix. The audience is most prompt to cheer, but does not really come out in the mix. In the beginning of Biko the bass is way too loud; towards the end of Biko the audience can be heard better and some echo has been added to Gabriel's voice.
Fuck-Ups: Sledgehammer picks up another tour bug. Tony's bass does not work in the intro. You can clearly hear him say „the third!“ as a scratching noise can be heard. As Peter gives the sign, David Sancious plays the trumpet sample a bit too late, drops it altogether only to return it in place in the next bar. Peter moves Stephen Biko's date of birth to „1777“.
Special events: Peter explains why the order of the tracks on the new So version is different from the original release. He does not refer directly to In Your Eyes, but indicates that the song had to be placed at the beginning of the record instead of the end because of the big bass sound. It is one of the longest introductions on this tour.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
Those who were there experienced a terrific, very atmospheric and, apart from the few mistakes, fluent show. The Encore reveals details: Peter's voice is not quite in top shape. He keeps falling back to a safe line or goes straight to a deeper register. Big Time is an obvious example for this, or the end of Biko. His piano playing lacks precision at times in Berlin. His keyboard sounds choppy in We Do What We're Told, and it is very basic for Come Talk To Me. Interacting with Tony Levin in In Your Eyes makes Peter laugh. Sancious plays an In Your Eyes improvisation that fits quite well into the song for a change. The Tower That Ate People sounds more detailed than in other shows; this may be the best version of the tour. Biko has the „long“ introduction again, in German.
Summary: A show with some flaws, a great audience, a big mistake and a slightly strained voice – a pure live experience.
* order this Encore at 2CD

21/10/13 LONDON, UK - O2

Sound: Warm and quite pleasant. A competent mix, you can hear many new details. Many small mistakes, too.
Fuck-Ups: Nothing big. But many untidy details.
Special events: The Feeling Begins is back for the beginning. Another warm and delicate song. David stops at one point in the quiet rhythm intro to Sledgehammer, you would expect the horn riff, but then he goes on again. Gabriel starts over the Biko introduction (because of the filming?).
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
Peter does the introductions in English again, which makes them the more smooth. At times he becomes almost too talkative. He briefly explains the idea about the audience films you can send in. Tony Levin is introduced with the band („for the cameras“). Musically it is a very intense show that kind of loses momentum from Digging onwards. The encores are rather weak. Big Time, which has already been toned down, also sees Gabriel conserving his voice. It is quite remarkable how often Gabriel sings in a lower voice here.
Summary: A show that begins full of motivation, probably because of the film production, but also  rather nervous. All in all a remarkably unspectacular evening.
* order this Encore at 2CD

22/10/13 LONDON, UK - O2

Sound: Like London I, a pleasant and competent mix. A new and big echo is added to This Is The Picture which feels good.
Fuck-Ups: Nothing to write home about. The only thing is that Peter hits a bum note in the first chord of Red Rain.
Special events: The Feeling Begins kicks off the show. Peter introduces Levon Minassian over the drone that leads into the piece. After The Feeling Begins everything is quiet for a while before Gabriel reappears and is greeted with applause. Daby Touré joins the band onstage for In Your Eyes.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
Most song performances are satisfactory to very good. Only the first three songs are wobblier than the night before, which creates the opposite impression. The audience appears too disciplined, applause quickly fades away. The band introduction is a bit longer than usually. Some fan keeps shouting „Manu Katché“ into the pauses between songs. Gabriel protects his voice again at times.
Summary: Much better than London I. Many songs sound really good, though there are some failures (That Voice Again, Big Time, the encores). Daby Touré's part is refreshing though nothing special. Still, a worthwhile Encore. ADDENDUM: An unpleasant flaw has occurred at least in the download version of this Encore: The end of the band introduction and the announcement of the following song are included both in track 2 (O But) and track 3 (Come Talk To Me), which means these bits repeat.
* order this Encore at 2CD

24/10/13 GLASGOW, UK - Hydro

Sound: The echo in the venue takes getting used to, but one notices it only during the announcements. The mix is rather unbalanced in parts, though. Drums and backing loops are frequently too quiet whereas guitars and sometimes the keyboards are too loud.
Fuck-Ups: The horn sample cannot be heard in the beginning of Sledgehammer, and the problem continues throughout the phrase. The guitar sounds off during We Do and there are a couple of random keyboard sounds.
Special events: Gabriel fumbles around with the creaking mike stand at the end of the first introduction – to such lengths that he wryly comments that that „goes very well with a good dinner“. The backing loop of Digging can hardly be heard at first, which causes an unusual but not at all bad beginning for the song. Peter improvises some new vocals in In Your Eyes that have a distinctly African touch. The introduction for Biko is quite long and Gabriel's statement about the political fight for freedom and the value of modern technology in helping documenting and spreading information about injustice become a very intense declaration. The drum sound at the end receives a special treatment.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
The show seems low in energy. Peter conserves his voice and the music lacks some oomph, too. Decent versions of No Self Control (!), Solsbury Hill and This Is The Picture.
Summary: A tired show. Apparently they all have the end of the tour in mind. Apart from a few songs there is little that is convincing musically or technically about this recording.
* order this Encore at 2CD

25/10/13 MANCHESTER, UK - MRC Arena

Sound: All in all a show with a well-balanced sound; none of the instruments really overpowers the others. The audiences comes across very lively. Peter's voice is a touch too quiet in a few places.
Fuck-Ups: Red Rain again, where Peter botches up the piano part in the intro. He starts over Come Talk To Me right away; apparently he was distracted by someone in the audience who would keep talking. Some feedback at the end of Mercy Street.
Special events: The chairman of the Stephen Biko Foundation is in the audience, as Peter mentions when he announces the song. Peter unsurprisingly adds a remark about this being the last night of the tour in his crew introduction.
Other information / comparison to other Encores:
Peter's voice is very good throughout, and only in Biko does he turn out to be a little hoarse. He lowers the verses here and there. There is a rare announcement for Family Snapshot, and Peter explains that it was inspired by a book found under a bridge and later known as The Diary Of An Assassin. Why Don't You Show Yourself sound excellent and very mature. The Tower That Ate People has a very strong, compact sound, though the keyboard sounds in the middle are a bit peculiar. There are annoying shouts of „I love you Peter“ throughout the show, with others yelling „I love you even more“.
Summary: A fine final show without any big flaws.
* order this Encore at 2CD


Encore Series - Best of the Best

We are now working on a best of the best list to give you an idea whoch Encore might be the best to purchase. A Top 5 is the plan. Also, we think about a Top 3 for each song. Let's see what's possible. If you own ALL the Encores from 2013 and are willing to participate in pour decision making process, please send an email to Christian.

Encore Series - order info

To order the 2CD sets go to Peter Gabriel's website. You need a credit card or a Paypal account. The 2CD sets cost €17.99 including shipping to Europe (shipping costs and therefore total costs may vary for other countries). Please note that the 2CD sets and the big box sets are shipped from Los Angeles. Because of customs it may be a good idea to place only two or three 2CD sets in a single order. Downloads are only available once you have received the Encores because the codes are in the CD sets.

by Thomas Schrage and Christian Gerhardts

English by Martin Klinkhardt

Back To Front Tour 2012 / 2013 / 2014 - all dates
Back To Front Tour 2012 - Encore Series review
Back To Front Tour 2012 - Wantaugh show report
Back To Front Tour 2012 - Report from four West coast shows
This Way Up Tour 1987 - Tour report

28/09/2013: Herning

Herning, 28.09.2013
Tour kick off with funny moments and a microphone not working during one song

30/09/2013: Amsterdam

Amsterdam, 30/09/2013
Peter speaking a funny version of dutch, Secret World in a shorter version and some things not working perfectly yet.

01/10/2013: Brussels

Brussels, 01/10/2013
A solid show, less mistakes and a nice example for "on-the-fly" sound mixing. You get some instruments highlighted here, others there. Recommended.

03/10/2013: Vienna

Vienna, 03/10/2013
Satisfying, but not yet an outstanding progress regarding live-performance quality

05/10/2013: Belgrade

Belgrade, 05/10/2013
Peter's first ever show in Serbia, very powerful and also balanced live-mix, very few mistakes, a recommended show!

07/10/2013: Milan

Milan, 07/10/2013
A recorded showing a pretty much settled band. And there's a lot of fire especially during the first half of the show.

08/10/2013: Geneva

Geneva, 08/10/2013
The tour continues in Switzerland with a sometimes powerful performance, but it also reveals some lack of precision every now and then.

10/10/2013: Prague

Prague, 10/10/2013
Technically top-notch, but regarding the engery on stage a rather average show.

11/10/2013: Leipzig

Leipzig, 11/10/2013
A very fine mix and the band are really coming together on this one.

13/10/2013: Stuttgart

Stuttgart, 13/10/2013
Excellent band performance, dominat keyboards and a fantastic audience.

15/10/2013: Paris

Paris, 15/10/2013
A lively and well done performance, yet sometimes a bit "breathless".

16/10/2013: Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf, 16/10/2013
A precice performace with dominant keyboards, yet not the best audience.

18/10/2013: Hamburg

Hamburg, 18/10/2013
Gabriel takes care of his voice at this more or less average show - with a great audience, though..

19/10/2013: Berlin

Berlin, 19/10/2013
Great audience, Sledgehammer fuck up, keyobard dominance and Peter's voice not in its best shape - all in one show.

21/10/2013: London (1)

London, 21/10/2013
A show full of motivation, yet a rather nervous performance. Remarkably unspectacular.

22/10/2013: London (2)

London, 22/10/2013
Daby Touré's part is refreshing. Some failures, but still a worthwhile Encore..

24/10/2013: Glasgow

Glasgow, 24/10/2013
A rather weak last-but-one-show with a few wonderful moments.

25/10/2013: Manchester

Manchester, 25/10/2013
A fine final show without any big flaws.