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i/o The Tour Statstik

Peter Gabriel - i/o The Tour: Statistics

i/o: The Tour by numbers: An analysis


After 47 shows performed between May 18 and October 21, 2023 across European and North American legs, i/o The Tour has concluded. Speculation has almost immediately shifted to 2024 with the hope that, after the six-months break Peter has spoken of taking, he and his band will hit the road again to either continue this tour or begin a Still Growing Up-style evolution of it.

While we hold onto such wishes, and as the final i/o track has been released at November's Full Moon, I thought we might like to look back at some setlist stats for i/o The Tour, to break down what he did at the shows he performed this year.


The Stalwart Songs

There were 20 songs that were played every night at all 47 shows of the tour.
Half of these were new songs from the upcoming 2023 album i/o: Panopticom, The Court, Playing For Time, i/o, Four Kinds Of Horses, Road To Joy, Olive Tree, Love Can Heal, This Is Home and Live and Let Live.
The other ten songs spanned four decades of Peter’s solo career. These included:

- One song from the 1970s: Solsbury Hill, from 1977’s Peter Gabriel I, aka Car

- Six songs from the 1980s: Biko, from 1980’s Peter Gabriel III, aka Melt; plus Red Rain, Sledgehammer, Don’t Give Up, In Your Eyes and Big Time from 1986’s So

- One song from the 1990s: Digging In The Dirt, from 1992’s Us

- Two songs from the 2000s: Darkness and Growing Up, from 2002’s Up

These songs were always played in the same part of the set – the only slight movement was at shows when one of the “bonus” songs was added (see below).

 

The Recurring Tracks

In addition to the 20 constants, two more songs were played almost every night of the tour. These also had set positions within the set. One was an additional new song, and the other a live favorite from the past:

- And Still (from 2023’s i/o) was played at 42 shows. It premiered on the opening of the European tour in Krakow on May 18th; the final performance was the Palm Springs show on October 14th.

- Washing Of The Water (from 1992’s Us) was the campfire opener at 40 of the 47 shows, starting in Krakow and performed last at the final show in Houston.


The Rarities

Then there were four songs that were performed rarely on the tour – but each of them was brought out multiple times.

- Here Comes The Flood (from 1977’s Car) was the alternate acoustic opener around the campfire at the seven shows that did not hear. Starting on May 26th in Berlin, the song was performed in German (Jetzt Kommt Die Flut) at every concert on the European leg that took place in Germany or Switzerland. It was also, somewhat randomly, performed in English just one time, at the Detroit show during the North American tour on September 29th.

- What Lies Ahead (currently an unreleased and album-less new song) was performed at six dates that bookended i/o The Tour. It was performed at the first three dates of the European leg in May (Krakow, Verona, and Milan) and then at three of the final four North American shows in October (Denver, Austin, and Houston). It is not clear why the song was not played in Dallas, the penultimate show of the tour, despite being played at the shows around it. When performed, it was an added “bonus” song on the setlist (i.e. not replacing another one), coming in the second set before Big Time and after either And Still or So Much. Speaking of which:

Don't Give Up- So Much (another i/o track from 2023) was played five times. The song debuted in Copenhagen on May 30th, reportedly due to the visual artist on the song's single, Henry Hudson, being in attendance. It then made a comeback at the end of the tour, being played at the final four October shows in Denver and across Texas. Each time it was performed, it replaced And Still in the setlist after Red Rain.

- The Tower That Ate People (from 2000’s OVO) was the rarest song of the tour, performed at only four North American shows. It is also unique as it was the only song to be played in different spots in the set. The first time it was played was in Columbus, Ohio on September 25th, where it came as the penultimate song of the first set, in between This Is Home and Sledgehammer. The other times it appeared were across three of the final five stops of the North American tour in October: Palm Springs, Dallas, and Houston. At these shows, it was played as the first encore song, before In Your Eyes. Each time, this was an additional song in the set, not replacing another number..


Set-Lengths

In terms of set length, most concerts had 22 songs performed. The default setlist for the majority of the shows was:


Set 1:

01. Washing Of The Water (campfire version)
02. Growing Up (campfire version)
03. Panopticom
04. Four Kinds Of Horses
05. i/o
06. Digging In The Dirt
07. Playing For Time
08. Olive Tree
09. This Is Home
10. Sledgehammer

 

Set 2:

11. Darkness
12. Love Can Heal
13. Road To Joy
14. Don't Give Up
15. The Court
16. Red Rain
17. And Still
18. Big Time
19. Live And Let Live
20. Solsbury Hill

Encore 1:
21. In Your Eyes

Encore 2:
22. Biko

 

At five shows (Krakow, Verona, and Milan in Europe; Denver and Austin in North America), What Lies Ahead was added to make it 23 songs. Each time, this was performed immediately before Big Time in the second set.

At three other shows (Columbus, Palm Springs, and Denver in North America), the addition of The Tower That Ate People made it 23 songs. As noted above, it was performed in two locations: in Columbus, it was performed before Sledgehammer as the penultimate song of the first set. In Palm Springs and Denver, it was performed as the first song of the first encore, before In Your Eyes.

Finally, at the North American tour finale in Houston, both songs were added (What Lies Ahead in its normal place, and The Tower That Ate People once again as the first encore song). This brought the total number of songs played that night to a tour-high 24.


Unreleased Songs Performed

As we have seen, but it's worth noting again, this tour’s setlists were constructed around an ambitious choice: to have around half of the songs performed each night be new material from 2023. Most of these are songs from the forthcoming, tour-titular album i/o, along with What Lies Ahead, a new song that, for now, is presumed to become a non-album track.

Of course, as visitors of this site likely know, while the final album has not come out yet, the songs of i/ohave been released one by one over the course of the year as singles debuting on each full moon. Because of this unique and Very Much Peter release strategy, the number of "unreleased" songs changed over the course of the tour. Here is a breakdown of how that number evolved over the shows:

*The songs with an asterisk did have earlier versions performed live by Gabriel in the 2010s as “works in progress” – but the final studio tracks were not released when the songs were played.

When the European tour started, five songs from i/o had been released: Panopticom, The Court, Playing for Time, i/o, and Four Kinds of Horses. Even with those singles being available, the first three shows on the tour featured seven songs no one in the audience would have heard completed before:


18-21 May (Krakau, Verona, Mailand)

Seven unrelkeased tracks: Olive Tree, This Is Home, Love Can Heal*, Road To Joy, And Still, What Lies Ahead*, Live And Let Live


After What Lies Ahead was dropped, the European Tour continued, with the next seven concerts featuring six unreleased songs. There was a slight variation on what songs were unreleased, due to So Much being played at the Copenhagen show – but as it replaced And Still, another unheard-at-the-time song, each show still had the same number of new tracks:

23-28 May, 31 May - 2 June (Paris, Lille, Berlin, Munich, Stockholm, Bergen)

Six unreleased tracks: Olive Tree, This Is Home, Love Can Heal*, Road To Joy, And Still, Live And Let Live

30 May (Copenhagen)

Six unreleased tracks: Olive Tree, This Is Home, Love Can Heal*, Road To Joy, So Much, Live And Let Live


Between the Bergen and Amsterdam shows, the sixth full moon of the year yielded the release of Road to Joy. This meant that, for the remainder of the European tour, each show featured five unreleased songs:

5-25 June (Amsterdam, Antwerpen, Zürich, Köln, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Bordeaux, Birmingham, London, Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin)

Five unreleased Tracks: Olive Tree, This Is Home, Love Can Heal, And Still, Live And Let Live


During the time off between the conclusion of the European leg in June and the start of the North American one in September, three more full moons passed (including an August blue moon), yielding three more releases: So Much, Olive Tree, and Love Can Heal. This meant that, for the first stretch of the new shows, there were merely three unreleased songs:

8-27 September (Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cleveland)

Three unreleased tracks: This Is Home, And Still, Live And Let Live

 

At the start of the day of the Detroit show, This Is Home was released to coincide with the Harvest Moon. With this song out, it meant that the next stretch of shows only presented the final two unreleased tracks on i/o:

29 September - 14 October (Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs)

Two unrelkeased tracks: And Still, Live And Let Live

 

For the final run of shows, a minor setlist change removed one of the last unreleased i/o songs, with the already released So Much replacing And Still – but for three of the shows, this was supplanted by the return of the previously played also-unreleased, album-less track:

16-18 October, 21 October 21 (Denver, Austin, Houston)

Two unreleased tracks: What Lies Ahead*, Live And Let Live

 

And for a lone show in the Lone Star State, the dropping of What Lies Ahead (and the playing of So Much instead of And Still) meant that there was only one unreleased song for the audience:

19 October (Dallas)

One unreleased track: Live and Let Live


All in all

I hope that this was a fun trip down memory lane, thinking back on the tour and seeing the ways that the setlist was constructed and tweaked. In addition, cataloging just how much Peter was asking of the crowds when it comes to performing brand-new, unreleased material underscores just how much confidence he showed in both his audience and the new songs.

I also hope this will give people something to look through when (fingers crossed) the concert film of the tour is released in the near future and we can all re-live, or experience for the first time, this wonderful tour. It may even be a helpful record to look at when we start considering what the setlists may look like for (even more fingers crossed) future tours.


Autor: P.T. McNiff


(All of this information is sourced from the Tour Statistics page at setlist.fm as well as the individual setlists of the shows.)

Photos: Michaela Ix, Ulrich Klemt und Christian Gerhardts



Addendum: The Audience numbers

Red numbers indicate show was sold out


2023

City / Venue


Attendance






18/05/23
Krakow - Tauron Arena


12.850
20/05/23
Verona - Arena


13.000
21/05/23
Milan - Mediolanum Arena


9.300
23/05/23
Paris - AccorHotels Arena


12.900
24/05/23
Lille - Stade Piere Mauroy


10.000
26/05/23
Berlin - Waldbühne


21.600
28/05/23
Munich - Königsplatz


11.200
30/05/23
Copenhagen - Royal Arena


7.600
31/05/23
Stockholm - Avicii Arena


8.600
02/06/23
Bergen - Koengen


7.700
05/06/23
Amsterdam - Ziggo Dome


10.800
06/06/23
Antwerp - Sportpalais


12.200
08/06/23
Zürich - Hallenstadion


9.150
10/06/23

Cologne - Lanxess Arena


14.200
12/06/23
Hamburg - Barclays Arena


11.000
13/06/23
Frankfurt - Festhalle


9.750
15/06/23
Bordeaux - Arkea Arena


7.500
17/06/23 Birmingham - Utilita Arena


10.500
19/06/23 London - The O2


13.850
22/06/23 Glasgow - OVO Hydro


7.300
23/06/23 Manchester - AO Arena


9.650
25/06/23 Dublin - 3Arena

7.900






08/09/23
Quebec, QC - Videotron Centre


12.400
09/09/23
Ottawa, ON - Canadian Tire Centre


10.700
11/09/23
Toronto, ON - Scottiabank Arena


11.900
13/09/23
Montreal, QC, Bell Centre


13.600
14/09/23
Boston, MA - TD Garden


10.800
16/09/23
Philadelphia, PA - Wells Fargo Center


13.000
18/09/23
New York City, NY - Madison Square Garden


13.100
20/09/23
Washington, DC - Capitol One Arena


7.700
22/09/23
Buffalo, NY - KeyBank Center

10.600
23/09/23
Pittsburgh, PA - PPG Paints Arena

7.150
25/09/23
Columbus, OH - Nationwide Arena

7.200
27/09/23
Cleveland, OH - Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

7.800
29/09/23
Detroit, MI - Little Caesars Arena

7.300
30/09/23
Chicago, IL - United Center


13.400
02/10/23
Milwaukee, WI - Fiserv Forum

7.100
03/10/23
St. Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center

7.500
07/10/23
Vancouver, BC - Rogers Arena


11.200
08/10/23
Seattle, WA - Climate Pledge Arena


11.750
11/10/23
San Francisco, CA - Chase Center


10.000
13/10/23
Los Angeles, CA - KIA Forum


11.500
14/10/23
Palm Springs, CA - Acrisure Arena

8.000
16/10/23
Denver, CO - Ball Arena

8.200
18/10/23
Austin, TX - Moody Center

7.240
19/10/23
Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center

7.750
21/10/23
Houston, TX - Toyota Center

5.550








Special thanks to Julien Duchêne for the data of the individual shows!

 

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