Secret World finds the Genesis founder fully entrenched in his world-music phase — still ongoing today — but still playing his solo hits, such as the never-not-excellent “Solsbury Hill” and the John Cusack’s boom box-co-opted “In Your Eyes,” which becomes an epic encore. All are sung with passion, with backup (and occasional duet duties, i.e. “Don’t Give Up”) by a then-unknown Paula Cole.
What makes me wish the Blu-ray had an alternate-visual feature, however, are the sights of Gabriel and company dancing jigs and other choreographed hokum that makes his great songs seem completely unhip. He even makes pelvic thrusts during the opening and closing of “Sledgehammer,” which just confirms what I knew even at the age of 16: that the massive hit was all about fucking. I think he’s even wearing tights.
The Blu-ray captures the colors of the concert’s design, and it certainly had that, with Gabriel appearing from a UK-style phone booth, equipped with a cord that seems to have no end. Most notable among the extras is a majestic performance of another So classic, “Red Rain,” inexplicably missing from Secret World‘s final cut. —Rod Lott