Steve Hackett wrapped up the North American leg of the ‘Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett’ 2017 tour in Buffalo with a special one-off show of predominantly Genesis songs with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall – an event not to be missed.
Review and photos by Tim Darbyshire.
After months of detailed planning with conductor Bradley Thachuk of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, it was finally time to see Steve Hackett and band fuse classic Genesis material with a full orchestra. There was a tangible sense of expectation as the audience filtered into the grand concert hall with the orchestra already seated and tuning up.
Seating 2400, Kleinhans is renowned for its excellent acoustics and as the band kicked off with ‘Dance On A Volcano’ it was clear we were in for a special evening. The orchestra added texture and colour, filling spaces normally occupied by Roger King’s lush keyboard sounds. Steve seemed to be playing with a permanent smile on his face, although the most animated person on stage was conductor Bradley Thachuk who was clearly having the time of his life.
The strong positive vibe continued throughout the show as Steve mixed full on Genesis classics such as ‘Firth of Fifth’, ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’ and ‘Supper’s Ready’ with more subtle solo numbers which highlighted the orchestral contribution like ‘The Steppes’ and ‘Serpentine Song’. The rapturous applause after the set closer ‘Supper’s Ready’ was long lasting as the band and orchestra soaked up the sell out crowd’s appreciation. The band minus orchestra returned to the stage and finished the tour with a rousing version of ‘The Musical Box’.
Steve has of course been playing Genesis material on tour for the last four years, but having been influenced in so many ways by classical music this rare opportunity to play with the orchestra was one he clearly relished. Although not playing at the same volume as a regular gig, Steve’s band delivered a superb performance as ever and special mention must go to the sound engineer Ben Fenner for giving us the perfect blend of electric band and orchestra.
I’m sure relief was among the emotions displayed at the end of the two hour show due to the nature of this one-off performance. Hopefully it’s an experiment Steve will be able to repeat again in the near future.
Setlist – Steve Hackett at Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo:
Dance On A Volcano
Out of The Body
Firth of Fifth
Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
Blood On The Rooftops
Shadow Of The Hierophant (closing section)
….In That Quiet Earth
The Musical Box
The 2017 Touring band:
Steve Hackett: Guitars, Vocals
Nad Sylvan: Vocals
Nick Beggs: Bass
Roger King: Keyboards
Gary O’Toole: Drums
Rob Townsend: Wind instruments
and The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bradley Thachuk.