A lot of musicians do almost everything to get their music promoted. I noticed this myself when somebody from an Italian Peter Gabriel tribute band posted a video on my personal Facebook account. The video footage from So Real impressed me so much that I contacted the person who was responsible for this nice surprise. It appeared that the band had released a real professional live DVD and were honoured if I would review it for Background Magazine.
Ever since I saw Peter Gabriel perform in Genesis, I became a fan of this unique musician-even more since he started his solo career which contained several real outstanding releases.
I wasn't aware that a real Peter Gabriel tribute band could exist and therefore I was certainly very curious how the musicians from Italy would perform the music from this very remarkable entertainer. But it's also nice to see how a tribute band does get their name. A lot of times they use song or album titles in their name. This is also the case with this band. So is an album which Gabriel released in 1986. Real might come from Real World Studios but also from the main character on the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway album released by Genesis in 1974. Only they spelled Rael as Real. The band started in 2005 to play the music of Peter Gabriel and consists of musicians who play in other tribute bands as well.
The concert that was recorded for the DVD Peter Gabriel Adventure was shot at the Life Music Club. It contains (perhaps obviously) a whole concert because my display tells me that two hours and 15 minutes of music is on this disc. The DVD starts in black and white and shows how they get their gear ready for the live concert. You can also see how the musicians are getting ready backstage and how they enter the stage to do their performance.
This performance starts with a fine version of On The Air. Six musicians are on stage and they follow with I Have The Touch. Right from the start you realise that the recording of this live show was done in a very professional way. The sound and images are excellent. Good close ups of all the musicians are present and the lightning on the stage looks very well done.
The person who plays the role of Peter Gabriel has looked very well at how Mr. Gabriel has looked the last couple of years. He also has very little hair on his head and wears a small beard. Even the clothes he wears resemble Gabriel. Also, vocal-wise, Edoardo Facin resembles Peter Gabriel in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, he has a strong Italian accent which sometimes brings the music to a lower level. He is a typical Italian singer who sings way better in his native tongue. The female singer Alice Costantini also has a very strong voice and thank God her Italian accent is not always notable. The musicians who are responsible for the strong live performance of the many Gabriel covers lift the music sometimes to a very high level. Guitarist Alberto Manzato, keyboard player Andrea Marzotto, bassist Carlo Lazzari and drummer Walter Saivezzo show throughout the whole concert that they are excellent musicians.
Throughout the whole performance, you can also see that So Real has watched a lot of original Peter Gabriel live footage. You don't see the same costume changes or visual contributions as the band does not have the budget to afford such things, but the musicians do the same kind of jumping on the stage as the musicians from the Peter Gabriel backing band do on In Your Eyes. Also the way Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush perform Don't Give Up on their video is replicated by So Real as well. The musicians have taken songs from Peter's entire solo career. You can hear all of the hit singles such as Sledgehammer, Steam, Big Time and Solsbury Hill and also more unknown tracks such as Downside Up and Burn You Up.
I will not get into the details as to how every song sounds performed by this tribute band, but I can tell you that every piece of music is very well done. Everything is just of a very high standard except for the already mentioned Italian accent on the vocals. One thing is most certainly true. I would love to see this band myself one day because I was entertained the whole 135 minutes long.
For anybody who might have become very curious as to how this band sounds, I'd advise you to check out their sites mentioned on this web page. It features some of their videos taken from this DVD-a DVD which is highly recommended to everybody who loves the music of Peter Gabriel and loves to watch tribute bands.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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