Even though I have yet to comprehend what “it” exactly is, those who attended Peter Gabriel’s concert on March 24 got “it” and loved “it.” The 59-year-old English superstar delighted the tranquil, orderly and classy crowd at Movistar Arena on the first day of Santiago's 2009 Pepsi Music Festival.
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The former Genesis leader and avid human rights activist played a dramatic mix of classic pop rock songs and more recent percussion-heavy world music tunes that included “Solsbury Hill,” “Games Without Frontiers,” “In Your Eyes,” “Darkness,” “Blood of Eden,” “Sledgehammer” and even two songs accompanied by classic Chilean folklore band Inti Illimani.
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“Buenisimo (great)!” a female guest remarked. “This is the third time I’ve seen (Peter Gabriel) and it’s always great.”
Gabriel performed for nearly three hours with euphoric special effects, entertaining stage antics--which included a lot of skipping, spinning and thrusting--and a full encore that kept nearly everyone smiling throughout the night.
“Lo pasamos muy bien (We are having a great time),” Gabriel said, reading from one of his many Spanish scripts in between songs. “Estamos muy feliz estar aquí otra vez (We are very happy to be here again).”
This was definitely a different type of show for me. “Genesis weon!” one well-dressed female attendee yelled.
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Maybe it’s because I generally gravitate towards the emerging urban venues in Santiago, or the fact that I was born after 1980 (barely), but I found myself somewhat out of place, missing the regular rambunctiousness and characteristic frenzy of concerts in these parts, and I felt the adrenaline rush eminently absent.
Everyone else, on the other hand, seemed to appreciate it. With mostly assigned seating in the venue and very little shoving, yelling or bottlenecking, security appeared to have everything under control as the mainly 35-and-over crowd calmly soaked in Gabriel’s third ever performance in Chile.
Peter Gabriel moves on to play three more shows in Mexico, closing out his tour of Mexico and South America.
Next up at Pepsi Fest: Chris Cornell and Mike Patton on March 25. Stay tuned!