Never have I laughed as much, while also genuinely enjoying something, that wasn’t a comedy, as while watching Peter Gabriel’s Growing Up Live DVD. One of my first summers in Austin, my brother, a friend, and I, watched this DVD almost every night while maybe, or maybe not, being on various substances. It’s fucking ridiculous. He is dressed in an all black ninja outfit, while bald and looking like your uncle. He, at various times, performs in a giant ball, while walking upside down, riding a bike, and while wearing a suit of lights, among other things. (The suit of light is featured above in Sledgehammer.) He gives serious sounding speeches about things like playing music with apes. (Lead in to Animal Nation.) Although he clearly understands the absurdity up to a point, you are never sure that he completely gets it. (Band members are crying while playing Animal Nation, yes the very same song about playing music with apes.)
That all being said, the music is fantastic. Gabriel is a great songwriter with an incredible band. The arrangements are exciting and inventive. The playing is top-notch. The range of emotions expressed runs the gamut. I am a genuine fan of his and I keep waiting for him to put out a new album of original music.
If you are looking to watch a concert that is genuinely entertaining, this is one I can’t help but recommend. In fact it is probably one of the most entertaining I have ever seen. It’s absurd, ridiculous, artistic, comical, and beautiful all at the same time.