'Peter Gabriel - Secret World' (Eagle Vision)
(Peter Gabriel / DVD / NR / 2012 / Eagle Eye Media)
Overview: Peter Gabriel's Grammy Award winning film Secret World Live has now been newly restored and remastered from the original film to be seen and heard in the best possible quality on DVD. Filmed in Modena, Italy across two nights in November 1993 as part of Peter Gabriel's acclaimed Secret World Live tour in support of the Us album, the show is elaborately presented and choreographed with two stages joined by a narrow pier.
DVD Verdict: From the opening track off this incredible DVD, 'Come Talk To Me,' it has to be said that this entire visual experience is so welcoming (as a lover of visual musical arts) to behold. As the backing instruments gradually raised their game, the still-darkened arena lit only by thousands of lighters, a British telephone box appears on stage with Gabriel inside it. As his musiscians continue to play on around him - Manu Katche (drums); Tony Levin (bass, vocals); David Rhodes (guitar, vocals); Jean Claude Naimro (keyboards, vocals); Paula Cole (vocals); Shankar (violin, vocals); and Levon Minassian on doudouk - the bright red phone box slowly revolves as Gabriel sings into the handset.
That is followed by Gabriel, now complete with low-slung guitar-keys introducing 'Steam' in a foreign langauge, before taking up a standing keyboard position for 'Across The River.' Taking up a long oboe-looking instrument, 'Slow Marimbas' is next (a song he wrote 12 years ago with Stewart Copeland), and then both a very theatrical dance fest for 'Shaking The Tree,' before an incredibly compelling, sorrowful, bathed in red spotlights 'Blood Of Eden.'
The key'd introduction to 'San Jacinto' is next, with the Gabriel harmonica-driven fan favorite 'Kiss That Frog' following close behind. 'Washing Of The Water' then follows, with a crowd-clapping 'Solsbury Hill,' a weird-as-all-f**k video head set approach to 'Digging In The Dirt,' and then a beautiful, fun version of a song he rarely does these days, 'Sledgehammer.'
Gabriel video introduces us to 'Secret World,' a song that is truly stunning to behold visually and musically; and includes guests Papa Wemba and Molokai, before he finally puts on his long rain coat, grabs his suitcase, walks to stage front, and suddenly a "doom" descends upon them all! Once raised, he is changed and ready for another overly-theatrical version of 'Don't Give Up,' which after the dome comes down and is raised once again, we then finally get a bathed-in-red vesion of 'In Your Eyes.'
This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and the Special Features include: Bonus Tracks in the shape of 'Red Rain,' 'Steam' (a remixed version that comes mixed with tour photos), and 'Rhythm of the Heat' (a New Blood Live performance). There is also a Behind-The-Scenes Documentary, and an interesting Time Lapse film of the stage setup for that night.