Peter Gabriel #5 at Rogers Arena

by chris cunningham

Awww look at everyone sitting there nicely enjoying some music. My fifth time seeing Peter! Forum 2x, Staples, Irvine Meadows and now Rogers Arena. I doubt it will be the last as I expect he will do a ‘this is it’ tour as so many others are doing now. Pete (he told me to call him Pete) was in fine vocal form. Bonus is he’s not having to change the vocal lines to suit his voice like Bono and Elton have to. The band with Tony Levin, Manu Katché and David Rhodes is always amazing. David Rhodes was the musical director and guitarist for the Kate Bush shows in London. Tony is a god amongst bassists.

You know what’s great about living in Vancouver, or at least downtown? You get to walk to all the major concerts. And it’s all downhill! Both wa… well one way! I look down the street and there they are! Right there! I see you big BC Place stadium, big Rogers Arena, large Queen Elizabeth concert hall, medium sized Orpheum venue, and in between all you smaller Commodore-like clubs. All that and we still don’t get a visit from Tay Tay. Come on Taylor. Yeeeeah, I don’t really care.

I knew the set list (as generated below, I love for that) going in, and that half of it was all new material. I’m not fond of the new album so I bought a cheap ticket just to be in the building. Let’s face it ticket prices are absurd. I had a front row end seat above the wheelchair section near an exit tunnel. Which worked out great because after songs I wanted to hear I could go walk around the arena and marvel at the concession prices. One slice of pizza for $11! Amazing. That’s like seven Costco hot dogs just across the street. No wonder Costco’s concession is packed on event nights. Walking to the far side of the arena, which would have been behind the stage, I just sat down for a bit and listened. I was there all by myself. Nobody around, nothing. Pretty cool to hear Gabriel echoing through the promenade. Then I would walk back and hear Red Rain or whatever. Then I’d go look at merch or mooch around and look at the high end vending machines. There’s a lot of those now. Even a cake one. So back in my seat, Big Time, which isn’t my favorite song, it was the highlight though! Unbelievable staging and graphics going on. Just loved it. And of course Solsbury Hill. Who doesn’t love a song in the 7/4 time signature? Solsbury Hill, Money by Pink Floyd, All You Need Is Love The Beatles, the keyboard solo in Jive Talkin’ (seriously), verses in Tattooed Love Boys by Pretenders. It schwings baby, go ahead tap those songs out. I dare you baby! Could an Austin Powers movie actually get made these days? Anyway, I had decided I was going to leave before the encores to get a jump on the crowds, but come ooooonnn! In Your Eyes and Biko! Ya gotta stay right? Turns out with all the crap going on in the world Biko is still excellent and feels current. I stayed to the end which I haven’t done in awhile and then right outside I hopped on an electric Citybike and was home in just minutes! In Your Eyeeees… someone really needs to dress up as John Cusack and walk down the aisle towards the stage with a boombox above his head. Oh me? No not me, but someone should.

He did address AI and all things avatarry. Themes of his latest release. Stating that ABBA made themselves younger but that he, meaning the Peter on stage talking to us, was actually his avatar but his was 20 years older and 20 pounds heavier than real Peter. Real Peter was lying horizontal on a beach in the South of France with an Adonis style body. Oooooo Abba, he referenced something I worked on! Whoop! Planning a trip to Venice next year with a stop in London and they’ve extended the Abba Voyage dates through the summer so I might actually get to see it! Voulez-Vous! That’s French for “Do you want (to)?” Why yes I do.

So… upcoming concerts, Stephen Sanchez (oh bloody hell, ugh, just cancelled day of show). Sorta Twin Peaks meets Enchantment Under the Sea meets Elvis. Oh well. Springsteen (ugh, was postponed), Kiss (last one), The Struts (Freddie vibes), Big Wreck (Oh Canada!). Skipped Iron Maiden last week but they aren’t going anywhere and I’ve seen them a trazillion times.

Goodnight Peter. Goodnight Rogers Arena. Goodnight $11 pizza slice. Goodnight Chinatown station. Goodnight future Fogo de Chão location (see you next year), Goodnight Granville and Georgia hot dog vendor. Goodnight giant British lions at the art gallery. Goodnight cargo ships sparkling out on the water. Goodnight Moon and goodnight to you.

Peter Gabriel Setlist Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada 2023, i/o The Tour