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Peter Gabriel: Back To Front – Live In London (4K UHD Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Performance
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

A 2013 concert marking the 25th anniversary of Peter Gabriel's album 'So'

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Peter Gabriel: Back to Front was recorded October 21-22, 2013 to mark the 25th anniversary of his groundbreaking 1986 album So. For the tour, Gabriel reunited with the core of his So touring band, including Manu Katché on drums, David Sancious on keyboards, David Rhoades on guitar, and Tony Levin on bass. The tour would be the first time the album was played in its entirety live, but the show was far more than just an offering of Gabriel’s most popular and arguably his most accessible album.

The show, on this concert video, is divided into three parts, opening with an acoustic set from various periods, starting with “Daddy Long Legs” and ending with a reserved version of “Shock the Monkey,” which sounds a little bit odd stripped of all it electronic accoutrements. He then launches into the electronic part of the show, giving riveting renditions of “Digging in the Dirt,” “The Family and the Fishing Net,” and “Solsbury Hill,” the latter finding Gabriel skipping around the stage like an English schoolboy. Lastly, the show enters the full-on So portion, opening with the doom-ridden “Red Rain” and continues through the rest of the album, the highlights, apart from the big hits, being a very atmospheric “Mercy Street”. Gabriel and company end with “The Tower that Ate People” and his longtime show closer, the anti-apartheid anthem about the slaughtered South African activist Stephen Biko,  “Biko.”

The energy level of the concert may not exactly match Gabriel at his height in 1986, but the musicianship is beyond reproach on this disc as is the beautiful staging. This is one that fans will definitely enjoy.

  1. Daddy Long Legs
  2. Come Talk to Me
  3. Shock the Monkey
  4. Family Snapshot
  5. Digging in the Dirt
  6. Secret World
  7. The Family and the Fishing Net
  8. No Self Control
  9. Solsbury Hill
  10. Show Yourself
  11. Red Rain
  12. Sledgehammer
  13. Don’t Give Up
  14. That Voice Again
  15. Mercy Street
  16. Big Time
  17. We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37)
  18. This the Picture (Excellent Birds)
  19. In Your Eyes
  20. The Tower that Ate People
  21. Biko

Purchase Peter Gabriel: Back to Front — Live in London on Amazon.com

The Video

Peter Gabriel: Back to Front – Live at the O2 gets a 1.85:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) SDR encodement on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Mercury Studios. As an SDR 4K disc the HDR is not missed, as the picture has excellent contrast and extended shadow detail with little noise in the darkly lit, often black and blue shaded stage lights. Bright colors like reds and the white lights pop well enough and overall, there is a lot of detail and crispness. Some noise inherent in the camera can be seen, but this is a fine-looking concert video.

The Audio

We get a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and a LPCM 2.0 stereo mix. Low end is big, but tight. It helps to weight the electronic section of the show in particular, with hefty kick drums and drum machines in songs like “The Family and the Fishing Net” and “Digging in the Dirt.” Gabriel’s voice comes through clearly, although there are times where it could have just a little more midrange for my ears. The 5.1 mix adds a good bit of venue spaciousness and dynamic range, while the stereo mix has a wide stereo image and separation.

The Supplements

The sole featurette includes a discussion with Gabriel and director Hamish Hamilton on the staging of the concert.

Bonus Features:

  • The Visual Approach (1080p; 00:06:12)
  • Booklet with liner notes and stills

The Final Assessment

Peter Gabriel and his classic backing band put on a superb show of his classic songs and his hit album So in its entirety for this 2013 concert at the O2 in London. But can Mercury Studios please stop packaging these discs in these flimsy cardboard slipcases that make you have to grab the data layer of the disc to pull it out? This is asking for the disc to be damaged.


Peter Gabriel: Back to Front — Live in London is out on 4K Ultra HD May 10, 2024, from Universal Music Group

Purchase Peter Gabriel: Back to Front — Live in London on Amazon.com


  • Rating Certificate: Not Rated
  • Studios & Distributors: Mercury Studios | Universal Music Group
  • Director: Hamish Hamilton
  • Written By: Peter Gabriel | Billie Leach | Bob Sinclar
  • Run Time: 97 Mins.
  • Street Date: 10 May 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: SDR
  • Primary Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: LPCM 2.0 Stereo
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A 2013 concert marking the 25th anniversary of Peter Gabriel's album 'So'Peter Gabriel: Back To Front - Live In London (4K UHD Review)