Photos by Chris Besaw
Review by Kelly Besaw
The legendary Peter Gabriel brought his i/o The Tour to the Keybank Center in Buffalo, NY on Friday September 22. The nearly three-hour set included a mix of storytelling, stunning visuals, artsy multimedia and stellar performances from Gabriel and his incredible band.
It has been a long time since fans have had an opportunity to see Peter Gabriel live. He last toured with Sting in 2016. For those who were expecting an evening of nothing but hits, they may have been disappointed as the tour title suggests, Gabriel used the evening to showcase live performances of his latest release I/O.
The show opened on a quiet note with Gabriel and long-time bassist Tony Levin sitting around a campfire under a visage of the moon as the two kicked off the night with “Washing of the Water” before the rest of the band joined them onstage for “Growing Up.”
The 73-year-old Gabriel has certainly learned the value of surrounding himself with talent. His backup band is incredible. Gabriel melded bassist Tony Levin with other long-time band members drummer Manu Katche and guitarist David Rhodes and then brought in some new faces, Don E on keyboards, Richard Evans on guitar/wind instruments, Ayanna Witter-Johnson on cello/piano, and Marina Moore on Violin and Viola. The blend of string and wind instruments were critical elements to the I/O album tracks which the band played almost in its entirety.
While the majority of the show focused on songs from I/O, Gabriel did work in well-known hits including “Sledgehammer,” “Big Time” and “In Your Eyes.” Who can blame Gabriel for focusing on the new album after all, it is his first release since 2002 and he has spent year perfecting it. He also took an interesting approach to the album release by releasing one new song on each date of the full moon since January 2023. Some songs focus on the dangers of artificial intelligence and being able to tell “the real from the fake.” “Panopticon” is a perfect example and was stunning when performed live.
After dual sets and a double encore, Gabriel and his band ended the evening with politically charged hit “Biko” leaving the fans in awe and wanting more. There are still a few opportunities to catch Peter Gabriel on this tour as it runs through October. Hopefully, he will be back on the road soon!
Washing of the Water
Four Kinds of Horses
Digging in the Dirt
Playing for Time
This is Home
Love Can Heal
Road to Joy
Live and Let Live
In Your Eyes