Best concert ever (except for Radiohead)

The best concert I have ever attended was Peter Gabriel, live in New Jersey during his 1986 tour supporting So. Gabriel took to the road seven years later to support Us, but then took a full 10 years off from major touring. In 2002, he hit the road with Growing Up Live, a tour in support of his first album in 10 years, Up. While I did see the show, and it might not have managed the majesty of his mid-’80s heyday, it was still something to behold. This lush DVD package captures the terrific program that Gabriel managed to put together, with every song receiving a special staging. Classics like Sledgehammer and Here Comes the Flood are coupled with newbies like Growing Up, a number that has Gabriel rolling around the stage in a huge hamster ball. (The night I attended in San Jose, Gabriel was knocking over musical equipment and nearly running over members of his band.) For Downside Up, Gabriel hangs upside down with daughter and backing vocalist Melanie, biking around a circular track while singing. Visually and aurally amazing, Gabriel has always been one of rock’s greatest showmen. This DVD captures that brilliance. Also new to DVD: Secret World Live, chronicling Gabriel’s ’93 tour.

Special Features: High marks to the packaging for this one, which comes in a three-fold featuring two photo albums. Supplements include The Story of Growing Up, a behind the scenes look at the intense work needed to stage such a show, and Tony Levin’s Tour Photographs, offerings from Gabriel’s excellent guitarist.

Concert: A-

Special Features: B-

Geek Factor: 7