The Theater at Innovation Square
Saturday Roctober 7, 2023
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
Steve Hackett made a long awaited return to Rochester Saturday evening. The Theater at Innovative Square was the setting for Hackett’s Foxtrot at Fifty extravaganza. Foxtrot is of course in reference to the 1972 Genesis album that seems to have aged like a fine wine and is considered one of the best albums of its genre. Much to the delight of the sold out crowd inside the 700 seat theater, the band pulled off playing the album flawlessly.
The show was divided into two sets. The first set featured Hackett’s solo material which featured a healthy dose of his debut Voyage of the Acolyte. “Every Day” brought out the first standing ovation of many during the performance. Another highlight of the first set was the title cut “Spectral Mornings” from his 1979 release. “Shadow of the Hierophant” closed out the first set on a high note as Hackett announced there would be a 20-minute intermission before the next set.
If the band had only played just the first set, that alone would have been worth the price of admission. To follow up that first set by playing Foxtrot in it’s entirety was above and beyond what any fan should expect a band to play. Of course the Steve Hackett band is no ordinary band. The current version has been together since 2018 when bassist Jonas Reingold and drummer Craig Blundell came aboard. They have not missed a beat since. Multi-instrumentalist Rob Townsend whose immense talents were on display throughout the show playing sax, flute and keyboards. Main keyboardist Roger King has been behind the keys since 2001. Rounding out the band with vocalist Nad Sylvan is like the cherry on top of the cake. It is eerie when closing your eyes for a moment and listening to his vocals how close to Peter Gabriel he sounds on the Genesis material.
Foxtrot itself is a highlight with such gems as opener “Watcher Of The Skies” and “Get Em Out By Friday” absolutely shining through. The instrumental “Horizons” preceding the song that most were eagerly anticipating “Supper’s Ready” served as a delicious appetizer. The 23-minute epic which Hackett has performed over the years is one of those have to see it live moments. Genesis had long abandoned the song as they focused on their commercial era during the latter part of their career. To see Hackett, the guy who played guitar on the track when it was recorded in 1972, perform it 51 years later was simply a moment that I’ll never forget.
Hackett has made no plans to sail into the sunset just yet. Why should he while is able to put on a show this powerful. Hackett has had a long career dating back to his Genesis days. He was a very important part of that band that helped get them over the hump during the early years. He already has tour dates set for 2024. If he is playing even remotely near you we highly recommend attending. Enjoy the ride for as long as you can and treasure each and every show you see because we are seeing a true legend still playing in top form.
Ace of Wands
The Devil’s Cathedral
A Tower Struck Down
Shadow of the Hierophant
Set 2: Foxtrot
Watcher of the Skies
Get ’em Out by Friday
Can-Utility and the Coastliners
Firth of Fifth