BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Beautifully photographed, this double DVD package encompasses all that a Peter Gabriel fan would relish most, that is, a double dose of Gabriel both in full concert mode and in the breathtaking videos that are his stock in trade. Appearing noticeably younger — the concert portion was filmed 25 years ago — and with a full head of hair, Gabriel and his ace band run through a set that encompasses every one of his solo hits. The choreography seems a bit hokey in retrospect, but then again, it does fall in sync with Gabriel’s penchant for visual presentation. On a song like “Shock the Monkey” the does the song justice with some pretty snappy footwork.
Clearly the drama is there regardless — in the half light of “San Jacinto,” in the grand gestures, and naturally, in the music itself. As evident in the videos that make up the second disc of this set, Gabriel’s emphasis on imagery is a key component in his art overall. And in that regard Live In Athens doesn’t let the viewer down. Both discs complement the music with visuals that suit the songs well, and it’s a credit to Gabriel’s brilliance that he can create as hypnotic an effect on stage as he does when he has the full benefit of special effects and the best video directors. An interview conducted at the time gives fuller credence to his creativity, but based on the evidence offered herein, no explanation is necessary.