Peter Gabriel: Growing Up Live DVD Review


I first heard Peter Gabriel's music at my first apartment. A neighbor was excited to show off the CD, Security, to me. I was enthralled with the exotic music instruments from around the world, and the lyrics that focused on rising from despair.

So, it was with great enthusiasm that I picked up the "Peter Gabriel: Growing Up Live" DVD.

The DVD starts right into the main menu. The menu is simply animated with music and show direction sounds in the background. Oddly enough, the menu defaults to the Audio Options instead of the Play Concert selection. The remaining choices are: Select Track and Extra Features. All the submenus have a similar design.

Peter Gabriel: Growing Up Live DVD menu

The performance is presented in 16:9 anamorphic. The picture is crisp and clear. The camerawork lingers mostly on Peter Gabriel.

Downside Up

I was in shock to see, at the age of 54, how old and tired Peter Gabriel looks. (Especially after seeing his 1994 Secret World DVD, in which he was relatively youthful!) He seemed more energetic in the accompanying The Story of Growing Up, so I think the tour was wearing him out. However, his distinct voice sounds through, and the concert is an audio treat in DTS. Plus, he does his gimmicky things on his circular (literally center) stage: walking in a giant hamster ball ("Zorb ball"), walking upside-down, and the like.

Peter Gabriel in his hamster ball

The Zorb ball looks like something he would use to walk out onto the audience. After all, he personally allowed himself to get passed around by the audience during his Security tour. I was anticipating it, but he refrained from that due to safety issues.

There were a lot of funky video effects going on during The Barry Williams Show. I think it's ironic that, in the age of perfect DVD video presentation, video distortion is considered an art form.

An interesting thing they did for the DVD was to split the screen during the set-up between some songs, to show the activity behind setting up the stage and performers.

Split screen

The Audio Options menu choices are: DTS and Dolby Stereo.

The Select Track menu choices are: Here Comes the Flood, Darkness, Red Rain, Secret World, Sky Blue, Downside Up, The Barry Williams Show, More than This, Mercy Street, Digging in the Dirt, Growing Up, Animal Nation, Solsbury Hill, Sledgehammer, Signal to Noise, In Your Eyes, Father Son, Credits.

The Extra Features menu choices are: The Story of Growing Up, Tony Levin's View, Credits, and Subtitles: Off, English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Overall, as a fan of Peter Gabriel, I find this DVD sounds excellent and has a visual style that's a mix of a live performance and video gimmicks. It looks and sounds great.

Click here to purchase Peter Gabriel: Growing Up Live DVD at

Contents by Vitas Povilaitis
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