I got down to VA really early, knowing that I wanted to get good seats and the place is first come etc. Once I got there, I didn't really see many people milling about, so I sat in the car and planned my H'ween costume and listened to a book on tape. Anxiously, due to the aforementioned parking garage incident. Around 6, an hour before doors opened, I hopped out of the car to see what the crowd was like. There were maybe ten or twenty people in line already. I brought a book to read in line - the carefully selected Shakey - though I should have known I didn't need it, because these are my people, and naturally I'd be able to strike up a lively conversation with virtually anyone I was standing near. The guy in front of me was a big anime fan, and the guy behind me was a big Broadway fan, so I sort of bounced back and forth between chats with the two. We didn't even just talk about prog, it's true.
Doors opened, and I rapidly found my forum friend Joe (whose ever-patient wife Maïté was along). We got settled for the 1.5 hour wait in our sweet third row seats in the middle and commenced to gabbing. Maïté and I talked horticulture. Joe and I talked music. The venue slowly filled, leaving only the balcony seats open. I learned I don't actually like Miller Lite. The buzz from the crowd was pleasant; mostly a middle-aged group with the exception of one group of three girls from Blacksburg; they seemed to be in a band and took a while talking with Steve after the show about how to get started. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Mr. Hackett opened the show with a song guaranteed to get me hook, line and sinker: Classical Gas. He said something like, it's a standout amongst all those many nylon string hits. Ha! Steve's a comedian. Anyways, I ate it up and that set the tone for the rest of the evening. Now, some of you may not know who SH is or what his place in the history of Genesis is. Actually, probably anyone that clicked on the cut does, but never mind. He was the lead guitar for merely all my favorite Genesis albums. And for those at the concert hoping to hear a G tune or two, he did not disappoint; we heard a little Hairless Heart, a little Horizons, a few other things you'd recognize as a freak like me. Gasps and applause from the audience.
But, that's not to detract from the rest of the show, because the rest of the show was just as fantastic, in my estimation. I am not as famililar with his solo work (yet) so I don't clearly recall all the individual songs he played, but (and I admit I'm biased) I sat there rapt with attention and felt deflated when he warned us it would be the last song. The first set was him alone with the guitar. The second part of the show involved his brother John on flute and one Roger King on keys. I was deeply impressed with John's performance, not that I go out and see many flutists but it sounded pretty flawless to me. They played some Satie, which John introduced with an amusing defenstration story. The whole time, it felt as though they were playing right in my living room, just with better acoustics. I was sitting practically right at their feet. And it seemed like they were having fun; the crowd was lively but polite. They were playing music they clearly loved. There was even jazz involved and I didn't hate it. (Side note: got a single Brand X cd at the cdepot; we'll see how that goes.) He played Kim about his wife Kim Poor. Naturally I was extra excited about that one... it helped that Joe was jabbing me in the ribs as soon as Steve introduced it. :)
There was one encore, and then they were done, and the lights came up. People were hovering - Mr. Hackett is famous for being extremely genial to the fans. So I waited around long enough to have my friend snap a picture, and thus you have proof that I made an ass of myself upon meeting a former member of Genesis.
(And he is really, really nice.) (I breezed through because I felt guilty keeping him there, and blathered and probably interrupted him and have a fuzzy memory of what happened due to my nervousness, but I remember looking him in the eye and seeing nothing but kindness there. He likes his fans.) (Oh, he mentioned it's his grandmother's 96th birthday coming up, and how he wished he could play the songs for her. Happy birthday Steve's grandmother!)
Time to pack it in for the night. Looks like this concertgoer is taking a rest until December unless something drops out of the sky.