A recent trend for aging "legacy" acts is to perform an entire catalog album during a live concert. Accordingly, Peter Gabriel is touring his landmark 1986 album So in North America, his first rock tour on these shores since 2003. The last Gabriel concert I'd seen was at what was then called the Rosemont Horizon in 1993. The crowd enthusiasm and energy level were akin to that at a Neil Diamond concert. Due to whatever financial necessities (or opportunities), ticket prices were steep--not quite Streisand level, but up there. The crowd was correspondingly aged, and the show never seemed to boil over the way a U2 show does no later than four or five songs in. The pace of the set was measured, and time was taken between each song for the musicians to adjust their settings and for sips of tea.
Because of or despite these boundary conditions, the audience received a show that was simply cracking in many respects. Where a U2 show is probably half prerecorded, it was evident that Gabriel and his musicians were playing live--though naturally the signature complex drum patterns that feature in almost all songs are triggered by a sequencer. I had earplugs in, which balanced the sound and allowed me to distinguish keyboard parts, for example, that would otherwise be in the background. There were no cheesy keyboard voicings like the canned Hammond organ sound that Gabriel employed in 1993, presumably in an effort to sound "earthy". The band was unbelievably tight for having had only two week's rehearsal (and being only ten days into the tour).