Stabbing lignts, the flash of white hands slicing the air, shadowy figures bounding up, down and around a stark-black superstructure. Peter Gabriel and company put on a visually exciting show at the Warner Theatre last night.
Gabriel was a blur of motion, sometimes sinuous and sleek, sometimes spastic and agitated. He acted out lyrics, danced and, at times, just roved and raved, freed from the tyranny of mike-stand and wiring by an ingenious radio headset.
On "Shock the Monkey," a thumping anthem driven along by the forceful drumming of Jerry Marotta, he dragged his knuckles on the floor and leaped jaggedly in the air, feigning surprised pain. For "San Jacinto" he was reverent, mounting a platform wreathed in smoke, bowing his head and folding his hands while Larry Fast provided spooky stretches of synthesized sound.
Occasionally, Gabriel took refuge behind an electric piano, ably accompanying himself on several lovely ballads. During "Lay Your Hands On Me," he left the stage and walked through the theater on the backs of the audience's seats. To say that the crowd was impressed would be a gross understatement.
The show was opened by the Electric Guitars, which played a frothy, manic set of white funk.