Peter Gabriel Announces “Back to Front” Tour with Tony Levin and ’80s Line Up

Peter Gabriel: SoPeter Gabriel is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his landmark album, So, with a tour that will feature music from the album.

So reached multi-platinum status (five times over), with hits including “Sledgehammer,” “Big Time,” “Red Rain,” “Don’t Give Up” (duet with Kate Bush) and “In Your Eyes.”

Gabriel is enlisting many members of the original band he toured with 25 years ago, including Tony Levin, David Rhodes, Manu Katche and David Sanchez.

Peter Gabriel Band: 1987 line up with Tony LevinLevin joined Gabriel’s band in the late ’70s, and has remained the front man’s go-to bassist in the studio and on the road ever since. Soon after Levin joined Gabriel’s band, the bassist met Robert Fripp and performed on Fripp’s solo album, Exposure in 1980. Of course, that led to Levin joining the ’80s version of King Crimson, which included Fripp, Adrian Belew and Bill Bruford.

The “Back to Front” tour gets going in September, with a single June date planned at the Hop Farm Music Festival in the UK. Gabriel is simultaneously releasing a re-issue of So on CD and as a special 3-CD deluxe box set, to be released on September 18th.

Peter Gabriel “Back to Front” Tour Dates:

  • June 29, 2012: Kent, UK @ Hop Farm Music Festival
  • September 16, 2012: Quebec City, QC @ Colisee Pepsi
  • September 18, 2012: Montreal, QC @ Bell Center
  • September 19, 2012: Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
  • September 21, 2012: Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Centre
  • September 23, 2012: Wantaugh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach
  • September 24, 2012: Boston, MA @ TD Garden
  • September 26, 2012: Detroit, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
  • September 27, 2012: Chicago, IL @ United Center
  • September 30, 2012: Denver, CO @ Red Rocks
  • October 2, 2012: San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion
  • October 5, 2012: Las Vegas, NV @ Planet Hollywood Showroom
  • October 6, 2012: Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
  • October 9, 2012: Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara County Bowl

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  1. Hoping for a guest appearance by Kate!

  2. Um… Don’t you mean David Sancious on keys? THAT’S the keyboardist who toured with him in 1987.

    • What did I say? Yes, David Sanchez is on keys. Manu Katche is drums. Anyway, after seeing the show at the UC on Thursday, it was musically a much better band than for the Growing Up tour. Much simpler stage set up than the round stage in 2002 but the flow of this show was also much smoother. The Secret World Live show in 1992 was the most amazing, creative stage show I’ve ever seen from any artist and the band was great too (basically same as this tour). I hate to rate PG shows as I have never seen on I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. Each is memorable in it’s own right. The show Thursday was probably had the most intimate feel. Peter just walked out before the show started (no warning or intro). He came out to explain the opening act had gotten sick so he introduced the last minute replacement. Also when the show started the house lights stayed on. They walked out and Peter explained the show would be in 3 parts, they were trying out some new arrangement’s for 1st time “hope they work” older stuff and the 3rd section would be the entire “So” album. They played several songs with all the lights on like he was playing for friends at home. Show ended not surprisingly with “In Your Eyes”. Encore was “the Tower That Ate People” from Ovo (For my money this was the song that blew the roof of the place) and it was nice to see PG to end the show with Biko. I saw PG the first two shows of the “Growing Up” tour in Chicago in Nov 2002 and in 2003 saw “Still Growing Up” shows in Chicago and Milwaukee and he didn’t play Biko at any of those shows. The “Still Growing Up” shows (outdoor shows with end stage setup) were the first shows they recorded for the Encore series. They cost $25 for each show back then. Better souvenir than a T-shirt and cheaper too. It took about 3 weeks after the show to receive the CD’s. They were mixed by the same guy who ran the sound board at the concert. They are offering these again on this tour. Since this tour just got started I plan to watch for Milwaukee to be added and a possible return to Chicago. Who knows when and if he’ll tour again. Go see this musical genius while you have the chance.

    • I live closest to Philadelphia & NYC, and unfortunately wasn’t able to attend either nearby show :-( … BUT he’s coming back east near the end of the tour (mid-October) and playing just outside DC, so I’m hopeful I can sort out the logistics – ’cause, as you said, who knows when or if he’ll tour again, given his erratic history and being in his early 60s. Last time I saw him was 2002 in NJ (and thanks to my ex – a stagehand – was able to get one of the “house seats” that are held until the last minute – so I was about 50 feet from PG’s keyboard station on that rotating stage for most of the show. Great place to enjoy a great show); before then, it was way back in the 80s, during the Security tour – and I have fond recollections of the entire crowd punching the air and singing the closing section of Biko at the tops of our lungs, and would love to do that again. Glad you had a good time!

      PS: the reason for my comment (on the original post, though you’ve done the same thing) was the spelling of David Sancious’s name. He’s a pretty amazing guy in his own right – an excellent keyboardist AND guitarist who’s put out a few of his own albums (somewhere I have one or two “David Sancious and Tone” LPs from the late 70s/early 80s).

  3. Ed Kernan KATE SUCKS, Paula Cole rocks!

  4. Of course Tony Levins & David Rhodes have been with Peter since dawn of man. Having Manu Katche and David Sanchez back will be a great improvement over the Growing Up lineup. I don’t get the reference to Paula Cole as she toured on “some” of the Secret World Live tour in ’92 but was no where near the SO tour in 1986-87. Youssou N”Dour opened in 87 as well as played with Peter on “In Your Eyes” and some others (as he sang with PG on the SO album). It would be AWESOME if he were on this tour. One one can come close to doing his parts justice! Also, Kate Bush was on the SO album but not on tour (at least not in Chicago). So when Peter sang the duet, “Don’t Give Up”, Peter sang it solo, yes, he sang both parts. They had tracks that ran around the perimeter of the stage back then. It was tracking for lights on a scissors type rack that Peter was able to pull around and raise and lower the lights down on him. I’ve seen some pictures from early shows of this tour and have notices what looks like the same tracks. Just having Manu Katche back is HUGE! Not to knock Jed form the tour in 2003-04 but Manu has a style all his own. If you saw the Growing Up tour you will really appreciate how important the drummer is. Been going to PG since 1980 at the Chicago Theater for the PG III album (finger scratches). Amazing low budget show at the time but all Peter needs to blow you away is a stage and a microphone. Also something Peter has going away from is the stage dive but in the first So tour while playing Lay Your Hands On Me, he would walk slowly to the edge of the stage, turn around and lift this arms up over his head as if reaching for the sky. Then he slowly tipped blindly back on his heals until he fell of the stage into the hands of the audience. At the old Poplar Creek west of Chicago wasn’t passed over head. Instead the first couple of rows just mauled him tearing his cloths off, almost disappearing from sight as he seemed to be heading for the ground. Thanks to an alert crew they were able to rescue him and get him back up to the stage. He finished the song with his pants halfway off his hips. I went to see him at the Marcus Amphitheater at Summerfest in Milwaukee a night later. I was surprised he was willing to do it again after the mugging in Chicago but they were much more civilized in Milwaukee and passed him over head at least 50 rows from the stage but was returned unharmed without a scratch. Different cultures I guess. I’ve NEVER been disappointed in a PG show and if I had to chose one last concert I could see for the rest of my life it would be Peter. He is a showman without peer. Since I live between Milwaukee & Chicago I’ve been able to go to several show back to back to back in both cities without ever having a regret. If I was to pass on a show I would regret that.

    Encore series are recording all the concerts and I got CD’s from the Milwaukee & Chicago shows in 2003, “The Still Growing Up Tour” which was the 2nd half/return to usa tour in which was “end stage” shows. The first 1/2 of the tour was in the round. It was the first time he had recorded each show for sale. I can’t think a better souvenir of a concert. They were $25 for double CD set back then but worth every penny. And they arrived within 3 weeks of the shows. The CD’s were also mastered by the sound engineer who ran the sound board at the concerts.

    Scrape up every cent you can find. Getting in is the main thing. Sure being up close would be nice but just being in the building is something you won’t regret! And watch for more shows to be announced. No Milwaukee shows yet and he almost always plays there. Also, this is a freak occurrence which caught me by surprise. He toured in 86-87 for So. Didn’t tour again till 1992 for the US album. (Which I believe was among the best of his career) Stayed busy on various projects for long time, OVO and involved with WOMAD and other human rights causes but didn’t tour again until end November of 2002 for support of UP. No new albums until Scratch My Back which was covers with an orchestra. No band. First time David Rhodes not on PG album or tour. Tony had been on every album/tour except one at beginning of PG’s solo career. After 2011 tour with orchestra I figured it could be around 2020 before he toured again (based on trends) but thank you record label. You know they must have pushed for anniversary tour/remastered albums, CD’s etc. Remember “So” was released on vinyl. I wore out a few copies of vinyl before CD’s started to take off. Long at the length of the album. Not a lot of songs. About the same time U2 put out The Joshua Tree. Two classic albums. What a year! And both made for vinyl. Don’t forget the quality of the albums tended to be superior back then as they had to skip weaker songs because of time restrictions. Now with CD’s they put out music that would not make the cut on a vinyl album.

    Enjoy the show. See as many as possible! JC

    • I remember the US tour in 92 and you are so right. Just get in the building (venue). I remember having to drive at an insane speed to be sure we didn’t miss the open. I’ve seen a lot of great shows. But I remember his show best. cheers. mp

  5. All I have to say is the bass lines in Sledgehammer has to be the coolest, from the groove and the sound, top notch. What effect does he use, a Boss octave stomp box? Oozes sexiness….

  6. David Sancious: piano player.
    David Sanchez: saxophone player.