All that was missing was the smoke swirling on stage. It was like stepping into a time machine with Jerry Marotta, Trey Gunn, Michael Cozzie, David Jameson and Brian Cummins. Their show takes you back in time to Peter Gabriel’s wild, interesting, innovative, and just crazy music from the beginning. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of “SO”, the songs sung from that album had special meaning.
Drumming came naturally to Jerry, landing him in the studio and many different bands. New York was his training grounds. Eventually, he did work with Peter Gabriel in the studio and on tours. His influence is obvious with the signature drum sound reaching out from the roiling guitar and keys.
Michael Cozzie showing how the guitar was used so differently to make the sound that takes you to the year 1982 with Peter Gabriel. Adding his backup vocals the next layer is added to build toward the final structure. Originally from Wales, he has made his home in the northwest which may have been one of the deciding factors in doing their first west coast tour.
Taking a moment with the audience, Trey Gunn who came from “King Crimson” told everyone he had history with Eugene in that he went to the U of O and received a degree in Music. An eight string wide neck instrument called a Warr guitar, is his instrument of choice. No other word but virtuoso, describes his proficiency with this instrument. The haunting wide range of sounds that comes from this instrument adds to the Peter Gabriel sound.
According to the other band members, with his keyboards combined with his electronics, David Jameson puts the icing on the cake to complete the sound . David designed the Eigen harp, which is described as a hybrid instrument akin to a computerized bassoon. Keyboard controllers, an ipad and iphone are all tied together with a Mac Book connecting all of his electronics and allow for his control over the interesting sound. Without his input the expected sound would not be possible.
Picking up an acoustic guitar, Brian Cummins pulled the sound down to give the audience a treat with the stripped down version of “Mercy Street”. His stellar vocals totally complete the Peter Gabriel sound. Obviously, he has studied the sound and inflections that make this music a complete reflection of the artist they pay tribute to. Being from Liverpool, his accent could only help.
One of the highlights of the evening was the song “Biko”. It was written as a tribute to the antiapartide activist Steve Biko after his death. The attentiveness of the audience showed how deep their feelings were running while listening to this touching song.
Watching “The Security Project” brings back the sounds and memories of a time Peter Gabriel had begun writing and performing his unique musical style. History shows how forward thinking this progressive writer was then and this band brings it back with a vengeance.