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Gabriel Grows Up and Out

Since his extravagant Secret World tour back in 1994, Peter Gabriel appears to have aged 20 years and added 20 pounds. That's of little concern to his fans, one imagines. Undeterred by their hero's taking ten years to release his last album, 2002's Up, Gabriel's core audience remains deeply loyal for one simple reason: He's never abandoned the theatrics that powered Genesis' 1970s heyday. And almost 30 years after leaving that band for Phil Collins to defile, 54-year-old Gabriel is still the consummate art-rocking, tree-hugging socialite superstar. So either you'll buy into Gabriel's fantasy concert-world (which this time involves spandex, bubble wrap, bicycle riding, and rolling around in a giant hamster ball) or you'll find it all silly. Though Up comes on ponderous and dark at first -- or fifth -- listening, it ultimately reveals as much about its author as anything he's produced. While drawing primarily on the new record's themes of death and aging, the current Growing Up Live show revisits favorites from Gabriel's back catalog and even introduces some new material. The production is designed by Robert Lepage, who also built the Secret World setup. It features a revolving circular stage, Gabriel's daughter Melanie on backup vocals, and long-time mainstays David Rhodes (guitar) and Tony Levin (bass). Missing out on the Growing Up spectacle means -- at Gabriel's current speed -- you'll have to wait till 2025 to see him again. Peter Gabriel performs with the Blind Boys of Alabama at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at the Sound Advice Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Call 561-793-0445.


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