Still Growing Up: Live & Unwrapped (Rhino)
by Tim Den
Still Growing Up: Live & Unwrapped is a two-DVD set that follows the timeless master as he embarks on the second leg of his world tour in support of Up, this time playing more obscure locales and venues with often paired-down stage productions. Set lists have been greatly changed too, in case you already own Growing Up Live. Dusty old timers like “Secret World” and “San Jacinto” get a 21st century makeover, while reliables “Red Rain,” “Digging in the Dirt,” and an always-triumphant closer “Biko” rally thousands to their feet. “White Ashes” from OVO also gets a surprising inclusion, and in the process, almost steals the show with its choked up intimacy and ghostly restraint.
But the part I was most looking forward to – the “unwrapped” portion of the second DVD – turned out to be extremely disappointing. Snipits of interviews with Peter Gabriel over the EXACT concert that you just watched on the first DVD is barely sufficient as a commentary track. When there’s already the fantastic Growing Up on Tour: A Family Portrait (directed by Anna Gabriel) documentary, why bother including something as lackluster as this? Since the set list on disc one is already less “famous” to a “regular” Peter Gabriel fan, wouldn’t you strive to make the bonus materials better in order to make the product more appealing?
If you already own the other DVD releases since Up (which also includes Play: The Videos), this is not a must-buy. If you’d like to see some of the lesser-known numbers in the flesh, however, feel free to pick this up, just don’t bother with the second disc (apart from the rehearsal and TV clips, which are fabulous).