Peter Gabriel Brings An Orchestra To Letterman

Last night our old friend/life champion Peter Gabriel turned up at the Ed Sullivan theater with a black-clad orchestra. Peter’s promoting his symphonic LP New Blood, a sequel/extension of last year’s Scratch My Back orchestral covers album and tour; on Scratch, he recorded takes on folks like Arcade Fire, but Blood is all his own, refitted for large, classical ensemble. Corban, Scott, and I went to this taping, sat shivering (it really is cold) in the Ed Sullivan balcony, admired Peter’s hokey theatricality on “Intruder” and his fervent commitment to human rights issues in many song intros (and, songs, like “Biko”), and his general good sense in having one of pop music’s most iconic voices. You can watch the entire 68-minute performance below. It opens with “Red Rain” and closes with “Solsbury Hill,” and “Biko,” cycling through “Intruder,” “Mercy Street” “Wallflower,” “San Jacinto,” and “Rhythm Of The Heat” (in no particular order) in between. The man has songs.