The spirit of Peter Gabriel came to Reggies Chicago for Saturday’s edition of Progtoberfest II (expertly curated by Kevin Pollack) as The Security Project brought an all-star salute to the longtime solo star and early Genesis singer. This time through, the group was comprised of original Gabriel drummer Jerry Marotta, 10-string touch guitarist Trey Gunn (King Crimson), fellow guitarist Michael Cozzi (Shriekback), keyboardist/eigenharpist David Jameson, plus recent recruit Happy Rhodes on lead vocals (who took over from “Live 1” and “Live 2” albums contributor Brian Cummings).
Pull Quote: Despite the flashback nature of the performance, none of the songs sounded dated thanks to these eclectic and often times adventurous renditions, paired with the fact they were all so ahead of the their time in the first place.
It was only the band’s second show with the new singer, and though it took a few songs for everyone to comfortably settle into their zone (with a few cumbersome transitions along the way), there was clearly chemistry brewing amongst the collaborators. Of course, those expecting a dead-ringer impersonator like Cummings didn’t exactly have that in Rhodes, who instead put her four-octave spin on Gabriel’s diverse songbook with an uncommon range that could be hearty and husky one moment, but then ring out with equally angelic delicacy the next.
Those willing to join the interpretative journey were met with a generous array of early hits and rarities, ably anchored by Marotta, who was one of the men responsible for the original backbeat on Gabriel’s late ‘70s through mid-‘80s collections “Scratch,” “Melt,” “Security,” “Birdy” and “So.” As a result, The Security Project spent much of its focus on inventive material from that period, including “Lay Your Hands On Me,” “Family Snapshot,” “No Self Control” and “I Have The Touch.”
“The Rhythm Of The Heat” provided one of the more transfixing moments thanks to some additional percussion thuds from Gunn and Cozzi, alongside everyone’s towering harmonies throughout the chorus’ battle cries. Across it all, Rhodes came across a bit like a mystical cousin of Kate Bush, so it was all the more fitting when she and Gunn also offered an understated take on that very experimental icon’s chilling “Mother Stands For Comfort.”
The evening was also ripe with several other overlooked Gabriel remembrances (“Humdrum,” “The Family And The Fishing Net,” “Wallflower”), which considering he hasn’t touched those tunes on any of his recent tours, makes The Security Project an essential source for those looking to fill in the blanks. Despite the flashback nature of the performance, none of the songs sounded dated thanks to these eclectic and often times adventurous renditions, paired with the fact they were all so ahead of the their time in the first place.
Click here for more photos of The Security Project from Progtoberfest II at Reggies Chicago.
For additional information on The Security Project, visit the SecurityProjectBand.com.
For a list of upcoming shows at Reggies Chicago, visit ReggiesLive.com.