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Once Above a Time
Once Above a Time
Actor: Steve Hackett
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2004     1hr 44min

The show: This concert was recorded in Budapest in April, 2004 during the European tour in support of Hackett's most recent album "To Watch the Storms". The Line Up: Steve Hackett - guitar & vocals, Roger King - keyboards...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Steve Hackett
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, DTS
Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/16/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Hackett to pieces
S. Uhrich | Phoenix, Az. United States | 11/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My,oh my! Great concert. Some new stuff, even more old stuff, and some stuff from the middle. Hackett is great as always. I don't understand how arthritis hasn't set into the fingers of old timers like Steve Hackett. The sound and picture on this DVD is superb as well as the band. It's the next best thing to being there, seeing how Steve rarely tours the states. I guess there are just too many hip hoppers here and not enough of the chosen few with actual musical taste. Come on over Steve. there are still a bunch of us old proggers left to fill up a club or two. If enough people rally together with a positive review, maybe he might take some notice of us."
Absolutely Spectacular in every way!
H. Laser | Left Coast | 12/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Steve Hackett's music is like a hidden pleasure, that is, so few people know about or remember this immensely talented guy, and his music, nevermind seeing him perform it, is just such a joy to experience, you want to share it with everyone you know.. if I had the money, I'd buy a case of this DVD and send them out as gifts to all my friends. This one is simply not to be missed by any fan.

This DVD, while quite a similar performance to "Somewhere in South America" from 2002, is a MUCH clearer, sharper video presentation than the Brazil concert DVD from a couple years ago. The camera work is far superior, and the use of split screen, in moderation, lets us see multiple members of the band when it makes sense. The technical director cuts from one camera to another right on the beat of the music, and he's pointing his lenses at exactly the right place at the right time. Much improved from the last one. The stage lighting and effects are spectacular, for what looks like a small venue. Perfetly timed and controlled.. this production was staged by real pros, both in front of and behind the cameras..

Like his earlier DVDs, Steve Hackett is an unquestionable Guitar God in every respect. Why so many other guitarists have risen to mightier fame than he has is a mystery I'll never understand. I'd go so far to say that he is probably the most talented guitarist walking this planet, surpassed by absolutely no one.

His band, the same four musical geniuses as on that earlier DVD, are all virtuosos in their own right. This band is as tight and well-rehearsed as any I've EVER seen or heard. Roger King is a wizard on his many keyboards and effects generators. Terry Gregory is an unbeatble bassist who plucks that monsterous five string and mashes those bass pedals as though he's one with them. Gary O'Toole's drumming and percussion is spectacular, and when he's caught in close-ups, he has this wonderful smile that says he's just having such a good time playing. And Rob Townsend's woodwinds fill out the overall sound nicely, never a note out of place from any of these guys..

The music is haunting, mysterious, ethereal, driving, explosive, memorable, and 1000 other adjectives. From prog rock to fusion to jazz to classical acoustic, to music that defies any kind of pigeonholed genre at all, Steve Hackett can do it all. Like most of his concerts, the tracks are about 90% instrumentals, Hackett isn't going to win any awards for his vocals, but the other members do a damn fine job backing him up when vocals are called for, and drummer O'Toole turns in a stellar solo vocal on the old Genesis "Blood on the Rooftops."

Drawing from his Genesis years and his twenty solo albums, Steve Hackett's concerts consist of all-original music. He doesn't play any covers of anyone else's. From his searing Genesis solos from so many years ago, like "Fly on a Windshield" and "Firth of Fifth" (perhaps his most famous solo, here with a new segue intro where Roger King actually uses what sounds like calliope music that melts into the legendary melody).. to his heavenly early solo work "Ace of Wands", "Please Don't Touch", to "Every Day", a song that starts out as nothing really special but then literally EXPLODES when he breaks into his phenomenal extended guitar solo and my favorite one on this DVD the beautiful "Spectral Mornings", to his later songs, the ominous "Darktown" and "Clocks".. I just sit literally mezmerized by the way this man can write such gorgeous, memorable music, in so many genres, and perform it with total mastery and perfection.

With his hands all over his guitar, bending the strings, neck-tapping, feathering and manipulating the whammy bar, (he uses his long fingernails, not a pick to work his magic).. his feet dancing over a huge bank of effects pedals, Steve Hackett just leaves me slack-jawed, speechless, at his utter mastery of his instruments.

Make no mistake.. he's good, and he KNOWS he's good.. it shows on his face..

Again, watch the faces of all the band members, as they give knowing nods and glances to each other, and often break into wide grins when they know they've hit the mark perfectly, or when they're literally one with the music. Steve Hackett gets the lion's share of closeups, as he should, both of his hands working that lovely golden Fernandes sustainer electric, which looks like it's loaded with custom modifications, and his face, as he grins, tilts his head back with his eyes closed, concentrates, grimaces, fingers flying in utter precision up and down the neck at mind-bending speed.. and he just looks like he's putting every ounce of his being into his performance, giving that audience their money's worth. I guess you could say he emotes :) ..

There's some duplication of the songs performed on this DVD and the last one, but so what.. it's wonderful to hear some of these magical tracks again, in a different setting, with slightly different arrangements. And again, on this DVD, the stage setup is almost exactly the same as it was in Brazil, albeit with much more inventive state lighting, although the audience seems more subdued than their South American counterparts. Maybe they're just stunned. I know I am, every time I watch this concert.

I'm just glad that Steve Hackett and his wonderfully talented band are still out there, making music, and touring.

If this DVD was a vinyl album, I would have worn it out and bought another by now. It's just very special. It reminds me of albums that I bought back in the 60s and played over and over again, always finding new nuances in a performace.

The only thing that could make this concert film any better is if it was twice as long..

Hackett at his best!
Russ Bellinger | Bradenton, Florida USA | 11/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Amazing concert, amazing man, amazing band, amazing songs. This DVD is even better than last years Somewhere in South America. If you love progressive music or outstanding original guitar work, old Genesis, etc. then this is well worth owning. Excellent DVD picture and sound as well. Some of the best music ever written in modern times."
Live Hackett: Great Stuff
THX-1138 | UK | 08/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Steve Hackett's latest live DVD is a quality release, and from the respose of his fanbase, his best yet.

Here Hackett plays a number of his classics, in a way, this is like a "best of" live. From newer pieces from his latest rock album 'To Watch The Storms' including the riotous 'Mechanical Bride' the beautiful and tranquil 'Serpentine Song' and the quirky, Genesis-like 'Circus Of Becoming'. All are highlights, all are expertly played and feature Hackett's stunning and influencial guitar style.

As for other classics here, Steve turns back the clock and rolls out some of his old band, the great Genesis, best songs. He plays 'Fly On A Windshield', a full band version of 'Blood On The Rooftops' and THAT solo from 'Firth Of Fifth'. Oh and he throws 'Los Endos' in at the end as well...

And then their are the series of standards from his own solo back catalogue. The sinister and genuinley frightening 'Darktown', the brilliant 'Every Day', a bunch of instrumental classics like 'Slogans', 'Hammer In The Sand', 'Ace Of Wands', 'Please Don't Touch' the epic 'Valley Of The Kings' and the heart rending, all time Steve Hackett classic, 'Spectral Mornings'.

Anyone who likes Genesis, is into Steve Hackett, or appreciates genuinley innovative and marvelous guitar work, BUY THIS!"