I am a big fan of Steve Hackett. His concert was one of the best I have seen in quite a long time. However, as someone that loves all eras of Genesis, I found myself missing some of the 80's contributions to the band, including the older material that Steve plays so well in his concert. Steve plays the music just like they were intended to be played int he 1970's . I realized what makes 80's era Genesis special, is that the older music was reincarnated by the band to be something totally different for fans. It's okay to love Steve and 80's era Genesis.
If you are not a fan of 80's Genesis, here are some things to consider:
Live in Concert - Each album in the 80's that provided a live tour also had a live album to accompany the tour. We forget that Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer provided their unique talents to the live shows. Daryl receives more criticism because he is actually replacing an original member. Anything he does will not stand the test of Steve Hackett fans. Daryl was a great addition to the band. He often times is credited for expanding the bass and guitar sections in live shows in partnership with Mike Rutherford. They two complimented each other by playing to each other's strengths.
Drum Duets - Over time, Phil and Chester provided memorable percussion experiences and double drum sessions throughout the concert. This was non-existent during the prog era. One of the things I found myself missing during the Steve Hackett concert was Phil and Chester's drumming. This is not a slam on Steve's drummer as he is honoring the Phil Collin's era of the band. Phil and Chester brought powerful sections of the older material that greatly improved the songs during the 1980's in my humble opinion. For example, Afterglow became a thunderous song with the addition of the double drums at the end. In the cage and Los Endos took on a life of their own during live shows. Even Supper's Ready in my opinion was played during the Invisible Touch tour with such energy, that no other version was close matching the musical quality played during that tour. Every prog era song was greatly improved up during the live shows in the 80's.
Medleys - Some people hate the medleys. I however am a fan of the medleys. For me, they provided a unique way to honor the past. My favorite medley was from the We Can't Dance tour. It became an integral part of the 3 man Genesis era. Each album brought us unique live shows that combined sections of some of Genesis's greatest songs from the past. Again, the medleys provided for improvisational drumming, keyboards, and guitar play that are unique to this era.
Staging - The big arena era provide us with better lighting and atmosphere. The theatrics of Peter are long gone and the music in my opinion becomes the centerpiece of the live shows. All the lighting and special effects replace the costumes and highlight crescendos and quiet moments during the live shows in a way that I loved being a part of when I saw Genesis live during this era.
Some reading this article will always debate the prog era was better than 80's Genesis. For those with an open mind, give this era a chance and listen to the live sets. Order some live videos or watch some of the concerts on YouTube. Judge for yourself. You may find yourself loving this era as much as I do.