Innovative Genesis guitarist and pioneer of progressive rock, musician Steve Hackett comes to Monaco on September 18th for a sold-out concert at the Opera Garnier Monte-Carlo.

The masks, headpieces, makeup and costumes of the Genesis years are long gone, but Steve Hackett’s performances are far from plodding. The exceptional guitarist is as appealing as ever: a month before the show, the Monte-Carlo concert is already sold-out. 

The concert will take place in the gilded extravaganza that is Monte-Carlo’s opera house. Part of the Monte-Carlo Casino, the opera was built by Charles Garnier, the same Garnier who designed Paris’ famous Opera house. 

Joining Genesis: (almost) a matter of chance

The story of how guitarist Steve Hackett first joined the progressive rock band Genesis is one for the books. After having left his first band “Quiet World,” Hackett was looking for a new band. As one does, he placed an ad in the British weekly music magazine “Melody Maker” which read as follows: “Imaginative guitarist-writer seeks involvement with receptive musicians, determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms”. 

It was Genesis lead vocalist, Peter Gabriel, who replied. The band was looking for a new guitarist after the departure of founding member Anthony Philips. Genesis ended up auditioning Hackett, who got the spot. 

Fast-forward to a few years later (1977 to be precise), Hackett is still an “imaginative guitarist-writer” determined “to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms”, but this time he is no longer looking for “involvement with receptive musicians”. Like his predecessor Anthony Philips, Hackett too has left Genesis. He says he needs autonomy.  

A long solo career

In the 40 something years of his solo career, Steve Hackett has released 25 studio albums, including his most recent one, “At the edge of light” (2019) and several other collaborative albums, such as “Sketches of Satie” (2000), recorded with his brother John who is also a musician. 

Music in times of Coronavirus might mean that outdoor concerts are on pause, but Steve Hackett’s performances are far from over. After his American tour was cut short by the pandemic, Hackett started posting live home performances on his Youtube channel, including Genesis’ instrumental song “Horizons” and “Blood on the Rooftops”. Last month also marked the release of his autobiography, “A Genesis in my Bed”.