It was an extraordinary weekend in Manhattan with the seemingly endless Halloween of the New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center and the pure excess of Queen + Adam Lambert taking over Madison Square Garden. However, those who know their history of progressive rock came through at the illustrious Town Hall for a time-traveling endurance test with Steve Hackett to celebrate fifty years of the fourth Genesis album, Foxtrot.

After a filling early dinner at Five Guys, I walked to the venue and waited until the doors opened at seven of thrills and chills, a night of unexpected musical nirvana from Steve Hackett. The show started a little after eight with zero openers and an eight-song set of Hackett Highlights. Steve offered a little commentary about each song, which gave subject matter a little more pizzazz on cuts like Ace of Wands and Camino Royale.

With a brief intermission for the attendees to have another drink or two or go to el bano, it was time for New York to witness why Genesis is one of the best progressive rock bands ever as Steve Hackett took the Town Hall back fifty years for all fifty and then some of the glorious Foxtrot album. Set two started with Watcher of the Skies and got treated to classics like Get Them Out by Friday and other die-hard Genesis fan favorites like Time Table and capped the set off with Supper’s Ready, the twenty-two minute, seven-part journey. It was a spectacle to watch. Everybody was locked in. Steve’s band took over with phantom power and ludicrous speed. The sound was great. Supper’s Ready was a great conclusion to seeing Foxtrot played in full. The “regal bastard” himself, Nad Sylvan, did a great job playing the role of Phil Collins.

After being treated to such a delicious performance of the entire Foxtrot album, Steve encored with two more deep-track Genesis classics in Firth of Fifth and the conclusive instrumental, Los Endos. As great as it was seeing Steve Hackett paint a beautiful picture with his guitar front and center throughout the performance, he never deterred his equally skilled band members from sounding as pronounced on stage as he did. Craig Blundell’s drum solo between those two encores was good, as was Jonas Reingold’s bass solo earlier in the show. Rob Townsend was a sight to behold, shifting around the sax, flute, and percussion to give every song a little extra oomph.

Whether incredibly fun and lighthearted or driving and powerful as progressive music can be, Steve Hackett is a master of his instrument. Musicians like Alex Lifeson, Michael Romeo, and Aaron Marshall most likely would not exist if someone as great as Steve Hackett paved the way for them. He’s a great guitarist! His return to New York City to headline the Town Hall is everything we hoped for. The music of Genesis has stood the test of time, and it feels good knowing that Steve is keeping such influential music alive. If you have not experienced this tour, there’s always YouTube, preferably in fluid 4K Ultra HD.

From the loud to the quiet and the loud again, not a dull moment went by during either of the two sets. Barely a smartphone in sight. Everyone was living in the moment. Oh, grandiose! Very grandiose indeed! Steve Hackett didn’t hit any sour notes as far as we were concerned, capping off with a thunderous standing ovation and a graceful bow from the band. Overall, it was a brilliant show, and I hope he does a second U.S. leg of this tour. Two hours and seventeen songs of classic prog goodness!