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Peter Gabriel Announces North American Tour, Third New LP Track

'Playing for Time' is a highly orchestrated, piano-driven song about 'time, mortality, and memories'
(Credit: Brill/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Peter Gabriel has confirmed a fall North American arena tour in support of i/o, his long-gestating album of original material since 2002. The artist has also released the third song from the project, “Playing for Time,” in the form of a piano- and strings-dominant “Dark-Side” mix by Tchad Blake.

“‘Playing For Time’ is a song that I have been working on for a long time and have performed live, without lyrics, so some people may be familiar with it,” says Gabriel, who has been releasing a new track from i/o each month since January during the full moon. “It’s been an important song for me. It’s about time, mortality, and memories and the idea that each of us has a planet full of memories which get stashed inside the brain.”

“It is more of a personal song about how you assemble memories and whether we are prisoners of time or whether that is something that can actually free us,” he continues. “I do think it’s good to push yourself towards more bold or interesting experiences because then you will have richer memories to feed you when you get to my age. You also get taught by every meaningful experience that you go through.”

The song features pianist Tom Cawley, who previously played in Gabriel’s band on the 2010-2012 New Blood tour, and an arrangement by Ed Shearmur. The cover image is drawn from the work of visual artist Annette Messager. Different mixes of “Playing for Time” by Mark “Spike” Stent and Hans-Martin Buff will be released later this month.


As for the upcoming North American shows, they begin Sept. 8 in Quebec City, Quebec, and run through Oct. 13 in Los Angeles. Additional dates will be announced for Washington, D.C., Buffalo, N.Y., Pittsburgh, Columbus, Oh., Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Paul, Minn., Denver, Austin, Tx., Dallas, and Houston. Tickets are available today (March 7) through a fan club presale and Friday to the general public.

Gabriel’s first show since 2014 is set for May 18 in Krakow, Poland. He will be backed on tour by longtime collaborators Tony Levin, David Rhodes, and Manu Katché.

Here are Peter Gabriel’s North American tour dates:

Sept. 8: Quebec City, Quebec (Videotron Centre)
Sept. 9: Ottawa, Ontario (Canadian Tire Centre)
Sept. 11: Toronto (Scotiabank Arena)
Sept. 13: Montreal (Bell Centre)
Sept. 14: Boston (TD Garden)
Sept. 16: Philadelphia (Wells Fargo Center)
Sept. 18: New York (Madison Square Garden)
Sept. 30: Chicago (United Center)
Oct. 7: Vancouver (Rogers Arena)
Oct. 8: Seattle (Climate Pledge Arena)
Oct. 11: San Francisco (Chase Center)
Oct. 13: Los Angeles (Kia Forum)