From his days as lead guitarist of Genesis to his impressive solo career, legendary rocker Steve Hackett has been a continually evolving and constantly revered force in British music. His latest endeavor, the Genesis Extended Tour, treats fans to a theatrical and electrifying revival of the late great band's music, focusing on material from Hackett's stint with the group betwee 1970-77. His prodigious musical abilities and voracious appetite for experimentation are well-suited to arena-sized tunes like "Squonk" and "Dancing on a Volcano" -- he manages to make them feel both fresh and familiar enough to satisfy diehard Genesis loyalists. A veteran performer known for his guitar chops and larger-than-life showmanship, Hackett remains a vital force, breathing new life into Genesis's beloved musical legacy every time he takes the stage.
London born Steve Hackett grew up surrounded by musical instruments. He toyed with the recorder and the harmonica, but didn't take up the guitar until age 12. He mastered the instrument despite receiving no formal training, and by his late teens he was playing in the prog rock bands Canterbury Glass and Sarabande. After placing an ad in Melody Maker magazine seeking musicians "determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms", he was contacted by Genesis lead vocalist Peter Gabriel, and in 1970 he joined the band. By 1972 Genesis was a considerable prog rock force, and Hackett's contributions to the band's mid-'70s chart success earned him a place of prominence in British music. In 1975 he released his debut solo album Voyage of the Acolyte, an acclaimed record that peaked at No. 26 on the British Albums Chart. The creative freedom he enjoyed as a solo artist led to his departure from the band in 1977, and by the following year he released his sophomore album Please Don't Touch. Over the next three decades Hackett released a dozen more solo albums, several of which revisited his work with the band (1996's Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited and 2012's Genesis Revisited II). He continues to pay homage to Genesis's '70s output both on record and in concert -- in 2014 he treated fans around the world to the Genesis Extended Tour, which featured creative reinterpretations of the band's most eclectic prog rock compositions.