GTR almost achieved the impossible at the Wiltern Theatre Saturday. The new band, led by guitarists Steve Hackett and Steve Howe, presented a show nearly as boring as its debut LP --itself a deadly dull collection of blustery progressive pop without even the guitar wizardry suggested by the band's name.
It was obvious that Howe (formerly with Asia and Yes) and Hackett (ex-Genesis) are operating well below their powers. In the solo-acoustic segments and the solo turns with band backing, both showed that they can be deft and inventive players. But for the most part GTR charged right down the middle of the road. Max Bacon did a credible impression of Yes-man Jon Anderson when Howe launched into Yes' 1971 hit "Roundabout." The crowd went absolutely bonkers--something not likely to happen when someone plays a GTR tune 15 years from now.