Peter Gabriel long ago established himself as a master at merging music, image and theater, going back to his watershed music videos at the dawn of MTV in the '80s, and before that with the ambitious stage productions he and the members of prog-rock band Genesis assembled in the '70s.
During his performance Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl, the singer, songwriter, artist and political activist was at the heart of another confluence of music, memory and imagery when actor John Cusack wandered onstage with a large boombox. He presented it to Gabriel, who then hoisted it over his head in a nod to the classic scene from Cameron Crowe’s 1989 film "Say Anything," in which Cusack’s character, Lloyd Dobler, used Gabriel’s music to express his feelings to his girlfriend, played by Ione Skye.
Cusack tweeted often during the show, stating that it "was a privilege to honor a great artist -- bit of fun at the masters [sic] request." On Sunday, he posted several photos and commented: "give a re-listen to his body of work -- seeing gabriel live again made me rember [sic] how inspiring & transcendent -- filled with passion and thought."
Crowe, a rock journalist before he turned acclaimed filmmaker, also was at the Bowl, and on Sunday tweeted: "John brought him a boombox, and Gabriel held it up as he began 'In Your Eyes.' Surreal and beautiful." Then, Crowe wrote, "Peter Gabriel and John Cusack on stage together at the Hollywood Bowl tonight. Won't forget that... ever."