Amidst instrumental medleys, prog-rock radio hits, and some expected camp stylings from Collins, the reunited Genesis managed to get in two hours and 40 minutes of music during their weekend performance.
The Genesis reunion may not have been as sexy as the other grand summer reunion, that of The Police who played Rentshcler Field in July. This version is missing superstar Peter Gabriel and in truth many of the Genesis players like Collins and guitarist Mike Rutherford are just as well known for their post-break up work. Rutherford's Mike and the Mechanics had Top 10 hits with "All I Need is a Miracle," and "The Living Years," and everyone is familiar with Collins's hit-making career.
Nonetheless, if you were a fan of this particular version of Genesis, the performance in Hartford was worthy of the more than $200 top-end ticket.
The core trio, Collins, Rutherford, and keyboard player Tony Banks were joined on stage by guitarist Daryl Stuermer and drummer Chester Thompson who worked drums alongside Collins and then held the fort while Collins worked the microphone at the front of the stage.
The band opened with an energetic instrumental jam which morphed into "Turn It On Again." The stage was steel-girded and flanked by oblong video screens that alternately showed shots of the band and audience reactions.
"We are Genesis and we are your entertainment for the evening," said Collins, taking digital snapshots as he introduced the band. "We have a lot of stuff from the Genesis history, we hope you don't mind."
The band followed with "No Son of Mine," and Collins worked the crowd on "Land of Confusion," grabbing a cell phone from someone in the front row and singing the verses of the Reagan-era Cold War anthem to whoever was hanging on at the other end of the line.
The evening was sure to satisfy all factions of the Genesis brigade, as fans of the drawn out progressive jams were served as well as those who came to the banquet to feast on '80s nostalgia. The band worked both sides of the aisle with songs like "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" and "Follow You, Follow Me."
© Mass Live, by Donnie Moorhouse
Collins and Thompson faced off with each other with a drum duel between "Domino" and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight," and the set ended with the pop-and-sparks of a pyrotechnic display to accent "Invisible Touch."
The band returned for a two-song encore that included the pop hit, "I Can't Dance."