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Genesis test for Wembley Stadium

Genesis test for Wembley StadiumMike Rutherford of Genesis says the group, touring for the first time in 15 years, will test-drive the new Wembley Stadium tomorrow when it opens the London portion of the Live Earth global concerts with a 20-minute set.

"We have a concert that night in Manchester, in Old Trafford, so the only way we could do it was to start (the Live Earth show)," the guitarist/bassist, 56, told Sun Media in an interview this week. "So we're going to do that and fly to Manchester that night.

"Those sort of shows are a little harder than your own shows because at your own shows you have longer soundchecks, you have more control," he continued.

"These shows are a little bit hit and miss, but it's nice we're coming to it in the middle of the tour so we're in pretty good shape."

Still, Rutherford says whether the new Wembley will be as good as the old one for rock concerts remains to be seen, particularly after he watched some of the Concert for Diana last weekend.

"I saw a little bit of it as I was leaving as I was going to the gig, my wife was watching it," said Rutherford, who has regrouped with Genesis singer/drummer Phil Collins and keyboardist Tony Banks.

"I saw a couple of songs, I forget who it was. When we decided to book our English dates, Wembley came up but they couldn't guarantee it was going to be ready and it looks very nice but I'm not sure it's a real rock venue. It's very wide and big and we're playing Twickenham (Stadium), which is a rugby ground, no one's quite so far away.

"So Wembley has some issues to deal with in terms of being a rock venue, we'll see. And the other weird thing, which my manager pointed out, is they painted the floor white for health and safety reasons. It means any sort of gap in there between rows of seats, it's exaggerated, isn't it?"

Still, Rutherford is glad Genesis is participating in Live Earth, with coverage on CTV tonight and continuing for a marathon 29 hours.

"It's a worthy cause," said Rutherford.

"Whether all the facts are right or not, I think it's irrelevant.

"I think awareness and conservation of energy on our planet has to be a good thing, there's no question about that in any way. So I think the show is really about awareness."

© Jam Showbiz, by Jane  Stevenson

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