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Phil Collins' Genesis heads to area

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Many fans of the band's early art-rock catalog find much of the latter-era Genesis to be risible pop pabulum while fans of the pop songs tend to yawn at the early band's epic compositions, such as The Knife, Watcher of the Skies and the nearly 30-minute Supper's Ready.

 

With no new album to support, the trio, augmented by longtime sidemen Chester Thompson on drums and Daryl Stuermer on guitar, has attempted to put together a set list that serves both its fan bases. Because there aren't too many places in the band's recorded history where the two fan groups meet, there is likely to be some disappointment on both sides.

The current set list that makes up the nearly three-hour show does not include songs from the 1981 album Abacab and several well-known songs, such as That's All and Paperlate.

Since landing the tour in the States, the band is unlikely to change many of the tunes because its innovative and legendary light show and films do not allow for much variation.

So here is what fans can expect at the show. Feel free to time bathroom/concession stand trips according to your tastes:

Duke and Turn It on Again The former is a medley of Behind the Lines and the instrumental Duke's End, and the latter is the classic-rock radio staple and commercial jingle, both from the 1980 album Duke. For many fans, this album signifies the last gasp for the ambitious and arty Genesis. Turn It on Again and the Collins-written ballad Misunderstanding (also from Duke, but not on the set list) form the mission statement of Genesis, the hit-making pop group. Strategically, this combo should get everyone in the arena on the same page.

No Son of Mine Fairly popular single from the band's final charting album, 1992's I Can't Dance.

Land of Confusion An up-tempo hit written by Rutherford from the 1983 album Genesis that frets over the state of the world. The song was recently covered by mediocre metal band Disturbed, for which it was also a hit.

In the Cage/The Cinema Show/Duke's Travels/Afterglow This is the portion of the evening that will separate the prog-rockin' men from the pop-loving boys. A lengthy medley of classic tracks melding early favorites from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, 1973's Selling England by the Pound, Duke and 1976's Wind and Wuthering.

The band has performed some form of medley based on In the Cage since the late '70s. This is where the stoic and static Banks will unleash his serpentine keyboard lines, the light show should intensify and the old-schoolers are sure to stand up, pump their fists and laugh derisively at the pop fans making their way to the concession stand.

Hold on My Heart A popular R&B-flavored ballad from I Can't Dance that resembles a lot of the AAA-friendly soundtrack work that Collins has done as a solo artist over the years. It's a pretty boring tune but makes a pleasant welcome back for those returning to their seats and is a nice segue into . . .

Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea A twofer from the Genesis album. The former sports a light funk groove that becomes a more formal dirge for the second part, which is an instrumental and should feature some nice guitar work from Rutherford and/or Stuermer.

Follow You, Follow Me The first hit for the trio version of Genesis from the 1978 album And Then There Were Three. The simple love song written by Banks and Rutherford has been a popular concert and radio staple for Genesis. Expect Collins to encourage the audience to sing along.

Firth of Fifth/I Know What I Like Another medley with a nod toward the old-schoolers. Firth, in all its nine-minute epic grandeur, is also from Selling England, but its partner, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe), will bond the art-rockers and pop lovers, as it has been an anchor of the set list for much of the band's existence. It's also the part of the show where Collins does his famous acrobatic tambourine dance that never fails to hype the crowd.

Mama The ominous, sparse and spooky hit song from Genesis should feature some of the scariest lighting effects of the evening.

 

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