Behind The Lines / Duke’s End
Turn It On Again
No Son Of Mine
Land Of Confusion
In The Cage / The Cinema Show / Duke’s Travels
Hold On My Heart
Home By The Sea
Follow You Follow Me
Firth Of Fifth / I Know What I Like
Throwing It All Away
Tonight Tonight Tonight (intro)
I Can’t Dance
The Carpet Crawlers
Just got home from the concert -- WOW!! will write more tomorrow. I'm exhausted. Sat in Loge 12, Row 12, seat 6. Wonderful!! Didn't think I was going at all until a friend of a friend couldn't go.. they asked me. Wow! (again!) Domino and Los Endos were very noteworthy. I thought I was hearing a new Domino and a new Los Endos. Way cool! Phew!
my thoughts on the show:
first off, my seat was GREAT. it turned out that seat 14 in section C was on the inside isle, so I was 2 feet away from people who likely paid $500 plus for their seats, and with a lesser sightline than I had...
the sound problems that some had in some parts of the 'gahden' weren't on the floor.
the setlist was mostly good. the 'core' of the show (from In The Cage to Ripples) was mostly long time fan friendly. Ripples was in fact the highlight for me (does Phil use the Ripples instrumental as his 'rest bit' for all the shows or did he just do it in Boston?). Tonight x 3/Invisible Touch couldn't help but be an anti-climax (kinda like after eating steak au poive with basil infused roasted new potatoes and grilled asparagus with lemon butter for your meal and getting a twinkie that someone sat on for desert). But after a full show that made an effort to please the longtime fans, it's 'yeah, ok, let them have this one'...
The timing on Dukes Travels when they started that section was so out of synch (or is it me). And it really missed the Guide Vocal reprise. I think it would have been much more powerful to have that in there, then have it taper into Afterglow after that.
When I saw they were charging $30 dollars for the program, at that point any interest I had on picking up anything from the merchandise stands evaporated. (Not including shipping) picking up the ACTUAL OFFICIALLY RELEASED SOUNDBOARD of the show is cheaper.
But I do think overall it was a great show and worth the $250 it cost me. If they had it at Foxboro we would have been rained on (plus Belichick would be on the sideline with a video camera stealing their signals).
My boss w/ his wife was also at the show, and his thoughts (from a non-fan) were interesting. He found it real different for a band to try to play to two different audiences. (And where he sat, further back in the loge seats, he did have the early audio troubles that the Globe writer mentioned, and he also mentioned an angry person sitting near him who wanted to hear Abacab).
JackSomewhat delayed by the Rosh Hashanah holiday, here is my review of the Boston show.
They were obviously working very hard to please the crowd. I see the set list issues as "you cannot please everyone but do your best to please as many as possible." Sure I would like to hear more older stuff, and would probably prefer Abacab or Dodo (not to mention Musical Box or Fly on a Windshield or Lilywhite Lilith or Stagnation) to, say, Invisible Touch, the abbreviated Tonight Tonight Tonight or Hold on my Heart. But when they played the older stuff (and Hold on My Heart) that's when people headed to the bathroom. I think they did a fine job choosing a set list that would have something for everyone, including themselves. The only song that seemed out of place was No Son of Mine which did not get much of a reaction and did not seem too exciting to the band either.
I thought the playing was by and large very good. Some of the transitions were jarring, like into the Duke's end or Travels or whatever in the opener and to the Duke material in the In the Cage Medley. They were not worked out very well. It also sometimes seemed as if some magic with the sounds was being worked from the soundboard rather than on stage when the whole sound of the band seemed to change very quickly.
The worst thing about the show was that the sound was terrible for almost every song. The Boston Globe was too generous in saying it got better--maybe the reviewer left early. Whenever Phil hit a low note, the vocals completely distored. The most disappointing of all was that Tony's keyboard in Carpet Crawler was an undefined mass of distorted rolling sound, rather than the beautiful toned down version of the Lamb Lies Down piano that it should have been. Daryl's guitar playing was very good in this song, and it was just a shame that the keyboard sounded so bad.
What was wierd was there were a few songs which had great sound--like Second Home by the Sea and Los Endos. The fact that it was when there were vocals that the sound was the worst leads me to believe that they were having trouble working the vocals into the mix in that hall. (This is my only show so far, so I cannot comment on others. We'll see about Hartford.) In fact, I thought that Second Home by the Sea was played better than most times I have heard it and that Los Endos may have been the best I ever heard since 1976. It sounded great and the band was just great. I think the new drum duet, which I also thought was excellent, gives new energy getting into that song. I expected more of Daryl's guitar in the opening from Behind the Lines after hearing the rehearsal songs from Toronto, but in Boston it was way down in the mix and could not be heard very well.
The other musical highlight for me was Ripples and especially the musical ending of it. Where was Phil with the laser light making circles like in 1976? Daryl basically played Steve Hackett's part with little change and I found it sounded just great. I also loved the way they played Domino--very powerful rythm section on the second half. Daryl did very well on Firth of Fifth also. Chester sounded great on drums throughout. Although I missed half of it in the bathroom, what I heard of Hold on My Heart was a good version of a song I don't much care for. The short version of Tonight Tonight Tonight leaves out the best part of the song, in my opinion. The biggest crowd pleaser was Invisible Touch, which they did just fine. I Can't Dance was also a very good version, played very well I thought.
The visuals were spectacular but not as satisfying as I expected for two reasons. First, the lack of smoke. I expect lots of smoke in a Genesis show--I remember in 76 and 77 seeing a couple of guys with box fans holding them over blocks of dry ice on each side for like half the show. Second, the wall of light behind the band made it hard to see the guys on stage--I was always looking into light. There is a good reason why usually the screens are above the band-it's so you can see the guys on stage as well as the lights. Having the lights go all the way down to stage level is just a mistake unless the idea is that people should not be looking at the band.
Finally, maybe it has changed since Europe, but to me Phil's voice sounded raspy and tired. Now I have not heard him sing live since 1992, so maybe his voice has changed with age and I was expecting something that no longer exists. He was working very hard and the band seems to have its heart in this show, but he obviously does not have the range he used to have, at least live during the grind of a tour. I thought his song introductions were great--he seemed genuinely happy to be there and connected to the audience in this community of Genesis, so that made me forgive any shortcomings in terms of hitting the high notes.
Anyway, that's more negative than I really feel. I had a great time and it was excellent to see Genesis again, Peter Phil or Ray it's a great band and I love them. I hope the sound is better in Hartford.
One final note--the montage of photos was great, and I was especially happy to see so many pictures of Steve Hackett. I also saw my Shrine show Lamb Ticket on the screen go by two or three times--it's the one on the back of the box set which they borrowed from me to put on there.
John GoodwinHi Jack et al,
I get the feeling they are not really trying to please the crowd, they are simply pleasing themselves and playing the bits of their history that they are most at ease with.
I think your comments about No Son Of Mine are interesting. I have not seen this performed live before, but have to agree with your view that the crowd were less impressed than I expected with it. The song has particular resonance for me, as my older brother, who introduced me to Genesis when I was 8 years old, had a very difficult relationship with our father, because he had long hair, and my father used to mock him as an "'airy fairy". You may need to understand south london dialect to appreciate the significance of this. The point being that I clearly remember my dad telling Robert (my brother) that "You're no son of mine". I think many non english people would not appreciate that this expression is well known to Londoners (presumably including Phil) as a way for a father to express dismay at how his sons have turned out. It certainly didn't feel like the crowd in Boston or Albany felt the strength of the rejection implied by the lyric. I cannot say that in Boston I thought the sound was poor, although it was definitely better in Albany. At Twickenham, I experienced sound so bad that even the intros would have been incomprehensible had I not known them so well, but others have said the sound was fine where they were sitting, so I guess it depends where you are in these arenas.
I think this is the least impressive light/effects show that I have seen for a Genesis concert. It certainly didn't matter for Albany where I was so close I was watching Phil or someone else rather than the overall effect, but I saw all the tours from 1980 to 1987, and the visuals certainly don't compare. The lack of smoke (which certainly enhances the lighting effects) may reflect the limitations of the indoor sports arenas. In 1989 I took a tour of the Superdome in New Orleans, and the interior was unpleasantly smoky, from fireworks. The guide explained that there had been a concert a few days before, and they were worried that the next sporting event would be affected because it was difficult to clear the air. Certainly for Afterglow the sweep of the lights from the stage over the crowd isn't there as it was on earlier tours.
Daryl's playing of the Firth of Fifth solo. This should really piss off the Hackett fans. I feel that over the years Steve has refined the playing of this solo from a thing of beauty to a sublime work of art. Daryl plays it in a completely different way, showing a capability of guitar technique that Steve could only dream of, but in the process showing why Steve is unique in his sense of musicality and his vision. One does not exclude the other, each is special.
I thought Phil's singing was better in Albany than Boston. He does not have the "beautiful" voice that he had in the late 70's, but being thirty years older it is not realistic to think he would.
I am certainly looking forward to Hartford, Philly, Columbus, DC, New York, and New Jersey.
I've loved this band since I heard Trespass and Nursery Cryme as a 9 year old boy, and the magic is still there for these concerts, which I feel will be the last we will see of them.
They are playing "Fading Lights" as the crowd leaves after these shows, and this seems especially poignant if this is their last outing.
I just returned from my native Boston and all I can say is that Genesis was well worth my trip to Boston.
I arrived an hour and a half early with my best friend Dennis and I proceeded to buy a program first thing and then the T-shirt with the collage.
Food was expensive (I just had a pizza which was $6.50 and a large soda $4) but c'est la vie, the Banknorth Garden (a/k/a The Fleet Center) was practically packed. My buddy and I were in the balcony but the view of the stage was unbelievable.
Then after the lights went down, the crowd erupted when the screen went on and the collage gots lots of cheers and then when the JFK speech was played, the crowd went nuts (seeing JFK was originally from Boston) and the band went on stage in the dark.
Then after the itinerary pointed to Boston, Phil clicked his sticks into the "Behind the Lines/Duke's End" medley and what a beginning. Then they segued into "Turn it On Again" and Tony Banks' keyboards were spot on. Mike Rutherford and Daryl Stuermer were on fire. Chester Thompson was superb. Phil Collins, one Hell of a showman and one Hell of a stage presence. People who mock him are just either insecure or ignorant or just angry he is superbly talented, funny and just a great presence.
Synopsis of show and songs:
BtL/DE was awesome which segued into a stellar Turn it on Again. PC then welcomed us to Boston and was superb and knows how to work a crowd. No Son of Mine was excellent, nice visual effects. Land of Confusion was probably the best version I ever heard. Phil then humorously announced In the Cage. He said it was written when they had more hair and asked if there were older fans in the audience. In the Cage was excellent and Rutherford used his awesome double neck whilst Stuermer superbly played his Stratocaster and Tony's keyboard solo was amazing (best version of In the Cage live since 1980 IMHO). Then the band did the Cinema Show/Duke's Travels medley and Phil I swear gets better with age on drumming (his stick went flying from his hand at start of Afterglow but played on without missing a beat plus Chester was there to cover him). Afterglow was superb. Then Hold On My Heart was next and some fan then tried to interrupt him for an autograph whilst performing (some people are just ignorant, Phil thankfully didn't pull either a Roger Waters or Axl Rose hissy fit) but great version. Phil then did a humorous intro to Home By the Sea and the performance was EXCELLENT, especially the Second HBtS section when the band played the instrumental. Next was Follow You Follow Me and was superb. Phil coul sing from behind the drums and I would go see it. The visuals of the album covers was stellar. Then the Firth of Fifth instrumental was awesome (Daryl's solo was better than on either TWWW album or video). I Know What I Like was next and the crowd was into Phil's classic tambourine act, how he can still smash the tambourine at 56 and that fast is impressive. Mama was awesome and best of 2007 versions. Ripples was probably the best version I heard and was awesome (shame people headed for the bathroom during the track, I love the song). Throwing It All Away was superb. Domino's intro was classic Phil and the song was awesome. Then Chester and Phil's Drum Duet was awesome and the crowd was into it, especially the bar stool bit before Phil switched to drums and Chester and Phil just dueled. Los Endos was superb. They played it better here than on the VH1 Rock Honors. Tonight Tonight Tonight and Invisible Touch was stellar and the pyro was amazing. I Can't Dance was excellent. Phil then thanked the crowd and then said Boston was the first place Genesis played to in the US at Brandeis University (which got lots of cheers from my native Beantown fans) in 1972. The encore Carpet Crawlers was a great closer and then the band said good night and took their final bows.
My trip to Boston was worth it for this show alone (plus the walk off home run that David Oriz hit the next night and seeing Heaven and Hell (a/k/a the Dio fronted Black Sabbath) with Alice Cooper and Queensryche two nights prior to Genesis). I am fortunate I got to see this tour and my ten years of Genesis fandom has rewarded me in SPADES!
Go see Genesis!