So, i thought i'd give my thoughts after seeing my first show, on this selection of shows in Brussels.. i had decided to go to Brussels as its only a couple of hours on the Eurostar, and seemed one of the best bets for me to see a show in Europe which i had decided to do on this tour, on the day of the show it was raining, we (i went to the gig with Moobex) got to the gig around 7pm, not wanting to stand for hours to be at the front, and having to get drenched, which we did anyway, and by the time we got into the stadium it was 8pm, we got a decent spot, if off to the right of the stage, (if anybody's going, try to stand at the centre if possible - more of that later..) and waited in the rain... there has been a lot of hype around the stage, and this seemingly last tour, and i wonder if Genesis could live up to the hype, we were kept waiting for over an hour Genesis came on stage at around 9:05pm which UK76 told me after the show was the latest start time on the tour so far..
Behind The Lines/Dukes End
Nice start, though for some reason i thought Phil would actually sing some of behind the lines, but thats not to be, which admittedly leaves me a bit disapointed, and i was wondering why i hadnt seen that in any of the reviews.. but Duke's End is really rocking.
Turn It On Again
Strange for me to hear this at the start of the show, and dispite the audience reaction, i feel this should close the show, it just doesnt fit right, i've been listening to this on bootlegs at the end of the gigs and it doesnt fit, but the crowd like it and it gets people moving.. and the transition from Dukes End is cool.. Phil's voice doesnt seem to strong on this and i wonder whether the tour is taking its toll.. - see already expecting the worst.
No Son Of Mine
Phil seems to my ears to struggle on this song, the first person i heard sing this live was Ray Wilson, and as much as i love Phil's album version, Ray sings this live much better (in my opinion) than Phil does, he is just much stronger, and much more powerful, Phil gives it all he has, but just seems to struggle on the end section, and after Turn It On Again, my fears are really raised for the state of Phil's voice, i am not saying that it was very bad, i am just saying that he doesnt match the sound he used to be able to bring to this song.
Land Of Confusion
I think by now the rain/drizzle had stopped, and it was starting so i was worrying less about getting my camera wet! This song didnt sound right over the PA, the normal way this song sounds on cd/bootleg isnt how it sounded here.. it was almost like somebody was out of sync, and part of the keyboard section was louder in the wrong place.. perhaps this was just me.. we get to see the Phil/Tony/Mike puppets... and it moves along at a nice pace, but at this stage i am not that excited, you'd think my first Genesis gig ever and i'd be over the moon to just be there, but no, there seems a strange anti climax.
In The Cage/Medley/Afterglow
Now, this is better, Phil's voice seems nicely suited to In The Cage, and the band play it with brilliant ability, Phil mentions before hand his ongoing "some of the notes you hear may well be intentional" which i think is a bit silly, seeing as the PA's cant have been that bad when this was last played on the invisible touch tour! That said it is at this stage that the vocals from Phil seem to take a turn for the better, he gets into his stride in this song, and i doubt even the most fanatical PG fan wouldnt dare to say that Phil not only makes this song his own, but performs it better than Peter ever did.. Afterglow is so so lovely... it is just well brilliant.. one of my all time favs..... seemingly left out.. but of of those diamonds on an album which make you love a band.. and Phil sings it in some style.. and emotion.
Hold On My Heart
Odd choice to follow Afterglow, i use this song to take a few pics, Phil sings it well.. on the Groovy Kind Of Love stool (yes i know it was a chair really...) but when you have the classic beauty of Afterglow the modern beauty of Hold On My Heart doesnt seem to fit.. and when you think of the track following it, you can understand why i think it could be dropped...
Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea
I think its at this stage that the lights start coming into play, now for a show almost halfway through, the lights havent really featured, and thats because its been daylight, whoever decided to play these shows in daylight must be mad, i dont understand it, when the lights/screens are this impressive, to have them rendered innate for nearly half the show borders on madness, i suspect the US fans in arenas will get a much better show, with screens and lights.. i consider myself lucky as in the UK if they start at 8pm, and have a half ten curfew (which they must have in London) then we will go through 2/3 of the show without the benefit of the superb light show. It really baffles me. Home By The Sea is brilliant, and hearing it live you realise there is no band like Genesis.
Follow You Follow Me
Somebody gets off to the wrong start here, is it Mike? or Phil? Either way the drumming feels a bit it, Phil struggles to sing with his drummers mike, and you can hardly hear him over the PA, i wonder what he could hear, cos we could hear nothing, very very bad, an embarassing four minutes pass...most of the audience dont seem to notice though and sing along.. so perhaps its me.. no.. defo something wrong with the vocals and how loud they were.
Firth Of Fith/I Know What I Like
Sorry.. but this is brilliant.. now its dark, the light show in full effect and suddenly is a real show, the earlier vocal problems gone, Phil storms through I Know What I Like, and the crowd are singing it back to him as loud as they can, it is amazing to me what the lights and dark and songs have done to change the atmostphere of this gig, Phil does the tamborine dance, playing with the audience nicely as it goes along, this seems to be (other than the start of Home By The Sea) the first time that Phil interacts with the band, now is a good time to raise this point, for almost all of the show, Phil is standing at the front of the stage.. he doesnt take his mike off the stand that much and walk around at all, which surprises me, as there are ramps down into the crowd both sides of the stage, he uses them rarely, perfering to stay in the middle.. as though his mike were on a very short lead! This really disapoints me, on his tours he runs about all over the place, and espcially during the start of the show it feels like Phil is there in his jacket, acting the songs rather than performing them, but when he does perform, and when the crowd are with it, there is nothing better.. really i believe the best shows will be where its dark from the start, and people are standing.. I want Phil to come and get the audience in the early stages.. but in too many songs he seems content to stand in the middle and not move much at all.. but IKWIL was fantastic.
Vocal problems? when did i say vocal problems.. i must be a twat. This song is fantastic live.. Phil is very menacing/evil in the "haha's" with such and evil look on screen.. bloody brilliant.. oh and just so you dont think i'm biased, Ray Wilson sang this too, but it wasnt a touch on this performance by Phil.. which was absolutely first class.. i am stunned about how this gig has turned, at the start i was underwhelmed and now i am completely turned around. This is one of the songs along with IKWIL that is worth the price of admission alone.
Have i used enough compliments yet? where do i find some more? I never thought i'd hear this song live, and its so well sung and perfomed by the band, you do get the feeling at times though that they might not be having fun, and its all too serious.. but this is such a good version, and Phil sings it as though it was from the Musica bootleg all over again...
Throwing It All Away
Curious this one, because while yeah.. the deeday stuff gets the crowd singing, doesnt really make me pay attention..Phil again doesnt interact with the crowd as much as he could, though he does a bit better on this one, i have to be honest and say this was kinda my fast food song, because when it was over i had no memory of it...!! ha.. again, another song i think could be dropped... imho.
Fun demonstration of the Domino prinicpal, which oddly misses my bit of the crowd.. i wonder to myself.. well.. what happens to MY group of people.. cos the domino prinicipal is affecting everybody here but us.. though i do laugh because a bloke in the crowd says in perfect english when Phil says he'll explain the domino principal before Phil says another word.. "what you push me in the back and i fall over..." now.. thats a better explaination of the domino principal to me! Domino.. what a brilliant song, i dont know why people dont want it played, because it goes down a storm.. seeing a headless Phil.. and the whole shouty.. "you've gotta go domino.." is so cool.. this is a rock show, and save for a few moments of sappiness.. it remains that throughout.. again Phil's voice on this is clear and loud..
Drum Duet/Los Endos
Drum Duets kinda bore me, but this one starts of in a novel way on stools... then moves to drums.. then to Los Endos.. this is just awesome, its a sight that few around here will see very often.. and the lights, the smoke, the music.. there can be little else to ask for.. its one of the instrumental peices that works so well live its so interesting you dont get bored.. classic Genesis, classic music.. awesome.
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight/Invisible Touch
Once this starts i know we are nearing the end, this again is performed well, and jumps into Invisble Touch, which is so much better than the Glasgow FFFT version, no horns.. just a rock/pop feeling.. it gets the crowd really jumping.. and with a spectatcular end (i wont spoil it..) makes me think.. wow.. what have i just seen..
I Cant Dance
Out for the encore, and out for some fun.. they all join in, and have a blast singing/performing this, the crowd singing along... its such a good song..after this we get a word or two from Phil to introduce the band, but there is no real sorta "goodbye from Genesis" as there was on the FFFT..
When i heard this was the last track i didnt understand it.. having seen it live i still down.. its an anti climax... i mean play The Knife.. play The Lamb.. but Carpet Crawlers? It leaves the auidence perplexed.. so much so.. that half the audience in front of me leave.. and i get to be front row albiet for the last three minutes of the show, it is performed well, but it doesnt bring the night to a close the way it could.. if they want a slow end song.. chose afterglow.. it just seems such an anti climax.. and doesnt seem to work at all for me as a closer.. most of the average crowd headed for the exits...
So.. what is my overall opinion of the show, well like much of Genesis career its been a contridiction, the first part of the show seemed lacklusture, Phil rooted to the spot, difficult to see screens, very little interaction with the crowd, but then a strange thing happened.. it all changed, more interaction, better lights (as it was dark..) and the band hits its stride.. how strange is that? Overall i enjoyed it alot, but it didnt quite live up to the hype people have been giving it, it is certainly not the second coming. I wondered why.. personally i feel there arent enough lighter moments, songs like Jesus He Knows Me, Misunderstanding, Thats All, could lift the mood, place these songs earlier in the set and to me there is more balance.. when the lights dont show much its difficult for lots of the audience to stay with the show.. but once its dark bust out Domino.. etc.. i really felt it could be lighter.. its too heavy.. and the end ultimately is unsatisfying. I really think that they should play The Knife.. and knock the crap out of it at the end.. that would be brilliant.. Phil has brought over some of the polished professionalism of his FFFT.. the screens with the name of the city at the start.. makes it all too difficult sometimes to separate the two tours.. very odd call that..
All of that said, overall i thought it was a brilliant show, moments in I Know What I Like, which totally blew me away.. there is nothing like Genesis at their best.. and there were moments in this show... but there were other moments where they didnt make it.. where it could have been better... I have been told the cinema show will be under the roof.. so i may check it out... and how brilliant a full light show would be... because its clear on this show that the light had an effect on the audience. I think in the UK there could be more audience banter.. and more interaction from the start.. but my comment to Phil would be.. you've a cordless mic.. wander around a bit! with all due respect!
My final comment... Phil says in the tour program there is nothing like being in Genesis.. i'd say.. there is nothing like watching them.
Well I would say that over all it was a really good concert... apart from the rain, but that did'nt stop the guys from putting on a great show. There was only one real issue I had and that was during "Follow you, follow me"; this was that the timing possibly slightly out (unless it was due to where I was standing).
I think that phil struggled because something was up with his in ear monitor. I could see.. that a stage hand guy came up and was fiddling with it.. they must have been able to hear something was not right.. the staff.. and that was when they did something, but by then the song was almost over. You could see mike and he was'nt smiling.. although he rarely smiles he he!!! ;o)
Perhaps it was because Phil was drumming and singing.. when it gets so loud around you probably cant always hear if you are playing drums and singing and there is a techical fault. Whether the battery had gone on his monitor I am not sure..he was like a second behind.. because maybe he was'nt hearing what came directly out of the instruments? For me I could feel a slight awkwardness. As Paul says everyone seemed oblivious in the crowd.. they were just happy to be there watching these guys doing what they do best.
Ultimately I was really pleased with the show and glad to be there.. but would have prefered to be closer to the stage.. my fault as I was faffing about to long at the hotel and we arrived later than anticipated.
Had fun on the way home.. we got locked in a tube station as paul said.. then flagged down this poor tube train driver who buzzed head office to open the station doors. We also walked miles that night (paul was sure we were lost) then found a overly pleased Kebab shop, who i am sure gave us a discount because we bought half the shop!
When we got back to the hotel I put on my documentary dvd of Phils, watched that and flaked out about 4am. The dvd is great and has some unique moments.. especially of Nicholas playimg the drums and phil looking on proudly. You get a good feeling of the bond that Phil and the band have with each other and how emotional the good bye to all the fans and each other must have been.