Genesis, TD Banknorth Garden, September 11, 2007
Before the last encore of Genesis’s reunion show, frontman Phil Collins announced that they’d close with “a song that means a lot to us.” This wasn’t one of the pop hits that made them a chart and MTV staple in the ’80s — it was “Carpet Crawlers,” the Peter Gabriel–penned song from their 1974 progressive-rock masterwork, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Its beauty and mystery were a welcome surprise, especially since the frothier “I Can’t Dance” had been played just before.
Many old Genesis fans wrote off the tour as soon as Gabriel announced he wouldn’t be involved — they figured it would be all pop and no prog. But that was hardly the case when Genesis (in the bigger-selling, Collins-led incarnation) hit the Garden last week. True, most of the pop hits were played, and that included two-thirds of the band’s most commercial album, Invisible Touch (1986). But it was very much a Genesis and not a Collins show, with a lot of vintage material: the two-hour, 40-minute set offered two long medleys (both with Gabriel-era songs) plus two later epics (“Domino” and “Home by the Sea”) and a couple of fondly remembered non-hits (the pastoral, folkish “Ripples”). In that context, it was hard to begrudge them, or latter-day fans, a “Hold On My Heart” or two.
Much of the set came from the post-Gabriel, pre-Touch era, when Genesis mastered their orchestral soundscapes. Those emanate largely from keyboardist Tony Banks, who remains one of the least animated performers in rock. But the best moments came, as always, when Collins took his place behind the drums (joining long-time tour drummer Chester Thompson) and the band worked out. Beginning with a long drum duet, “Los Endos” was all grand peaks and cinematic imagery, remaining one of Genesis’s — and really, one of progressive rock’s — most evocative moments.
: Live Reviews
, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, GENESIS, More