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i got sunshine in my stomach
Sep 24th, 2007 by wrekehavoc

back in the mid-late 1970s, my oldest brother (known here as BTD, or my brother the doctor, as opposed to larry, the brother i call by name in here) used to DJ parties. when he and his friend lenny would go to a house, they had a little sheet of paper which noted bands they would not play. i believe they referred to them as head bands. we know plenty of them today as some of the monsters of progressive rock. one of the bands who made the proverbial list was genesis.

now, back then, genesis’ music wasn’t exactly party-friendly (although i can definitely dance along with things like i know what i like (in your wardrobe), unless, of course, your party involved a substance you smoked. that all changed in the early- to mid-1980s. i guess when peter gabriel left, phil collins started to push toward more commercial music. admittedly, i also enjoy stuff from the mid-1980s (save for anything solo post-phil collins’ 2nd solo album and certain songs that received monster airplay on MTV or due to use as a beer commercial bed), though genesis pretty much lost me by the end of that decade. instead, i delved deeper into older stuff (trick of the tail, especially songs like the gorgeous ripples — and yes, i know it’s a song about fairies and such — piss off, i can like songs about fairies!).

thus it is with people who like genesis. there is a camp that thrives, if not on peter gabriel era genesis, at least with the prog-rock era genesis. then, there is the modern era genesis fan, who discovered genesis via MTV, or, in the case of probably plenty of washingtonian fans, via Lite FM or perhaps via an elevator. sometimes, i am wildly embarrassed to attend shows in Washington. the fans, on the whole, have no sense of history and perhaps are there because their company has a certain number of seats to give away and they’ve snagged them. these are the people who left last night’s genesis show at the verizon center while the band was playing the carpet crawlers. these are the people who couldn’t handle virtuoso turns in blocks like in the cage / the cinema show / duke’s travels / afterglow and instead fled for the bathroom — and how on EARTH could anyone listen to that and not be moved? i actually cried, as i heard some of my favorite lines:

And I would search everywhere
Just to hear your call,
And walk upon stranger roads than this one
In a world I used to know before.
For now I’ve lost everything,
I give to you my soul.
The meaning of all that I believed before
Escapes me in this world of none,
I miss you more.

in short, these are probably the people who came to hear hold on my heart. yawn.

anyway, the band has grown older. but considering the technical challenges of some of the older stuff, i am willing to forgive a lot. for example, tony banks’ keyboards were sharp, and i don’t care. i would give my right whatever to hear tony banks play. or get a lesson from him. or have his out-of-wedlock love child. (maybe in that order.)

and phil. oh, phil. he of the tarzan soundtrack. he was in pretty fine form. he tried a bit more than roger daltrey did when we saw the who back in march. his drum duet with chester was jaw-dropping, and i loathe extended drum solos. but one tip, phil: you are no longer able to play the drums and sing simultaneously anymore. follow you, follow me, which was slower than normal to begin with, plodded erratically. it was painful to hear, though the washington crowd, ever discerning, didn’t seem to mind. phil, darling: let chester do that stuff. do what you do best: play to the crowd.

speaking of phil, there were moments during the evening when he resembled this. and then this. eek.

i rarely care about light shows, but i must say that the lighting was gorgeous. it’s hard to pick particular moments and describe appropriately, but this was a very creative display. the fireworks at the end, starting on the light screen and rising up to real fireworks, was incredibly fun. the show started nearly an hour late due to “power fluctuations” — so i’m glad they worked them out, especially for the lights.

i can’t comment on tonight, tonight, tonight or invisible touch. i hate them both. definitely bathroom time.

but in general, what a fun romp through the history of genesis. except for his face on certain montages, peter gabriel was definitely missed. but then again, he’s been missed for over 30 years. now THAT is a show i would pay through the nose for. and i was surprised that nothing from ABACAB ended up there. but last night’s show was definitely a great evening, in spite of technical problems, sound issues, and of course the issues that come with age. genesis gave as good as they got. and with their back catalog, they’ve got a lot to cover.

last night, when phil sang “it’s your show,” for those of us who adored genesis back in the day, well, it really was.

 

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