Genesis - March 11th, 1998
live at Ahoy, Rotterdam, Holland

By Coen Schilderman


Here's a review for all those who couldn't, didn't want or dare or weren't allowed to go to Genesis. Curious and a bit nervous I went to the Genesis show. Strange enough I'd never been in Ahoy before. I once had the chance to see Peter Gabriel play there, but then I would have had to sit while a friend of mine was in the arena. I didn't really feel like it, although I regreted it afterwards. Fortunately, he had to be on a plane this time and was forced to sell his ticket. You wouldn't expect that to be a big problem, but the ticket was rather expensive and I think everybody expected it to be a disappointing gig. A shame for them (and good for me) because things turned out quite different; I had a really nice evening.

The show started with No Son Of Mine. It could immediately be noticed that Ray Wilson (former singer of Stiltskin, who had a hit single with Inside, well-known thanks to that Levi's commercial) had a great voice. His voice sounds like the optimal cross between Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel and is therefore very suited for both the old and the new songs. It was very nice to listen to No Son of Mine and Land Of Confusion which followed, wheras Collins' vocals always irritated me. That man should really keep his mouth shut and stay behind his drumkit, because that's something he's good at.

The use of light effects was very atmospheric and well thought-out. An expert was must have worked on this. Nice full lights without to many hassle and fitting the songs very well. After Land of Confusion followed the first 'real test cases' for Ray. After making me forget Phil he had to do a Gabriel song, and once again he succeeded with grace. His voice really suits the songs. After The Lamb... followed the title song of the last album, Calling All Stations. Three projection screens, on which well fitting animations were shown, appeared in the background. Ray announced this song in Dutch with a little card. It was very funny hearing him speak Dutch.

With Carpet Crawlers (also from The Lamb CD) he had to do another difficult song. This one has those typical Gabriel wailings which nobody else can really do, but to my amazement Ray also did very well here. After this came Alien Afternoon with more beautiful animations on the screens.

Then the bar stools appeared and to my surprise an acoustic set followed; Follow You, Follow Me, There Must Be Some Other Way and Not About Us, if I'm not mistaking. I can't quite remember. :) After good versions of Domino, Fifth of Firth and Congo came the funniest announcement of the evening.
Ray Wilson: 'You know what the problem is with this band. We don't get the babes!' After which Ray explained the sense in the four large light pillars with breast-like appendixes. He picks out one every night and takes it with him to his Home By The Sea......

After Dancing With The Moonlit Knight and Lover's Leap (Supper's Ready) great versions of Mama and The Dividing Line followed, during which all musicians could really freak out. The drum solo could have been left out, as far as I'm concerned, although it wasn't really irritating. The last songs before the encores were Invisible Touch and Turn It On Again.

Even after playing more than two hours the guys couldn't seem to get enough. As encores they played Throwing It All Away and I Can't Dance, during which Ray pulled a blond lady from the audience. She had to teach him how to dance, but it was obvious she couldn't dance herself. What a dork. She really made a fool of herself.

All in all I can easily say that I had a very nice evening which proved that Genesis does have a right of existence after all.


No Collins Required

by Jan-Jaap de Haan

I've waited for years for this. I still blame myself for not going to their last tour. My reason: I thought the show was too expensive and to big (stadium Feyenoord).
When I arrived this evening, the doors already had openend, but nevertheless I managed to get a place at about 7 metres from the stage. Pity two guys wouldn't let me through. They were 2 metres tall. My girlfriend (being even smaller than me) got 'permission' from these guys, so we were 'split' until three-quarter of the gig. I think those assholes spoiled a bit of the beginning of this event for me.

No Son of Mine was a perfect opener. The lights were really nice during this show and the sound was O.K. With Land of Confusion people started to sing and you could see everyone was enjoying themselves.
I had some chats with other Genesis-fans about boots, exclusive versions, etc. When Tony started The Lamb people went mad. And they did the whole song, no medley, just the thing in it's own right. It was a bit lower than the original, but I didn't mind since Ray puts in a lot of atmosphere, he really is 'Ray the imperial aerosol kid'!
After this song he welcomed everyone, and he received a warm applause. He said some things in Dutch, and even introduced Calling All Stations in Dutch. The three Jumbotrons on the back showed a great animation. This is really a dark and heavy song. It had a much better ending than the crappy fade-out on the album.

Carpet Crawlers was awesome. And, I could easely sing it along in this version, great! Ray was just sitting on a stool and sang (he joked about this stool, since 'he wasn't even the oldest of the band and he needed one').
Regrettably, they didn't play There Must Be Some Other Way, which is my favourite on the album. Alien Afternoon was a bit of a disappointment, since I knew they would play either this or the other song. The animations again were great. Star Trek all over the place...

Next was Domino... It was really powerful. Ray was singing at the top of his lungs! The animations were the same as on the We Can't Dance-tour, but they still worked out. Nir Z is really an excellent drummer, I love his style. It's powerful, but still melodic. I realised how much of this song is about Tony. Most of the sounds you hear are samples by him. Nir had the chance to fill in the 'gaps'.
Firth of Fifth is really one of my favourites, so I liked this a lot. But being it not THE firth of fifth, that is, only a part of it and no Steve Hackett, it will never be as in my dreams. To be honest, I liked the Re-Genesis (=coverband) version I saw in London last year much better. Anthony Drennan did a fine job but he lacks personality and his own 'sound' or 'style'. But he's a much better guitar-player than Mike anyway.

Congo was really different from the album. Nir did some extra drumming, and the end was different. Quite an impressive song, especially since the 'Jungle-book-like' animations were great, I forgot watching the band. That's about the only point of criticism I have: the show was great, but their perfomance was lousy. Ray was enjoying himself, but Mike just nodded friendly from time to time and Tony didn't even notice there WAS an audience. Those stiff-upperlip Brits ! Come on guys, have fun in what your doing!
Home by the Sea was lovely, the castle animations were great. Second Home by the Sea was quite powerful again. I love this song. Again Mike wasn't really impressive, sometimes it all looks so easy what he's playing, but as longs as it sounds right... and it did! Of course the story was there about the four big lights, that replaced the girls on tour. Ray made fun of Tony, 'cause the light was really shaking when Ray suggested how it reacted to Tony.

Then, it was time for the guys to take a seat in the middle of the stage. Tony also took a guitar, Nir just took some small rhythm-instruments with him and they played 4 lovely little acoustic songs. Selling England (intro from Dancing Out with the Moonlit Knight), Follow You, Follow Me (I loved this country-like version), Lovers Leap (first part of Suppers Ready) and their recent single, Not About Us were all gems. It was over all too soon. These guys really should do MTV-Unplugged !
Then...a familiar keyboard-sound started... Mama !!! Ray was screaming his lungs out again. He was defenitely more angry than Phil ever was (Phil who?). The keyboard-part changed a little, since Tony sort of sequenced the intro chords. It sounded a bit like a wave to me. Nir was brilliant.

Dividing Line was competely different from the album. To start with, it was much longer, Mike and Anthony were both playing guitars, Tony did all of the bassing on keys. There was a long drum-solo and a guitar duet towards the end. Pity for Mike but Anthony played him away.
When Invisible Touch started, I knew it would be over soon. I like this song, especially the rhythm of it, but it didn't really work out with Ray as Land of Confusion did. The set-closer was, (surprise, surprise) Turn it on Again, which is a nice sing-along, but I hoped for someting more original. (That's All could have been a nice one)... When the guys returned to stage they started with... Throwing it All Away. I thought this was really strange, since I always saw it as a typical Collins-song. The crowd started to sing 'deedadeee-deedadeee' which was nice. Mike liked it and so did Ray.
After this the keyboard-drumsounds of I Can't Dance started. (Again some of the people around me already left, they had seen what they came for). Ray left the stage, walked into the crowd, and (accompanied by a bodyguard) searched for a girl who could teach him to dance. People were really confused. The blond girl (Manon) he took on stage was really shy, but they danced (close!). Ray sang this no.1 hit in his own way. He didn't do the walk, which I think was very wise of him. He made fun of Mike and Tony again, cause when he sang 'a perfect body and a perfect face' he pointed at either one of them. After 'checking everything was in place' on this girl, he let her go and they finished the song. It was fun. It's not the greatest song, but everybody went home laughing and that's O.K.

I had a great evening. I loved Nir and Ray. Tony should be aware of the audience and Mike needs to stick to his bass, but the show was great.
I'd love to hear some other stuff, next time (Dodo or Duchess ?) but I hope I don't have to wait another 6 years.
Of course, I compared Yes and Genesis, since they played in one week. I liked Genesis more, mostly because of a better sound-quality. It's strange, Yes had more fun on stage, Squire and Howe are defenitely better musicians than Drennan and Rutherford and Yes played my favourite tracks, where Genesis didn't.....
But still in music sometimes 2+2=3, and with Yes, that was the case. But I had a wonderful week, since seeing both was a dream come true.

 

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