In the beginning, was a band, and the band was Genesis. Now over 50 years on, Genesis has progressed and transformed into one of the best-selling music artists in the world, with a musical archive spanning 21 albums, ranging from prog rock to melodic pop. (Take out ‘Now’) With The Last Domino? tour, the band may be making its final exodus. And what a send-off it was!
Despite combined ages of 212 for its three mainstays – Tony Banks – keyboards and synths, Mike Rutherford – guitars, and Phil Collins – vocals, (and formerly drums) they put younger bands to shame, commanding the stage for two and a half hours, including a three-track encore.
The Glasgow crowd were already up on their feet as the band walked on under brilliant white beams of light sweeping the stage below. Collins’ son, Nicholas, replaced his father on drums and with enviable stamina, gave a phenomenal performance. Collins’ senior is no longer able to play because of nerve damage following a spinal injury in 2007. He looked a shadow of his former self as he sat down on a chair, centre stage, but Collins is still very much the frontman. He has lost none of his wit, rapport and banter, and his voice remains strong. “Listen, I’m the one with the microphone…’ he joked with the stream of Glasgow hecklers, who were keen, as always, to share the love. ‘Lovely tae see ya Phil!’
Bursting out with ‘Behind the Lines’, the crowd were soon on familiar territory with Collins and crew ‘Turning it on Again’. The white backdrop switched to blood-red graphics for a scary rendition of ‘Mama’, with Collins putting on a villanous, Davros-like face much to his, and the crowd’s amusement.
‘Home by the Sea’ and ‘Second Home by the Sea’ took the crowd on an epic musical journey and not only showcased the individual talents of Rutherford, Banks, Daryl Stuermer and Collins (Nic – the boy wonder on drums,) but also highlighted the genius that is Genesis at its best.
A string of old favourites followed – ‘That’s All’, ‘The Lamb lies Down on Broadway, and then an acoustic version of ‘Follow You Follow Me’, ably accompanied by the Glasgow Hydro choir. An accomplished performance of ‘Duchess’ followed, to a backdrop of fizzing, firefly lights that became a kaleidoscope of bubbles and cell-like explosions of colour. Collins must have enjoyed looking on and listening to the brilliance of what he had helped to create during the guitar, drum and synth sections.
‘They say that time’s a healer…’ Collins sang and seemed to find a rich vocal seam during this performance of ‘No Son of Mine’. Drums, keyboards and guitars built up to a crescendo for the classic prog-rock ‘Firth of Fifth’ with Stuermer’s bass playing taking stage centre. It was testimony to his place in the band for over 40 years. Then a transition straight into the wonderfully, crazy classic: ‘I Know What I Like’. Once again Collins conducted the Hydro choir: ‘Me, ah’m jist a lawnmower ye tell me by the way ah walk…’ By the end, we all knew what we liked.
The fun continued with Collins working the crowd in a Mexican wave-like game to demonstrate the domino effect. It was a warm and unifying experience before the band and the backdrop took us down the long, nightmarish vortex of the song itself. All it took was a quick mood change, led by the indomitable Collins, and we were into ‘Throwing it all away. The crowd looked on as the backdrop displayed the musical songbooks of this phenomenal band, highlighting some of the albums that have brought it up to £150m in worldwide sales and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.
After the desperate and desolate tone of ‘Tonight, Tonight, Tonight’, relief came immediately in the form of the upbeat ‘Invisible Touch’, another favourite and the final number to mark the end of the traditional 2 hour stage time. However, it wouldn’t be true rock n roll without an encore…
On they strode in white shadow form against the backdrop, and Rutherford’s heavy guitar chords brought us into ‘I Can’t Dance’, which of course, had them all dancing in the aisles It was a delight to hear Collins lead off a verse of the legendary, ‘Dancing with the Moonlit Knight’. Often seen as an elegy to a lost England, its theme seems as relevant now as it was in the 70s. The show ended with another from that Genesis era, ’Carpet Crawlers’. Then it was ‘Thank you Glasgow’ and the band took a short bow.
Let’s hope it’s not their last.
Glasgow Set List
Turn it on
Land of Confusion
House by The Sea
Second Home By The Sea
The Cinema Show
The Lamb lies Down on Broadway
Follow You Follow me
No Son of Mine
Firth of Fifth
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Throwing It All Away
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
I Can’t Dance
Dancing with the Moonlit Knight
The Carpet Crawlers