Genesis Knebworth 1978

Genesis Knebworth 1978 A Midsummer Nights Dream
And Then There Were Three…..
Support from Jefferson Starship, Tom Petty, Devo, Brand X, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Roy Harper
genesisthreeprog Come 1978 and Genesis were massive news. Firstly they were one of the biggest bands in the UK, big enough to headline the massive Knebworth festival and secondly they were in the news because their line-up changed again when Steve Hackett left to pursue a solo career. Genesis were now down to three members, and hence the album title, those being Phil Collins now vocalist, frontman, and drummer extraordinaire, Mike Rutherford on bass and guitar, and Tony Banks on keyboards. The remaining musical duties we fulfilled by players Daryl Stuermer on guitar and Chester Thompson on drums. By 1978 the Knebworth Festival was well established and the line-up for this event was pretty strong. Of the other acts on the bill I remember enjoying Tom Petty particularly. In fact his set was the highlight of the day. Jefferson Starship also played a great set, which was remarkable given the absence of lead singer Grace Slick who had left the band a few days earlier, suffering from drink and drug problems. The weather was ok, warm, but not hot. genesisknebworth Festival favourite Roy Harper was a late, unexpected and very welcome addition to the bill, coming on stage to warm the crowd up just before Genesis. The headliners took to the stage quite late in the evening, and had an amazing light show. The set was drawn mostly from their more recent albums, which was a disappointment for me, as I was hoping that they would still play some of their older material. I Know What I Like was reserved for the encore. The single at the time was Follow You Follow Me. The crowd gave Genesis a great reception with major singing along to Follow You Follow Me and I Know What I Like. I suppose this was the point where Genesis really became a mega band in the UK, and started to move more towards AOR and soft rock, and away from the beautiful mysterious prog rock what had characterised their earlier days. Although I continued to enjoy their music and saw them a few more times, something innocent and beautiful had been lost during the journey, and it wasn’t simply about the departure of Peter Gabriel. Genesis had changed into a different sort of rock act, and I guess that night at Knebworth I realised that for the first time. I enjoyed the gig but left the field longing to see them play The Musical Box, Watcher of the Skies and The Knife.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by robnlew. on August 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Fountain of Salmacis was good though, wasn’t it.


  2. Posted by The Grocer on February 12, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    I was there and the Genesis set was a disaster The computer driven lighting system using moving mirrors was not working, and Jefferson Starship played a mammoth set beforehand to give the techies time to sort it out. Given their recent problems, they gave their all, and the warmth that emanated from that stage was a beautiful thing. Brand X were excellent, but were on early doors so most people weren’t interested, but if you had been up all night on drugs like me, they were a refreshing wake up I can tell you.


  3. Posted by Mark Collins on April 27, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Agree with much of what you say but as I was only 18 at the time of the concert I came across ‘early’ Genesis only after seeing the show. But, I can honestly say, that night in June 1978 changed my life. No longer a fan of chart music, now I had some serious musicians to follow. Discovering Genesis was one of the turning points of my life, and now almost 40 years later it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Seen them 8 times now and that’s still not enough.


  4. Posted by Steve on September 17, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Hi all. I`m looking for a quality recording of the 78 Knebworth show. I did have the radio broadcast which I recorded from Alan Freeman`s show the following weekend but the mists of time have seen it “Soon all turn to dust”


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