Genesis Newcastle Arena 30 September 2021

“”Can you tell me where my country lies?” said the unifaun to his true love’s eyes.” Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (Genesis 1973)

GENESIS TIXSo Genesis emerged one more time, for a final tour of the world. The band has retained its massive popularity over the years and sold out two nights at the vast Newcastle Arena. I went along on the first night, intrigued to see how my old heroes would perform after all these years.

It is more than 50 years since I first saw Genesis and, for me, the original prog rock group is still the best incarnation of the band. However, you have to hand it to Phil Collins who with old sidekicks (and only remaining original members) Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford took Genesis to even greater heights than those achieved by the Peter Gabriel version of the band. Now the set list looked promising and tempting. Earlier performances revealed that the band were playing quite a few old tracks including “the Lamb lies GENESIS 1Down on Broadway”, “I Know What I like”, “Carpet Crawlers” and excerpts from “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight” and, once or twice, even “The Musical Box”. Now these songs represent the true soul of the band for me. I dream of them playing “The Knife” as the encore, but I knew this was not to be.

Phil Collins is clearly not well. You have to admire him. Earlier reviews and YouTube videos reveal that he spends the evening seated, singing but not drumming. The drum stool is now taken by his son who, apparently, does a great job and does his father justice.

So on Thursday I went along to the arena with my carer Jackie, both of us carrying our Covid passes on our phones to prove we had been double jabbed. As it happened, we were not actually asked to produce these. We took our seats on the disabled platform close to the front of the auditorium with a great view GENESIS 5of the stage. Having read all the reviews I knew what to expect, the band were due on stage at 8 PM with a 10:30 PM finish and no interval. It took some time to check all of the crowd into the arena and thus Genesis did not take the stage until around 8:15 PM.

Jackie went off to purchase a large glass of red wine for me. For some strange reason, the bar staff interpreted this as a bottle of red! Big mistake and too much temptation for me. The wine went down nicely, just as the performance progressed well also. Soon the band were on stage, Phil Collins not walking well (using a stick) and taking his seat at the front of the stage flanked by companions Mike Rutherford on bass and guitar to his left and Tony Banks on keyboards to his right. Phil’s son was behind the three front men, on his raised drum platform. The rest of the band comprised vocalists and long-term guitarist Darryl Streumer.

GENESIS 2The light show was pretty amazing, with massive video screens behind the band showing each of the performers “up close”. They started with an instrumental and then it was straight into the hits “Turn It on Again”, “Mama” and “Land of Confusion”. Now these songs were never my favourites, but on the night they sounded just great and Phil Collins did an excellent job on vocals. But for me it was the old Genesis that remained the best. So I particularly enjoyed “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” and, of course, “I Know What I like”. It always surprised me, and still does, how similar Phil Collins voice can be to that of Peter Gabriel. I remember the first time I saw Genesis with Phil Collins as lead vocalist, at Glasgow Apollo, I was amazed how well he took on the mantle of front man and recreated Gabriel’s singing parts. Of course, he always took on some backing vocals duties, even in the early days, so perhaps it wasn’t so surprising. Anyway, he certainly did justice to the old classics which took me back 40 odd years. Before we knew it we were on the home stretch, with more hits such as “Throwing It All away” and the closing song “Invisible Touch”. Excellent. And somehow my bottle of wine was now almost empty and I felt pretty merry (to say the least).

Soon they returned to play “I Can’t Dance”, a short excerpt from the wonderful “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight” and closing with “The Carpet Crawlers”. A triumphant return by an excellent band with a twisting,GENESIS 4 turning history that has taken them from prog rock heroes to almost middle-of-the-road pop/rock stars. And a particularly triumphant performance by Phil Collins, who clearly in ill-health, pulled off a magnificent showing. If this was to be the last time, then they couldn’t go out any better.

The taxi ride home was a bit of a blur, courtesy of the expensive (but cheap) red wine, as was being put back in the bed by Jackie and Chris. Similarly the blur and sickly feeling continued into the next day, as did the memories of Genesis. No more bottles of red wine for me!

GENESIS PROGSetlist: Behind the Lines / Duke’s End; Turn It On Again; Mama; Land of Confusion; Home by the Sea; Second Home by the Sea; Fading Lights; The Cinema Show; Afterglow; That’s All; The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway; Follow You Follow Me; Duchess; No Son of Mine; Firth of Fifth; I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe); Domino; Throwing It All Away; Tonight, Tonight, Tonight; Invisible Touch. Encore: I Can’t Dance; Dancing With the Moonlit Knight; The Carpet Crawlers. 

Many thanks to Jackie for taking the photographs.

6 responses to this post.

  1. I was there, and judging by your photograph, almost in the same seat! I must say I always thought it was “cried the unicorn” but I googled it and you are right – been singing it wrong all these decades! On the gig, I cried three times, during Fading Lights, Throwing It All Away, and the Sragnation bit in Wardrobe. Top stuff.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on October 4, 2021 at 11:49 am

      Hi John yes I found it quite emotional at times particularly during the old tracks such as “I Know What I like”. Took me back to seeing them at the Reading Festival so many years ago. Now if they had played “The Knife” that would be something special….Peter

      Reply

  2. Posted by dcmuso on October 3, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks for your latest review and your other excellent reports – I always read them. We must be of a similar vintage because it’s 50 years ago now since we first saw Genesis live, as an acoustic trio pre-Collins. Then not very long afterwards when Nursery Cryme put them on the prog-rock map – the fantastic “6/- Charisma” tour with the magnificent Van Der Graaf Generator. Great memories. Lost interest after Gabriel left, though – but did buy “Trick Of The Tail”.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on October 4, 2021 at 11:46 am

      The Charisma tour was the first time I saw Genesis and I have been a fan ever since. I agree that they were never the same after Gabriel left, but little bits of that band remain and creep out every now and then as they did this time. Still magnificent Best wishes Peter

      Reply

  3. Posted by Mark Watson on October 5, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Have you seen The Musical Box in concert. Ive never seen Genesis and was a little young to see Gabriel era genesis so this is as good as it gets for me. They are superb and are playing in Newcastle next year.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on October 5, 2021 at 11:29 am

      Hi Mark no I never seen The Musical Box. I am aware of them and heard they are good. Will see if I can make it next time cheers Peter

      Reply

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