Monday, January 19, 2009

The Musical Box...genesis of a treat

Admittedly, when you are a fan (or fanatic, which defines as: a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal) it is sometimes difficult to separate truth from fact....OK, it ALWAYS difficult to separate truth from fact when you are truly a follower of something or someone (Obama, anyone?). So what is said here is the result of a concert viewing by someone who loves Genesis music and will see a cover band 8 times who re-creates this music. Of course I'd like you to see for yourself, but if you cannot get to a show, try this YouTube selection (what did we do before YouTube?):

This show of, "The Musical Box" ( was a song-for-song playing of the 1976-77 tour of the "Trick of the Tail" album. The show had this amazing setlist:















The Musical Box enacted the same set list Genesis did when they first toured this album...the album and tour that brought Phil Collins from behind the drum kit to the spotlight, where he has never left. Not wanting to alienate earlier Genesis fans, the band made sure (and MUCH to my and my concert-mates' delight) to include tracks from previous LPs...including the gem, "White Mountain" from Trespass (a pre-Collins album which included my daughter's favorite, "The Knife"). They did the "Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", "Carpet Crawlers" and "It" from the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The Musical Box also played 3 favorites from Selling England By The Pound, "Cinema Show", "I Know What I Like" and the very-well-done (WITH piano solo) "Firth of Fifth". These 3 were my introduction to Genesis from a friend in 1974.

Labeled, "A Trick of the Tail" tour is a little misleading since they managed 5 of the 8 songs off the album...Genesis themselves did not do "Ripples" until the 1977 tour. But 5 of 8 is 5 new songs to the fan. All were enjoyable, authentic re-creations....great stuff.

Many bands have that "one song" that people always ask for (think "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Genesis' most requested song is the 23 minute epic, "Supper's Ready". Thanks to the Musical Box we were able to hear this done to a tee...including the laser light which debuted during this tour. Awesome.

Having said what great music it is and how much I and my companions liked it, there is one drawback I cannot ignore....due to (among other things) the halls the Musical Box chooses to play in, they generally serve alcohol and it appears that alcohol-serving and the crowds that attend these concerts, don't mix. Now that's me saying it...perhaps from some of thoses that partake to excess or simply partake and TALK INCESSANTLY, they think it's just great. I do does nothing but detract from my enjoyment of a live performance. I would argue (and yes, a little bit of snobery) that this would not happen in England. I have been to >10 concerts there and one of the strange things for an American (of the rock and roll era) to witness is the British youth's willingness to sit quietly through soft or low-volume songs or parts of songs. There, I said it. Enough.

So here is my modest (naw, simply terrible) attempt at a little video of the real thing...I was there.

A shout out to Steve and would have loved this show.


Coming up is the All Saints Coffeehouse this Friday, January 23 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. This is an opportunity to play and/or sing live. You can do sing alongs, poetry, skits...we are not choosy and are quite an appreciative audience. This week we are doing our prelude to "RAIN - The Beatles Experience" which many of us will attend on Feb 15 at the Wharton Center in East Lansing. Much of the docket will be Beatles music....and what could be better than that. So come along and join us.


It's Chanticleer at the Wharton on Sunday the 25th and the Ann Arbor Folk Festival on Jan 30 and 31 at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. Busy times for live music in the Mid Michigan area.


I'll see you at a show.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Off to Chicago...Genesis of a concert

We're off to Chicago for a concert of a cover band. Why go to Chicago for a cover band? Because it is the Musical Box, the band that performs early Genesis music (and concerts) with a fine nod to detail.

I've seen this group 7 times since 2001 and have enjoyed amazing re-creations of "Selling England By The Pound" and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" tours of Genesis (from 1973-75). Now they are touring with, "A Trick of the Tail"...the first "post-Peter Gabriel" concert tour of 1976 (Gabriel left the band in 1975). Nicky and I saw this tour at the Auditorium in Chicago in 1977...I remember running up the stairs to the sounds of, "Dancing On A Volcano" ringing through the staircase. We drove up from the University of Illinois in Champaign.

So, tomorrow night, Jan 16 we will see it again. Great stuff! I'll report later...