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  • The Musical Box - Frankfurt 2007


    Selling England by The Pound live in der Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt (Jan 21, 2007)



    The ultimate Genesis song hits home ...

    It is a bit earlier than usual on a Sunday afternoon when I enter the hallowed halls of Höchst; the concert begins at 7pm. On my way into the lobby I spot familiar faces, ‘repeat offenders’ all of them. The Musical Box in Frankfurt is a bit like a family reunion. Thanks to numbered seats there is enough time to chat to others, check out the CD stalls and spend that extra money.

    flowerWe take our seats a couple of minutes before 7pm. My seat is almost in the center of row 4, a good place, I’ve learned. The lights go out and the Canadian clones make their way through the curtains onto the stage. After the obligatory tuning sounds the majestic mellotron intro to Watcher Of The Skies rings out and once more proves a goosebump guarantee. In comes the staccato rhythm, and I am deeply immersed in 1973. And very moved. I remember my first TMB gig in 2003 – I was so close to tears during Watcher Of The Skies and the ensuing Dancing With The Moonlit Knight. Things have not changed much in 2007, the less so since it is probably my last TMB show. Dancing With The Moonlit Knight has all the fantastic qualities of Genesis distilled into eight minutes. It has been a favourite with me right from the beginning, and it is a highlight of the show. The sound is crystal clear, as usual in the Jahrhunderthalle. The Cinema Show enchants everyone; the instrumental is performed in a particularly powerful manner by the trio of Sebastian Lamothe (‘Mike’), David Myers (‘Tony’) and the congenial Martin Levac on drums. I Know What I Like seems a bit lost among all these giants, but it is followed by an absolutely perfect version of the Firth Of Fifth. The twelve minutes after that are reserved for the most intense thing I have ever experienced in a concert: The Musical Box play The Musical Box. One of the best pieces progressive rock has ever created it towers even over this night’s excellent set. The Battle Of Epping Forest is almost relaxing after that. It is a pity that More Fool Me is cancelled due to a missing 12-string-guitar; I would have loved to hear Martin Levac sing once more. His vocal and (visual) closeness to Phil Collins is uncanny. Francois Gagnon (complete with moustache and that ugly white jacket with strawberries on it) plays Horizons just like Steve Hackett. And then the time for The Big One has come. Denis Gagne tells the story of Old Michael, the worms and the birds, and everybody knows that Supper’s Ready! The musical rollercoaster ride climaxes in a gripping Apocalypse In 9/8 and the grand finale complete with pyrotechnic effects. The new ending TMB have devised for their farewell tour works surprisingly well.
    Standing ovations. Rightly so. The band disappears and comes back after a couple of minutes for the mandatory encore. “THE KNIFE” cries a voice from the first row (traditions, you know). Denis grins “Wait for it!” and then drily confirms “The Knife.” The ultimate Genesis rock song hits home, and when it is over and the lights come on I walk into the lobby on wobbly knees to discuss the show we just experienced with others. And to decide that I shall also attend the Foxtrot show in Mainz…


    by Andreas Uffelmann 

    translated by Martin Klinkhardt



    I Know What I Like ...


    flowerI was already very excited on our joint trip (five people) to Frankfurt. At the Jahrhunderhalle I met the usual suspects. It was very nice to see some people from the fanclub event at Welkers again. My circle of acquaintances from the Genesis fanbase grows with every concert. At Frankfurt I noticed that there are a lot of female fans, too.
    Funnily enough, I keep meeting people I last saw at school at TMB concerts. Sometimes it took a second look to recognize them :-) While we were chatting my thoughts went ahead to the concert so that I found it hard to focus on in-depth discussions.
    This year I sat almost in the middle of the third row. I had a great view of the stage with no giant sitting before me. Great, I thought, let the show begin. I adopted the quiet pose of the watcher, but I could not keep calm for long. An incredible feeling overcame me after the first chords of Watcher Of The Skies. The Musical Box, Firth Of Fifth and Supper’s Ready were played perfectly and with lots of passion. The Knife in particular, the encore, is a great piece live. What else can you ask for? “Play me my song”? Sorry friends, only “Play me more songs!”
    Thundering applause and shouts of appreciation between songs. I like these bursts of feeling from the hardcore fans and the band visibly enjoyed it, most of all special reactions like the moment when many in the audience began to stamp their feet on the ground along with the Battle Of Epping Forest. Judging by the glances the five kept exchanging I could tell they were enjoying themselves, too. It must be a good feeling to reap the reward after all these efforts.
    The tension I feel before every concert did not leave during the concert. There was a farewell in the air, at least for me, because it was to be my final TMB concert (at least until I spontaneously decided to go to Mainz, too). These were the last of the Mohicans on stage. I do not think that we will hear these Genesis songs again in such a form. It is most unlikely that the original formation will present us this music and this show again.
    Frankfurt 2007 was their best concert for me. Never before have I experienced TMB in this strength. They have never played a bad gig in Frankfurt, but this show was literally perfect, an unforgettable concert experience. There were no slips or bum notes in the set and the performance was first rate. Everytime Denis/Peter hurried across the stage I held my breath for fear that he would slip and fall on his face. The sound was crystal clear right from the start. I guess I got one of the best seats in the house, and so did my brother who whispered to me: “Wow, what a sound!” All the instruments were clearly audible, no mushy sound this night!
    What can I say? I know what I like – and I like TMB. The Musical Box have invited us for Supper. The fans accepted the invitation, heartily thanked their hosts for a perfect show and a perfect reconstruction of old Genesis, and enjoyed the menu.


    by Elke Lotz

    translated by Martin Klinkhardt

    The Musical Box


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