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Ray Wilson The Weight Of Man Interview
Surrender Of Silence
The Last Domino? Tour

Calling All Stations Tour 1998


There have been better concerts in the history of Genesis. The band has taken the risk of a new line-up and a new tour and thus disproved all rumours about the end of the band. It seemed to me that particularly the “new boys” will be able to provide a fresh breeze – this really showed in the performance. Hopefully Mike and Tony decide to involve them in the production of the next album. Doing that is their only chance to avoid the fate of only touring to make a living and thus becoming terminally boring. (Heiko Philipp)

• • •

According to the promotion the stage would be extraordinary. It wasn’t. That was the first disappointment for me. So I though the light show would be better. That was disappointing, too. The music was not so good either. The best songs were The Dividing Line and the extended intro to No Son Of Mine. Ray Wilson did not convince me. His introductions were fairly inventive, and the new songs sound good, but he failed at the older songs. Invisible Touch, Home By The Sea and many others sounded ghastly. I was surprised to notice that the fans were still in a comparatively good mood. All in all I have to say that Genesis made one big mistake on this tour: They should focus on the show (like Pink Floyd), not on the music. That has become terrible without Phil Collins. This ticket was a waste of money. There are far better bands than the “new” Genesis. The „old“ Genesis with Peter and Phil were simply way better. Tony, Mike, why don’t you just retire and spend your millions. (Andy Brecklinghaus)

• • •

The mood at all gigs was great, and Genesis knew exactly what their fans expected from them. Mike and Tony appeared professional and experienced, but you could still see how much fun they had. The focus was certainly on Ray. His strong, dark voice was an asset right from the start. His self-confidence grew from gig to gig. He knew exactly how to get the audience on his side through interaction and his showmanship. There should be no doubt anymore that Ray is the right man for the job. (Kerstin and Sonja Parnitzke)

• • •

The changes in the band and various announcement made me expect less pop, more fun and a new appreciation of old songs. What a disappointment! Yes, there were bright spots: A full-length Lamb Lies Down…, Carpet Crawl, the acoustic medley – but they also played it safe with the hit songs Land Of Confusion, Throwing It All Away, and Invisible Touch: Collins’s hits. So you have to cater for your audience (at the behest of the industry?). Ray tried his best to imitate Phil but only managed to be embarrassing – what can you do against the charme of an older entertainer? The news songs were nice, but I cannot get into them, or into the new record, for that matter. They are too cold, to technical, to unemotional for me. The Perspex stage and the grey, blue and green lights only enhanced the effect. Only the camp fire romance of the acoustic medley could summon up a bit of warmth. Genesis, that is: Mike and Tony, do not stand by their past anymore. You need proof? The Firth Of Fifth solo that was played without even a pretense of context. By the way, Mr Drennan was terrible – where are Steve and Daryl? After the embarrassing finale with Turn It On Again and I Can’t Dance my feelings were. “Genesis are not my band anymore. They ought to change their name to the title of one of their most beautiful songs – Stagnation.” (Thomas Jesse)

• • •

The set list was a good choice, but we are used to a different size of the show. I would have preferred if they had used less elements from the ’92 show: The screens showed exactly the same images as back then, Ray was lifted up in front of the screens for Domino, and Mike and Tony seemed completely uninterested. They stared straight ahead. When he was introduced Tony turned his head only slightly towards the audience – that’s nothing. Ray bailed them out by his frontmanship; he did not attempt to copy Phil but did his own thing. It was thanks to him that this became a good show, because as Phil Collins’ successor he had to carry one of the heaviest burdens in the music history. I cannot quite understand the criticism that was uttered after the first shows. Sure, it was not perfect, but a more than acceptable beginning. Ray really gave everything, and the audience – at least in Leipzig – appreciated that. I hope that he will remain the frontman in Genesis because the others could do with a fresh breeze, too. (Maria Banse)

• • •

My expectations were not very high when I went to the Genesis gig in Mannheim. I had decided to give Ray a chance and get into the “new” Genesis. That did not work out during the evening. Sure, the first three older hits brought on a wonderful concert atmosphere. The Lamb… was particularly impressive for me. But my enthusiasm died away during the new songs. It was not only that most songs from the new album begin with a strong beat and sort of fade away after the first verse. The interminable instrumentals bored the audience. While one paid ever more reluctant applause after each song, hoping for older hits to wake up and get going again, Wilson supported the boredom by running around on stage like a tiger in its cage – this was no stage show at all. Genesis admittedly have created a treat for the fans with this light and laser show, and the futuristic video clips worked equally well, but these same still patient fans waited in vain for catchy hits and great jokes a la Collins. A couple of irrelevant remarks by Wilson went completely under. At times it seemed as if he went through the motions with a show he does not really want to identify himself with. Then finally they treat the audience to some sweets from the band’s early days; these brought the concert spirit back again. It was an unplugged session that sounded like Genesis again and had the roaring voice  of one Ray Wilson who stood there rather self-consciously, missed the odd note and made many a Gabriel fan livid. It may sound mean, but when Collins sand “I can’t dance, I can’t sing…” one smiled at the irony – when Wilson sang it one agreed with him. All in all I think it is next to impossible to replace Phil, that Ray Wilson is better suited for projects like Stiltskin and that our Genesis are currently close to going belly-up. (Janine Scheckenbach)

• • •

Joy and anger, hope and desperation, Banks and Rutherford, all this was part of my Genesis tour. I attended shows in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, so that I can compare. Despite the problems mentioned in the report about the CAS tour I enjoyed the Berlin gig the most because there was more contact to the audience and There Must Be Some Other Way as well as Shipwrecked were played. Munich was a special gig, of course: Tony’s birthday was celebrated with a Happy Birthday from the first rows, flowers and a cuddly toy from the audience and a big birthday cake from the tour promoter. The highlight of these three concerts was supposed to be an official meet and greet with the band in Hamburg. Unfortunately I was not there in time because of the incredibly sloppy and amateurish so-called organization by the promoter – great fun. All in all I (and probably many others) found the smaller stage show disappointing, and the music was not as strong as I had hoped it would be. Still, this tour and its many curiosities will remain in my memory as a very special experience. (André Garnath)


Genesis - Calling All Stations - tour report