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from it-magazine 16


Genesis - The Invisible Tour 1986/87

Think Big: Genesis tour the world with a spectacular light show

Since the completition of the Mama tour in February 1984, Phil, Mike and Tony had gone their separate ways with various solo projects. Inevitably, press reports suggested the split of the band following Phil's solo success and continued session and production work. However the fans need not have worried as studio work began in the autumn of 1985, with premiers of the new material first on the B.B.C. TV's Old Grey Whistle Test programme on 17.12.85. As well as the first single Invisible Touch, parts of another track were played under the title of Monkey Zulu, subsequently being titled Tonight, Tonight, Tonight.

TicketUndoubtly the most commercial album to date Invisible Touch produced an incredible 5 singles, which all charted in North America although not reaching similar success in Europe. Assisted by the video promos by Jim Yukich's team, the band's popularity in the states reached an all time high, and inevitably the subsequent tour was scheduled to begin in the USA in September 1986. There were various attempts to take the tour further around the world than previously, with suggestions of concerts in communist China and the USSR. In the event however these plans failed to materialize, but Genesis did at last achieve the long promised trip to Australia and New Zealand, and in addition made the trip across the crumbling iron curtain to Hungary.

1Tour rehearsels took place in Dallas and several reports credit rehearsels of old favourites like Carpet Crawlers which unfortunatelly never made the tour set. Apparently the non album track Do The Neurotic was rehearsed as a possible set closing number but eventually the old favourite Los Endos was retained. Backed by the refined light show, the tour began as scheduled in Detroit under the official title Invisible Tour. Due to huge ticket demand, only stadiums and outdoor arenas were considered, and this as well as mixed feelings over some of the shorter singles from the latest album continued the errosion of some of the bands older fan base, being more than replaced, in numbers at least, by many new fans. At least the introduction of near perfect video sreens assisted the view at some of the larger venues. As well as live prospects of the band on stage, the video promos were played on these screens with the Benny Hill appearance on Anything She Does greeting the audience prior to the opening number of the set.

In a radio interview, towards the end of the tour, Mike Rutherford gave the total of shows played as 112 in 59 cities, frequently with 3-4 concerts per town.

With such a tightly organized schedule it was perhaps inevitable that the set should remain largly standardized. Three variations were played, as follows:

North America, September - October:

Mama, Abacab, Land Of Confusion, That's All, Domino, In To Deep, The Brazilian, Follow You Follow Me, Tonight Tonight Tonight, Home By The Sea/ Second Home By The Sea, Throwing It All Away, medley: In The Cage/ In That Quiet Earth/ Apocalypse in 9/8/ As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs, Invisible Touch, Los Endos, Turn It On Again-medley

Australia / New Zealand, November - December

2Mama, Abacab, Domino, Your Own Special Way, In Too Deep, The Brazilian, That's All, Home By The Sea/ Second Home By The Sea, Throwing It All Away, medley: In The Cage/ In That Quiet Earth/ Apocalypse in 9/8/ As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs, Invisible Touch, Los Endos, Turn It On Again-medley

Remainder of tour:

Mama, Abacab, Domino, That's All, The Brazilian, medley: In The Cage/ In That Quiet Earth/ Afterglow, Land Of Confusion, Tonight Tonight Tonight, Throwing It All Away, Home By The Sea/ Second Home By The Sea, Invisible Touch, Los Endos, Turn It On Again-medley

During the Australian tour the medley changed with the return of In That Quiet Earth and Afterglow in the place of Unquiet Slumbers and Supper's Ready sections.

3Other set changes were fairly minor. Due to fighting in the crowd at Rotterdam, the Turn It On Again-medley was cut short for safety reasons. The main alternation was the occasional obmission of Tonight Tonight Tonight, particulary at indoor stadium gigs, due to problems with Phil´s voice caused mainly by the amount of smoke build up from the audience. These problems would return during the next tour in 1992 as we shall see later. Close examination shows that in some of these problem venues, slight variations were made in other numbers of the set to assist in high note sections.

Of particular note in the Australian tour dates was the return of Your Own Special Way for the first time since 1977. Australian regulations apparently insist on involvement of local musicians in all live concerts and an eight piece string section was therefore added for this track and In Too Deep. Apparently the same musicians had assisted Phil's solo band during his 1985/86 tour dates which no doubt resulted in their selection here.

Other sections of the sets were subject to slight changes. Phil's audience participation time before Home By The Sea was retained, but with the climax amended to the levitation of the arena during the contact with the other world. Audience participation was also sought during the introduction to Domino, and the closing introductions of the Turn It On Again-medley. The composition of this medley also standardized after the 1983/84 tour experimentations.

4In retrospect therefore, what were the most memorable moments of the tour? Working screens and expertly handled lightning compensated the problems of massive venues to a great extent, and the official tour video and Visible Touch promo documentary gave a good moment of the tour itself (both have been combined on one release on the DVD Live At Wembley Stadium in 2003, which is also part of the Movie Box, released in 2009). The reduction of classic tracks in the set caused some illfeeling amongst older fans and in retrospect it might have been better to remain the original medley for the European dates. Overall however the tour was a complete success, for both old and new fans.

Unusually, Genesis re-formed twice for single events over the next three years, and as the make up for the sets were obviously influenced by the Invisible Touch tour sets it is worth mentioning them here.

access passFirstly, the band appeared at the Atlantic Records birthday party at Madison Square Gardens on 14th May 1988. A condensed set included portions of solo members material:

Turn It On Again, That's All, Tonight Tonight Tonight, Land Of Confusion, Mama, Invisible Touch, All I Need Is A Miracle, You Can't Hurry Love, Shortcut To Somewhere, Turn It On Again - reprise

Finally the band regrouped at Knebworth on 30th June 1990 for a charity concert and played Mama, Throwing It All Away and the Turn It On Again-medley together with Phil´s solo band which had played an earlier set.

by Mike Jackson
Photos by Guido Truffer, scans by Peter Schütz


Tour dates of the Invisible Tour
18.09.86 Detroit - Joe Louis Arena
19.09.86 Detroit - Joe Louis Arena USA
20.09.86 Detroit - Joe Louis Arena USA
22.09.86 Toronto - CNE Grandstand
24.09.86 Philadelphia - Spectrum
25.09.86 Philadelphia - Spectrum
26.09.86 Philadelphia - Spectrum
27.09.86 Philadelphia - Spectrum
29.09.86 New York - Madison Square Garden
30.09.86 New York - Madison Square Garden
01.10.86 New York - Madison Square Garden
02.10.86 New York - Madison Square Garden
03.10.86 New York - Madison Square Garden
05.10.86 Chicago - Rosemont Horizon
06.10.86 Chicago - Rosemont Horizon
07.10.86 Chicago - Rosemont Horizon
08.10.86 Chicago - Rosemont Horizon USA
10.10.86 Chicago - Rosemont Horizon USA
13.10.86 Los Angeles - Forum
14.10.86 Los Angeles - Forum
15.10.86 Los Angeles - Forum USA
16.10.86 Los Angeles - Forum USA
17.10.86 Los Angeles - Forum USA
19.10.86 Oakland - Forum USA
20.10.86 Oakland - Forum USA
21.10.86 Oakland - Forum USA
22.10.86 Oakland - Forum USA
23.10.86 Oakland - Forum USA
24.10.86 Oakland - Forum USA
23.11.86 Auckland - Weston Springs
New Zealand
25.11.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre Australia
26.11.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre Australia
27.11.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre Australia
29.11.86 Brisbane - Boondall Centre
30.11.86 Brisbane - Boondall Centre Australia
02.12.85 Adelaide - Westlakes Oval
05.12.86 Perth - Entertainment Centre
06.12.86 Perth - Entertainment Centre Australia
09.12.86 Melbourne - National Tennis Centre
10.12.86 Melbourne - National Tennis Centre Australia
11.12.86 Melbourne - National Tennis Centre Australia
13.12.86 Melbourne - Olympic Park
15.12.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre
16.12.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre Australia
17.12.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre Australia
18.12.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre Australia
19.12.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre Australia
20.12.86 Sydney - Entertainment Centre Australia
15.01.87 Houston - The Summit
16.01.87 Houston - The Summit USA
18.01.87 Dallas - Reunion Center
19.01.87 Dallas - Reunion Center USA
21.01.87 Kansas City - Kemper Arena
22.01.87 Kansas City - Kemper Arena USA
23.01.87 Chapel Hill - Dean Smith Center
24.01.87 Indianapolis - Hoosier Dome
25.01.87 Richfield - Coliseum
26.01.87 Richfield - Coliseum USA
27.01.87 Richfield - Coliseum USA
29.01.87 Landover - Capitol Center
31.01.87 Chapel Hill - Dean Smith Arena
01.02.87 Lexington - Rupp Arena
15.02.87 Hartford - Civic Center
16.02.87 Worcester - Centrum
17.02.87 Worcester - Centrum USA
18.02.87 Worcester - Centrum USA
20.02.87 Hampton - Coliseum
21.02.87 Hampton - Coliseum USA
22.02.87 Chapel Hill - Dean Smith Arena USA
23.02.87 Greensboro - Coliseum USA
25.02.87 Atlanta - The Omni
26.02.87 Atlanta - The Omni USA
28.02.87 Orlando - Orange Bowl
01.03.87 Miami - Citrus Bowl
13.03.87 Tokio - Budokan Hall
14.03.87 Tokio - Budokan Hall Japan
15.03.87 Tokio - Budokan Hall Japan
16.03.87 Tokio - Budokan Hall Japan
18.03.87 Osaka - Caste Hall
19.03.87 Osaka - Caste Hall Japan
10.05.87 Malaga - Edstadio La Rosaleda
13.05.87 Madrid - Estadio Vic. Calderon
15.05.87 Mailand - Stadio San Siro
16.05.87 Montreux - Casino Barrière
17.05.87 Rom - Stadio Flaminio
19.05.87 Toulouse - Stade Sept Deniers
22.05.87 Los Angeles - Dodger Stadium
24.05.87 Pittsburgh - Three Rivers Stadium
26.05.87 Washington DC - RFK Stadium
28.05.87 Philadelphia - Veterans Stadium
29.05.87 Philadelphia - Veterans Stadium USA
30.05.87 East Rutherford - Giants Stadium
31.05.87 East Rutherford - Giants Stadium USA
02.06.87 Paris - Palais Omnisports Bercy
03.06.87 Paris - L'Hippodrome de Vinc.
05.06.87 Kopenhagen - Gentofte Stadium
07.06.87 Hannover - Niedersachsenstadion
08.06.87 Berlin - Reichstagsgelände
10.06.87 Dortmund - Westfalenhalle
11.06.87 Rotterdam - Feyenoord Stadium
13.06.87 Basel - St. Jakob Stadion
14.06.87 Nancy - Stade Marcel Picot
16.06.87 Wien - Praterstadion
18.06.87 Budapest - Nepstadion
20.06.87 Mannheim - Maimarktgelände
21.06.87 München - Olympiastadion
23.06.87 Lyon - Stade de la Beaujoire
26.06.87 Glasgow - Hampden Park
28.06.87 Leeds - Roundhay Park
01.07.87 London - Wembley Stadium UK
02.07.87 London - Wembley Stadium UK
03.07.87 London - Wembley Stadium UK
04.07.87 London - Wembley Stadium