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Anthony Phillips Recording Compendium
The Last Domino? Tour
Brand X Special: An Urorthodox History
Genesis Washington

Genesis live in Washington DC 2021

The Last Domino? Tour in North America

Just to state off the top, I share the view that many others have expressed; the Washington show on 18th November was great, at at times trandscendent. It was a beautifully performed, well structured show from beginning to end. But thought I'd add a few thoughts from my personal perspective, for what it's worth, as an "old-timer" who has come to appreciate all eras of Genesis.

The last time I saw them was 1980 on the Duke tour. During the years that followed, I lost interest in the band some - I wasn't really a fan of their music after Duke. But a few years ago I decided to revisit their post-Duke output and I guess with age, I had a different perspective. It was clear to me that there was some terrific songs on these albums, and I really enjoyed delving into them. I even did a podcast about it which can be heard here if anyone's interested.

The point, though, is that I discovered songs like Domino, Home By the Sea, Mama, No Son of Mine, Fading Lights and a few other gems (Driving the Last Spike, Abacab, Dodo/Lurker, etc) that were really quite interesting and in many cases, very prog influenced but also presented in a more accessible, up to date style. I liked them a lot. I knew they played a lot of those songs in their sets; I have watched many YouTube and other videos from their later tours and I knew they were populwell-regarded. But it's not until last night, when I actually saw them perform a number of those songs listed above for the first time, that I think I really appreciated the great challenge that they must have in constructing a set list, and their quite admirable success in pulling it off. They balanced the earlier prog material; the hits, which for the most part sounded good (I NEVER thought I'd say this, but they totally rocked I Can't Dance and Invisible Touch); and a great reliance on those ruminative, neo-progressive era rockers. I knew I would love the prog stuff and didn't feel short changed; I knew what to expect and really loved the integrity and focus that they gave the songs as they played them - and even ended with a couple Gabriel era classics! The hits, as I mentioned, worked fine though Tonight Tonight Tonight and Throwing It All Away seemed a bit perfunctory; but where I was really blown away was the music and presentation on those mid-era stretch outs. No Son of Mine, Domino, Mama, Duchess and Home by the Sea were all absolute standouts. And the more I think about it, it's really understandable. These are the songs that are the "sweet spot" where all the Genesis "camps" can converge. They have the updated sound, but they also have one foot deeply entrenched in the progressive era. They found a sweet spot with these songs, and it's no wonder that in my view at least, they are the glue that held the entire evening together.I can't give them enough credit for how they meld these three styles of music - hits, prog, mid-era stretchouts - together. It's a masterful balance they pull off, and do so with great professionalism, passion, and respect for all their music - and for their audience.

Phil Collins on stage

As a drummer, I listened to Nic a lot. I don't completely agree that, as some have said, he plays just like his father; there's more to it. He brings a lot of Nic Collins to the proceedings and he is impeccable in his playing. And as for the old man himself - I wasn't sure what to expect, but Phil sang beautifully and in tune (some have noted he sometimes deviates a bit). He held us in the palm of his hand, and he was on top of his game. Afterglow is a great example. Someone posted a video on facebook of him it from the early 80s. It's great and it shows the exuberance of youth and that's all good. Now, from where he's currently sitting (literally!), you hear a reflective song interpreted from the perspective of someone who has a lot more to reflect on. It comes out in the performance, and one can't help but appreciate this interpretation in its breathtaking glory.

I wanted to get this out and share my exuberance, and encourage anyone who may still be "on the fence" to get your rear end into that arenas. Peace out!

Author: Monte Mallin
Photo of Phil: Matthias Fengler

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