20, 21, 22 September | Genesis live in BIRMINGHAM | reports **SPOILERS**

  • I'm guessing the setlist didn't change on the third night in Birmingham either? That, I believe, was the only chance that they would introduce new songs on this British tour. I think that Jesus He Knows Me and Hold On My Heart are ready to go if necessary but probably won't be played unless they change it up slightly for the American tour. I think it may have been decided since last November's rehearsals that neither Abacab nor the Musical Box would be in the set this tour since they weren't printed on the T-Shirts. I still can't believe they did that as well as released the cd with nearly the same setlist order. I am still so disappointed that Abacab didn't make it since it is/was so popular and gives the set another harder rock song. It actually is still one of the songs that is played on classic rock stations here in America. If they did rehearse it though, I fear that it would be the edited version since that again is what is on the CD set. That to me would be worse than not playing it at all.


    I've been looking at the setlist and I thought that it seemed shorter than past ones but it still says it is 140 minutes, which is already over the 2 hours we expected them to play. I really don't know what they would consider dropping to swap another song in. I'm stuck on this.

  • I'm guessing the setlist didn't change on the third night in Birmingham either? That, I believe, was the only chance that they would introduce new songs on this British tour. I think that Jesus He Knows Me and Hold On My Heart are ready to go if necessary but probably won't be played unless they change it up slightly for the American tour. I think it may have been decided since last November's rehearsals that neither Abacab nor the Musical Box would be in the set this tour since they weren't printed on the T-Shirts. I still can't believe they did that as well as released the cd with nearly the same setlist order. I am still so disappointed that Abacab didn't make it since it is/was so popular and gives the set another harder rock song. It actually is still one of the songs that is played on classic rock stations here in America. If they did rehearse it though, I fear that it would be the edited version since that again is what is on the CD set. That to me would be worse than not playing it at all.


    I've been looking at the setlist and I thought that it seemed shorter than past ones but it still says it is 140 minutes, which is already over the 2 hours we expected them to play. I really don't know what they would consider dropping to swap another song in. I'm stuck on this.

    I'm disappointed by Abacab as well. I never saw them do it, and was saddened when Phil torpedoed it on the 2007 tour. Would have been great to see.


    I love this band til the end, but Phil/Tony/Mike suffer what many musicians do - judging their own work. To have the songs Fading Lights and TTT in the set in their current form is criminal. TTT the full version is one of their best tracks of all time - and they have gutted it since 92. Fading LIghts without the instrumental section isn't even worth playing.


    But for better or worse, I'll enjoy whatever they give me.

  • I'm guessing the setlist didn't change on the third night in Birmingham either? That, I believe, was the only chance that they would introduce new songs on this British tour. I think that Jesus He Knows Me and Hold On My Heart are ready to go if necessary but probably won't be played unless they change it up slightly for the American tour. I think it may have been decided since last November's rehearsals that neither Abacab nor the Musical Box would be in the set this tour since they weren't printed on the T-Shirts. I still can't believe they did that as well as released the cd with nearly the same setlist order. I am still so disappointed that Abacab didn't make it since it is/was so popular and gives the set another harder rock song. It actually is still one of the songs that is played on classic rock stations here in America. If they did rehearse it though, I fear that it would be the edited version since that again is what is on the CD set. That to me would be worse than not playing it at all.


    I've been looking at the setlist and I thought that it seemed shorter than past ones but it still says it is 140 minutes, which is already over the 2 hours we expected them to play. I really don't know what they would consider dropping to swap another song in. I'm stuck on this.

    I’m also disappointed they didn’t play Abacab. To be blunt tho I’m not surprised. Mike hasn’t had the inclination to play guitar with any fucking energy for decades. The man who recorded “Out into the daylight” is on his way “out to the pasture”... I kid. Mike is doing a great job from the videos I’ve seen; ESPECIALLY when he’s slappin da bass. But his GUITAR playing has mellowed with age.

  • Some more thoughts. Obviously watching videos shot on phones and live streamed is not anything like being there. I have at least five friends who were at one of the first two concerts and they all had a great time, including one who was healthily sceptical about what to expect - in terms of Phil's singing and the set list.


    I also have perfect pitch so I do always notice songs transposed....but Genesis are far from the only older artists to do this. Elton John has been for many years. The Lord Peter Gabriel himself did when he recorded Lamb overdubs back in the late 90s for the box set. It's not a surprise and not an option to do anything else other than not sing at all. We all get older. Mama sounds even more creepy in the new key than it ever did. And it's supposed to sound creepy. Duchess somehow sounds right. Other songs, feel a bit different. But I would rather hear them sung by the band who wrote them that way than not at all. Remember folks, after this it's Hackett, tribute bands and karaoke.


    I'm surprised Apocalypse isn't in the set after everything Nic said. It now doesn't even appear to have been rehearsed in October 2020. I am stull unsure about the new arrangement of The Lamb but I do applaud the guys for spending time and effort on trying something different. Overall the concerts worked. Better than most expected. Musically the band is firing on all cylinders. Phil still sounds like Phil, just an older version. He does come alive on stage and is getting more enthusiastic about his banter with the audience. They'll be in the palm of his hand by the time they get to London.

  • Talking about a change in pitch..it happens to many an artist, regardless of any other health issues. Saw Rush on the last few tours and there was a marked difference in Geddys pitch...although probably difficult for him to maintain some of those early year tones!

  • Neil Diamond sang in the original key all the way to the end. Paul Stanley of KISS tries.


    Of note - one thing I can't hear a lot on Phil's voice is effects. The vocal effects that are used today by artists are sick - above anything we could have ever imagined. A lot more than classic reverb, echo, etc.

    Mick Jagger, with some exceptions ("Paint It Black") still handles just about every song in their original key, and his falsetto is very strong even at 78. Paul Stanley is in worse shape vocally than Phil is, in my opinion. Phil at least knows his limitations.

  • I’m also disappointed they didn’t play Abacab. To be blunt tho I’m not surprised. Mike hasn’t had the inclination to play guitar with any fucking energy for decades. The man who recorded “Out into the daylight” is on his way “out to the pasture”... I kid. Mike is doing a great job from the videos I’ve seen; ESPECIALLY when he’s slappin da bass. But his GUITAR playing has mellowed with age.

    Not on Second Home by the Sea it hasn't - I watched the video and he has really been into the guitar playing. From what I've seen/heard - It's Phil who can't get behind the lyrics of Abacab.


    Usually half a step or even a full step down doesn't sound too bad - but when they take E and lower it to a C - then that is when most of us even without perfect pitch notice the structure of the song has changed.


    But - it's that or nothing at all - we just have to train our ears but more importantly our brains. One band I was in everything was played down a half step, and it took me a while to really get used to it. After some time - I never even heard the differences any more because my brain was used to it.


    The only song from the videos that really strikes me odd is Home by the Sea - that just doesn't sound right at all, plus the energy of the song is like gone. But - they make up with it in Second Home by the Sea. :)

    Edited once, last by Methos ().

  • Talking about a change in pitch..it happens to many an artist, regardless of any other health issues. Saw Rush on the last few tours and there was a marked difference in Geddys pitch...although probably difficult for him to maintain some of those early year tones!

    True, although in Geddy's case I thought it was actually better, I personally always found his voice a bit too screechy and dropping half a key sounded actually better, at least for me. It didn't really affect the dynamic of the songs. Judging by the videos of the Birmingham gig I saw, I can't say the same for the majority of the songs performed.

  • True, although in Geddy's case I thought it was actually better, I personally always found his voice a bit too screechy and dropping half a key sounded actually better, at least for me. It didn't really affect the dynamic of the songs. Judging by the videos of the Birmingham gig I saw, I can't say the same for the majority of the songs performed.

    Agreed. In Rush's case, the tone of Geddy's voice changed (inevitably) but it all still came together nicely. With Genesis (and no discourtesy intended as I've been a massive fan for 40 years) the music is as strong as ever (and I think massively improved and tightened with Nic on the drums) but the tone of Phil's voice has changed radically, as has his power. It's the natural result of aging plus his physical condition so perfectly understandable, but the key changes to accommodate this are at the outer limits of what they can get away with.


    That said, I think the arrangement on Duchess is better now than it was in the early 80s. LoC sounds better to me too. However Mama, Domino (first half) and Home By The Sea don't sound 'right' to my ears. It's personal taste though, there are no right or wrong answers.


    Still can't wait to see them at the O2.

  • Agreed. In Rush's case, the tone of Geddy's voice changed (inevitably) but it all still came together nicely. With Genesis (and no discourtesy intended as I've been a massive fan for 40 years) the music is as strong as ever (and I think massively improved and tightened with Nic on the drums) but the tone of Phil's voice has changed radically, as has his power. It's the natural result of aging plus his physical condition so perfectly understandable, but the key changes to accommodate this are at the outer limits of what they can get away with.


    That said, I think the arrangement on Duchess is better now than it was in the early 80s. LoC sounds better to me too. However Mama, Domino (first half) and Home By The Sea don't sound 'right' to my ears. It's personal taste though, there are no right or wrong answers.


    Still can't wait to see them at the O2.

    I have to agree. In fact, it was watching the full video of the first night that I managed to concentrate on the songs as opposed to the gig itself, where I was just so happy to be there and enjoy the spectacle. On playback, some of the lower keys really grate, and HBTS is the worst example.


    However, what the video brought to my attention is the fact that Mike's guitar playing seems much more focussed and natural now. I loved his solos, I loved Daryl's solos, Nic is just a monster on the drums (though without the jazzy inflections and some of his father's 'swing'), and Tony is - well, Tony. Even his keyboard patches were better this time round.


    I'm happy to take the whole package as is, and I'm so happy be seeing them on the road and seemingly enjoying themselves than pondering what was in the past and what might have been in the setlist.

  • I have perfect pitch too, and the transition between the two feels... curious, to say the least (like "uh... ok"). It's almost like the two parts are unrelated. C minor is much more moody, E minor is a lot brighter.

    Funny how we feel keys... I feel Duchess in C major (it works great in this version), but it is because I take the chorus as a reference. Tonight is in B minor (very low for me), because I take the verse as a reference.

    I also find the transition awkward. The last lingering chord of HBTS really sets the expectation for the key of 2HBTS. So even though the C minor chord has faded out in this tour's version, I still find it jarring to be back in E minor for 2HBTS. However the transition from Fading Lights to Cinema Show is even more abrupt. I think they could have worked a bit more on that.


    I'm never sure whether it is the verse or the chorus that establishes the key for a song. I guess you are right about Duchess, since the intro is the same key as the chorus, so perhaps that is the "home" key (E in the original and now C).


    Regarding voices deepening with age, sometimes this works well. I agree that I find Geddy Lee kinda screechy on the early Rush recordings and prefer how he sounded a bit later in his career - less range but more warmth. Van Morrison also was a little thin back in the days of Them. By the mid-70s his voices was richer and even in his later career, while he had less range, he had a lot of warmth and heft.

  • That said, I think the arrangement on Duchess is better now than it was in the early 80s. LoC sounds better to me too.

    I'll have too pay more attention to Duchess , I did love the 3SL version and it's a tough one to top imo.

    I disagree however on LoC, it sounds a bit flat to me but glad you enjoy it.

  • I have to agree. In fact, it was watching the full video of the first night that I managed to concentrate on the songs as opposed to the gig itself, where I was just so happy to be there and enjoy the spectacle. On playback, some of the lower keys really grate, and HBTS is the worst example.


    However, what the video brought to my attention is the fact that Mike's guitar playing seems much more focussed and natural now. I loved his solos, I loved Daryl's solos, Nic is just a monster on the drums (though without the jazzy inflections and some of his father's 'swing'), and Tony is - well, Tony. Even his keyboard patches were better this time round.


    I'm happy to take the whole package as is, and I'm so happy be seeing them on the road and seemingly enjoying themselves than pondering what was in the past and what might have been in the setlist.

    Drums set the power - and Nic's drumming is awesome. Even without the dual tone of Chester and Phil - it is driving the songs. SHBTS, LOC, NSOM, all sound great. I do feel that Mike's guitar playing is more focused as well.

  • looking forward to London shows. 3 shows in and lots of positive feedback. Got to think that the band as well as the audience were probably apprehensive for the first show, and seeing how Phil got one

    I am more relaxed about seeing them later in the tour and sure it will be a great evening

  • Thanks for your efforts! A few notes though:

    Isn't That's All in E minor originally so this would be 1,5 notes lower in C#?

    And I think I remember Follow You Follow Me was in G originally so it would be 1 note lower in F.

    Same with Carpet Crawlers, the intro is in E but from the verses onwards it was in D, so they probably took it down one whole note?


    By the way, I am one of those people that do not have perfect pitch but I have very good relative pitch: give me a reference note (this is a C or whatever) and I can tell you all intervals and chords and everything, without a reference note I am lost though.

    Going from C minor to E minor is quite a distance in the circle of fifths, if you add a semitone (C->F or B->E) it would actually be smoother, at least in theory...

  • I'm not sure if this has been posted or not. The full concert (audio only) from the second night in Birmingham. Sound pretty darn good to me.


    Wow, they're even using the exact same pre-show intro music as they did from 2007. The score to the film American Beauty.

  • I have to agree. In fact, it was watching the full video of the first night that I managed to concentrate on the songs as opposed to the gig itself, where I was just so happy to be there and enjoy the spectacle. On playback, some of the lower keys really grate, and HBTS is the worst example.


    However, what the video brought to my attention is the fact that Mike's guitar playing seems much more focussed and natural now. I loved his solos, I loved Daryl's solos, Nic is just a monster on the drums (though without the jazzy inflections and some of his father's 'swing'), and Tony is - well, Tony. Even his keyboard patches were better this time round.


    I'm happy to take the whole package as is, and I'm so happy be seeing them on the road and seemingly enjoying themselves than pondering what was in the past and what might have been in the setlist.

    Mutual agreement time! Absolutely with you there. I honestly think the band part sounds fantastic, really tight, and Nic is absolutely smashing it out of the park. I really like his drumming, similarities with his dad (and much more so than Chester) but you can tell he has other influences too... Mike finally seems to be getting through solos without frequent bum notes(!) (noticed that also at Hyde Park when he supported Phil) and seems to have got better with age. Tony, yep, is Tony. Daryl always the consummate professional.


    I really hope Nic goes on to great things. If he keeps developing at this rate he could be respected as much as his own drumming heroes. Massive respect to him. It's an old cliché that you can't have a good band without a good drummer and he is already a special drummer.

  • What I've noticed is the pace, at least in 2nd HBTS. They seem to be playing it at about the same pace as they did in '92, which for me, is way too fast. '84 and '07, they seemed to play it a little slower, giving it more space and weight. This faster pace thins it out some for me. No need to rush it; take your time and let that mood settle in and build. Just my 2 cents.