'the lamb' tour

  • 'the lamb' tour setlist consisted of the whole double album, plus an encore. it was a risky decision, specially considering that the audience wasn't familiar enough with 'the lamb' yet.


    in that way, genesis were ahead of their time, since it's becoming more and more usual that some artists play certain albums live entirely. there's a peter's live album from 2014 that includes the whole 'so' tracklist. kate bush, on 'before the dawn' tour, played the ninth wave (second half of 'hounds of love' album) and a sky of honey (second half of 'aerial') entirely. similarly, u2 recently played the whole 'joshua tree' album, suzanne vega did the same thing with 'solitude standing'...


    the difference is that those albums are from about thirty years ago and the audience know them well. 'the lamb' had been released shortly before (if at all), and that's why that tour didn't quite work.

    Edited once, last by chema ().

  • The Lamb was firmly in my mind when I saw Neil Young & Crazy Horse performing on the Greendale tour.

    There was a story to it, and he played the entire album with a theatrical setup that included building facades, vehicles that rose from the beneath the stage, actors playing the parts of the characters and mouthing the words of the songs.

    It was a contentious tour for certain fans who just wanted to hear the hits and ended up getting all of Greendale – an album which at that point was still months away from being released – plus a few older songs tossed in at the end.


    I personally enjoyed the concert but prior to the show I made a point of acquiring a bootleg recording from an earlier warm-up solo acoustic show where he had performed all of the songs. So I was already familiar with the music when I saw him with the electric band but I was in a miniscule minority within that audience and I recall people grumbling as we were leaving.


    I’ve seen comments over the years from people who saw The Lamb performed on stage before the album was released and interestingly they always seem to speak glowingly of this amazing experience.

    I suspect it is easy to say that in hindsight, now being able to connect a current familiarity with the album with memories of the show.

    But at the time, without any benefit of hearing the album beforehand, I don’t know how enthusiastic I would have been being presented with 90 minutes of music I’d never heard before and then being granted a token performance of "The Musical Box" or "The Knife."

  • Yes also dumped the whole of Topographic on their audiences, at least initially, so pre-dated Genesis in that approach; I think they ended up doing half of it per show.


    Yeah the 'album showcase' gig has become very popular. I saw Bowie do a double one - the whole of Low and the then newly released Heathen at his Meltdown show in 2002, followed by a handful of classics as an encore.


    That one was good, but overall I'm not a huge fan of the album showcase gig. Simple Minds handled it quite well when one year, about halfway through a gig they played the whole of New Gold Dream. No announcement, no fanfare, just inserted it into the set. I quite liked that. REM also had a nice take on it, in 2003 they did small gigs at London Brixton Academy and in each did not an album but a sequence of tracks from a specific album, as a sort of mini-showcase as part of the set. e.g. the one I went to featured a handful of tracks from Life's Rich Pageant, another night it was Fables, etc.


    I also saw Magazine do the whole of Soap, and Floyd do Dark Side.

    Abandon all reason

  • Yeah, certainly not unique, even for the time. Yes were playing entire new albums as well. In the case of Genesis & The Lamb, it was a full concept that would make more sense to play in its entirety. Plus, I would guess that after a long tour supporting SEBTP they were happy to play new material.


    Although, I'm not sure that the comparison with recent tours is apt, since these are meant to go back and visit well known, established, popular albums. It seems to be more of a marketing technique. Back then, I think bands just wanted to get exposure for their most recent music, regardless of expectations.

  • Playing an album in its entirety was certainly not new. Pink Floyd did it some time before Genesis.


    Choosing to play the entire album was something of a conceit as there are pieces on The Lamb that simply don't work well in a 'live' setting. Still, they stuck to their guns and played it every night until the tour ended in France. I think it certainly honed the musical abilities of the band. Listen to A Trick Of The Tail and you can easily hear how far they'd come.


    What's probably the most surprising aspect of The Lamb shows is how uncomfortable Peter sounds when speaking to the audience. Given that he wrote the story, you would think he would sound more "into" it than he actually does. As it is, he sounds vaguely embarrassed about the whole thing.


    Still, it's worth checking out as many shows from this tour as possible, to hear how pieces such as The Waiting Room evolved and to appreciate how the band's most controversial album made its transition to a 'live' forum.

  • Choosing to play the entire album was something of a conceit as there are pieces on The Lamb that simply don't work well in a 'live' setting.

    I could never imagine "Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats" or "Ravine" being played in concert outside of the whole album being performed...

    The Seat Bunny!

  • Didn't PG just generally sound vaguely embarrassed all the time anyway?! But yes, certainly on the Archive 1 discs, his hurried descriptions of the story serve to make the whole thing sound cringingly silly.


    Thinking about that has now made me think of those intensely irritating voice-overs on just about every factual TV show now, telling us what's happening later given how petrified all broadcasters are that we'll change channels after 45 seconds. (Identikit presenter voice): "Coming up on The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway..... Rael, moving through a perfect reconstruction of the streets of New York...." etc.


    I love searching for various different performances of The Waiting Room. It's great that for such a locked-down band, for an entire tour they had this one track where they'd go nuts and head off in a different direction each night. It's a side of them I found frustratingly otherwise suppressed. In more than one interview, including quite recent ones, Collins has name-checked that track and it seems clear he relished the "where's it going to go tonight" element of it; you can hear it in the energy of his performances. Not long after that of course he was in Brand X and playing in a much looser, more improvised way.

    Abandon all reason

  • Collins has name-checked that track and it seems clear he relished the "where's it going to go tonight" element of it; you can hear it in the energy of his performances. Not long after that of course he was in Brand X and playing in a much looser, more improvised way.

    Yes, that approach seemed right up Phil's street.