Genesis Risen From The Ashes Sounds Better When The Audience Sings

A proven brand name is worth its weight in gold, as it turns out. Little has been heard of the British pop group Genesis since the reunion tour in 2007. In 2011, frontman Phil Collins announced his retirement as an active musician, partly because he could no longer play drums due to medical complications. In his autobiography Not Dead Yet from 2016, Collins reiterated that he was permanently retired. Four years later, suddenly the announcement of the Last Domino? tour came. Note the question mark. Even a progressive rock group cannot escape the Heintje Davids effect.
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Original vocalist Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett have been out since 1977. Genesis reinvented itself as the chart-topping phenomenon of ‘Mama’ and ‘I Can’t Dance’ in a trio of Collins, bassist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks. Phil Collins enjoyed a successful solo career alongside the band with hits such as ‘In the Air Tonight’ and the Supremes cover ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’. They are missing from the set list of Genesis, which has risen from the ashes, which casually started the first of two concerts in the Ziggo Dome with an intro tape of the song ‘Dead Already’ by soundtrack composer Thomas Newman.

Office chair

Funny, but with a bitter aftertaste. At 71, Phil Collins is forced to sing to his audience from an office chair due to the consequences of a complicated back surgery. His voice no longer reaches the high notes and lacks the power to push the traditionally playing band forward. Collins compensates for that with a cracking horror voice in ‘Mama’. Slumped, he lets the audience take over in ‘The Lamb Lies Down OnBroadway’: “When you sing, we sound better!”

The repertoire played dates from the years 1973-1991, with a surprising amount of material from the Peter Gabriel period. The artistic gap between the symphonic Genesis and the hit group from the eighties is closed by twenty-year-old Nic (Phil’s son) Collins, who shows a lot of muscle behind the drums. After a comment about the war in Ukraine, ‘Land Of Confusion’ is an embarrassing display, with an animated video of a city pelted with toilet rolls and a stream of refugees of neat men in black suits. Only at the end, after the most recent song ‘I Can’t Dance’, which is also 31 years old, does it seem as if Collins blossoms into even older work. His two and a half hours are almost over. He stumbles off the stage with a stick.

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