This is the second leg UK tour of the Genesis revisited extravaganza that Steve and his band have been touring around the world and if I could sum this show up
in just a few words they would be, Magnificent, Magical and Masterful, however three words do not a review make so allow me to elaborate
somewhat about what made this evening so special and memorable.
With the prospect of a full blown Genesis reunion being just a pipe dream Steve has brought a whole slew of classic early Genesis songs
to a new audience many of who would never have had the opportunity to see these classics being performed by the original band,
so this is a very brave move by any standards as you run the gauntlet of diehard fans fierce and harsh criticism and ire over even touching these revered works and
yet Steve has done this very successfully and with integrity dignity and honour.
The difficult part being I guess what not to include but what to leave out...
These songs of course need little or no introduction whatsoever being almost woven into the fabric of progressive rock itself but what comes across most
of all is the sheer joy that these six guys are having in breathing new life into these old pieces whilst still retaining their intrinsic character and
also the sheer joy in the theatre for everyone hearing these anew.
Starting with a double whammy of Dance on a volcano and then into Dancing with the moonlit knight the room just lights up with sheer unadulterated pleasure
as these guys really summon up the spirit of these songs, the sound is terrific, clear and beautifully balanced and admirably supported by a visual feast
of subtle yet dramatic lighting and also witty and intelligent backdrops to create a real visual and sonic feast , Fly on a windshield and Broadway melody
follow with great vocals from Mark O Toole whilst playing the drums too, in fact every member of the band add something to the mix whether it be their
astonishing musicianship or their zany character (Rob Townsend).
Carpet Crawlers is sublime with people swaying in the aisles and then the first biggie of the evening Return of the Giant Hogweed gets a huge cheer and
does the even better Musical Box.
At one stage someone wanders around the front of the auditorium wearing a full fox head and red gown a la Foxtrot's album sleeve
- even Steve looks amused. The Musical Box is a stunning rendition with great vocals from Nad Sylvan (who is consistently fabulous all evening).
Then comes Horizon / Unquiet Slumbers all seguing into Afterglow and the sheer class and quality of this song shines through admirably before
the crowd pleasing I know what I like.
Then comes for me one of the highlights of the evening Firth of Fifth and it's everything it should be and more, I'd heard the live version before on vinyl
and CDs but never witnessed for myself the majesty of this piece and tonight it shimmers and shines with a stunningly beautiful woodwind part
from Rob Townsend before Steve's lyrical guitar takes the song into orbit it is quite stunning and the audience roar their approval before Steve introduces another
classic Fountain of salmacis which is equally warmly received like a long lost friend.
I must mention that Steve's playing throughout the evening is utterly astounding he taps, hammers uses slide and basically plays elegantly,
beautifully, and even violently at times making his guitar whisper cry or scream often in the same song it is a sheer joy to hear such a craftsman
performing his art at times the guitar swells out of the mix but never at the expense of the rest of the band or the song itself.
The final song of the main set could only be one thing, yes the majestic odyssey that is Suppers Ready.
A song that everyone has been waiting to hear live for years in its entirety and this version does not disappoint how many bands could pull off
a twenty five minute version of this complex shifting beast.
This guy do and with aplomb it is a truly fitting finale to an amazing evening the song itself is a fresh as ever and it's wonderful to hear it anew in this revisited setting.
Unsurprisingly this song gets the third standing ovation of the evening with virtually everyone up on their feet voicing their approval.
So after a brief break back they come to play us some more.
We get a double blast of Watcher of the skies and Los Endos and it's another glorious fifteen minutes of superb music after many bows
and thanks they band depart and up come the house lights.
People are beaming and full of praise for having witnessed something truly remarkable and special.
These shows have been marvellous throughout and the Manchester audience certainly felt blessed to have been a part of this.
This has to be one of the best shows I have ever seen over the past 40 years it was a complete triumph and above all a reminder of the sheer poetic beauty,
elegance and majesty that these songs possess and still portray.
If you get the chance, catch a show if not get the live CD/DVD and witness for yourself this magnificent event for yourself.
A truly magical evening.
Dance on a volcano
Dancing with the moonlight knight
Fly on a windshield
Broadway Melody of 1974
The Carpet Crawlers
The return of the giant hogweed
The Musical Box
Unquiet slumbers in that quiet earth
I know what I like (in your wardrobe)
Firth of Fifth
Fountain of Salamcis