“Genesis In The Park” - Live at Roundhay Park Leeds on Sunday 28th June 1987. Review by Simon Pound. Photographs by Guido Truffer.
They came in their tens of thousands-a veritable sea of humanity, stretching as far as the eye could see. A carnival atmosphere for the biggest Genesis concert since their experience at Knebworth some nine years before, and great expectations for the band’s second date of their triumphant homecoming after some ten months of the most successful rock tour of them all.
Genesis, quite simply had become the BIGGEST band on earth. What makes their position so unique is that they have achieved this status with the minimum of hype, whilst maintaining artistic integrity - “big” does not necessarily mean “bad”.
Paul Young provided an hour of sugary-sweet and effective soft rock/pop, helped by an able if anonymous backing band. The use of two state of the art video screens either side of the stage enabled even the little people at the back to have an excellent view of the band as they played.
80,000 fists punched the air in unified joy as the industrial grind of Mama blasted from the crystal clear PA. The three wise men (plus two) have returned . Those Vari-lites have been re-programmed to shine more brightly enabling the band to play in broad daylight and it is during Domino that they send shivers up the collective spine, piercing red and green flashes of light stabbing the stage from every conceivable angle. It is destined to remain in the Genesis set for many years to come, made all the more affective by an immensely powerful surging extended end section.
“Not a happy song, but not a sad song” - That’s All was in fact, bitter-sweet as ever, segueing into the dynamic, dramatic Banks- inspired The Brazilian, made all the more spectacular by appropriately wild and whacky lighting effects.
The In The Cage medley brought back a flood of memories from the days when Genesis wore their flares with pride(!) And when Phil had a full head of hair! In the course of the Invisible Touch tour, the perennially popular ballad, Afterglow had replaced the end section of Supper’s Ready as the climax of this trip down Memory Lane.
Land Of Confusion complete with stills from the famous Spitting Image video brought everyone down to earth, proving that a song can have a serious social message as well as being commercially successful.
Down the years there have been many profound internal and external changes in attitude towards Genesis’ music, yet never have I witnessed such sheer wonder and enjoyment from an audience as they danced and sang along to each track, sometimes threatening to drown out the not inconsiderable sound from the stage! This was particularly evident during Tonight, Tonight, Tonight, with its strident beat and blistering chorus stretching Phil’s voice to the full.
In replacing the position of the ’70’s medley Home By The Sea now provides the new audio-visual key point of the duration of the set, and what a feast for the senses it is! Without question one of their greatest achievements, combining, as it does, their famed multi layered melodies, pomp, ceremony, and the miracles of their lighting system circa ’87. Banks, Collins and Rutherford creating the great wastes of sound that are the Genesis trademark.
After the jolly, jaunty respite of Invisible Touch, followed by the ever entertaining drum battle cum-duet the set reaches its finale in typically OTT style with Los Endos. Night time had fallen as Genesis turned it on again one more time, helped by a selection of Sixties’ soul classics brought to life by Phil in his best Blues Brothers guise. The end of a quite magnificent two and a half hours of entertainment with a capital E, the boys looked visibly moved by the tremendous ovation of appreciation they received before taking their bows.
There really is no musical experience like Genesis onstage - long may they reign and continue to give such immense pleasure to millions. Now to start saving for the next tour!!