“The Lamb Lies Down In Paris” - Genesis live at the Palais des Sports Porte de Versailles, Paris on 3rd March 1975 and 17th March 1975. Review by Patrick Vigneron. Memorabilia by Mino Profumo.
To coincide with Peter’s next instalment of the Genesis Story, here is a review of two of the band’s shows on the now legendary Lamb… tour. Thank you, Patrick for sharing your memories with us.
For the first show I was sitting on Tony Banks’ side of the stage and for the second I was on Steve Hackett’s side so that I could see Peter clearly. As the house lights went down we could see a pink diapositive of Peter’s silhouette in black with the bat wings and his voice began to tell the story of Rael in French… “L’histoire commence a New York City quand un image descend sur Time Square.. Notre hero, qui s’appelle Rael sort du Metro et it est absorbe par ce nuage … voice l’histoire du Rael…”
I always remember this moment because it was the first time I ever saw Genesis in concert. The image fades and a green ray of light shows us Tony Banks as he plays the intro. The lights turn to pink and blue at the first kick of the bass drums; then change to orange at the second… And The Lamb… Peter appears in a haze of smoke, simulating the morning fog of Manhattan, clad in his jacket and blue jeans. I was very surprised to see him with such short hair and dark face makeup - a complete contrast to all the photos of him I had seen. The other surprise was Steve Hackett with no beard or moustache.
The stage was impressive - all black, with the three screens on the back to reveal a multitude of images without a break from the beginning of the show to the end except for the two encores. It was a nightmare come to life in three dimensions! The strongest moment came after Fly On A Windshield . For Cuckoo Cocoon, Peter was laid down on the edge of the stage so that we could only see his head emerging on the right side bathed in blue light. Next came In The Cage, Peter, half naked sang the intro behind Tony’s keyboards. The light fades while the pulsating rhythm continued to grow. There were rocks on the screens as Peter re-appeared at the centre of the stage for the first verse followed by the oppression of The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging before the first break to continue the story of Rael to the audience and after Back In NY, Peter was back! With his jacket, sling arrogantly over his shoulder and sang the chorus with Mike. In the middle of the song he threw a magnesium bomb at the back of the stage simulating an aerosol of Rael thrown on the wall.
Then Hairless Heart, with this hypnotic melody featuring Steve and Tony and a shaven heart on the screens. Carpet Crawlers with just a white light (white heat!) on Peter singing with his tambourine looking for faces in the audience. There were closed doors on the screens for Chamber Of Thirty Two Doors, perhaps the most tragic moment of the evening. Another break for Peter to explain what happened next to our hero and then again on to Lilywhite Lilith where Peter joined Phil behind his drum kit. And then The Waiting Room - the terrific Waiting Room (gee, thanks Patrick!) We could see an anxious shadow with long claws at the back of the stage.
Anyway with its macabre orbits on the screen and The Lamia, Peter singing inside a beautiful blue lighted cone of gauze with snake like forms painted on it. During the verses, the cone didn’t move but during the chorus it lowered to reveal Peter in a white costume with arms held high and singing the “looking behind me …” part only to be soon followed by Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats with its terrifying musical immobility adding to the stragnedeathly feeling of the piece.
The most visual part of the show was during The Colony Of Slipper men - a giant plastic cocoon was on stage and a bizarre form was moving inside it: suddenly Peter emerged from it in the famous monstrous costume of the Slipper man - a red balloon symbolising his sexual organs - swelled and spent!! Making the audience laugh. Even Steve Hackett smiled. Then again the feeling of death comes back very strongly with Ravine and back to the city for The Light Dies Down On Broadway, the last hope : Riding The Scree with the noticeable absence of Steve who didn’t play on this number. As the synthesiser roars at the beginning of It, Peter appeared simultaneously on both sides of the stage in a stroboscopic effect with the help of a dummy (but I don’t know which was the real or the Rael!). Rael discovers that he and his brother John were one and then vanished into It. At last the flood of images on the screen stopped as there was simply written: It, It, It - the crazy dream was over … but I liked it!
After all this, Genesis returned for the obligatory encores: Musical Box and Watcher of The Skies (they played both on the first show) it was great to see what Genesis lookedlikie before The Lamb… with this short glimpse. For The Musical Box, Peter wore his black leotard and he appeared with his white gloves and the old man mask for the finale of the track in a very violent performance. For the finale, the band came back for Watcher Of The Skies, Peter majestic in a dark red cape with the batwings and a red flash before the end. The two songs had inherited part of the violence and force of The Lamb… we were far away from Selling England By The Pound as some fans, and Steve Hackett regretted, but for someone who never saw the band before, it was magic, even if The Lamb… was down to Earth(it;’s a good alternative title!).