“Still Turning It On” - Genesis in concert at the Apollo Theatre Manchester on Friday 30th October 1992. Review by Alan Hewitt. Photographs by Brian Cutler. Memorabilia : TWR Archive.
Well, having missed the last bout of theatre shows by Genesis back in 1980 I was determined not to do so again this time! The cancellation of the show at Wolverhampton for which I had a ticket was compensated for by another string to my bow with the Manchester show.
I made my way up to Manchester in the afternoon in the company of the editors of the German Genesis magazine Invisible Touch (hi, Helmut and Bernd!) and we were soon ensconced outside the Apollo waiting for our heroes to arrive. Eventually they did , but dashed straight into the theatre much to our disappointment.
Show time eventually arrived and we were grateful to have the chance to get warm out of the winter weather outside. Excellent seats provided the best view I have ever had of the band and I was soon keyed up to see the band at closer quarters than ever before.
At 8.05 the band came on to the full throated roar of the crowd and launched into Land Of Confusion. With no video or other props to help them, the band had to rely on their musicianship and they did so with ease. Next up was the dramatic No Son Of Mine a sure fire hit with the mainly “new” Genesis crowd. The oldies medley was next and it was a treat to see the other numbers at such close t range and Phil’s tarantella at the end of I K Know What I Like was marvellous. I was disappointed however, that there was no performanxce of the other oldies which had been played at Southampton : Carpet Crawlers or indeed, no other old material which I am sure would have been really welcomed by the crowd.
It was also surprising to see that Driving The Last Spike had been dropped from the set and replaced by Fading Lights which was played far too early in the set for my liking but was faultlessly played and for the first time ever at a concert at the Apollo - the venue’s notoriously poor acoustics seemed to have been overcome. Jesus He Knows Me followed and the crowd were delighted by Phil’s shame evenaglising. The only change from the outdoor shows (apart from the omission of Driving The Last Spike and Throwing It All Away) was the inclusion of Dreaming While You Sleep which was beautifully played and was to my mind one of Phil’s best vocal performances during the evening.
Home By The Sea followed, preceded by the story Phil used to tell when introducing Cinema Show, and this really got the crowd fired up. Without the lighting or video projections, this piece was rather sparse but the richness of the music itself more than made up for that. Hold On My Heart gave us some chance to catch our breath before “audience participation time” in the shape of Domino and Phil and Chester’s drum duet both of which were joy to behold and a vivid demostration of the musicianship that makes Genesis’ music so special.
The Vaudeville humour of I Can’t Dance signalled the end of the show proper but the crowd were not going to let the band get away without the obligatory encores and these were not long in coming. Beginning with an extended version of Tonight, Tonight, Tonight and Invisible Touch before the show climaxed with the now classic finale of Turn It On Again delivered in thunderous style by the band leaving the crowd screaming for more.
At two hours and ten minutes, this was a shorter than usual set probably due to Phil’s vocal problems but the show still represented excellent value and proved beyond doubt that the props of a Genesis show are really an added luxury but the music is still the main thing and that was as excellent as ever. The band are apparently really enjoying their stint in theatres and I can only hope that more shows are added - how about one in Liverpool, lads?