"A Personal View" - Genesis in concert at the Nynex Arena Manchester Friday, March 6, 1998. Review by Simon Brough.
When it was originally announced that Tony and Mike were to continue as Genesis without Phil, I must admit that I had grave doubts about their sanity! But being ever the optimist; I waited with guarded interest. My first impressions of the new album were good but with the nagging question; "Is it Genesis without Phil?" Personally for me it no longer is. I approached the live show with the same reservations; could they still cut it in front of a crowd without "that voice"?
Also, who could replace Phil's brilliance on drums now that the great Chester Thompson has left the hot seat? Any doubts I had were blown away from the moment the "new band" kicked in with "No Son Of Mine". New boy Nir Z for me, stole the entire show. This guy can rattle the steel and skins with the best of them! I'm sure Phil would have approved of their new sticksman.
It was just a pity that the band didn't play a more adventurous set. The main criticism of the last tour back in 1992 was that the shows were too top heavy in later songs. I was hoping for a more balanced show this time. Unfortunately my two favourite Genesis albums "A Trick Of The Tail" and "Wind & Wuthering" were shamefully ignored.
I felt that the highlights of the show were a great mini-acoustic set including the opening section from "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight" and the classic intro to "Supper's Ready". It would be nice to see the band extend this idea perhaps recording a full album of acoustic Genesis classics? Other highlights included powerful renditions of "Domino", "Mama" and "Home By The Sea" all driven on by Nir Z's superb drumming. This was well highlighted during the best song from their new album, "The Dividing Line", with an extended drum solo during which the powerful drummer was dramatically lit with spotlights as the rest of the stage went into darkness.
Two selections from the mighty "Lamb"... showcased Ray Wilson's strong vocals, especially on a great version of "Carpet Crawlers". Once again, the band played the middle section from "Firth Of Fifth", why not the whole song, boys? The guitar solo was also played extremely well by new guitarist Anthony Drennan. The only disappointment was the end of the show anti-climax with "I Can't Dance" which is a song I do not like AT ALL! I personally missed "Fading Lights" and the old Genesis classics "Los Endos", "In The Cage" and "Afterglow". Without these, a Genesis show seems incomplete and empty.