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Calling Your Station From Budapest


All Paperlaters who attended the first gig in Budapest Sportshall agreed
that we had a great show last night!

As I have already mentioned ticket sales went very badly here due to many
reasons. One of them is that there are not too many Genesis fans in this
small country (I know only about Zoltán on the Paperlate list - are there
others just hiding somewhere?). Many who would have come to see Phil
Collins who is more popular here stayed at home. Another reason is that
ticket prices are too high for local people - one can buy about 7 tickets
out of a monthly salary buying nothing else. Also winter is not the best
time I think - an open-air concert for a summer night could attract those
who did not come last night, not to speak about a great number of tourists.
And although the town was literally full of posters not much could be heard
or read about the venue. I remember that back in the summer of 1987 the big
open-air stadium was crowded, but about a week before the event their video
about the tour was televised on national TV. For such reasons only some
3,000 people came to the show... In the morning of the gig the band
appeared in a morning news program on TV (unfortunately I did not see it)
and Mike told that he had not bad feelings about ticket sales, they were
rather curious to see the reaction of those coming - poor man what else
could he say. So, when we enetered the place we had a feeling that we came
to something like an exclusive party - one of us told it was like a club.
Althogh we had tickets for some good seats we decided to stand in front of
the stage - there was no jostling at all.

The set-list was not changed - the same songs were performed as in the
rehearsal. The first thing I have to mention is how great effect audience
have on performers. And this is about Ray first of all - I must tell you
that he did very well. Since I was lucky enough to see the show for the
second time last night, I think I will be able to get used to his voice in
old songs as well. I know that some of you will not believe it -- Mama was
great with him. His voice was very good throughout the show and it was
evident that he simply enjoyed the job. He did not speak too much but had a
few jokes. For example he introduced the four rising tubes with lights on
top (I was writing about last time) as different girls for each one of the
rest of the group. In I Can't Dance it was Mike and Tony presented as the
ones with perfect body with a perfect face. He had jokes about the
difference of age between him and Tony-Mike. After introducing the members
in Turn It On Again it was just like Phil saying: and me. My opinion is
that he should no longer imitate Peter and Phil but start doing things in
his own way. I know many of you may diasgree - but like it or not he was
not asked to substitute the lead singer for a gig or two but he is actually
a member of Genesis and as such his personality must be emphasized. And
even in case of old songs and even if a new approach is given - am I
blasphemous? All I ask you is to go and see the show if you can, see what
Ray is doing and than we can discuss. (There is only one thing I did not
like - the colour of Ray's T-shirt: the kind of green I call horrible.)
The rest of the group was also very good and I really enjoyed each tune.
Professor Banks and Rutherford need not be praised - we all know what we
like. I can just repeat my thoughts about Nir - he was simply great. As for
Anthony it is perhaps my fault but many times I had a feeling that his
guitar was faded too much. I was looking what he was doing but heard little
of it - or am I going deaf? I would like to point out The Dividing Line
which is not my personal favourite in the set-list but I must tell you how
much I ilked it: with the guitar duel in the first part it was smashing.
Nir did a different drum solo and I prefer the one he did in the rehearsal
but it was great. Music sounded very good, a bit better and clearer than in
the rehearsal. Almost two and a half hours of excellent live Genesis music
- naturally we had a wonderful time.

As far as I know only Tom will go on to see the next two shows, but the
others will attend different later venues. I am looking forward to reading
comments about further concerts of the tour and I would be happy if those
who were here last night could also tell what they are thinking about the
first gig.

One more thing - let me tell you the story about getting to the rehearsal.
Two weeks before the concert I was thinking about what to do to be able to
get a bit closer to the band. I simply sent a fax to the local agency
organizing the concert. I wrote that some folks would be coming from quite
a distance and would like to be there at the sound-check. I was not very
optimistic about it but they called me and told that we can come to the
rehearsal. It was so simple as that - perhaps some of you could at least
try to do something like this. Everyone was very kind to us, no problem
with taking pictures, having signatures and it was really a great
experience (can still hardly believe it was true...).