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Budapest..more comments

- Tibor gets my vote for 'Paperlate Man of 1998' for being able to
arrange for us to get into the rehearsal on Wednesday night. Having
Genesis play just for the nine people there (six from Paperlate and
three local guys) was a dream come true. We literally had the entire
hall to ourselves and had a unique and unprecedented opportunity to do
things that you just can't do at any other occasion. I can't describe
how privileged I feel to have been there and to have had a 'private
concert' :))) (British Airways also deserve a big *thank you* for
letting us change our tickets at such short notice! :)) )

- We met the entire band and their entourage at Budapest airport whilst
they waited in line beside us for their bags!! ;))) I spoke with Mike,
Ray, Tony and Nir and it was almost surreal to be mixing with our heroes
in such a normal 'everyday' manner! We didn't realise that they were on
the same plane as us until we saw Mike standing in the queue beside us
waiting to go through passport control!! :)))

- A few funny moments... just before the lights went out for the start
of the rehearsal Tony gave out this really loud yawn! Mike seemed to be
enjoying himself and was swinging his guitar around enthusiastically.
Ray was dressed all in black for the rehearsal and said that if the
lights were dark "maybe no one will notice that Phil has left!" ;)))
After the drum solo part of Dividing Line Nir hurt his finger, perhaps
he got a blister. The next song was Invisible Touch and he played part
of it one handed whilst his drum tech treated his finger!

- Those people on this list who were debating and criticising Ray for
doing 'Mama' last week will probably be eating their words soon! Ray's
version is truly *superb* and I'd even go so far as to say that he sings
it *better* than Phil did! The version of Invisible Touch is also very
good, and after the first few seconds when you realise that it is in a
lower key you it doesn't seem to notice. For those who worry about such
things, he sung "mess up your life" on both occasions.

- After the rehearsal I had a long chat with Nir about his drums. I
told him that the cymbals weren't coming through very clearly and that
his bass drum needed to be louder. This attracted his interest and we
ended up in a detailed talk about drums! He has a very interesting drum
kit (from a drummer's point of view!) He uses two snare drums, a 14"
and a 12", both of Ash and Maple ply. The 12" is a real beauty! ;) He
also uses two sets of hi-hats, one being a remote. This is nice touch
and not too many drummers utilise a remote hi-hat. He has a 20" 'gong'
drum which he uses on Dividing Line. Awesome drum!! :)) I could go
on.. but I'd get even more boring! Write to me if you want to know

- Merchandise is fairly limited compared to what you might expect.
There are two different black/blue t-shirt designs based on the album
cover, plus a white t-shirt based on The Lamb album cover. They also
were selling a sweatshirt, baseball cap and long sleeved t-shirt.
Interestingly enough there were some CDs and cassettes for sale, which
included some Phil Collins solo albums!

- The accoustic part of the show was a real highlight and I would have
liked this to have included more than just three songs. Great stuff!
:)) During the rehearsal we all sat on floor immediately in front of
the stage and sang along.. it was a great atmosphere! ;))

- At the rehearsal there were just the nine of us, and we cheered and
clapped as loudly as we could.. which Ray appreciated! At the opening
night show there was probably about 3500 people and the audience
reaction was suitably good! Everyone seemed to like Ray and the new
line up and each song got a huge cheer.. no worries there!

- No big screens for us, but the light show was good enough. It was
subtle and worked well. I got up on stage and had a quick walk around.
The stage surface is transparent plastic. Tony's keyboards run through
two huge racks of processors which means that he needs less actual
keyboard units. Virtually the entire set was played on two keyboards
with the third (the one that faces the audience) being used rarely.

- I was a little disappointed with The Lamb.. and Carpet Crawlers.
They played the songs well enough, but (and this is the weird bit!) I've
seen ReGenesis play these songs so many times that I was disappointed
they didn't play them in the same way. Strange to say it, but true!

- Congo is SUPERB live! :)) Totally brilliant! :)) A potential
Genesis classic live song if ever there was one! Tony and Mike join in
on backing vocals with great effect.

After both shows the small group of us talked for hours about what we
had seen and experienced. If anyone has any specific questions I'm sure
that any of us would be pleased to answer them, if we can.

So... does this line up of Genesis work??

The answer has got to be.. yes! It is different, but I think that
given time the new line up will develop its own following and Ray will
develop his stage routine in much the same way that Peter and Phil did
before him.