Personal Experience: Genesis live in Zuerich
Here's my personal experience of the Genesis concert in Zuerich, 13.
1998. Take your time...
This concert has been the only concert of the current tour in
the second show in Geneva has been canceled due to not enough ticket sales.
My friend and I entered the hall at about half past seven, the
should start at eight so we had some time to examine the stage and the
instruments upon it. We noticed the three keyboards of Tony (Remember: On
the IT-Tour he had played with eight!) and that the rest of his synths were
in his two man-high racks. Another thing to mention is that drum kit of Nir
was a lot smaller than Phils one (and that there was only one kit), but we
would see (and hear!) during the concert that the size doesn't matter. Nir
would turn out to be a good replacement for Phil.
At about ten past eight the lights went out and a clock started ticking.
The band went on stage and played "No son of mine" and after that "Land of
confusion". They did a good job, especially Rays voice is great (IMHO he
sings better than Phil). First the reaction of the audience was a bit
reserved, sure they applauded and cheered, but not that enthusiastic. This
changed as Tony started playing the keyboard intro of "The lamb lies down
on broadway" (and yes, he played it perfect), as soon as the people
recognized the song almost everybody started to yell and scream and as Ray
started singing they sang along with him. From then on the ice was broken.
During the next song "Calling all stations" the small jumbotrons :-) were
in use for the first time. Unfortunately there were gaps between the
screens therefore some really cool animations were torn apart; a pitty. For
me CAS (and other songs from the new Album) sounded much rockier than on
the Album; I liked it. They continued with "Alien Afternoon", which I liked
even more. Then, Ray told a story about the next song, how he had played it
with his school band, when he was fourteen years old, and that it is a
funny thing to play it with this particular band now! "Carpet Crawl" was
one of the many highlights for me at this concert. Ray's voice really fit
right into the mood of this song.
Ray also fit in the tradition of Genesis' frontmen being story-tellers as
he told to the audience how the manager of Genesis had called him up and
had asked him if he likes to do an audition for THE band. His "You know, I
get calls like this every day" made us laugh; this guy has humour. The next
song, "There must be some other way", actually had been the first song Ray
had to write the lyrics to. They went on with "Domino" in which the screens
showed a lot of cool animations (the same as on the WCD-Tour, but I liked
them anyway). During the first part ("In the glow of the night") there is
this spot after the line "Can't you see what you are doing to me" where the
bass comes in heavily; at the concert we were nearly blown away from this
bass. Again, the song, especially the second part ("The last domino"),
where ray sang on a platform in front of the screens, was a personal
Before starting with "Shipwrecked", Ray came with a little radio to
micro and said: "Let's see if we can find some Genesis". He searched
through some stations and as he "found" the song (he didn't really found it
- it came from tape) the band began to play. Afterwards Nir was continuing
with a drum rhythm which I didn't recognize immediately, but as the hole
band came in, it became clear. "Firth of fifth" (the solo parts of it) was
really well played (Nir beat the hell out of his drums :-) ) except for the
guitar solo, which was for my taste a little bit too improvised. IMHO
Anthony has to work on this again, but all in all he did it quite good.
Next, "Congo" showed me again, that many songs from the new album have a
lot more energy and feeling when they're played live. And by the way, has
anybody ever took a look at the movie they're showing on the screens during
this song? This one's really great and I was so amazed, that at first I
completely forgot to watch the band. :-) Right after that Ray came up with
another story. He said that being in a band like Genesis has one major
problem, "you don't have any girls". Therefore they have brought their own
groupies to the concert and he introduced four big spotlights as their
girls. Ants girl, Dolores, had green eyes and was from Irland; Mikes one,
Mira, was pale because she had been on tour since 30 years; Nirs one,
Gladis, had a split personality just like all drummers have; Tonys one was
actually from Switzerland and was called Heidi. Ray didn't had a girl, but
he told us, that he was looking for one, "who would come to Scotland to
visit my... Home by the sea". During this song (which included a powerful
performance by both Ray and Nir) the screens showed some animations of a
castle at a scotish lough.
I really enjoyed the acoustic set with "Dancing with the moonlit
"Follow you, follow me" and "Lover's leap". It was a funny thing to watch
Tony playing guitar and I got goosebumps from the clean and straight sound
of the three guitars and Rays voice. Wonderful! A lot of people around me
sang along with all three songs which proved to me that there were a lot
"old" fans at the concert. Ray ended "Lover's Leap" with the line "...it's
been a long time ... hasn't it?" Before Nir went back to his drums, Ray
said something to him and most probably he told him that he couldn't do
"Mama", because they didn't played it that evening :-(.
Instead of "Mama" the enourmous synth-bass of "The dividing line" gave us
low-frequency massage :-). The song was THE highlight of this concert. Mike
and Ant started the song with a guitar duell and the drum solo at the end
of the song gave us a good impression what Nir is really able to do. He
gave it all and I don't think he played it to heavily, a drum solo has to
be that way; everything else would have been a joke. The ending of "The
dividing line" was slightly different from the album version as they played
three or four cool breaks.
The "regular" concert ended with "Invisible touch", which they played in
lower tune than on the recordings I know (I wanted to sing along and
suddenly noticed that I was singing to high :-) ), and "Turn it on again",
which included "...and from Scotland... ME" from Ray. Just like Phil Nir
gave a great ending to "Turn it on again".
But the audience made it clear, that they wanted more. They cried, shouted
for more and whistled until the guys showed up again. The encores were
"Throwing it all away" with Mikes typical guitar riff and the whole crowed
singing "dedadeeaa" at the end and "I can't dance". For this last song Ray
picked a girl, Bettina, out of the audience to teach him how to dance.
Nice! He also made a little mistake during "I can't dance", he sang "All
she wants to rob is ...", but as he noticed he was wrong, he continued "...
my face in the dirt".
After that song, unfortunately, the concert was over. IMHO they could
played on for another two and half hours. For us it was clear that this was
one of the best concert we ever attended, so we went home happily.
Some words about the musicians:
Ray singing abilities are equal to Phils one. I think in some old
(Carpet crawl, Dancing with the moonlit knight, The lamb lies down on
broadway) Rays voice fits in better than Phils, mostly because Rays voice
is somehow similar to Peters voice. I won't miss Phil, the singer, not at
And I will miss Phil, the drummer, just a little bit. What I will miss,
the cool drum duets of Phil and Chester during many songs. But Nir made
such a good job during "Second home by the sea" and "Firth of fifth" that I
won't miss these duets not that much either. It is very difficult to
compare Nir and Phil, because both of them are excellent drummers (just
like comparing apples and oranges), so I just say, that I liked Nirs
drumming that evening.
Mike and Tony seemed to have a lot of fun on stage. Tony even smiled two
three times. Wow! There's not more to say about those two; they are
professionals. And Tony is still the god of all keyboard players. :-)
Anthony Drennan, well, he doesn't stand out, neither postively nor negatively.
End of story.