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My Genesis Review Of Milan

paolo.pedroni@iol.it

Yesterday, February 19th, I had the chance to witness one of my absolute
favorite moments in rock music: I finally saw Genesis in my hometown and
so close to the stage that I could actually SEE them. Before my only
chance to see Genesis in concert was in Nice, France, during the WCD
tour and I really didnít enjoy it very much because I was alone, very
far from the stage and very tired for the 4 hour drive to get there.
This time, instead, it was perfect: I had ninth row seat, a twenty
minutes drive from where I live and the company of my girlfriend, and
the chance to actually TOUCH Ray Wilson we he came off the stage looking
for a girl to teach him how to dance. The only regret is that the show
was short, slightly less than two hours, and they skipped a few songs,
compared to other set-lists Iíve seen they played Mama, though).

A few notes on what went on during the songs and what I liked and
disliked:

The arena wasnít really packed and the highest ring of seats was closed
by curtains. Average age was around 35-40, at least where I sat (and I
DID feel young, since Iím just 25). There were no Jumbotrons but I
really didnít miss them.

At the very beginning of the concert, right after the clock started
ticking for NSOM the crowd started to cheer heavily for Tony [and this
happened many times during the gig: I definitely see the market for a
Tony solo tour in Italy ;-) ]

When Tonyís solo at the beginning of TLLDOB started a large part of the
audience went really mental and generally speaking there was much louder
cheering during old songs than during new songs. What really struck me
of this song is how close Rayís singing was to Peterís, I almost
couldnít tell the difference.

Before the beginning of CAS Ray took out a tricolor sheet of paper with
the colors of the Italian flag and tried to say a few words in Italian,
but it sounded much more like Spanish to me, however it was nice and the
crowd really appreciated.

Introducing Carpet Crawlers Ray talked about the radio contests all
around Europe about the favorite songs to play on tour and a few people
in the audience shouted ďSupperís ReadyĒ, and he shook his head and
smiled, then announced that NSOM was first and Carpet Crawlers second,
then they started to play. Domino was next and I was really impressed
with the passion Ray put in it, he really seemed to enjoy himself a lot.

Before Shipwrecked he came on the stage with a small hand-held radio and
tried to find some Genesis on the air, and during his search ended up on
a book review on Radio Popolare, a small left-wing station and on a
classical music concert, before the song started. After Shipwrecked he
left the stage and Firth Of Fifth started, and the crowd went crazy
again. With Firth Of Fifth comes one of the most heartfelt arguments on
Paperlate these days: the famed Anthony Drennan solo, and hereís my
opinion: it is very different from both Steve Hackettís and Daryl
Stuermerís, but nevertheless I really liked it and so did the audience
which tributed him a standing ovation near the end.

Congo was very nice with the extended intro and ending when Ray had the
chance to play with the audience, making them sing ďSend me to the
CongoĒ; the only weird thing is that I didnít expect Mike to play bass
on this (I thought that he played guitar on all the songs from ATTWT
onwards). Before HBTS he told the usual joke about the light columns on
the stage being the girlfriends of the other four musicians, but when he
came down to Tonyís he first said that Tony was gay and when the
audience almost booed him off he added it was just a lie, and then told
she was called Maria and was Italian (and someone from behind the rack
waved an Italian flag), and then invited some girl to Scotland and to
his Home By The Sea [and the fifty years old woman close to me was
almost jumping on the stage ;-) ]. The band delivered a very strong
rendition of the song, but during SHBTS came the only moment in which I
really missed the double drums.

The acoustic medley followed and the crowd was very pleased, especially
during at the beginning of Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (when I heard
cries of relief from the audience) and Loverís Leap [I bet that half of
the people in the arena were hoping that the band would continue with
the rest of the song, but sadly it didnít happen :-( ].

Mama was the next and was outstanding: Ray is perfect for this song and
whoever said that he shouldnít sing it really needs to go to a concert
and listen to him: the evil laugh was evil at the power of n.

The Dividing Line provided a chance for Mike and Anthony Drennan to have
a very effective guitar duel (and I really mean duel, not duet), and
Nirís drum solo at the end was very powerful and proved (if a proof was
ever needed) that heís a very effective successor to both Phil Collins
and Chester Thompson. Invisible Touch was the only song in which I
noticed that they had to transpose into a lower key to allow for Ray to
sing it.

With these the regular set was over and they left the stage. While we
waited there was a mad rush to the front of the stage and when they came
back for the encores we all were waiting for them much closer than
before. During TIOA we all sang along and Ray looked very pleased. He
introduced all the members (obviously the loudest cheers were for Mike
and Tony). He then dared to come off the stage into the crowd to search
for a girl and it took two really HUGE lifeguards to avoid him from
being kidnapped by the crowd [and, did I mention that I touched him
twice? ;-) ] He then sang I Canít Dance while dancing with this lucky
girl named Grazia (or Marzia, I couldnít really understand Rayís
pronunciation of the italian name) and then after Nir threw some drum
sticks to the audience [and none close enough to me :-(((( ]. Too bad
that this was the last song, I could have stayed there for many more
hours.

A few notes on the players:
Ray was very nice and he was very effective during all the songs, he
only had problems to reach a high note once, during Congo (I think).

Mike seemed to enjoy himself a lot throughout the whole concert, but
especially in the guitar duel with Anthony Drennan during TDL and during
FOF.

Tony didnít smile this time but he looked very pleased at times with
crowd reactions, he muttered some thanks when the crowd went crazy at
his introduction during TIOA, and gave us some precoius samples of
world-famous Tonyís bob during the most complex instrumentals. On the
bad part I think he hit some bum notes during the intro to TLLDOB.

Nir Z was simply outstanding: power, precision and class all together in
one single person, really amazing. Only one incertainty when he lost a
stick during a song (donít remember which one, though).

Anthony Drennan was very strong and steady; I donít understand the
bashing that has been around his performance lately: indeed the FOF solo
was different than usual but he was very good at it and when weíll be
used to it weíll really enjoy it.