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Rotterdam Gig Review

m.w.soijer@lr.tudelft.nl

Then out of the subway... Ray Imperial Aerosol Kid'

I never thought I'd do this. Writing a review just 55 minutes after
the gig ended. But hey, I'm too excited to go to sleep anyway... So
here's my review of the Rotterdam gig.

To answer the obvious question: No, I didn't miss Phil at all. In
fact, I realize now what we've missed out on for all those years. I
like Phil, I like his drumming, I like his singing. But with Phil on
stage, the show was about Phil. The show was about funny stories,
'audience participation' and about one guy controlling everything as
he was singing and did some drumming too. Now, the show is about the
music again. Almost thirty years of Genesis music.

I thought about Phil once during the whole show. During 'Land of
Confusion', when Ray sang the lines 'Superman where are you now' and
'My generation will make it right', I couldn't help thinking these
lines were about Phil. After that, Genesis with Ray, Anthony and Nir
was like they've been playing in this line up for years.

As the show started at 20:20 and ended 22:45, we got almost
two-and-a-half hours of music. I guess if you account for the
audience-participation time waste on the previous tours, that's more
music than ever before. The set list didn't show any surprises. They
played Alien Afternoon; they played Mama; they played Not About Us in
the acoustic session.

I think No Son of Mine is an excellent show opener. The build-up with
the drums allows for a step-by-step introduction of the band members.
I think Ray sounded very good on this one (as he did on all other
songs) and even the biggest of Collins fans must admit he did the song
justice. Land of Confusion is a great up-tempo follow-up to get the
crowd going.

About The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and Carpet Crawlers: what can I
say? Full versions, beautifully sung by Ray Imperial Aerosol Kid. He
suits the image of Rael perfectly. These are the songs where Ray is at
his best, in my opinion. He truely acts the story that the song has to
tell. Tonight, I saw Rael for the first time...

I guess the only song in the set that didn't live up to the
expectations, was Congo. It's not a remarkable composition and the
ending that replaced the awful fade on the album, wasn't much of a
surprise. As it was the first single of CAS I guess they had to play
it, but much better songs didn't make it to the set list.

Many people commented on Nir before, some positively, some negatively.
I have to disagree with everone who didn't like him and even
complained about him playing out of tempo. Nir is truely amazing. He
is not just the backbone to the band, he brings much more. The energy
he added to a song like Mama, but especially to Domino, made this an
experience never to forget. I clearly remember how Domino, one of my
all-time favourites, disappointed me over and over again in its live
version. This time, it was better than I'd ever hoped for, and Nir is
a big factor in this. His solo on The Dividing Line may not be the
perfectly quantized high-speed drum duet Phil and Chester did, but it
was much more interesting. It was refreshing not to here the same
eight-bar line being repeated over and over again, adding some notes
on each sequence. I certainly hope Nir will stay with the band, not
only on tour, but also on the future albums.

Like on Nir, many people commented on Anthony before. In this case,
almost all opinions were negative. Mine is not. He did make some
mistakes (they all did) and he didn't do the Firth of Fifth solo as
perfectly as we want him to. But he did a fine job altogether. I guess
this guy is still a bit overwhelmed by playing with Genesis. He didn't
look into the audience once and was a bit too occupied with trying to
look cool. But I guess if he loosens up, he can be a good
contribution.

The sound was pretty good, though I didn't hear the bass as good as I
should. The small size of the hall (probably something like 11,000 or
12,000 people there - more than I'd expected) allowed for much better
sound than the previous stadiums. Also, the distance between the crowd
and the stage was much smaller: I was just something like 5 meters
away from Tony and Ray, and I didn't even make it to the first row.

Need I say I Can't Dance is a lousy set closer?

'It's been a long long time - hasn't it?'