i got sunshine in my stomach

back in the mid-late 1970s, my oldest brother (known here as BTD, or my brother the doctor, as opposed to larry, the brother i call by name in here) used to DJ parties. when he and his friend lenny would go to a house, they had a little sheet of paper which noted bands they would not play. i believe they referred to them as head bands. we know plenty of them today as some of the monsters of progressive rock. one of the bands who made the proverbial list was genesis.

now, back then, genesis’ music wasn’t exactly party-friendly (although i can definitely dance along with things like i know what i like (in your wardrobe), unless, of course, your party involved a substance you smoked. that all changed in the early- to mid-1980s. i guess when peter gabriel left, phil collins started to push toward more commercial music. admittedly, i also enjoy stuff from the mid-1980s (save for anything solo post-phil collins’ 2nd solo album and certain songs that received monster airplay on MTV or due to use as a beer commercial bed), though genesis pretty much lost me by the end of that decade. instead, i delved deeper into older stuff (trick of the tail, especially songs like the gorgeous ripples — and yes, i know it’s a song about fairies and such — piss off, i can like songs about fairies!).

thus it is with people who like genesis. there is a camp that thrives, if not on peter gabriel era genesis, at least with the prog-rock era genesis. then, there is the modern era genesis fan, who discovered genesis via MTV, or, in the case of probably plenty of washingtonian fans, via Lite FM or perhaps via an elevator. sometimes, i am wildly embarrassed to attend shows in Washington. the fans, on the whole, have no sense of history and perhaps are there because their company has a certain number of seats to give away and they’ve snagged them. these are the people who left last night’s genesis show at the verizon center while the band was playing the carpet crawlers. these are the people who couldn’t handle virtuoso turns in blocks like in the cage / the cinema show / duke’s travels / afterglow and instead fled for the bathroom — and how on EARTH could anyone listen to that and not be moved? i actually cried, as i heard some of my favorite lines:

And I would search everywhere
Just to hear your call,
And walk upon stranger roads than this one
In a world I used to know before.
For now I’ve lost everything,
I give to you my soul.
The meaning of all that I believed before
Escapes me in this world of none,
I miss you more.

in short, these are probably the people who came to hear hold on my heart. yawn.

anyway, the band has grown older. but considering the technical challenges of some of the older stuff, i am willing to forgive a lot. for example, tony banks’ keyboards were sharp, and i don’t care. i would give my right whatever to hear tony banks play. or get a lesson from him. or have his out-of-wedlock love child. (maybe in that order.)

and phil. oh, phil. he of the tarzan soundtrack. he was in pretty fine form. he tried a bit more than roger daltrey did when we saw the who back in march. his drum duet with chester was jaw-dropping, and i loathe extended drum solos. but one tip, phil: you are no longer able to play the drums and sing simultaneously anymore. follow you, follow me, which was slower than normal to begin with, plodded erratically. it was painful to hear, though the washington crowd, ever discerning, didn’t seem to mind. phil, darling: let chester do that stuff. do what you do best: play to the crowd.

speaking of phil, there were moments during the evening when he resembled this. and then this. eek.

i rarely care about light shows, but i must say that the lighting was gorgeous. it’s hard to pick particular moments and describe appropriately, but this was a very creative display. the fireworks at the end, starting on the light screen and rising up to real fireworks, was incredibly fun. the show started nearly an hour late due to “power fluctuations” — so i’m glad they worked them out, especially for the lights.

i can’t comment on tonight, tonight, tonight or invisible touch. i hate them both. definitely bathroom time.

but in general, what a fun romp through the history of genesis. except for his face on certain montages, peter gabriel was definitely missed. but then again, he’s been missed for over 30 years. now THAT is a show i would pay through the nose for. and i was surprised that nothing from ABACAB ended up there. but last night’s show was definitely a great evening, in spite of technical problems, sound issues, and of course the issues that come with age. genesis gave as good as they got. and with their back catalog, they’ve got a lot to cover.

last night, when phil sang “it’s your show,” for those of us who adored genesis back in the day, well, it really was.


Set List – Genesis

Behind the Lines / Duke’s End / Turn It On Again
No Son Of Mine
Land of Confusion
In The Cage / The Cinema Show / Duke’s Travels / Afterglow
Hold on My Heart

Home by the Sea / Second Home By The Sea
Follow You Follow Me
Firth of Fifth / I Know What I Like

Throwing It All Away
Drum Duet / Los Endos
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight / Invisible Touch

I Can’t Dance
Carpet Crawlers


9 Responses to “i got sunshine in my stomach”

  1. Todd is going to be SO glad to read this (and probably really jealous, too). 🙂

  2. when i was in high school, my fledgling jazz dance group did their routine to “invisible touch”. black tights, white tshirts and bow ties. i can still see us all now, jazzing out in a row, step-step-kicking it into the air. live at the post office pavillion. oy vey.

  3. yeah, i told BS that every time i hear “home by the sea” i think of a killer leg lift/fire hydrant experience i used to do in an aerobics/calesthenics class when i was a freshman in college.

  4. oh, the 80’s… those were the days of aerobics routines and jazz ensembles. hell, i even had “aerobics” as my PE class in high school. and, to pass the class,we did an aerobics routine to bill idol, “white wedding”. oh, when life was so simple.

  5. hey i enjoyed reading about the show. Now i almost wish i’d been there, except that stadium shows always leave me a little empty. i don’t know anyone who’s as Gaga about Genesis as “we” are, especially the older stuff….we gotta talk more. It’d be nice to chat with you about one of “our” fave bands. I’m glad you had a great time.

  6. thanks! and anytime, my friend. anytime 🙂

  7. Oh, I am soooooooooo jealous! I tried to hint to my DH that I wanted Genesis tix for my birthday, but you see how successful I was. *rolls eyes* Anyway, I have the recently released 2-cd set, and I like it a lot. It has something for everyone.

    And for the record, I choreographed a jazz dance to “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” in the 80s. But only the instrumental part of the long version.

  8. hahahahahaha! i bet every woman in our age group probably had to do some sort of dance or exercise routine to a genesis song in the mid 1980s. i think there’s a funny story in there somewhere…

  9. nylonthread Says:

    Hey wreke! Color me super-jealous over here, too. Jealous even that you know that bands you like are in town. I am soooo out of touch.

    As an additional bizarre convergence of 80s and now, as a lark I signed up for a Jazz dance class at a ballet studio (having left off my practice in 1986) and my first class is Tonight!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: