July 12th, 2007

mosaic heart

The Lamb Lies Down - on Twickenham

This week is flying by, so while it's still a little fresh in my mind, the Genesis gig at Twickenham was excellent. The venue is improving; the food concessions are looking quite upmarket, though very pricey. The sound was better than I expected. And the set list was not at all what I expected; a really good mix of old and new. Several tracks from Lamb Lies Down... starting with In The Cage, No Son of Mine, Home By the Sea followed by Home By The Sea II, Domino, Invisible Touch, Momma... At one point during Fountain of Salmacis Simon turned to me and said what's next; jokingly I said In Your Wardrobe. Which the band obliged me by playing!

The stage set looks like a crown on a frog; the eyes are oval screens, which mostly show close-ups of band members. What looks like a backdrop decorated is also all screen and showed a mix of videos and effects. For In Your Wardrobe/Your Show, the video was a montage of stills, video clips, headlines, playbills and memorabilia for the band - a really nice effect. One track had white on black 'hand drawn' animations; at one point a figure reached up, touched one of the lights at the top of the screen - and turned it out! For Cage the video was a cg figure running behind and through red bars; some of the time they overlaid Phil Collins on the red bars. It's great to hear the old stuff again. One of the final tracks was Carpetcrawlers and although you could hear the odd 'I don't know that track' mutter in the audience almost everyone sang alone - it was a surprisingly emotional experience, to hear the intricate lyrics of a track you know so well but probably haven't heard in years belted out by a whole stadium. I Can't Dance was fun, with the band dance-walking around stage mirrored by their outlines; the figures went from three to six to a continuous stream all over the screen. For the finale the spokes of the 'crown' over the stage - up which extra lights had appeared as soon as it was fully dark - shot off fireworks; nicely showy.

Tony Banks plays as much like a precision machine as ever; Phil Collins has joined the ranks of black-clad, slightly portly bald singers but he has as much fun as ever; Mike Rutherford smiles, nods and gets on with playing. The playing is a excellent as ever; but Collins just doesn't have Peter Gabriel's voice and he doesn't quite have the range of depth to make the Lamb tracks sound as good. This felt midway between a retrospective - we like the old stuff let's play it - and a farewell; as much as I enjoyed it, I found I was wishing for a reunion gig with Gabriel back on vocals, to hear the lyrics performed as well as the music. Best Genesis gig in years; thanks to the_magician for the last-minute tickets.

plane feet

Prefer United to Virgin? More free miles...

Tis the season for frequent flyer referrals; if you'd like to sign up for United's Mileage Plus frequent flyer and get extra miles because I refer you to get extra miles myself, say. As with Virgin, friends don't spam friends. This one is 3,000 miles for you when you enroll, 250 miles for me when you enroll, 1,000 miles for me if you fly before the end of 2007.