Selling England by the Pound.
It was with this album that I first got acquainted with the wonderful world of Genesis. The second album to have an effect on me was the Live one from 1973, so it was no surprise that when I got a chance to get tickets to see "The Musical Box" perform SEBTP in Montreal, a 10 hour drive from where I live, I did not hesitate very long. I had heard about them before, but always figured: "Bof... another tribute band." I had seen "Over the Garden Wall" (another Genesis tribute band) years ago, found them pretty good, but I would not have travelled 20 hours to see them.
These guys though, they are almost the real deal. See here for a look at the band:
(that page is a french one, sorry for those who don't understand, but the youtube clip at the bottom is in english so hope that makes up for it.)
And here for a bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Musical_Box_(band
The Montreal band "Addicted Bones" (http://www.myspace.com/addictedbones
) opened for TMB. Not bad prog, but not what I was there to hear.
The first tune to start the trip back in time was "Watcher of the Sky", of course. Whart a rush! That eerie keyboard intro, with the singer standing still, batwings coming out of his head, luminescent eyes watching. The crowd was immediately transported, very appreciative.
Denis Gagné then started introducing the next song (Dancing with the Moonlit Knight) with a little story, in French, with a strong English accent
the way Gabriel did it originally. Vocal sound effects included
The rest of the show was a succession of much-loved tunes that had parts of the crowd singing along. Not too sure about the order, but it went something like this: Firth of Fifth, Cinema Show, I Know What I Like, Horizons, The Battle of Epping Forrest, The Musical Box, Supper's Ready and The Knife as an encore. I may be forgetting one or two... Favorite moments: Watcher, Horizons, Battle, Musical Box, and of course Supper's ready. One thing I found a bit distracting was the drummer. The guy I was with said that the actual drummer was not the same as the one that was with the band last year. He was very good, but when you know every note from those tunes, it is a bit jarring to hear the guy improvise on a few pieces. But that is a very minor thing, mostly the show gets a thumbs up from me.
At one point, I think it was during Cinema Show, "Gabriel" and then "Hackett" left the stage in that order while the rest of the band kept playing and I couldn't help thinking "and then there were three..."
I was very happy to see this concert. Made me realize a few things. Rutherford played way more guitar than I thought. Lots of passages that I had attributed to Hackett were in fact played by Mike Rutherford. Also, that Gabriel was quite an entertainer. If the Denis Gagné imitation is close to the truth, and I believe it is, the guy just seemed to have fun acting, putting himself in the stories, the way he did. Loved his "arms up in the air, hands together and pumping like a champ" after an ovation from the crowd. Lastly, I realized that I am not as young as I once was.
Don't think I'll be doing that kind of expedition too often anymore.
Next time it will be with someone I can share things with. Going on a trip with someone when your only point in common is the love of music can be... challenging. Harmony, in such a context is hard to find, and I need harmony to be happy. 'nuf said.
If you love Genesis and haven't seen The Musical Box yet, do yourself a favour and go see them. There are rumors that they will not be together for very long, that they are thinking of doing something else, so if they do come near you, don't miss them. Could be your last chance to see early Genesis, or at least to live in that illusion for a few hours.
Thanks for reading this far and I hope this review gave you a bit of a taste of being there.