Genesis - Arena, Liverpool, 3/10/2021

  by Neil Swift

published: 7 / 10 / 2021

Genesis - Arena, Liverpool, 3/10/2021

Despite Phil Collins' ailing health problems, Neil Swift finds Genesis on their 'Last Domino' farewell tour continuing to be an excellent stage presence.


It is some 40 years + since my good friend Phil Duncan suggested I join him on going along to see a band called Genesis at the Manchester Apollo. We joined a snaking queue down Hyde Road one very cold January evening ahead of tickets going on sale the following morning.. That April I witnessed for the first time something magical as the band promoted their newly released ‘Duke’ album and dished up barn-storming tracks from their back catalogue both pre and post Peter Gabriel. I duly thanked Phil for his recommendation and totally understood how Genesis had become one of his favourite bands in the preceding 10 years or so ..having first seen them support Van Der Graff Generator and Lindisfarne at Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1971! Sunday’s gig as part of ‘The Last Domino’ tour (or as some critics may rename it ‘Phil Collins Care Home Tour) ,was a somewhat different affair from those early days,not least of which down to entrance prices which have moved upwards somewhat from a few shillings to the princely sum of £180.00 that the writer parted with to take his seat in the packed auditorium….oh was hopefully to be a special night and the ‘Last Hurrah’ as it were as one of the finest stage performing acts bid farewell… And so it turned out to be...the setlist was carefully put together and the performance throughout was surprise to see the visionary light show displays and intermittent video aides all adding to the end product...masterful! Our intrepid,ageing heroes were ‘propped up’ by youthful support from Phil Collins’s son Nick on percussion and excellent backing vocalists Daniel Pearce and Patrick Smythe… Kicking off with an attention grabbing version of ‘Duke’(Behind The Lines) /’Duke’s End’ the band kept the momentum up with the ever favourite ‘Turn It On Again’ which had the audience providing vocal support (not for the last time ). ‘Mama’ and ‘Land of Confusion’ were delivered spectacularly and we were able to see young Nick Collins' adept drumming skills for the first time...clearly skills passed down through the genes...don’t think Dad would have been too upset with his efforts!!!!! A beautifully crafted ‘3 way’ medley embracing ‘Fading Lights’, the instrumental interlude from ‘Cinema Show’ and the spine tingling ‘Afterglow’ had the writer reminiscing on previous performances and revelling in the brilliant musicianship of Messrs Banks, Rutherford and the ever loyal Darryl Stuermer . The band, conscious of their ageing years, managed energy levels cleverly. They collectively left the ‘heavy artillery’ instrumentation and walked front stage to sit together to perform a short acoustic set comprising the bouncy ‘That’s All’ and an abbreviated but melodious rendition of ‘The Lamb Lies Down ‘ . Having recaptured their respective breaths and stoked the fire in their bellies the ‘tick tock’ intro of ‘No Son Of Mine’ rolled into an excerpt from ‘Firth Of Fifth ‘...surely one of the band’s finest compositions in this writer’s opinion. The audience called upon again to offer the ‘Dum Dee Dums’ and clapping during ‘I Know What I Like‘. Collins in his inimitable fashion directing proceedings from his ‘Davros-esque’ chair … ‘Domino’ was met with rousing approval after Collins humorously explained the domino theory to the masses…. Fans of the ‘Invisible Touch’ album were not disappointed as ‘Throwing It All Away’ was quickly followed by ‘Tonight ,Tonight, Tonight’ and the title track ..with once again audience co-vocals. Genesis ...the end of an era ...the bows were taken and a poignant waving of goodbyes ...surely the last time we will see them live ...the band then returned for an encore consisting of ‘I Can’t Dance ‘ and two time served classics …’Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’ and the sublime ‘Carpet Crawlers’. There have been times in the last eighteen months when the writer seriously wondered whether the ‘Last Domino ‘ would ever hit the stage ...both from a COVID and from Collins' personal health perspective. If I am honest I watched with a heavy heart as Collins’ physical frailties were so evident...but in spite of this he retains his cheeky charm and a stage presence that commands respect … I and others are left wondering if this tour will be our endearing memory of Collins and Genesis or will we default to bygone performances over many years at both mega-size arenas and smaller more intimate venues where we have all been treated to witnessing one of the nation’s finest ever stage and recording acts.

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Genesis - Arena, Liverpool, 3/10/2021

Genesis - Arena, Liverpool, 3/10/2021

Genesis - Arena, Liverpool, 3/10/2021

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