Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Musical Box - Selling England by the Pound

I had a fun but partly surreal experience last night. My good friend Anthony is a huge Genesis fan from back in the day, and he has told me about a group called The Musical Box, which is a Genesis tribute band. At one point back in the Fall, I saw that they were coming to the Grand Opera in Wilmington and so I bought two tickets for he and I. I got the tickets online right when they went on sale, and pretty much could have had my pick of the house, so I took the center two seats of the first row of the balcony (this is a small theater, and the balcony is right near the stage).

So last night we drove down to Wilmington and watched Genesis perform the Selling England by the Pound tour show in 1974. Or we saw The Musical Box (TMB) perform the show in 2014. One or the other. Frankly, at times, it was hard to tell. The whole schtick of TMB (and they are quite famous at this) is that they recreate early-era Genesis tour shows, with the band's blessing, down to the stage decorations, hair styles, costumes, instruments and the video shown on the screens behind the stage.

For all intents and purposes, the show I saw last night was the Genesis show from that tour in 1974. They looked like them, sounded like them, played the same set, acted like them, and looked suitably retro (vintage or vintage looking instruments, old style amp systems etc). Peter Gabriel was the lead singer back in that era, and the lead singer looked passably enough like Gabriel, and sounded just like him. Gabriel was apparently a bit of an oddball (being generous here), and was famous for loads of costume changes between and during songs, whacky spoken song introductions, and a compelling (if peculiar) stage presence. This guy had all that. It was fun. The musicianship was excellent, and while only a couple of the songs sounded even vaguely familiar, it was a very good time. Not everyone likes progressive rock of that era, with the long meandering songs, etc, but I do. Maybe 23 minutes of "Supper's Ready" wouldn't be everyones' cup of tea, but it didn't phase me at all.

The band in that era was Peter Gabriel singing, Phil Collins on drums, Tony Banks on keyboards, Mike Rutherford on bass and guitars (12 string and 6 string acoustics, electrics, and a lot of time spent on a double-neck bass and guitar combo), and Steve Hackett on lead guitar. The Genesis most well known to people in the early MTV years was the "and then there were three" bunch of Collins, Rutherford and Banks.

Two hours of something different, something that I probably wouldn't have gone to if not prompted by a friend, but that I enjoyed very much, is a good start to the concert going season of 2014.

Next up - Justin Hayward's solo tour returns to the World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington in May, and Amp and I will be in the balcony again...

No comments:

Post a Comment