Selection of Genesis Shows: Part II
Four Nights in
Philadelphia, PA and East Rutherford, NJ 2007
|A couple of months had passed since my adventures in Twickenham
in July, but the
events of that night remained as vivid as if they had happened just days
before. I could still hear the mass hysteria of cheers and applause when the
band first took the stage that night, and visualize the miles of Genesis
fans swaying back and forth to "I Know What I Like" while singing along with
the chorus under Phil Collins able direction. I had taken no chances this time out having experienced the pre-sale
debacle first-hand for UK tickets, and made sure I had venue maps at my
disposal when securing my prized seats for the North America dates I had so
Sadly, with the cost of the UK trip and the cost of my own guilt consuming
me, I was reluctant to
buy tickets to both shows in my area, which boarders the city of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where two shows had gone on sale at the Wachovia
Some may consider it a tad extreme to see the show on the same tour a second
time, much less more than that, but knowing that this could very well be my
last opportunity to see Genesis live, I knew I would regret not seeing the
tour as much as I could within the confines of my financial ability.
practical side and my inner Genesis fan grappled with the selfishness of my
dedicated fandom desires to see both shows verses the sobering reality of
dollars and cents. The King Solomon decision I made was to go to one of the
two Philadelphia shows and no more. Little did I know that this decision of
'logic' would be challenged repeatedly over the next several months leading
up to the concerts in Philadelphia.
immediately saw Mike Rutherford walking backstage, but I respectfully opted
not to violate my agreement. I was then taken to the front of the stage and
asked to sit for a little while so that the band could do a soundcheck
before the interview. I don't mind telling you, while I calmly and cooly
said, "That's fine," I was carefully hiding my excitement.
I was getting a first-hand view of Genesis rehearsing behind the scenes!
The band came out on stage and greeted me and what appeared to be a handful
of record company executives and some radio station contest winners. After a
few minutes of tweaking their equipment, the familiar keyboard sequence from
the beginning of "No Son of Mine" began to play and the band soon followed.
aside, I felt a sense of great remorse when I first heard that both
Philadelphia shows completely sold out. Maybe I should have tried to
swing an extra seat... at least a cheap nose-bleed level seat? What was I thinking?! ...Alas, that was no longer an
option. I regrettably accepted my fate of seeing Genesis only once more as
both Philadelphia shows quickly sold out.
To my surprise, roughly a month (and a clean credit card bill) later, a
third Genesis show went on sale in Philadelphia. Was this a sign from God?
Ok, probably not... but it was good enough for me! After all, in the off
chance that it was a divine intervention, who would I be to go against the will of the
all-powerful by not getting more Genesis tickets?!
So, I anxiously grabbed
tickets to the third show's fan club pre-sale, strangely enough ending up a
couple of rows behind my exceptionally primo tickets for the first night!
Now, I felt satisfied. My inner fan was at peace. I was now seeing a total
of three Genesis concerts in 2007.
completing a verse of the song, the band ended abruptly and fiddled with
their equipment a bit more between a few laughs. They were clearly enjoying
making music together, which was great to see, because they certainly did
not need to show any signs of enjoyment to this bunch!
Genesis then went into the full "Behind The Lines" instrumental section into
a complete rendition of "Duke's End" ending relatively abruptly without
going into more than a couple of bars of "Turn It On Again" (as it is
traditionally performed on this tour). It was a treat to see this up close and
personal! Phil then warmed up his voice a bit singing a bit of "Follow You
Follow Me" accappella, which sounded absolutely great!
afterward, the band performed "Follow You Follow Me" from the starting point
and continued through the first verse. After a few more tweaks and notes on
their instruments, the band said to the small group "I hope we passed the
audition!" and thanked everyone and walked off stage. The soundcheck was
weeks before the Philadelphia shows, the excitement for the tour was at a
fever pitch. Between my own experience in England and the heated enthusiasm
on the official Genesis site's forum on talk of nostalgia, fan tailgating,
and the speculation about the possibility of a changed set list only fueled
my already excited state. Any number of irrational justifications went
through my mind as I attempted to justify why anyone should see this 2007
Turn It On Again Tour any more than I already was. What if it really was the
last tour? Would I regret it later if I could have gone but didn't? What if
they actually played something different on that one night of the tour and I
wasn't there to witness it? I was completely torn.
After all, between the tour merchandise, the concert tickets already
purchased, traveling to London, and other miscellaneous expenses involved
and/or already committed, part of me kind of felt like I ought to just be
grateful for what I was getting and leave well enough alone. My practical
side, and probably the voice of logic and reason, pierced my inner-most
thoughts as I went back and forth about whether I should even look to see if
seats were still out there to be had for night #2 in Philly.
||I was then escorted backstage again, this time running into Phil Collins
himself! He greeted me very kindly, and since he started some conversation
with me, I quickly ceased the moment to ask for a quick picture, which he
graciously obliged. I did not want to press my luck any further, so I shook
his hand and thanked him as I kept moving. I was then taken to a small
rehearsal room, where I saw Chester Thompson working on his laptop. Again,
honoring my agreement, I did not disturb Chester as much as I would have
loved to shake his hand and thank him as well.
I finally came to an even smaller room, where Chester's practice kit was
located. Daryl greeted me
went in the room for privacy. I've had the opportunity to interview Daryl
once before, and he's a very down-to-Earth, genuine guy. I really respected
his candor and enthusiasm for doing the interview. He also acknowledged that
members of the band had been to the World of Genesis site, which was a
fantastic thing to hear after all of these years of maintaining it!
After concluding my interview and posing for pictures, I said goodbye, and
headed back to the concourse to exit the building.
decided in a moment that I still do not know was clarity or complete
delusion, "What the hell! If I can find seats - even bad ones - to the
second night in Philly cheap, I'm in!" Sure enough, I did... on eBay of all
places! There was one problem... I had won two tickets on eBay, and between
the Twickenham show and the other two Philadelphia
shows I already had tickets for, I knew no one who wanted my extra ticket to
the extra night I was attending.
I ceased the opportunity to offer it to a fellow member of the Genesis
forum, who gratefully split the reasonable cost of the tickets. So, now I
was going to all three Philly shows! Two nights with great seats and one
night with seats all the way in the back of the venue - but I
didn't care... I was still going! I was now seeing Genesis four times
In the midst of all of this excitement, I decided that since Genesis was
coming to Philadelphia, it would be an ideal time to interview the band for
my World of Genesis.com site. To my grateful surprise, I was granted
interviews with both Daryl Stuermer and Phil Collins on the second night in
Philadelphia! I was thrilled!
The first night of the Philadelphia shows had finally arrived, and I took my
fiancée to experience her first Genesis show. I give her a great deal of
credit, because she is much younger than I am, so her recollections of
Genesis are almost non-existent. After all, she just started listening to
music around the time that Genesis last toured with Phil Collins, so perhaps
that should have come as no surprise. In fact, she will be the first to
share that she is anything but a Genesis fan. In any case, she thoughtfully
accepted my invitation and checked out the show despite her lack of shared
exhilaration for the night's event.
By this point, it was an hour to show time, but to be honest, I probably
could have left right then and have been totally pleased with the evening.
Its always a relief to know that the people who create the music you are so
passionate about are decent people and not jerks. It was a good night in
Philadelphia! Even though I
had terrible seats on this second night, with the help of Laura from the
Genesis forum, we managed to finagle our way to the lower level on the side
of the stage. While the set list did not change on the second night in
Philadelphia, it was another great show! In fact, the best of the three I
had seen by that point. I drove home that night thinking that should this
truly be the last time Genesis perform, there is simply no better way this
great stint of shows could have gone.
The third and final night had arrived in the "City of Brotherly Love." Once
again, I arrived early to chat with fellow fans and to share the events that
had happened the night before. As it was the night before, the tailgating
was fun, and it was great to see everyone one last time. As we wrapped up
the tailgating, we all said our farewells, and headed off to the venue. This
was the first night since Twickenham that I did not have either a photo pass
or a backstage pass. It was a great way to end the run to be honest, because
I got to just enjoy the night as a fan without the pressure of missing a
great shot or prepping interview questions. I couldn't have asked for a
better ending to my run of four nights with Genesis... Or could I?
|I was offered a photo pass to take some pictures for my World of Genesis.com
site that night. Due to the equipment up at the front of the stage, the
asked to take pictures back at the sound mixing desk. Thankfully, my zoom
lenses did the trick! As is the normal practice at concerts, I was able to
take pictures through the first three songs: the opening Duke medley, "Turn
It On Again" and "No Son of Mine." While at the mixing desk, I met Tony
Smith, the band's manager. I merely said "Hello" and left him to his
business. With headset in hand, he was clearly busy ensuring that everything
ran smoothly at the start of the show, and I certainly did not wish to
disturb him! Although, I'm sure the very nice bottle of chilled white wine
in the cooler behind him kept him calm later in the show!
||Eric, another fan I had met on the Genesis forum, offered me a spare, below
face-value costing ticket to see Genesis perform a few days later in East
Rutherford, New Jersey, at Giant's Stadium about a hour from my home. By this point, I knew I
was probably pushing my luck, so after appealing to my fiancée, it turned
out that I was seeing Genesis yet again... Yes, a fifth show! Who would have
ever thought? Again, the
seats were not great, but it didn't matter. Once again, I arrived early and
met many of the same faces I saw just a week earlier in Philadelphia as well
as other new ones who also frequently traffic the official Genesis site's
forum. After a few beers toasting what was the end of an incredible run of
Genesis reunion concerts....
And, yes, this really was the last one, because
there were no more shows within close proximity to my home, and even I felt
like I had seen the show enough!
But there was one more moment that would make my last night with Genesis
unforgettable... Ultrastar, who runs the official Genesis site, held a Rock,
Paper, Scissors contest in the parking lot with about 30 Genesis fans, and
slowly the numbers dwindled down to myself and another fan.
set list and the banter between Phil and the audience did not change, I was
as thrilled as ever that night! The stage, while smaller, looked so much
better indoors. The lights glared stunningly from the first moment the band
took the stage, which was something totally lacking in London. The sound was
also so much more mesmerizing inside the venue than it was outdoors at the
arena in Twickenham. It was a very different experience - Plus, this time, I
could actually see the whole stage, so it truly was like seeing the show for
the very first time!
there been such a heated contest of Rock, Paper, Scissors in the history of
the game! We drew the final play, and my paper covered his rock... I won the
contest!!! The prize? Two front row tickets to the show that night at Giants
Stadium!!! "Holy crap!" I yelled! I had seen Genesis four times that tour,
and on the final night... The night I almost didn't come to... I sat FRONT
ROW! "Un-freaking believeable!" I exclaimed.
|Upon our exit,
I cautiously looked over at my fiancée and quipped, "So, did you love the
show or what?!" To my surprise, she loved it! I couldn't believe it... I
haven't been able to make her a real fan yet, but I'm working on it. Maybe
Night two in
Philadelphia had arrived! This was to be the highlight of the entire tour! I
took the day off from work and started polishing off my well-rehearsed
questions and making sure my recording equipment was in good working order
for the interviews that night. Sadly, an hour later, I received a call that
due to a slight illness that the interview with Phil Collins would need to
be rescheduled for another time. Obviously, I was disappointed, but was
pleased to hear that my interview with Daryl Stuermer was still on as
I arrived at
the venue early to drop off the extra ticket I won on eBay and meet some of
the fine folks from the official Genesis site's forum. Initially, I had
mixed feelings about meeting up face to face with a bunch of people I really
didn't know, but it turned out to be a great experience. The gathering of
fans tailgating at the Wachovia Center varied from local fans, like myself,
to visiting die-hard fans from as far away as Greece and England. After
giving the ticket to my fellow forum member, I left the group to head to the
backstage door for my meeting with Daryl.
||Once again, I
found myself with a spare ticket. This time, however, it was a highly
coveted prize! A front row seat! I walked around a moment trying to decide
who to give it to, because there was no way anyone I knew could get up to
northern New Jersey before the show started (and there was no way I was
going to sit outside and wait for them - missing the show!). So, I decided
to give the seat to Laura, who I had met in Philly and helped me get close
to the stage at the second concert in Philadelphia.
It seemed like the right
thing to do - besides she had a camera and we agreed to share the pictures,
many of which turned out fantastic! Of course, I later learned that she was
pulling for the other person to win the contest... because she had struck a
deal for the other ticket had he won. That's irony, I suppose.
to go backstage, visitors are asked to sign a legal document making it very
that you may not bother the other members of the band should you see them in
the backstage area - only the one you are scheduled to meet with. Should you
do so, you would be immediately escorted out of the facility by security.
Now, that might sound harsh to some, but having done freelance interviews
for music magazines for years, this kind of thing is really not that
unusual, and I respectfully agreed. Once I signed it, I was permitted to
enter the backstage area.
In any case, the show from the front row was amazing and allowed me one last
chance to experience the band that I have enjoyed and followed for the past
20+ years. I sincerely hope the band tours again, but even if they don't,
these "selection of shows" - my five nights on two continents with Genesis -
will be ones I remember forever. Thank you, Genesis, for turning it on again
one last time.
HERE TO RETURN TO MY SELECTION OF GENESIS SHOWS - PART I: TWICKENHAM,
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO THE
CONCERT REVIEW INDEX.