Sunday, July 15, 2007

Genesis, the “Turn It On Again Tour”, Circus Maximus, July 14th, 2007

About one year ago I was at the famous Circus Maximus for Italy’s victory in the 2006 World Cup final against France (at one point during the chariot races 2,000 years ago there had been up to 300,000 spectators at the C.M. The emperors after the shows would also pay a visit to the whores in the houses located right next to the C.M.!). Six years ago I had again been at the C.M. for Roma’s epic “scudetto” soccer victory. In the former case they say there were about 500,000 people whereas in the latter case there were about 1 million people. And exactly 10 years after Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Ray Wilson and the “new” Genesis, I would again be at the C.M. for Telecom Italia’s fifth free concert with Genesis, this time complete with Banks, Rutherford and Phil Collins (but no Peter Gabriel).

Some 500,000 people apparently turned up for the show. I was lucky this time as we had tickets in the VIP section, so I got to at least sit on a small table to take pics and to film the entire show (the previous four shows have meant standing for an incredible amount of hours breaking my herniated back!).

The show lasted more than two hours with about twenty-four songs. They opened with “Behind the Lines”, followed by “Duke’s End” and then one of my favourite, “Turn It On Again”. While I profess to not be THE world’s greatest Genesis aficionado, it was nevertheless nice to hear some of the golden oldies such as “In the Cage” and “Domino”. The last two encores were “I Can’t Dance” and “Carpet Crawlers”, no doubt a fav of die-hard Genesis fans. While not a Genesis song per se, I was nevertheless hoping for “Sussudio” as a closing song which would have brought down whatever’s left of the old C.M. (which is not much).

The dream I think of everyone there was that Gabriel would join his three buddies on stage. Unfortunately, no such luck. There’s talk that perhaps two years from now they might team up again. Unlike the four previous editions (Sir Paul McCartney, Simon&Garfunkel, Sir Elton John and both Bryan Adams and Billy Joel together), the show was at the C.M. just because of the massive size of Genesis’s stage (the other four were held right in front of the Coliseum, a hop, skip and a jump from the C.M.): a stage 64 metres long and with a height of some 29 metres plus 90 million small LED lights. The screen was 54 metres wide and 12 metres high. Some 18 semi-trucks were required to haul the material around. Collins? In splendid form, both with his voice and with his drumming, especially with Frank Zappa’s former drummer, Chester Thompson (for this modest drummer, a real treat to hear the both on their “Drum Duet”).

The concert was also special for Rome fans as Genesis concluded their European tour in the Eternal City. There next conquest is now North America (all pics by M. Rimati).

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