WASHINGTON – As the end draws near, it all resonates a little deeper.
That sense of finality overshadowed Genesis’s performance at Capital One Arena in DC on Thursday, the second city on the band’s North American tour, which kicked off earlier in the week with a pair of shows in Chicago.
But with a career spanning more than 50 years on his resume, there’s still plenty to celebrate as Genesis takes its final tour of the country, armed with spectacular lights and videos to complement its kaleidoscopic catalog.
Co-founders Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks told USA TODAY that “The last domino?” In fact, the exit will be the end of the road for the band. The tour is currently scheduled to conclude with some makeup dates (COVID, naturally) in London from March 24-26.
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The health of singer Phil Collins, 70, has been at the forefront of this tour, the first for Genesis since a 2007 reunion, and his initial appearance may have caused some concern in the sold-out arena.
Looking a bit frail and pale, Collins, who suffers from degenerative nerve damage, grabbed a cane and cautiously walked to his rotating throne, where he would remain seated for most of the next two hours.
But standing still didn’t stifle her charisma.
His 20-year-old son, Nic, sat behind him on the drum platform to take on the rhythmic duties that Collins so memorably wove into the Genesis sound since 1970.
As columns of white lights dotted the stage and an HD screen showed close-ups of the trio, they glided through the tense instrumental tracks “Behind the Lines” and “Duke’s End.”
A muddy sound mix clouded “Turn it On Again”, but cleared up for the sinister “Mama”. Splashes of lava red seeped across the screens as Collins delved into his theatrical inclinations to mock and grin through the lyrics, punctuating them with the song’s trademark reptilian cackle.
“It’s been an interesting couple of years, but we’re here tonight,” Collins said from his chair, one of several times he addressed the crowd in an effort to participate.
He noted that “Land of Confusion,” the 1986 Genesis hit packed with political overtones, was “written about something else,” but still resonates (the video for the song, which features satirical puppets of the band members and a cartoon Ronald Reagan, is among MTV’s most memorable offerings).
In this version, masked marching masses and raining toilet paper rolls projected the song’s modern point, which benefited from the crisp licks that the slender Rutherford spun on his guitar.
The band’s song list has remained largely unchanged since the launch of the September Europe tour. But the DC crowd experienced a change mid-set: “Duchess” from the 1980 album “Duke” replaced “Misunderstanding” from the same release. It was a curious move since Genesis had just debuted their Top 20 hit in Chicago.
But what remains one of the most impressive elements of Genesis is its extensive musicianship. The 23 songs selected for the tour range from the band’s complicated prog rock of the 70s production (much of it initially led by Peter Gabriel) to their ubiquitous radio hits from the 80s and 90s, which were drenched in pop. . , but it still had a lot of lyrical bite.
From 1973’s “The Cinema Show,” which showcased Nic Collins’ sinewy strength as his father drummed from his seat, to the end of the “Invisible Touch” set, his graceful drum patterns endemic to his 1986 birthdate, Genesis weaved decades seamlessly.
Rutherford even donned his signature double-neck guitar and bass for “Fading Lights,” which took on a new commotion when Collins sang: “Another time it could have been so different / Oh, if only we could do it all over again. But now it’s just another memory that fades / Out of focus, though the outline still remains. “
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The quiet part of the show, when Rutherford, Banks, Collins, young veteran guitarist Daryl Stuermer sat around Phil Collins listening to stripped-down versions of various songs, allowed a few moments to soak up the music without flash. “That’s It,” with Rutherford leading the way with a vibrant bassline, he slipped into his easy beat, while a recast version of “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” and a laid-back “Follow You Follow Me” drew in. the multiple generations of the crowd.
Banks, who always conducts himself gracefully behind his altar of keyboards, sailed through “Firth of Fifth” with Nic Collins, whose instrumental performance projected the mysterious sound his dad created, before mounting the complicated time shifts of ” I Know What I Like (in your closet) “.
Through the musical calisthenics of “Domino,” accompanied by high-kicking lights, and the beauty and sadness of “Throwing it All Away,” with Rutherford playing the tune on electric guitar, Genesis flourished.
But how else would this band be fired if not with musicianship and a smorgasbord of songs?