Genesis brings its first tour in 14 years to Toronto

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Genesis
thursday evening
Scotiabank Arena
NOTE: (***) THREE OUT OF FOUR

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“It’s been a weird few years,” Genesis frontman Phil Collins said in the Thursday night understatement as British rock veterans brought The Last Domino? Touring – their first hike in 14 years – to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena for the first of two shows.

Collins, now 70, walking with a cane and forced to perform seated in a swivel office chair (and not behind the drums where his 20-year-old son Nic has so skillfully taken over since the last solo tour. Collins in 2018) was probably talking about his physically diminished presence after nerve damage, surgery and a fall made him the worst in the past decade.

However, the way he also uttered some words from Invisible Touch later on the two hour and 25 minute show, he could also be talking about the acrimonious second separation from his third wife (and Nic’s mother) who ‘he had to get. evicted from her $ 40 million Miami home with her new husband last year.

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“And even if she’s going to screw your life up, you’ll want her anyway,” he practically spat during that song’s highlight.

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Yes, even though Collins can’t move much, his acting experience helps, which he growls into the microphone while Mama – “Ha! Ha! HA! ”- or cheerfully convincing the crowd to“ get in touch with the other side, ”by raising and shaking hands in front of Home By The Sea, a song about a haunted house.

If you remember, Collins, a true soldier given his current condition, was always the physical and emotional guy facing the static and accomplished performers of bassist-guitarist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks, both 71 years old. , and longtime guitarist-bassist Daryl Stuermer.

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And now?

Well, the people who designed the lights, graphics, and sets for The Last Domino? The tour clearly knew that certain distractions were in order, so they went all out with a stunningly beautiful production that features a spaceship-like lighting rig and striking graphics like an army of men. carrying melons or falling toilet paper during Land of Confusion or spiral dominoes during Domino.

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Collins, whose more limited vocal range these days is aided by two powerful backing singers, Daniel Pearce and Patrick Smyth, has also proven to be a talker between songs, making a blue joke at the expense of his son Nic, who he called “the wonderful boy”. “, Later joking,” Don’t tell your mom I said that.

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The song list included both popular ’80s and’ 90s songs led by Collins such as Turn It On Again, No Son Of Mine, Throwing It All Away (with various Genesis lineups featured in the background), Tonight, Tonight, Tonight, and I Can’t Dance with a nod to original singer Peter Gabriel in older progressive rock tunes like Firth of Fifth, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) (with Collins briefly on tambourine) , Dancing With the Knight in the Moonlight and the end of The Carpet Crawlers.

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There was also an acoustic mini-ensemble, which Collins likened to the theatrical term “set-up,” consisting of That’s All, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, and Follow You, Follow Me.

But will this be Genesis’ last road trip after Collins commented in a previous interview that it probably would be for him?

It really feels like it’s goodbye on this side of the pond, even though Rutherford has said they will be doing a European tour next year.

We will see.

jstevenson@postmedia.com

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