by John A. Wilcox

1981 saw the release of ABACAB by Genesis. It was a break with long-time producer David Hentschel - quite a surprise after his brilliant work on 1980's Duke. Big changes were in the wind. ABACAB saw Tony Banks, Phil Collins & Michael Rutherford streamline the band sonically. More direct. Bigger drums. More radio-friendly. At least more radio-aware. No Reply At All had the horns from Earth, Wind & Fire on it. That song, the title track, and Man On The Corner were all over the radio all over the globe. 21 year old John Wilcox was puzzled. The album was not what he expected. That was not to say it was inferior. Just different. Having said that, I adored Me And Sarah Jane, Keep It Dark, Dodo / Lurker and the title track. The rest I warmed to to different degrees. B-sides Naminanu and Submarine were awesome! When live dates were announced, I slept overnight in front of the Army / Navy downtown here in Westport to get my ticket at Ticketron for the December 2nd (a Wednesday) show at the Hartford Civic Center!

The jpg you see above is my actual hand written set notes (originally scrawled during the show then neatened up once I got home) from the event. The X marks on the far right of some songs indicated that Collins drummed on those numbers. I have fond memories of the show (other than having the only guy in the entire venue taller than me sitting directly in front of me!). Great energy. As you can see, a great balance of new and old songs. The Hartford show had Like It Or Not in a slot normally allocated to Me And Sarah Jane. I believe a show or 2 on the tour found Me And Virgil in that spot - most likely in Europe. Collins was in great voice. Lots of energy and good humor. Banks was everything you could possibly ask for - elegant and lush with a playful moment or two. Rutherford & Daryl Stuermer swapped guitar & bass all night. Very locked in & the most powerful they ever sounded together. Chester Thompson was a monster on drums and he & Collins were stunning together! Add to that the vari-lite light show and great sound and the result was quite satisfying!

That brings us to 2020. The Genesis Show are back at the Ridgefield Playhouse almost a year later to the day (January 5, 2019 they performed the Seconds Out album brilliantly)! They will be performing all 2 hours & 20 minutes of the ABACAB show nearly 39 years later! Let me tell you, friend, if you've not yet experienced them, The Genesis Show have the sound down pat. There are just enough "hits" in the set to satisfy later, more casual MTV generation fans and lots of pure prog bliss for the Genesis fanboys & diehards like this Wilcox right here. Get your tickets, turn off your damned phones during the show & join me there!!

The Genesis Show

Saturday, January 4, 8:00 PM
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT 06877


All photos are copyright their respective owners.

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