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Genesis - When In Rome CD (album) cover

WHEN IN ROME

Genesis

 

Symphonic Prog

4.11 | 141 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Sail away, away ...Ripples never come back..." Goodbye, Genesis.

I had mixed feelings when Genesis announced their 2007 tour in late 2006 and I read that their reunion was without Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackettt, and I even became more disappointed when they announced the probable set-list to be played during the tour, with most of the songs taken from their most pop albums and with very few of their songs from the seventies. Another disappointment for me was that they were not going to visit my country to play here. So, despite liking some of the music they recorded as a trio, I really expected some innovations, like playing songs that they had a long time of not playing them. So, when this DVD and the CD set from the same tour was released, I wasn`t very interested in buying them. But mainly the inclusion of "Ripples" in the track list finally conviced me to buy this DVD.

Before I write about each song included in this package, I have to say that I finally know now why they had some reservations to do a reunion tour, and why Phil Collins didn`t want to sing and why he wanted the reunion of their most famous line-up with Gabriel and Hackett. I think that there were several things to take in consideration before deciding to go on tour as a trio too, because Gabriel declined the initial invitation to re-join the band, and Hackett did the same. Among these problems there were:

1. Phil Collins` hearing problems, a thing that kept him away from long tours. It seems that fortunately he has recovered his health, but it seems that he only could do short tours, I think.

2. His voice has changed a lot since 1987. These is evident because since his last tour with Genesis in 1992 several songs had to be played in lower keys because he couldn`t reach some high notes. The same happened for their 2007 tour, with most songs played in lower keys and some of them in even more lower keys than in 1992. This also happened when Genesis in their 19989 tour with Ray Wilson, but I think that the songs from Genesis sound better with Collins as lead singer . Wilson tended to try to imitate Collins but the songs really sounded very different, like played by a Genesis` Tribute band, I think. So maybe Banks and Rutherford were really expecting Collins` return to the band, at least for a last tour as a trio.

So, with taking these things in account, Genesis planned their 2007 tour with Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer again in the line-up. Both musicians are still playing very good their respective instruments. All the musicinas obviously look older. But I think that Collins really looks older than Rutherford and Banks (but he is a year younger than them), and I think that his drums playing is not the same as it was years before. He still plays very good, but maybe more relaxed, matured, maybe not wanting to damage his hearing with a lot of volume from his drums. Rutherford again used a double-necked 12 string guitar-bass, a thing that he did for the last time during Genesis ` 1983-84 tour. Banks plays some new keyboards, and I think that some of the sounds are not as good for my taste as the sound of his old keyboards. Anyway, he had to use the best technology in keyboards, he had to update them.

The stage design had some similarities to the stage design they used in 1992, but they also updated it with the most recent visual and sound technology available in 2007. They still used some visual things in the screen that they also used in 1992, but the majority of the visual effects and images were new.

The quality of this DVD in sound and picture is very good. This is maybe their best concert DVD in respect of sound and picture quality. It was really prepared with a lot of care, I think. The same happened with the time they took to rehearse the songs and to prepare all the details of the stage and visual designs, lights, sound, etc. In fact, at the end of the concert, in the Final Credits, a long list of personnel is credited for a lot of hard work, I think. The inclusion of the "Extras" show how hard they worked to prepare a very professional tour in every aspect. Maybe for some people these "extras" are boring, but for me they are very interesting because they show the hard work before doing a tour. They also show, sometimes with a lot of humour, the interactions among the musicians during the reharsals, the choice of songs to be played, and also they show a bit Collins` honest considerations about how his voice has changed. They also show how the band discussed the changes in keys to allow Collins to sing in a comfortable way. I have to say that it takes some time to like these changes in keys, because at the first listening some of them sound a bit strange, after hearing the original versions in other keys for years.

Now, song by song:

1. "Duke`s Intro": they started the concert with an instrumental medley combination of the instrumental part of "Behind the lines" and "some parts from "Duke`s Travels" from their "Duke" album. Being an instrumental medley they played it without key variations. 2. "Turn it on Again", played with change in key. 3. "No Son of Mine": played with change of key. 4. "Land of Confusion": played with change of key. 5. "In the Cage": played with change of key. 6. Medley of "Cinema Show" / "Duke`s Travels": being an instrumental medley it was played in the original keys. 7. "Afterglow": change of key, again. The keyboards sound particularly different in this song in comparison to the original studio version. 8. "Hold On my Heart": with change of key, too, 9. "Home by the Sea": with change of key too, except in the isntrumental section of "Second Home by the Sea" which was played with the original key. This song has been included in every concert video they have released since the "Mama Tour". This song and "Mama" taken from their 1983 album are not among my favourites, so...I could have prefered them to be replaced in the set list with some of their songs from the seventies. 10. "Follow You, Follow Me": a very good song from 1978, this time with Collins singing and playing the drums at the same time. In the "Extras" section about this song, Rutherford suggests Collins to do it because he liked more his drums playing style in this song in particular in comparison to Thompson`s.I think that they didn`t change the key in this song. 11. The last song leads the band into the instrumental part from "Firth of Fifth" on which Stuermer plays the guitar solo (without changing the key), and this is followed by "I Know What I like", played in a different key, I think. It also includes Collins` famous tambourine routine. 12. "Mama": also played in a different key and with Collins not singing the last verse of the song. He didn`t sing the same verse in their 1986-87 tour. 13. "Ripples": played with a different key and with an abridged instrumental section. Anyway, this song is so good (one of my favourites) that it alone justifies the buying of this DVD package in my case. Collins sang with feeling. Great performance by all the musicians. 14. "Throwing it all away": with changes of key, I think, but I`m not sure. 15. "Domino": played in a different key, too, with innovations in the visual and light elements . Very good performance. Thompson particularly shines in this song with his drums playing. 16. "Conversations with two stools": Collins` and Thompson`s solos, first played on stools (very well too) and later on drums in a drum duet. This leads the band to: 17. "Los Endos": a good version but with Collins playing less energetic drums than in other live versions . Anyway, it is a very good instrumental song played in the original key. 18. "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight": in another key, again. They only played an abridged version like they did in 1992. 19. "Invisible Touch": with changes on key, again. It is maybe their best pop song from the eighties. 20. "I Can`t Dance": with changes of key, again. 21. "The Carpet Crawlers": again in another key. Before this last song is played, Collins explains to the audience (he almost always speaks in Italian to them reading in some papers) that Genesis loves Italy due to their support. I think that this concert was recorded and released on DVD to aknowledge the support the band received from Italy in their early days, because their first albums had more success in Italy than in their own country and others. A very good gesture by Collins and the band. 22. The "Final Credits" section has, significantly, I think, "Fading Lights" playing in the audio. I consider this song as their "Swan Song" from their "We Can`t Dance" album, their last with Collins, from 1991. I think that this is a message for the fans, like saying to them "This was our last tour. Goodbye", because the lyrics of this song say goodbye in meaning, to the passing of time, like "Ripples".

Another good thing about this DVD is that being filmed and recorded in Rome, it really allows to the Fans to see a different audience, because most of their previous concert videos were filmed and recorded in England. I don`t have nothing against the English audiences, but audiences around the world interact in a different way with the bands, and this allowed me to see how the Italian audience interacted with the band, and also the cameras focus more than in other concert videos in the audience`s reactions, and I also could see that the cameras caught the images of some beautiful Italian girls. I also could see in the audience the flags of several countries, among them the flag of my country.

This is a very good concert DVD package. I don`t give to it a five star rating because some of the songs are not among my favourites. But I`m not disappointed after buying it. Another good thing is the inclusion of subtitles in Spanish and in other languages.

Guillermo | 4/5 |

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