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Genesis - When In Rome CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 183 ratings

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4 stars I was really impressed with this latest 3-DVD set released in 2007 and featuring their last show in Rome during the European leg of the Turn It On Again Tour. Originally the group had tried to organize a live performance of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway reuniting Genesis with Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett, but both backed out. So the threesome of Collins, Banks, and Rutherford decided to put together a short tour they referred to as "a selection of shows." Although many, including myself, would have loved to see a Gabriel-led Genesis come back, even briefly, it was not so. Still, any reunion, including the Collins-led form, is better than nothing.

Not having followed the tour as I was interested in other things at the time, I stumbled upon this DVD some time ago and had wondered if it was worth my time. I was intrigued by the set list because it wasn't completely filled with stuff from their last two Collins-era albums. True, it had some, but I think this set list really balanced the old with the new nicely to satisfy both camps of fans Genesis had, pop and prog.

One thing you may notice (perhaps not at first, but with future listens) is that many of the songs are played in lower keys. This is loosely documented in the extras and the documentary disc Come Rain or Shine when it becomes quite clear that Collins can no longer hit the high notes, a common problem with vocalists as they get older. In a way it was kind of sad to see Collins struggling with these and in the end it influenced what Genesis would include in the set list. Even played at lower keys, the songs are still well performed and I personally did not find it distracting.

For a bunch of 50+ year-old musicians, Genesis can certainly pull off some stunning performances. Collins and his cohort Chester Thompson can still drum like they were in their 30s. And even Daryl Stuermer, better known for his jazz work, can pull off an exhilarating and respectful Steve Hackett solo, particularly the one he performs on the Firth of Fifth excerpt. Banks is still the keyboard maestro of his earlier years, although some of the Cinema Show solos sound like they're off tone (he should've stuck with the Moog!). Instead of his former mountain of keyboards, he only uses three now (the wonders of technology I presume).

The In the Cage/Afterglow medley is amazing, as is the performances of Home by the Sea, I Know What I Like, Ripples, Domino, Los Endos, and the Carpet Crawlers. Collins and Thompson perform a stunning duet that starts with a set of stools (the ones you sit on!) that leads into a stunning performance of Los Endos.

Like any progger, I could do without some of the selections, like Hold on my Heart, Throwing it all Away, Invisible Touch, and I Can't Dance. Even so, they performed these wonderfully, though I will often skip them. And this is the reason this DVD set will never get a masterpiece rating from me.

Some killer performances, a remarkable (yet strange) stage with some cool video effects, and unbelievably entertaining audience interaction. The Come Rain or Shine documentary is very well done, showing just how terribly English these fellows are. Clearly a must-have for Genesis fans and easily worth a four star rating.

progaardvark | 4/5 |


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