For a reunited Genesis, tour is beginning of the end

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For a reunited Genesis, tour is beginning of the end Empty For a reunited Genesis, tour is beginning of the end

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:59 pm

Never a favorite with critics, Genesis built a solid fan base over nearly four decades. Now the band is ready for its victory lap.
After the North American leg of the group's reunion tour opens tonight in Toronto, Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford will play what they say will be Genesis' final U.S. concerts. Then, as their hit goes, that's all. "Basically, this is the last time we are doing it," Collins says.

That the band decided to turn it on again at all is a surprise. The three hadn't released a new album since 1991's We Can't Dance. Collins, 56, officially left Genesis in 1996, and the group last toured in 1992.

After his solo "first final farewell tour" in 2005, "I wanted to sort of retire from touring to be with my kids," Collins says. "If something special came up, I would do it. I just don't want to go on the road for long periods of time."

But the group kept in touch over the years, playing impromptu gigs at birthday parties (when Collins turned 50) and weddings (for Collins and original singer Peter Gabriel

After two Genesis Archive box sets hit stores in 1998 and 2000, rumors of a reunion emerged. In 2004, the three met with ex-bandmates Gabriel and Steve Hackett to discuss a live reunion to play 1974's concept album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. "It would have been quite fun to do on a smaller scale," says Banks, 57.

Gabriel was non-committal, so Collins asked Banks and Rutherford whether they wanted to get the three-man band back together. "We couldn't think of a reason why not to, really," Collins says.

Only three of 22 U.S. shows have sold out, but multiple dates in Chicago, Philadelphia and L.A. are a testament to the band's following. ("Many places said we could do two or three nights," Collins says. "But if you do, pretty soon you have 50 shows. I kept putting a lid on it.")

Genesis' return probably won't prove as hot a ticket as The Police reunion, says Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni. "The Police have been away longer, and Genesis with Phil Collins still doesn't have Peter Gabriel. So it is a question mark," he says. "But in Europe, they did good business and were playing stadiums."

After the tour ends in October, Collins has nothing in the works. "I'm really looking forward to it," he says. "I've been playing golf."

Genesis, on the other hand, has many projects in the pipeline. On Tuesday, Rhino releases a new two-disc hits compilation Turn It On Again (Tour Edition), and in November, the second box set of remastered Genesis albums arrives. The band's free concert in Rome's Circus Maximus was recorded for a DVD due later this year. The autobiography Genesis: Chapter & Verse is out Sept. 18.

With this farewell tour and upcoming retrospectives, might the band emerge with an enhanced image? "Certainly, in England, the band gets overlooked," Banks says. "But, honestly, I'm not that concerned anymore. I'm pretty proud."

Collins took the range of ages at the European shows as a promising sign. "We've had great reviews in Europe and the U.K. Maybe suddenly the (U.S.) critics could lower their agendas and just go there and say, 'This isn't bad.' "


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