'A TOUCH OF THE JAGGERS' - SOUNDS ON THE ROAD - APRIL 26TH, 1975 by Pete Makowski
THE STAGE was set. On the left hand side Steve Hackett was seated with guitar and a melange of effects around him. Behind him Micheal Rutherford was stooped over his twin necked bass and six stringed guitar. On the right Tony Banks was half hidden behind an impressive selection of keyboards, in the center, with headphones sat Phil Collins with surrounding percussion.
The rest of the area was a surreal playground for Pete Gabriel's surreal fantasies.
If you haven't already guessed, I saw Genesis at the Wembley Empire Pool fact last Monday, to be precise and left extremely impressed. On every level the band transcend any kind of expected performance standard. Musically they are so proficient they make that part of the job look like a secondary exercise. Visually, apart from Gabriel's cavortings, the lights, three screens of tightly synchronised slides and stage effects left me confused as to what I should be focusing on.
Seeing a show as spectacular as this hits you right between the eyes and it takes a while before you can gather your wits and listen to the music.
This was the big debut performance, in Britain, of the bands new work "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway". After hearing the album countless times, and seeing the live show, I haven't got any closer to understanding the plot, so I enjoy it on a superficial level. Gabriel plays a New York droog (Rael) who goes through a whole series of crazy dreamlike fantasy scenes. When Gabriel plays a part, he seems to become the person totally. Dressed in a leather jacket and worn denims he strutted around the stage looking like a real street punk. Some of his poses reminded me of Iggy Stooge, Lou Reed and even a touch of the Jaggers. His whole presence dominated the scenery.
They played the whole double album with only a few minutes breathing space, where Gabriel told the story. The show, as you all probably know by now, features a lot of interesting. effects including a monstrous entity with self inflating warts, The Supernatural Anaesthetist, and one part where you are confronted with two Raels. The whole show didn't solely rely on the theatrics although it wouldn't have worked without them. After such an impressive and obviously exhausting performance, the band returned for more in the form of 'Musical Box' and 'Watcher of The Skies'. Now that's what I call showmanship.
Transcribed for The Path Is Clear by John Leach