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ConcertsSteve Hackett Genesis Extended @Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK 11/04/2014

Posted on Wednesday, November 05 2014 @ 09:53:57 CST by Dean Pedley
Progressive Rock

Steve Hackett returned to Birmingham's Symphony Hall for the third and (presumably) final time as part of his mammoth global trek revisiting the music of Genesis from the 1970's. With a slightly tweaked set list and accompanied by a superb band including vocalist Nad Sylvan the show served as another spectacular journey back in time. For many fans Hackett's passion embodies the spirit of this golden era for the band and why, no matter how many documentaries may suggest otherwise, he will always be recognised as a fundamental part of its history.

Once again performing to a sold out audience, the band launches into 'Dance on a Volcano' and 'Squonk' with Sylvan casting aside any doubts that his voice is beginning to show the strain of such a long tour. There is of course another great vocalist in the band and drummer Gary O'Toole steps up for The Lamb material although sadly his 'Blood on the Rooftops' showcase has been omitted this time around to make way for alternative songs. Sylvan performs with his usual theatrical charisma on 'The Musical Box' and Rob Townsend's sprightly sax solo remains a highlight of 'I Know What I Like' that also includes a flute solo from Steve's brother John.

Hackett remains a master of his craft as he so elegantly demonstrates on 'Horizons' and 'Firth of Fifth' where he solos in tandem with Roger King who delivers some inspired keyboard playing throughout the evening. One change in the ranks is with Nick Beggs taking over on bass (and stick) and his organic and fluid style is a welcome addition, serving to make an excellent line-up even better. The main set comes to its dramatic conclusion with another perfectly executed rendition of 'Supper's Ready' and the obligatory standing ovation that continues for several minutes until they return for an encore of 'Watcher of the Skies' and 'Los Endos' surely the perfect song with which to send everybody home.

This is the history of Genesis presented with a contemporary approach and the continued demand to see the show has already seen dates in South America confirmed for 2015. For his part Hackett has stated a desire not to be viewed as a touring "Genesis museum" and there is the prospect of an album of new material in the very near future. But whatever the future holds there is no doubt that the Genesis Revisited tour has been an enormously rewarding experience for band and audience alike.

Dance on a Volcano
Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
Fly on a Windshield
Broadway Melody of 1974
The Return of the Giant Hogweed
The Fountain of Salmacis
The Musical Box
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Firth of Fifth
Lilywhite Lilith
The Knife
Supper's Ready
Watcher of the Skies
Los Endos

Review by Dean Pedley
Images by Rich Ward of Classic Rock Photography

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