GENESIS – O2 ARENA, LONDON 25.3.22
Genesis were due to play three nights at the O2 Arena London in October last year as part of their ‘The Last Domino?’ Tour but this had to be rescheduled to March this year and the three London dates were tagged onto the end of their European leg of the tour and this turned into three sold out shows that were to be their last ever? shows. I was very privileged to have been able to photograph the band’s performance on their penultimate show on Friday 25th March.
I last saw Genesis some 35 years ago at the old Wembley Stadium when the ticket price was £15.. tonight the ticket price for a relatively decent seat was around the £200 mark! But as these shows were to be the last ever shows of Genesis then I guess it was worth the price tag to be seeing this iconic band for one of their last performances.
The current line-up of the band are Phil Collins (vocals), Mike Rutherford (guitar/bass), Tony Banks (keyboard) with Nic Collins, son of Phil (drums) and Daryl Stuermer (bass/guitar) and with Daniel Pearce and Patrick Smyth providing backing vocals.
The band were billed to have a start time of 8pm , but this eagerly awaited time came and went, which I think was largely down to the number of people still trying to pass through security to get into the venue, but the band did come onto the stage at about 8:15pm. The members of the band came on with their intro music ‘Dead Already’ being played.
Then, with what appeared to be all of their stage lights set to ‘maximum white’ they started their set with ‘Behind The Lines /Duke’s End’ from their tenth album ‘Duke’.
The classic ‘Turn it On Again’ from the same album followed. ‘Mama’ from their twelfth album ‘Genesis’ was next up. After which Phil made a welcome speech where he talked briefly about the fact that everything had been delayed by about two years due to the pandemic and more recently about how a certain Russian president had upset the status quo of the world which lead nicely into the next song to be played ‘Land Of Confusion.’ ‘Home By The Sea’ and ‘Second Home By The Sea’ were next, again from their ‘Genesis’ album.
The first two verses of ‘Fading Light’ were then played and then the first of three songs from ‘Selling England By The Pound’ their fifth album from 1973 was played. ‘The Cinema Show’ which was a great touch harking back to when Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett were in the band and Phil was still only just the drummer of the band!.
‘Afterglow’ was played next before the stage was slightly re-set which allowed a more acoustic setting with both Tony and Nic joining Phil, Mike and Daryl at the centre of the stage to play ‘That’s All’, ’The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ and ‘Follow Me, Follow You’.
After which the band went back to their ‘normal’ positions on stage to play the rest of their set, which included ‘Duchess’ from the ‘Duke’ album after which Phil introduced us to the rest of the band members, which of course resulted in a great round of applause for each member.
‘No Son Of Mine’ from their 1991 ‘We Can’t Dance’ album was next before they then went back to the ‘Selling England By The Pound’ album to play ‘Firth Of Fifth’ and ‘I Know What I like (In Your Wardrobe)’, which ends with the fantastic lyric line of “Me, I’m just a lawnmower- you can tell me by the way I walk”…!!
‘Domino’, ‘Throwing It All Away’ and the classic ‘Tonight, Tonight, Tonight’ were then played and the standard set was concluded with ‘Invisible Touch’ after which the band said their goodnights and left the stage.
They soon came back for their encore with the classic opening bars of ‘I Can’t Dance’ with Nic being a little later onto the stage than the others with him doing the iconic dance movement to the song as he strode across the stage back to his drum kIt
They finished their two hour and a quarter set with ‘The Carpet Crawlers’ from the 1974 ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ album.
What an absolutely fantastic night this was, not only to be privileged to be able to photograph the band but also to witness such a great show from this iconic band which still had the three founding members from when the band was first formed in 1967. A truly memorable night.
‘Behind The Lines/ Duke’s End’
‘Turn It On Again’
‘Land Of Confusion’
‘Home By The Sea’
‘Second Home By The Sea’
‘The Cinema Show’
‘That’s All’ (acoustic)
‘The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ (acoustic)
‘Follow You, Follow Me’ (acoustic)
‘No Son Of Mine’
‘Firth Of Fifth’
‘I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)’
‘Throwing It All Away’
‘Tonight, Tonight, Tonight’
‘I Can’t Dance’
‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’ (intro & first verse)
‘The Carpet Crawlers’