I arrived at Angela's with hours to spare - sort of by design. My gracious hostess chatted with me most of the afternoon until it was time to depart. We grabbed a blanket and our hoodies and hoped for no traffic. Mostly, we got that, and wandered into the Upper Merion Township park area to look for lunatic Genesis fans. We found 'em. Immediately hooked up with Tara and Chris who had swanky camp chairs, set down our blanket and realized... oh, there's a generic songwriter-with-a-guitar type opening. Fortunately A. brought her knitting.
Trespass took the stage (took the gazebo?) in a flash of lights and puffs of smoke, as they had obviously invested some time (well worth it, in my opinion) in the light show. Hearing the opening chords of "Watcher of the Skies" was sheer excitement. I'm no keyboard/synth expert but it sounded a helluva lot like a 'tron to me. From there on in it was one delight after another as they moved forward through the Genesis ouvre. I noticed a few things about the performance; first, the ease with which the drummer seemed to be handling the material. I am about ten thousand times more curious about drumming lately so I focused on him alot. He looked like he'd been doing this all his life! It was hard for me to see the bassist, so I can't really say much about that, but when the keyboardist wasn't enveloped in smoke he was doing great. In fact, he was doing great even when he WAS obscured - which I found amazing, particularly when a really difficult solo was coming up and a huge cloud descended over the keyboards and he didn't miss a beat. The singer had his own style, which some people dislike - they really want to hear a Gabriel impression - but for me is just wonderful. I know no one is going to be PG or PC and I don't really expect them to, and in fact enjoy hearing a new voice. I sensed he was struggling for some of the high notes, but honestly that could have been a function of the smoke. I can't imagine singing in the midst of all that. I'll list the setlist here for posterity:
Watcher of the Skies
I Know What I Like
Firth of Fifth
In the Cage
Back in New York City
Counting Out Time
Dance on a Volcano
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
The Musical Box (ending)
I can't tell you how overjoyed I was to hear the '76 material. If there's one Genesis song I will never, ever, ever get tired of hearing, it's DOAV. I wish I had written down more of my impressions at the time; all I know is that the musicianship was impeccable and there was not a moment that I wasn't focused in on the band and their performance. (Unless you count watching the tremendously enthusiastic dancers down front, which was puzzling. Normally I'm a concert dancer but for Genesis material, I'm more of a head nodder.) There was even an encore! So all in all, worth the trip. And then some. I sure hope they find success in Philly and then make their way down here for a few shows.
Post-show we stopped in at Pepper's, a local bar. I wanted to stay a little longer to chat with people but I managed to get a picture with my forum buddies (still on my camera) and say "hi!" to the drummer for the band before the smoke and very loud live band sort of eroded at my already long-day-withered stamina. I hugged people goodbye and A. and I hied ourselves to a local eatery for quiet contemplation and huge chunks of meat. I'm sad I didn't get to meet the rest of the band but I was worn out. A. and I shared bonding over MTV Classic until the wee hours and I fell into a coma on her couch. In the morning she made me a fortifying breakfast of french toast (!!) and bacon-flavored sausage (cue Homer noise) and in due time I was on the road home. (But not before getting a cop to yell at me for going the wrong way upon getting lost at the stadium. Shut up mean cop.)
I had a few impressions of philly itself; it advertises itself as a strictly industrial town on the approach. I bet there's alot to it that I never get to see that I would really enjoy. Last time I was there we pretty much buzzed in and right back out. (This would be about '95 - the infamous Peter Tork kissing era.) This was not much different; I got to see A's neighborhood and the park, basically. Oh and the second hugest mall in north america, but only from the outside. In the immortal words of Shania, "that don't impress me much". My parents had been visiting the week before and had many ringing endorsements for the sightseeing. Next time I hope to see the eastern state penitentiary!
Since I've been back, it's been work work work and various highlights... for instance, this little gem, thanks to painkiller. And of course, there is that fact that this week the Video Show and Platinum Collection were released. I spent most of the beginning of the week squirming in anticipation and then last night watched the whole DVD (barring the CAS related videos. Sleep was more important.). That was alot of fun - I had only the vaguest memories of the more popular videos. The videos from the Phil era are shown in reverse from most recent to oldest, and it was strange - it was like watching Phil slowly die from some kind of wasting disease. For the WCD videos, he's hale and hearty, but by the time you get to "Duchess" it's like he weighs 99 pounds soaking wet. I reckon it was a rough time for him - and as far as I know, he didn't even do much drugs. The 80s fashion parade was a laugh riot.
- bought myself a single ticket to see Steve Hackett acoustic trio next month
- decided I need to make my own desk because nothing else will do - need carpentry advice
- finished One for the Morning Glory which was cute
- made a vet appt for hero who is breaking out all over his leetle face for the 3rd time
- noticed what a mess the house is, did nothing about it