Sunday, August 21, 2011

Genesis - July 25, 1978


Another of my favorite shows, this was the concert tour that followed the April release of the "And Then There Were Three" album, in which Phil Collins continued to step out in front following Peter Gabriel's departure earlier.  The groups songs also moved to became more radio friendly.  The song "Follow You Follow Me" from the album became Genesis' first hit US single.  This was the first appearance at Merriweather by the band, followed by the Duke tour some two years later and then again in 1982.  By then, they had turned from a cult group to a pop act attracting a very different audience than the early years of Peter Gabriel's theatrical productions.

I had only really became interested in Genesis in early 1978 with the release of ATTWT and was already finding my way backwards in their rich catalog when this concert came up and cemented me as a future hard core Genesis fan.  The show featured an impressive stage set-up which included large rotating mirrors which would direct light into the audience and around the stage, as well as lasers which also were used to create themes for the songs ("The Cage").  Turns out they had helped invent the Vari-Lite automated light technology which changed the concert lighting industry and they premiered it on their subsequent "Abacab" tour in Barcelona in 1981.  This 1978 show also featured the first addition of local native Chester Thompson on drums and Darryl Stuermer on guitar.

This audio of "Ripples" from that evening is excellent and is only missing a time machine:

"RIPPLES"
video
Get the original recording at iTunes - Genesis - Ripples

More...

"And Then There Were Three"

Darryl Stuermer & Chester Thompson in the line up






An interesting story of an Atlantic Records guy who describes his job the day of this concert.  Some really interesting tidbits of his two days at Merriweather in the summer of '78:

 "The summer of 1978 started with a bang. The Spinners an R & B act with crossover hits would be my first live act of the summer. In mid July I got a call from Perry Cooper who was one of the heads of A & R at Atlantic. Genesis was coming to the Merriweather Post Pavilion; a 10,000 seat shed with grass that could hold another 5-7,000 people. They were booked for two nights;25th and 26th July. Perry asked me to set some things up and get back to him"... 
Read the rest - "The Diary of an A&R Man"

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