Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The perfect storm (with a side of bacon)...

There are a few recurring themes in my blog: flying is unpredictable, there are way too many people in the world, and rain. This past Friday was the trifecta...all three converged to TRY and ruin my evening. Instead they just made for a tale to remember.

On Friday, we flew down to Los Angeles so that I could catch Genesis at the Hollywood Bowl--the band's second-to-last concert on the Turn It On Again reunion tour. I had caught them earlier in the week in San Jose with Jeff, and we had a blast...but this LA show was destined to be extra special.

I could recount the endless stream of roadblocks that day: the heavy rains in San Francisco, the flooding on the elevated freeway in SF, our delayed flight from SFO, the slow luggage and car rental at BUR, and of course LA traffic at the Bowl causing me to miss the beginning of the concert. And then there was the rain that moved south, dousing the stage and ending the concert early.

But that's not what I remember about Friday evening. My memories?

My first concert at the Hollywood Bowl. How the constant rain...from drizzle to fine mist to downpour...melded with the pulsing lights in and around the Bowl to created a magical glow. The band's unscripted reactions to the weather...Phil Collins' quips and gestures, the failing equipment, the errant fireworks into the audience. The extra energy generated by both band and audience to combat the elements. The drugged-out bleached blond crying and screaming "it never f***ing rains here"..."why why why". The amazing hot dog wrapped with bacon from the street vendor on my long, wet walk back to the hotel.

This was a concert you tell stories about. This was a show to remember. (And yes...these are the CRAPPY images you get with a camera phone in the dark.)

A few thoughts on the concerts themselves...

I have to say that my emotions and expectations were high for these shows. Genesis is one of those bands that I loved in the 80s and FAVORITE band...but I only saw them once in concert...a memorable show at RFK Stadium in Washington. Genesis hasn't toured or put out new music (with Phil Collins) since that show over 13 years ago.

But I think the lack of new music was a benefit on this tour. Genesis was able to tell a story versus sell a new release. They played songs from the 70s, 80s, and 90s...and the fans responded to their favorite era.

For me, the appeal of Genesis is their ability to merge a top-40 sound and energy with the long-form, art-rock style. On this tour, the band created seamless extended mixes of songs...with pulsing instrumental sections that had their middle-aged fans standing, cheering, and playing air drums.

I'm glad that I got to see them twice on this tour, which may very well be their last. I was thrilled to share my passion for Genesis with Jeff, in San Jose...where we got to see the entire show, including the encore. And I was thankful to catch a unique show in LA...a show that has all the fans talking.

For my own records, I looked up the song list from the two shows...identical sets except for the final two songs, which are from the encore that was rained out in LA:

- Behind the Lines / Duke’s End / Turn It On Again
- No Son Of Mine
- Land of Confusion
- In The Cage / The Cinema Show / Duke’s Travels / Afterglow
- Hold on My Heart
- Home by the Sea / Second Home By The Sea
- Follow You Follow Me
- Firth of Fifth / I Know What I Like
- Mama
- Ripples
- Throwing It All Away
- Domino
- Drum Duet / Los Endos
- Tonight, Tonight, Tonight / Invisible Touch
- I Can’t Dance
- Carpet Crawlers

No comments: