The Musical Box -
A Genesis Extravaganza

November 15, 2018 - Vredenburg, Utrecht (NL)

Since its foundation 25 years ago Canadian five piece formation The Musical Box has turned into the most acclaimed Genesis tribute band in the world, and also this evening it was a sold out gig, mainly 50+ and male visitors, the 'usual suspects' during progrock events. For me it was the sixth TMB gig in The Netherlands since the Selling England By The Pound tour in 2004 in my former hometown The Hague, so the 'The Musical Box experience' seemed to have become a little bit less exciting and magical to look forward to. However, I still felt thrilled when the concert began, and soon I was carried away to 70-77 Genesis Heaven!

Act 1 - The Wind's Tail
A lot of instrumental work (Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers... and ..In That Quiet Earth .. ) during this Wind And Wuthering / A Trick Of The Tail medley featuring Mike Rutherford with his mighty Shergold double-neck, Tony Banks on his ARP synthesizers and Steve Hackett with his Gibson Les Paul guitar and distinctive use of the volume pedal. This was supported by Phil Collins, but to me his drums sounded a bit too loud and tight in the first part. Phil Collins did a wonderful vocal job in Blood On The Rooftops, also including tender runs on the classical guitar by Hackett and Rutherford. But the absolute highlight was the dynamic and bombastic Los Endos: what an awesome version of the legendary 48 Boeing landing lights, how magical, goose bumps!

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picture by Marco Vermeij

Act 2 - Broadway Melodies
Then the focus on The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, the crowd enjoyed the mind blowing screen projections: a blend of the original Time photos and funny animations, a bit like Monty Python's Flying Circus, especially in In The Cage and the funny and erotic Counting Out Time. Peter Gabriel was very active and outgoing, only in the more powerful tracks (like Back In NYC) he lacked a bit of power in his vocals and ended too much in the higher range. The renditions of Fly On A Windshield and In The Cage were very compelling (with Rutherford now on the Rickenbacker double-neck), the best you can get from TLLDOB, except the visuals like Slippermen and The Lamia (but most fans had witnessed that during the two TLLDOB tours in the previous years).


Act 3 - Before The Ordeal
The Musical Box continued with Act 3 named Before The Ordeal, now performing their early compositions, working from the albums Trespass to Selling England By The Pound. We could witness the wonderful and distinctive blend of 12-string acoustic guitars (by Banks, Rutherford and Hackett) and majestic Mellotron flute - and choir sections. Especially in Looking For Someone and Can-Utility And The Coastliners the Mellotron was really shining, again goose bumps, very much appreciated by the crowd, this was a very nice surprise for us 70-77 Genesis aficionados. Hackett delivered his very moving and pivotal guitar sound on After The Ordeal and Aisle Of Plenty. But during The Cinema Show it was progrock showtime with Banks, Rutherford and Collins ("and then there were three", avant-la-lettre) during the long instrumental break, legendary symphonic rock, and again the crowd was carried away to Genesis Heaven!

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picture by Erik Neuteboom

First the dreamy Entangled with beautiful vocals and mindblowing Mellotron flights. And finally the epic The Musical Box: how exciting and compelling, from the mellow part with the lush 12-string acoustic guitar sound and warm vocals to the sumptuous final part with heavy guitar and organ and emotional vocals, this time no 'old man mask' but Peter Gabriel dressed in the red robe (borrowed from his wife Jill) and the huge foxhead.

Another magical moment, at the end of a great progrock event, the many 50+ males, and a few women, went home, very satisfied, November 2019 is in their agenda. Because The Musical Box will return, and I hope to see them again, like so many other 70-77 Genesis fans!

Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

Setlist The Musical Box:

Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers...
...In That Quiet Earth
Robbery Assault And Battery / Mad Man Moon /
       All In A Mouse's Night

Blood On The Rooftops
Dance On A Volcano
Los Endos
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Fly On A Windshield
Broadway Melody Of 1974
In The Cage
Back In N.Y.C.
Hairless Heart
Counting Out Time
The Carpet Crawlers
A Place To Call My Own
Time Table
Seven Stones
Can-Utility And The Coastliners
Looking For Someone
After The Ordeal
The Cinema Show
Aisle Of Plenty
The Musical Box
X picture by Marco Vermeij

Line up The Musical Box:

François Gagnon:
acoustic and electric guitars
Sébastien Lamothe:
bass, bass pedals, acoustic and
       electric guitars, vocals
Denis Gagné:
lead vocal, flute, oboe, percussion
Bob St-Laurent:
drums, percussion, vocals
Ian Benhamou:
keyboards, 12-string guitar, vocals

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