At The Utilita Arena, Newcastle, U.K., September 30, 2021

Genesis (Live at the Utilita Arena, Newcastle 30th September 2021)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Like many bands over the past year and a half Genesis have had tours booked, postponed and rebooked more times than you care to mention.  This time last year it was inconceivable that so many people would gather together indoors to pay tribute to one of the UK’s biggest bands as they bring the curtain down one last time on a career spanning the best part of half a century for their first arena tour in almost 23 years. Seeing so many people brought together by a love of music was a sight to behold.

On the first of two nights at the Utilita Arena, the sense of anticipation was ever present as showtime grew close but even as that moment approached, a quick look at the extensive merchandise stall showed that recent events were never far away as Genesis facemasks nestled alongside the more traditional T-shirts and programmes.

Pandemics and lockdowns were quickly forgotten as the house lights dimmed for opener “Behind The Lines/Duke’s End” as Genesis were welcomed to the stage with a roar that made Hurricane Katrina sound like a whimper.

With the core trio of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks joined by long-time guitarist/bassist Daryl Stuermer and Nic Collins, son of Phil, on drums, Genesis had the unenviable task of cherry picking from 15 albums and a ton of hit singles covering their years as Prog Rock behemoths to radio friendly chart toppers and over the course of a two hour show they covered pretty much all the bases.

For those favouring the Prog Rock years, they were well served by “Cinema Show”, “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”, “Afterglow” and a sublime version of “Firth Of Fifth” featuring Stuermer’s showstopping guitar solo.

Those coming for the hits were more than satisfied with “Land Of Confusion”, “Invisible Touch”, “I Can’t Dance” and one of the many show highlights “Mama” with Collins in sinister form bathed in a dark crimson light.  Creepy stuff.

With a lighting rig built across several grids of independently moving spot lights and a giant back projection and video screens flanking the stage, this was one impressive spectacle where the show enhanced rather than dominated the evening.

Much has been said about the health of Phil Collins and sure, he remained seated for most of the set but being the trooper he is, he gave 100% to make sure this final tour was one to live long in the memory and with the classic “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” and “Carpet Crawlers” closing the show, it was goodnight and farewell.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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