Prog came to the Town Hall in New York City! Steve Hackett, guitarist from the 1970s-era classic lineup of Genesis, brought the music of his old band to life as part of a six piece ensemble known as “Genesis Revisited.” The tour proved so popular that additional legs were added, and it is now known as “Genesis Extended.”
Cheers from the near-sellout crowd greeted the opening notes of “Dance on a Volcano” as the band began their two and a half hour set of Genesis tunes from the period Mr. Hackett was involved as a player and writer. It was a “best of early Genesis” performance, covering material from their remarkable run of albums from Trespass (1970) through Wind & Wuthering (1976). What makes this tour so special for Genesis fans is most of this material has not been performed live on a stage by a Genesis member in forty years. Previous solo tours from Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins-era Genesis, and even Hackett himself have hardly touched the material that Hackett is now performing.
The crowd at the Town Hall clearly consisted of many fans who have been around long enough to have seen the original band perform these songs in New York City back in the day at venues such as the Academy of Music, the Felt Forum and others. At times, dedicated fans would rise up from their seats and sing along with vocalist Nad Sylvan. Standing ovations after complete performances of epic pieces such as “The Musical Box” and “Supper’s Ready” felt like welcoming back old friends after decades away; these were not little medleys as later period Genesis might have touched on during their shows.
Singer Nad Sylvan has a great presence on stage, donning a slight bit of facial make-up and naturally sounding like a cross between Gabriel and Collins. Rob Townshend not only fills in the Gabriel flute parts, but adds a new dimension to the music with his solos on sax and various reeds, challenging Hackett’s lead guitar. As for Hackett himself, he hasn’t lost a step. He’s a mesmerizing guitar player, and he is quite adept at reproducing his exact guitar parts he played on the original recordings. He’s thoroughly enjoying himself with this band and these performances of his very old catalog. He did say from the stage, however, that this tour will be the last.
You have a little time left to catch this show between now and early Spring according to their itinerary. And as a throwback to an era in rock music that may never be reproduced on stage this way again, it’s a must see.
– Barry Fisch