The Kentucky Center presents
The Musical Box
THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
November 1, 8 p.m., Brown Theatre
Tickets start at $35, online information
GENESIS "BP" (Before Phil) - Genesis, a band many people under the age of 40 associate with drummer/vocalist Phil Collins, began its musical journey as an artsy, progressive Rock band led by the charismatic "shaman of the stage," Peter Gabriel.
Peter Gabriel formed the band that would become Genesis, originally called the "New Anon," with school chums Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. The band was renamed Genesis in 1967 by their original record producer. Psychedelia reigned and according to www.allmusic.com, "the group's music was a form of lyrical folk-based Pop...that tended toward the florid and trippy."
In the early 70s, Phil Collins joined the group, playing drums and singing background vocals. During this period, Genesis recorded their breakthrough album, "The Musical Box," and began to develop a collegiate and art house following, drawn primarily by the storytelling aspect of the songs and the dramatic performances of front man Peter Gabriel, who relied heavily on the use of make-up, masks and other props to overcome his shyness.
It was Gabriel's stage presence, far more compelling than the musical aspects of the band at that time, that turned Genesis' 1970's performances into media events. "Peter Gabriel, with his growing array of costume changes and role playing, far transcended anything seen on a rock stage. Genesis was Rock Theatre and provided an intense listening experience." (allmusic.com)
"THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY" - The 1974 release of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" marked the pinnacle of Genesis' early history. Gabriel wrote the majority of the lyrics, creating a story with dozens of characters. The band then had to write the music. Gabriel, whose wife was expecting their first child, was absent from many rehearsals, and the creative divide between the members grew wider. By mid-1975, Gabriel announced he was leaving the group. Meanwhile, "Lamb" reached #10 on the British charts, #41 on the US album charts and went on to be certified "gold"- by far the best reception for any Genesis material up to this point in their history. Highlights from the recording include the title track, "The Carpet Crawlers" (of which Gabriel was most proud), and "In The Cage."
Gabriel announced his desire to leave the group, but they were already committed to touring. Genesis performed "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" over 100 times, before ending their tour in Paris. "Lamb" tells the story of a juvenile delinquent who goes underground - enduring dangerous trials and encounters with mythological creatures - to save his brother and reclaim his own identity. The storyline - which Gabriel said came to him in a dream - includes commentary on consumerism and the Sexual Revolution.
The touring production, Gabriel's last with the band, was extravagant and full of technical nightmares. The first act has Gabriel performing in a leather jacket and jeans, while donning dozens of costumes in the second act. The most "notorious" costume is the Slipperman, a sad creature with a lumpy body and inflatable genitals.
In 2004, Genesis met to discuss reuniting for a "Lamb" reunion tour, but Gabriel ultimately backed out due to solo commitments.
THE MUSICAL BOX (tribute band) - Taking their name from the 1971 Genesis recording, The Musical Box is a Canadian band dedicated to covering the "Peter Gabriel" era of Genesis. From 1993 - 2000, the band focused on creating and touring these shows: Nursery Crymes, Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound.
In 2000, The Musical Box purchased the rights to recreate "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." Genesis provided original master recordings and over 1200 slides to be incorporated into the production. Since 2001, The Musical Box has seen their audience grow significantly, as they've performed sold-out shows in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America.