The Fourth Time (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, 17 December 2004)
Some time during the late summer or early autumn of 2004, my brother sent me an email informing me that The Musical Box was finally touring with their Lamb show again, and that they would be passing through Pennsylvania in December. I called him immediately upon receiving the email--which was too bad for him, because it was early on a Saturday morning and I woke him up. I was excited, and so was he; though he had not seen either of the two Musical Box shows I'd been to after that first one at the TLA, he knew that the Lamb show was special. So three tickets were purchased by me for Friday night (at the time, it's possible that the band had not yet added the third date on Saturday the 18th--all three shows they played at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside were to sell out). Then the waiting began; it was months before the day finally came, and I left work early on Friday for the long trek starting up in Saddle Brook, New Jersey (my workplace by that time), stopping at Edison (in my new house, to which we moved from North Brunswick in late May of that year) and going all the way to Glenside.

Glenside seemed a strange place for a rock concert. We drove through dark winding rural roads into a small, quaint little town, and on Keswick Avenue was the marquee of Keswick Theatre. The main building looked like the kind of place Shakespeare might have lived in if his father had more money, but attached to the front was an overhanging marquee of the style on movie theaters of the fifties. Dawdling outside were the typical Musical Box fans: grown men, usually approximately twenty years older than me (I am after all a fairly young Genesis fan, having been born during the And Then There Were Three tour), generally with beards; and since they were dawdling outside in the cold, it was mostly because they were smokers--or because they were scalping tickets. Some might have known the album by heart--there was one group who were all wearing shirts with the album cover on the front--and some had just listened to it, possibly for the first time, and barely knew the songs. Admittedly, the Lamb is one of the more difficult albums by the band and is not generally among the favorites--most fans will probably choose Selling England or Nursery Cryme if you ask what their favorite Peter Gabriel Genesis album is. There were a few women in the crowd, but not many (there was my wife, showing her pregnancy to anyone who looked carefully enough, and not quite able to fit into any of my Genesis T-shirts). I was afraid we would end up being late for this most important musical experience of my life up to that point, because the drive was a long one and we had to backtrack in one place, and because we had to park up a residential street instead of using the tiny lot behind the venue. We were in good time, but my brother who lived closer hit some Friday-night traffic and was running to the venue from his far-away parking spot, calling me on his cell phone, out of breath: "I'm coming!"

We got inside in fine time, however. My brother was unfortunate enough to miss the beginning because he had to wait in line for the bathroom (I don't mind telling you he has a bladder the size of a thimble), but I was eventually able to find the correct seat and my wife joined me well before the lights went down (incidentally, my wife had to "join me" because she had run off earlier to get to the ladies' room--strangely enough, the line for that was much shorter than at the men's room--another indication of the strong male showing of TMB fans). The Keswick, as you could have guessed from my initial description, is a quaint old theatre, but it avoids the dangerous seating and decay of other old theatres while maintaining the intimacy (and incidentally the excellent, truly excellent acoustics) of a smaller venue. The seats were somewhat small and tightly packed, and I had to angle my head to see a good portion of the stage, but the seats did have the ability to lean back and give one a comfortable position. (As for the audience: like any audience at a concert, there were some drunk people and some annoying people (usually those two qualities went together, actually), particularly a large party of about a half dozen who seemed to spend the whole show getting up and walking over us to get out and then coming back again and then getting out again. But there was no one who was really obnoxious, and nobody passed out onto us.) Eventually some house announcer made some announcements and the show began. Since no video documents the authentic Lamb tour, and I have seen very few full descriptions of the show, what follows is a song-by-song analysis of all I can remember, along with some recollections of the real thing by other fans who emailed me with information (and some additions based upon the second time I saw TMB's Lamb production).

For those unfamiliar with the stage setup for the Lamb show, it was fairly typical--in fact, for almost thirty years without break Genesis arranged themselves in basically the same order from left to right: lead guitar (Hackett), bass (Rutherford), drums (Collins), keyboards (Banks), with the lead singer generally stage center but wandering freely. In the case of the Lamb, there were multiple microphones set up on either side of the stage on raised platforms, in the middle, and for specific songs Pete sang from other parts of the stage. (From now on, I will name the players as though they are actually the members of Genesis.) With this stage setup everyone but Hackett seemed to be on platforms of some kind; Hackett sat down for the whole show at stage left (by which I mean the audience's left) in the front, Rutherford on his platform was more toward the back of the stage. Behind the whole band was the three-panel slideshow, based off of the album cover of the Lamb, which of course featured a triptych image of various parts of Rael's story. The final touch, which I thought was rather odd in that it was the only real decoration on the stage, was a large boulder situated to the right of Rutherford and to the left of Phil Collins, at the very back of the stage. Its use would become more obvious as the show progressed.

Peter tells the introduction to Rael's story standing behind the middle pane of the slideshow, his shadow silhouette projected mysteriously onto the panel. For our show, he was dressed in the classic batwing costume; I've been told by someone who saw the band actually do the show that for this part of the show Peter wore the costume he wears during the "Evil Jam" (see my description of this later in this page). Peter describes the wall swallowing up Manhattan island, Rael captured inside, regaining consciousness underground. "This is the story of Rael..." Incidentally, later in the original Genesis tour this introductory passage would be entirely deleted, and for several shows Peter experimented with telling the story of Rael in the first person, as though he were actually Rael at all times, and not just a narrator. Much earlier in the tour, in late '74, the illusion was not nearly so complete and Peter would point out what side of the album each section of music corresponded to. TMB chose to tell the story in the fashion of Peter from about the middle section of the Genesis tour, when the story was well-developed but not yet in the first person, and still had the introductory section.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
The opening song probably uses the largest number of slides, and made me wonder how they could possibly keep up the rate of image change throughout the whole album. Basically we see various images of New York City, beginning with a long shot of the skyscrapers and getting closer to images of traffic, graffiti, and various interesting characters from the city. Whenever the song got to a chorus, an image of a lamb would be superimposed onto whatever was showing at the time. Peter is wearing his basic Rael costume for this song, which consists of a very simple ensemble: white T-shirt, black jacket, blue jeans, and a rather artificial looking mop of hair. In old pictures of Peter I had seen some very heavy eye makeup, but this Peter did not seem to go so far.

Fly on a Windshield
A great number, because the jam sounds fantastic at full concert volume. A picture of New York is slowly enveloped by a blurry, gauzy covering, and eventually a huge fly buzzes across the three slide panels and collides with a seventies era automobile. When it hits the windshield, I think the slides went black and we were focused on the band for the jam.

Broadway Melody of 1974
Various images of the various people Peter mentions in the song are flashed across the slides; I particularly remember one of Groucho Marx when that bit of lyric comes up, I think he was seducing some woman on a couch. At the last line you see an image of a baby covered with needles.

Cuckoo Cocoon
A spider web type image starts in the middle of the screen and spreads out and becomes more cocoon like as the song progresses. Peter appears at the bottom right of the stage, seemingly protruding from the base of the platform upon which Tony sits. He lies down for this song and sings into two microphones which flank his face.

In the Cage
Various images of stalactites, stalagmites, etc., appear on the slide panels. The song begins with Peter creeping out from behind Phil, seemingly coming out of the rock at the back of the stage. He contorts himself as he sings the chorus, as if his body is constrained (in this version, unlike the actual Genesis live version, Peter sang the chorus with the correct high notes from the album; by which I mean instead of barking out "In the cave" or "In the cage," he went the full extension of the phrase: "In the ca-AAAVE," "In the ca-AAAGE"). I believe Rael is shirtless for this song. During the bridge section when Rael meets John, a square showing an image of a Peter-like face comes into the middle panel and cries a tear of blood.

The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging
I think for this song Peter is on the raised platform on the right side of the stage. On the slide screen behind him, a parade slowly progresses from the far right side of the screens to the far left, eventually filling the whole space with various people from New York City. The person leading the parade, a figure in a trenchcoat, I assume to be Rael.

The Story of Rael
This is the end of side one of the album, so the band take a break and Peter tells a story about the section of music they are going to play next. Rael goes into a perfect reconstruction of NYC and recalls his first romantic adventure, after which he is left "cuddling his prickly porcupine," and goes to a soft carpeted corridor which leads to a chamber of 32 doors. In the original story that I have heard many times, Peter generally says that only one of the doors can get any of the people out; but I think in the TMB version Peter said that none of the doors could get any of them out. I seem to remember that Peter told this part of the story while on the upper left side of the stage.

Back in NYC
Appropriately enough, for this number we get to see more pictures of NYC as in the title track. I have been told that in the original version of this song there was a flashpot explosion, but due to recent disasters and tragedies associated with explosives at rock concerts, TMB did not use any such thing. (Actually, based on some video footage I have now seen of the real band playing the album, I can tell you that Peter used (or pretended to use) a kind of fire bomb during the "you can tell by the night fires" part of the song, creating some flames in the back of the stage.) During the chorus of "no time for romantic escape," Peter climbed onto the platform with Mike Rutherford and they faced each other so that they could sing "NO!" together into the microphone.

Hairless Heart
(At this point in the show, as in other points where necessary, a black-shirted roadie runs out on stage so that Hackett can switch guitars.) We get to see a picture of a white, feathery heart object on a satin cloth, and as the song progresses, a black-gloved hand takes a straight razor to the heart and shaves it.

Counting Out Time
I think that for this song Peter had time to change, and he comes out in a very tight-fitting body suit. At least part of the song is sung by Peter on the raised platform to the right of the stage. This helps him point to the diagrams which sometimes appear across the three slide panels, showing the naked female body with humorous pointing hands marking out the "errogenous zones" in different formations. There are also various old-fashioned looking images, I assume from the fifties, of couples making out or embracing.

The Carpet Crawlers
Strangely enough, I can't seem to remember much about what happened during this song, though it was a crowd favorite and I had a lot of fun singing along for the choruses. (What happened on the slides was that we saw a big close-up of the ragged edge of a strip of carpet, and as the song progressed more and more characters and objects appeared on the carpet.) I was disappointed though that TMB chose to not end the song as was usually done by Genesis when playing it live; they simply petered out at the end, as in the album version.

The Chamber of 32 Doors
Again, I don't really remember too much about this one, but I do remember when Pete sang the "I'd rather trust a man who works with his hands" and related lines, various pictures of blue-collar guys were flashed up on the screens.

The Story of Rael
Here Peter tells the remainder of the story of the album, taking us from when Rael meets Lilywhite Lilith to when he looks into the ravine and sees his drowning brother John.

Lilywhite Lilith
Mainly what I remember is a picture of a middle ages-type of image of a woman being flashed up on the slides, rather grim-looking.

The Waiting Room
A very effective number; during the beginning or really "evil" part of the song, it is mostly dark and black. Then, when the driving riff cuts in, bright white lights are shined directly into the audience. About halfway through, as in the beginning of the concert, Peter's shadow is projected onto the middle pane. This time, he is wearing a spiked headpiece which has four points pointing in the cardinal directions (as it were), and big creepy gloves with long clawed fingers. He gestures disturbingly across the slide pane. Eventually the screen appears to crack and shatter as Rael throws his rock at the hovering globes, and the disturbing silhouette figure crumples below the edge of the panel, and the lights pointing at the audience fade down to nothing.

Various images of death, mostly skull and skeleton related, flash across the panels.

The Supernatural Anaesthetist
Basically all we see on the screen is the depiction of the Supernatural Anaesthetist himself. He appears to be a black man wearing space age goggles and a jet-powered pogo stick, and he bounces around the three panes of the screens ("such a fine dancer").

For this song, Peter, wearing his body suit, is enveloped in a fabric tube which hangs by a chain from the ceiling and flares at the bottom, just showing his feet beneath the rim. The fabric is decorated with the snake-like figures of the lamia, and as Peter sings parts of the song he spins the tube with his free arm. The fabric is lit by a blacklight I think, making it look ethereal and supernatural. At the end of the song the tube drops slowly to the ground, and Rael, in obvious pain, creeps in hunched-over stance off the stage behind Phil.

Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats
My memory could be playing tricks on me and giving me the obvious image, but I think the screen showed images of empty boats floating on water.

The Colony of Slippermen
This is one of the showpiece numbers from this concert. During the previous song, when we weren't looking, the boulder has opened up and become a glowing, placental sac, and as the rest of the band plays an Eastern-sounding riff, Peter makes his crawling hestitant journey out of the sac and onto the stage. He is wearing the bulbous, mutated slipperman costume, with a saggy pair of testicles in front and a long tube running out in back. Peter can manually inflate his testicles to a grotesque size, and does so at the beginning of the song (the first time I saw the show, I remembered the testicles quickly deflating; the second time, they stayed absurdly huge for quite a while). On various Genesis bootlegs, it was easy to hear how Peter's voice became much more muffled and far away when he did this song, because it was so hard to get the microphone under his mask. However, TMB may have improved on this situation, because Peter's vocals did not suffer one bit in his costume, and he was very mobile, prancing and jiggling very humorously across the stage. As he passes by Hackett, Steve does something to him--it sort of looks like (to the casual observer) that Steve is suggestively and very cheekily grabbing and squeezing part of Pete's fleshy costume; but what Steve was actually doing was detaching the length of hose from his behind, because after that Peter merely has a small stub of tube protruding from his back end. During the "Raven" section of the song, pictures of a raven show up on the screens. On the album version, it was always very cool to hear Phil sing John's line: "Can't you see? Where the raven flies there's jeopardy." But live, Genesis didn't seem to do this. TMB does do this: Phil sings the line. The screen depicts the raven flying over the large ravine with a big waterfall, and it drops the tube. Again on the album version Pete switches at the end of this song from repeating the phrase "watch it float away" to repeating "snake, snake, ake," etc. Live, Genesis did not do this: Peter merely repeated "float away" for a while. However, TMB sang it like the album version, and Peter repeats "snake, snake, ake," as he creeps off stage behind Phil.

I would assume that pictures of a ravine were shown on the screen, but I can't remember--it was a very short song.

The Light Dies Down on Broadway
Again, I don't remember much about this one, other than the ravine shot being used and an image of a window or door was superimposed over it, floating in mid-air.

Riding the Scree
This was a particularly great number: Tony played his solo very well and the rest of the band jammed to great effect. Interesting to note that during a good portion of this song, what would become the core three members of Genesis are the only people on stage: Phil, Tony and Mike. Peter comes in to sing his lyrics on the far right platform. I think the slide screens were left dark for this one.

In the Rapids
I think for this song Mike Rutherford finally got to sit down for a while; up until that point, he was standing up for the whole show. Various images of water are shown on the screens; I particularly remember a desolate image of a beach with shoreline. I have often noticed that in the Genesis live versions of this song, Peter dispensed with several lines of lyric; but TMB's Peter sang the whole song (which I appreciated).

The main cool thing about this number is that near the beginning strobe lights flash and on either high platform on stage left and right is a version of Rael. One of them is Peter and one of them is a dummy dressed up to look like Peter--as though there actually are two of him. The strobe lights make it just hard enough to see that you're not quite sure which one is "real" and which one is not. Then the lights go out and when they go back up again only Peter is singing. I think for this song the lights may have been flashed onto the audience again, as in "Waiting Room." The slides showed the word "it" three times (one in each pane), and as the song went on different pieces of images we had seen earlier in the concert were flashed inside the letters. Again, this was a song where originally the band used explosives (sometimes to disastrous effect, according to some of Phil's recollections on certain bio films of the band), but TMB opts to go explosive-free. TMB accurately reproduces the live version of this song rather than the album version, in that it comes to a conclusion instead of fading out--of course it being the last number they are pretty much forced into performing it that way.

The Encores: The Musical Box, Watcher of the Skies
After the conclusion of "It," the band remains on stage, except for Peter. Phil indulges in some nostalgia by repeating some totally accurate Phil words from an earlier time: "That was the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Sorry for making you stay up late." Of course, in the original performance from which this comes, an audience member replies "That's all right!" which Phil finds humorous. I tried to yell "That's all right!" loud enough so that Phil heard me, but I don't think he did. (The second time I saw this show, Phil did not say anything like this.) Eventually Pete returns to the stage and tells the croquet story for "Musical Box." They did an excellent, bring-the-house-down, standing-ovation version of the song, complete with the old man costume at the end. Then the band actually did leave the stage, and we were forced to applaud for several minutes before they came back on, Pete in his batwing outfit, nicely bringing the concert sort of full circle with the same costume he'd worn at the opening. They did a great version of one of their signature songs, "Watcher of the Skies," and as we stood up again to applaud Peter said "Thank you, good night!" with unmistakeable finality, and up went the house lights.

My Analysis
One of the first things I noticed about this performance was the lack of strong transitions between songs. This was one of the things that was very good about the original Genesis live version: for each side of the album, the band played all the songs so that they segued into one another effortlessly. With TMB, this happened all right with the first few numbers, maybe even the whole first side of the album. But starting at the transition between "Back in NYC" and "Hairless Heart," the smoothness started to break down. Often numbers would quickly peter out and over the applause of the audience there would be a pause before the next song would pick up. One particularly jarring transition for me, which I've already mentioned, was the transition between "Crawlers" and "32 Doors." Also, one of the really crazy things that I particularly enjoyed about the Genesis live version of the album was how at the end of "Counting Out Time," Phil and Pete yelled out very emotional vocal yowlings for quite a while (the amount of time they spent doing it increased as the tour stretched on). TMB did not spend much time on this. Another transition that annoyed me was the end of "Lamia," which in Genesis' live version came to a satisfying conclusion--but TMB, as in the album version, simply petered out and stopped. Another thing I really loved about Genesis' version of the Lamb was the transition between "Light Dies Down" and "Riding the Scree," which is signalled by a rousing drum roll from Phil; TMB did not do this. Of course, there were some songs in which they were forced to create a smooth transition, because that's the way they were played on the album (such as that between "Windshield" and "Broadway Melody," or between "Rapids" and "It"), and because they would sound odd if there was no segue. But in general I felt there were awkward pauses between songs, with the band audibly resetting itself.

A second problem I had with the performance, which I hinted at on the previous page, was in the improvisations. The Lamb actually features many passages with instrumental solos or improvisations. To name a few: Pete's flute solos (2 of them) in "Cuckoo Cocoon," the band's jam during "Fly on a Windshield" (mainly a Hackett solo), the evil jam in "Waiting Room" (one which I was particularly interested to hear, as it is based so entirely on improvisation and morphed a lot over the course of the Genesis tour), the jam at the end of "Supernatural Anaesthetist" which segues into a solo from Tony which was only played during the live performances of the album and which I usually refer to as "Interlude" on bootleg track lists, "Silent Sorrow," the opening of "Slippermen" as Peter emerges from his sac, and "Ravine." Unfortunately, and as I could have predicted, I found many of these improvisations to be rather flat. One particular problem was Pete's flute solos--the TMB Pete is a perfectly OK flautist, but he played those solos in a very boring fashion. He also played them note-by-note as they were played on the album, which interestingly enough is never how Pete played them live in the real Genesis: those solos were different every night. "Waiting Room" was very effective and sounded great at full volume, but I still felt that it was only the album version of the song, and did not have any of the creativity heard on such late Genesis Lamb performances as, say, Empire Pool (15 April 1975--one of the most famous versions of the song, which was released as the b-side of a single). Tony's "Interlude," while sounding very much as it does on bootlegs, was short and didn't get anywhere. "Silent Sorrow," while restful and a wonderful transition track, was not as interesting as some Genesis versions I've heard; the same can probably be said for "Ravine." One improvisation where I thought the band really shone was the opening of "Slippermen," which necessarily must be longer than the album version and for which they showcased some nice versatility and depth.

As I suggested earlier, the main problem with this performance was that the band were not really playing a live version of the Lamb; they were reproducing the album version. This is not usually the way TMB approaches their music, but I felt that's what I was hearing that night. What is amazing about the Selling England show and Foxtrot show is how much they can bring to life the old songs as they must have sounded back then; there is a lot of that in the Lamb as well, but not as much as in their other shows. Though I think it can be argued that TMB may outshine Genesis in technical proficiency especially in those earlier tours, and though their Lamb performance was full-throated and (as far as I could tell) note-perfect, the Lamb show demonstrates just what a good bunch of musicians the real Genesis actually were. Even though their Lamb show, according to their own accounts, only completely worked about 1/20 of the time, they played the damn music very well, with gusto.

This is not to belittle the achievement of TMB one iota; they are an amazingly talented bunch of musicians. I loved Phil, who played in the same style as Phil, with a devil-may-care smirk on his face and a casual set of motions, as if to say "Yes, I'm playing the drums, but I could read a magazine and have a conversation with someone while I played if I wanted to." I have heard many recordings of live Lamb performances by Genesis, and have been able to make Phil's wonderful backing vocals out with varying degrees of clarity. But I have never heard as much backing vocal from the original Phil as I did from TMB's Phil. His vocals were fantastic and may possibly have exceeded (in quantity if not in quality) anything the real Phil ever did. Hackett played his parts very well, and Rutherford as usual provided a strong backbone which is hard to point to as virtuoso playing but which added another beautiful layer to the wall of sound. Tony hit all the right notes; my brother opined that at times it sounded as if Tony had to work very hard to keep up with the rest of the band, and was sometimes lagging behind. But damned if he didn't do an amazingly good job at playing the incredibly virtuosic solo at the beginning of "Riding the Scree." It sounded beautiful.

Peter, as usual, did an excellent job of hopping around the stage and doing the typical bum-wiggling required of him. I particularly loved the way he moved in his Slipperman costume, seeming to really enjoy the playacting. He told the stories correctly, as heard on various recordings, and probably remembered all the words better than the real Peter ever did. His flute-playing I have touched on before, rather negatively, but I was surprised at how often he did pull out the flute, and it was cool to hear that part of the music faithfully portrayed. I did notice an interesting thing about the quality of his vocals. One of the things that really impressed me about previous Musical Box shows was how much the vocalist sounded like Peter when he sang the classic songs. And when the band got down to the classic encore numbers "Musical Box" and "Watcher," I once again noticed this quality of his voice, almost channeling Peter Gabriel during the conclusion of "Box." However, I did not notice this during the playing of the Lamb. TMB's Peter did not actually sound like Peter when he sang the Lamb. Yes, he had a beautiful soaring voice, without the froggy rough edges of the real Peter's voice in 1975; but he didn't sound like Peter, and sometimes this hurt the performance. I felt numbers like the title track and "Back in NYC" suffered somewhat in lacking the real angry, aggressive cries which the real Peter could sometimes belt out--TMB's Peter always had nice, smooth vocals which were spot-on but which lacked the anger and rebellious swagger of Rael. For this reason, however, the classic numbers played for encores sounded all the more effective, and really brought the house down, because the lead singer was once again channeling Peter, as he hadn't during the main performance.

After the performance, my brother and my wife and I walked over to a little coffee house that was right next door to the theatre and waited in line with all the other Genesis fans who had found a place that was still open for business after the concert. We talked about the show and I voiced a lot of the opinions I have written down here. It was a great atmosphere, with everybody there talking about the show and talking about their original experiences with Genesis (if they had any). It's a real treat to be able to hang out with other Genesis fans, because sometimes it can seem like they are few and far between; and no one who likes Genesis can be all bad.

The Musical Box is still my favorite live act (other than the real thing), and their Lamb show was the crowning moment of my concertgoing experience up to that point. Their devotion to Genesis is a special thing and their dedication to accuracy produces what is almost a miracle, a glimpse into a world that is now thirty years in the past (in fact, this show that I saw was commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Lamb tour, which began on 20 November 1974)--providing a wonderful and almost cathartic experience for generations of devoted Genesis fans. My devotion to the Musical Box is still fully intact, and I can't wait to see them the next time they swing by my town; or if it gets to be a while and they don't come back, maybe I'll take a vacation up in Canada...

It's only knock and know-all, but I like it.

Epilogue: The Fifth Time (The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, 25 June 2005)
As you may have been able to tell from a close reading of the above description, I did indeed get to see The Musical Box again, and even got to see them doing the Lamb again. In 2005 I discovered TMB had added some East Coast dates to the end of their 30th anniversary tour. Now with a new baby, it would be tough work for me to make it down to Atlantic City, New Jersey and back (it required babysitters in the form of my in-laws), but I felt it was worth it. The show I saw was the very last of a series at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. I can now say from experience that driving into Atlantic City on a Saturday night is not fun (and, due to an accident on the Expressway, driving out of Atlantic City wasn't fun either!). After finally arriving at the casino, parking, and then (of course) having to walk all the way through the casino to get to the Xanadu Theater where TMB was playing, we were late. The band were already breaking into the opening strains of the title track by the time I showed my ticket at the door. Fortunately we were guided to our seats, which would have been impossible to find otherwise as the theater was pitch black and the seating made no sense.

I have to say that if this had been my first time seeing the Lamb, I would have been unhappy. My previous experience of seeing shows in Atlantic City casinos was very positive: the Foxtrot show had been at the Borgata, a very nice, new casino with a very nice theater. The Taj Mahal's Xanadu is a surprisingly grubby and disappointing venue, with terrible seating (though the fact that it is small and "intimate" made for some great acoustics). There were simply a bunch of chairs set up on the floor, which were not comfortable and which were not tiered in any way, so that I spent the whole show craning my neck around the huge heads of the bunch of tall guys sitting in front of me. Still, I managed to get a pretty good view of the main parts of the stage, the performance was as good as ever, and I was once again impressed by the fan turnout. I always expect when I go to a show in a casino that the audience will be made up to a large extent by people who don't know anything about the act and are just there to see a show. As it turned out, the people crowding in to see TMB seemed to be almost entirely die hard Genesis fans who knew all the words and were perfectly willing to bang their heads when the guitar solos kicked in. At one point, I heard someone during a quiet moment start chattering about something or other, but he was firmly told to "shut up!" by at least three or five people, who were there to listen to the damn music, thank you very much. On a good note, we were not disturbed here as at the previous show by people getting in and out of our row, and other than the instance I have noted, there was very little chatter.

It was definitely great seeing the show again and having all the neat visuals reinforced for me--if I had had a chance to write about the show a little closer to when it happened, I probably would have been able to improve my description of the concert even more. As it is, though, it has now been a month since the show, and my recollections are already hazy. I can't wait to see it again!

(Click on the Continuing Adventures link below to read reviews of more TMB shows I attended.)

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