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Archive for the category “Musings: Music – The Musical Box”

The Musical Box Tickets Through the Years

As my readers know, I am an enormous progressive rock fan.  Now, as all my readers also know, Yes is, by far, my favorite band (you can read more of my writing about Yes here), but my second favorite vacillates, depending on the day, between Genesis and King Crimson.

To that end, I have seen the absolutely amazing Genesis recreation band The Musical Box several times, and every time I am completely blown away as to how precise they are in transporting their fans back to the days of classic Genesis.  I have written extensively about their shows and what they do here and posted other tour books, photographs, and such, from their shows here.

As I have seen The Musical Box several times, and after posting my NEARFest tickets (see here) and my Yes tickets (see here) – and seeing the positive response it got – I thought it would be fun to post my The Musical Box tickets too, so here you go!

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Musical Box Concert Program: 2007 Foxtrot Tour

As my readers know, I am an enormous progressive rock fan.  Now, as all my readers also know, Yes is, by far, my favorite band (you can read more of my writing about Yes here), but my second favorite vacillates, depending on the day, between Genesis and King Crimson.

To that end, I have seen the absolutely amazing Genesis recreation band The Musical Box several times, and every time I am completely blown away as to how precise they are in transporting their fans back to the days of classic Genesis.  I have written extensively about their shows and what they do here and posted other tour books, photographs, and such, from their shows here.

I saw them on December 15, 2007 at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA.  They were playing the black Foxtrot Tour (all of the props and instruments were painted incandescent black).

The venue created a program for the show and I have taken photographs of each page and posted them below.  Enjoy!

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Musical Box Tour Book: 2006 Foxtrot Tour

As my readers know, I am an enormous progressive rock fan.  Now, as all my readers also know, Yes is, by far, my favorite band (you can read more of my writing about Yes here), but my second favorite vacillates, depending on the day, between Genesis and King Crimson.

To that end, I have seen the absolutely amazing Genesis recreation band The Musical Box several times and every time I am completely blown away as to how precise they are in transporting their fans back to the days of classic Genesis.  I have written extensively about their shows and what they do here and posted other tour books, photographs, and such, from their shows here.

I saw them on October 10, 2006 at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.  They were playing the Foxtrot Tour.

The band put together and sold a tour book from this tour and I have taken photographs of each page and posted them below.  Enjoy!

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The Musical Box Posts and Reviews Roundup

As my readers know, I am an enormous progressive rock fan.  Now, as all my readers also know, Yes is, by far, my favorite band (you can read more of my writing about Yes here), but my second favorite vacillates, depending on the day, between Genesis and King Crimson.

To that end, I have seen the absolutely amazing Genesis recreation band The Musical Box several times and every time I am completely blown away as to how precise they are in transporting their fans back to the days of classic Genesis.

I have posted multiple reviews of The Musical Box related things and I thought it would be convenient to catalog them all in a single post.  I will update the lists below with each I post I make about The Musical Box.

The Musical Box concert reviews:

Tour Books or Programs:

Other:

Musical Box Tour Book: 2004 The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Tour

As my readers know, I am an enormous progressive rock fan.  Now, as all my readers also know, Yes is, by far, my favorite band (you can read more of my writing about Yes here), but my second favorite vacillates, depending on the day, between Genesis and King Crimson.

To that end, I have seen the absolutely amazing Genesis recreation band The Musical Box several times and every time I am completely blown away as to how precise they are in transporting their fans back to the days of classic Genesis.  I have written extensively about their shows and what they do here and posted other tour books and such from their shows here.

I saw them on December 17, 2004 at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA.  They were playing the The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Tour.

The band put together and sold a tour book from this tour and I have taken photographs of each page and posted them below.  Enjoy!

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Musical Box Tour Book: 2004 Selling England By the Pound Tour

As my readers know, I am an enormous progressive rock fan.  Now, as all my readers also know, Yes is, by far, my favorite band (you can read more of my writing about Yes here), but my second favorite vacillates, depending on the day, between Genesis and King Crimson.

To that end, I have seen the absolutely amazing Genesis recreation band The Musical Box several times and every time I am completely blown away as to how precise they are in transporting their fans back to the days of classic Genesis.  I have written extensively about their shows and what they do here and have collected my Musical Box posts here.

The first time I saw them was February 26, 2004 at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA.  They were playing the Selling England by the Pound Tour.  Although I saw them a number of times after this, this concert was, and remains, my favorite The Musical Box show that I have seen.

The band put together and sold a tour book from this tour and I have taken photographs of each page and posted them below.  Enjoy!

 

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My Yes Tickets Through the Years!

Here is another addition to my series of Yes music posts.  I started this series here and you can read the others here.

I have seen Yes every time I have had the opportunity since 1994.  I have posted my reviews and photographs of those shows here.  After posting my NEARFest tickets (see here) – and seeing the positive response it got – I thought it would be fun to post my Yes tickets too, so here you go!

After going through all these tickets I would have to say that the computer printouts were a terrible idea.  They are so impersonal and not particularly worthy of being a “keepsake.”  Their convenience pales in comparison to the significance of receiving and keeping an actual ticket.  So, needless to say, after doing it a couple of times, I am glad I abandoned the practice.  The tickets below include the ticket to the 1998 Yestival (see here and here and here), as well as both of Yes’s movie theater simulcasts from the mid-aughts.

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  • I cannot for the life of me remember which show this form accompanied the ticket.

 

NEARFest 2004: Photos and Memories

This post is in my series regarding the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest) more about which you can find here.  You can find all of my posts regarding NEARFest here and I started the series here.  You can also learn more about this particular Festival here and here.  The information below are just some highlights I remember and photographs I took from the Festival.

The lineup for NEARFest 2004 was (including Friday night):

Here is the 2004 logo, as designed by Roger Dean:

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This was the sixth NEARFest and my fifth consecutive Festival.  This Festival was the third Festival to take place at at the Zoellner Arts Center on the campus of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the first since 2001.  Starting with this Festival 0f 2004, the Zoellner Arts Center became its permanent home up to, and including, the final Festival.  I absolutely love the Zoellner Arts Center as a venue, and the environs in which it is found, and more on that can be found here.  It would seem that the experience of holding the Festival in Trenton was too expensive, traumatic, and stressful to make the extra revenue from the additional ~800 seats worth holding it there (I wrote more about the troubles in Trenton here).  This is just a guess, but it seems that the loss of revenue, and other  issues flowing from the Trenton Festivals, led to a slightly stripped down roster for this Festival in terms of “big names.”

As much as I love every NEARFest, I have to say that this Festival was one of the more lackluster Festivals as compared to the others.  The Strawbs, which at one point was Rick Wakeman‘s band, were rather a let down and underwhelming (and pretty rickety sounding at that) and Univers Zero, while I like them, are relentlessly RIO, which I find difficult to listen to for more than about thirty minutes.  Mike Keneally, who is an extremely talented guitar player (and occasional keyboardist) who has playing in Frank Zappa‘s band as part of his resume, was a fun performance, though I just have never really come around to truly enjoying Zappa-type music (though I respect it a lot).  This was also the year when mid-day solo spots started in order to help resolve the delays that became epidemic in Trenton.  The solo spot portion, which replaced what used to be a full band performance in prior Festivals, in 2004 were Richard Pinhas and Sean Malone, both of whom were interesting for a short while though, for me, became a little boring due to sonic monotony.  Pallas is a classic neo-prog band and I enjoyed them in that spirit, though I am not a huge fan of the sub-genre.  Planet X were just too loud and too constantly dissonant for me to enjoy for more than a few minutes.  This Festival’s great “find” was Hidria Spacefolk, which featured two very blonde Swedes with long dreadlocks, which was a space rock band with a sound that recalls Ozric Tentacles.  I thought this band was the best of the weekend with the exception of The Musical Box.  I am a huge fan of The Musical Box as they are a Genesis recreation band and they performed amazingly as usual.  They played a set from the Selling England by the Pound tour.  You can read more about The Musical Box here.

This Festival was the fourth Festival where I got to meet (again) the legendary Yes artist Roger Dean and, once again, he was as gracious as ever and signed a boat load of things for me as usual.  This was also one of the few Festivals where I did not have a seat within the first few rows, which, as it turned out, was not altogether a bad thing considering the line up this year.  One of the highlights for me was the appearance of Annie Haslam, whom I had never seen before this Festival.  No, she did not perform, either solo or with Renaissance, but she did talk prog rock and hawk her wares, which was some artwork.  She lived (and may still live) in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (about an hour-and-a-half’s distance from the Festival) so it seems obvious she would appear and I was surprised it took her this long to do so.  It was very exciting to me to have met such an icon of prog rock, though I have to say that I found her demeanor to be somewhat bitter and unpleasant.

Finally, this was the only Festival that I did not attend with my Uncle Jim.  Due to a scheduling anomaly, this Festival was held in July as opposed to the end of June (my Uncle, expecting a late June Festival, scheduled an early July vacation in Arizona).  As a result, I had to break up the Festival days between more than one person (I really cannot expect the better part of three days of relentless prog rock to be borne by someone who is not a die hard prog rock fan), so my friend, and former college roommate Steve, joined me for some performances, and my then girlfriend (now wife) Tiffani for some others.  I joked that between this Festival, this Yes concert, and a couple of other shows (like Rick Wakeman’s solo show and the concert which put her over the edge on prog rock (see here)), she proved, through her resiliency and grace in going to these shows, more than enough that we were destined to get married, which we did about a year and a half later.

Photographs:

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Yes Concert Review: 8/3/13 – Yestival

Here is another addition to my series of Yes music posts.  I started this series here and you can read the others here.

I saw the progressive rock band Yes play at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey on August 3, 2013 during the second part of their Three Albums Tour.  You can read more about this show here.  This was a Yestival show, which, as a result, featured a whole roster of bands throughout the afternoon prior to Yes taking the stage.  This show featured appearances by The Musical Box, Carl Palmer ELP Legacy Band, Renaissance, Scale the Summit, Volto!, and The School of Rock.  In addition, Yes cover artist Roger Dean was there presenting a gallery of his work and meeting and greeting people.

The line-up Yes fielded at this show was:

The set Yes played was (the album from which the song comes in parenthesis):

Recollections:

What a wonderful afternoon!  This concert was, to the day, the forty-fifth anniversary of Yes’ first concert and, as a huge Yes fan, it was just so cool to be a part of it.  Even if Yes did not play, this show had a fantastic roster of bands to see and hear for a great afternoon of prog rock.  Yes’ set was the icing on the cake.  Genesis‘ drummer Phil Collins‘ son Simon‘s band Sound of Contact was also to play but was unable due to visa issues.  Although unfortunate for him, it was very fortunate for Yes fans as his absence made it possible for Yes to play all three albums of the “Three Album Tour” instead of only two as initially scheduled.  Steve Howe made the announcement to this effect at the conclusion of playing the Close to the Edge album.

This is a Yes review, so I will stick to that, but suffice it to say that the other bands that played put on fantastic shows in their own right, and were a tough act for Yes to follow.  Luckily, unlike the July 4, 2011 show where Yes got shown up by Styx at this very same venue, this time Yes was up to the challenge and blew everyone else off the stage.  Renaissance played their classics (though their lineup has been reduced to just Annie Haslam from their classic era).  The Musical Box, for Genesis fans, is a real treat, especially for younger ones like me (see here for a more detailed description).  They played the Foxtrot set list to their typical precision.  Volto! is a band founded by Tool drummer Danny Carey.  Volto! plays well composed jazz fusion that would fit in well with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and I really enjoyed them.  They are worth looking into in greater depth.  Carl Palmer’s band played ELP music but with a guitarist instead of a keyboardist and without vocals.  Naturally Palmer’s drumming took center stage.  ELP fans either enjoyed them and appreciated Palmer’s drum work outs or decried the blasphemy of converting music for a classic keyboard power trio into a guitar trio.  Either way, every member of that band is top notch and Palmer is as good as he as ever been.  Scale the Summit was a good modern progressive band which played only instrumental music.  I got one of their albums from the show and they do what they do rather well.  The School of Rock played on a side stage near the refreshments and they are always fun to watch.

I saw a Yes show at an earlier part of this tour (see here) and this was the third time I saw this lineup (the first time was here) and they got better and better each time.  By the time they got to this show, Yes was playing like a well oiled machine and sounding as good as ever.  My comments about the songs themselves really do not differ from the two shows linked above in this paragraph.  I would just add here that Downes and Davison had really settled into their roles at this point and the band was solid and a tight unit.  Everyone sounded great and played really well.  It was great to hear “Parallels” and “A Venture” as those two songs, particularly the latter, are truly deep cuts and a pleasure to hear live in favor of more typical songs.  The songs are consistently played at the proper tempos too.  The only real complaint is that White’s playing is really showing its age.  His fills are simpler and his playing much less aggressive than he historically has played.

Two really cool things they added for flair at this show was the confetti at the climax of “Awaken” (as they did on April 7, 2013) but it now also included huge jets of mist.  Also, during “Roundabout” they dropped the balloons, that you can see in the photographs below, onto the audience.

I did not mention this in my previous reviews, but I also must say that the video presentation behind the band has also been improving as well.  When they walk on stage it is to a great montage of photographs and, as they go through each album, each song is identified by name with graphics from the album on which it was recorded.

Photographs:

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The Musical Box: Genesis Recreated!

As my readers know, I am an enormous progressive rock fan.  Now, as all my readers also know, Yes is, by far, my favorite band (you can read more of my writing about Yes here), but my second favorite vacillates, depending on the day, between Genesis and King Crimson.

Now many of you, who may not be familiar with the history of Genesis, may be a little bewildered by the fact that a prog-rock fan would be a fan of Genesis, but that is likely because your contact with Genesis is only their 1980s material when Phil Collins was its lead singer.  Unbeknownst, unfortunately, to many people is that Genesis finds its origin in the late 1960s when Peter Gabriel was their lead singer for many years over several albums.  The Peter Gabriel-era of the band was one of the giant pioneers of the progressive rock movement and it is that music which makes me a Genesis fan.

Phil Collins joined Genesis for its third album, Nursery Cryme, as a drummer and backing vocalist.  To be fair to post-Gabriel Genesis, it is worth noting that it retained its prog rock credentials in full for two albums after Gabriel left, after which its long time guitar player Steve Hackett left.  Genesis made another album, …And Then There Were Three…, which had a lighter but still prog rock approach, but its subsequent album, Duke, was only about half prog rock, and after that the band pretty much left its prog rock roots behind, except for the occasional album track and some songs in live sets.

Aside from excellent music, Gabriel-era Genesis was known for Gabriel’s extravagant stage theatrics.  While the rest of the band was sitting still looking at their feet while expertly playing their instruments, Gabriel was all over the stage acting out the scenes and dialogue found in their music while wearing all manner of strange costumes (a sample of which you can see here), in front of psychedelic scenery.  Gabriel’s antics became the stuff of legend and made legions of dedicated fans.  Of course, the attention he got, sometimes at the expense of the rest of the band, due to his antics led to some discord between he and the rest of the band which, in part, resulted in his departure from the band.  Upon Gabriel’s departure, the band’s live performances became much more typical for a band playing arenas and, therefore, the crazy artistic live spectacle as an aspect of Genesis disappeared.

Of course, Genesis fans and/or progressive rock fans the world over were saddened by the loss of such unique and exciting stage performances, doubly so as no official videos survive from this era, and assumed that this era of Genesis was lost to history.

Suddenly, though, as if an answer to prayer, the band known as The Musical Box (“TMB”) (official website here) appeared in about 1993.  TMB has been called a tribute band but I do not think that moniker is entirely accurate as it seems rather incomplete considering what it does.  TMB is more than a tribute band.  It is a recreation band.  TMB does more than merely play old Genesis music.  It is more than merely inspired by Genesis.  TMB literally reproduces old Genesis concerts note for note and scene by scene, even down to the in-between song banter!  The musicians take on the roles of the members of Genesis as if they were actors.  The concerts TMB plays follows a set list – song by song – from one of the shows from a Genesis tour with Gabriel.  The mannerisms of the musicians playing the roles of the members of Genesis are replicated through the painstakingly tedious effort of combing through thousands of photographs and hours of footage to ensure they literally act and look like Genesis would have when it played a particular set on a particular tour and these songs originally, not to mention their use of authentic and vintage instruments from the Gabriel-era.  In addition, TMB also combs through hours of recordings to ensure that the inter-song dialogue during a TMB show reflects what the Genesis would have done.  Furthermore, Genesis and Gabriel have given TMB license and permission to use their scenery and stage sets and costuming in order to ensure that they can reproduce the complete Gabriel-era Genesis experience.  One of the features of a TMB tour book are side-by-side photographs of TMB and Genesis and, unless one has a keen eye, they are virtually indistinguishable.  TMB presents itself on stage not as band playing Genesis music but as Genesis itself.

Needless to say, as a prog rock and Genesis fan, I was disappointed at being much too young to have had opportunity to experience Genesis in its prime (let along with Gabriel), but when I discovered TMB – I admittedly was suspicious at first – I simply could not believe my eyes and ears.  TMB sounded and looked exactly like I expected Genesis would.  It was absolutely amazing and I truly felt like I can say I saw Genesis after I saw TMB.

My first time I saw TMB they were performing the Selling England By the Pound tour on February 26, 2004 (which is when the photos below were taken) and I was transfixed.  I have seen hundreds of concerts and this concert still stands out as one of the greatest concerts I have ever seen, from the music, the scenery, costuming, and presentation.  In short, it was amazing.  My wife, who was then my girlfriend, attended this show with me.  She was being a good sport and attending various prog rock concerts with me at this time in our relationship.  This was our last of these concerts together.  I will never forget that moment, at the beginning of the show, when “Peter Gabriel” appears in bat wings with incandescent face paint around his eyes glowing in front of a black light to introduce the classic show opener “Watcher of the Skies.”  What was happening on the stage put her over the edge and she turned to me and said “this is it, I’ve had enough, I am not going to any more of these concerts.”

Since then I have also seen TMB perform the Selling England By the Pound a second time (at NEARFest 2004, see here), the Foxtrot tour show (three times, two normal and one black where all of the props and instruments were painted incandescent black), and the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour show (twice).  The most recent time I saw TMB was at Yestival in 2013 when they played the Foxtrot tour set.

Whenever I get a chance I try and see TMB and I highly encourage you to do so too!  This band is very protective of its (due to the nature of the shows) so the “no photographs” rule is strictly enforced.  I have only really been able to get a good picture of the set up once on February 26, 2004 (the Selling England By the Pound Tour show described above) at the Keswick in Glenside, PA.  The photographs from that show are below for you to check out.

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