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The Many Faces of Peter Gabriel

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.  As I am too young to have seen Genesis in their progressive rock prime, I have taken the opportunity to see their world class recreation band The Musical Box several times about which you can read about here where I include things like concert reviews, tickets, tour books, and the like.

When Genesis was in its prog rock prime, their lead singer was none other than the great Peter Gabriel.  Peter Gabriel gained a lot of notoriety by dressing in costumes to represent the themes and/or characters in the Genesis songs to bring those characters to life.  Some of his masks and costumes became strongly identified not just with Gabriel but with the music itself.  After having seen some of these costumes up close at The Musical Box shows, I began investigating into how many different costumes and masks Gabriel would don during his years with Genesis.

In the summer of 2016 Gabriel went on tour with former Police singer Sting for a joint tour called the Rock Papers Scissors North American Tour.  Instead of each performing separately, Sting and Gabriel were both on stage with their respective bands at the same time for the entire show.  The set list for the show alternated between Sting songs, Police Songs, and Gabriel songs.  Notably absent were Genesis songs as Gabriel has, unfortunately for the fans, more-or-less left Genesis behind when he left in 1975, and has almost never looked back.  The only nod to Genesis in the set list were the first few lines from “Dancing with the Moonlight Knight,” but those lines were sung by Sting not Gabriel.  Since 1975, Gabriel has all but extricated himself from Genesis.  By all reports, there is no bad blood between the Genesis members (indeed Phil Collins (Gabriel’s replacement in Genesis) was Gabriel’s best man at his wedding in 2004).  Gabriel just, for one reason or another, feels he needs to move on from Genesis and cut ties from that music; indeed (again), he did not even appear at Genesis’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010!  Some interviews make it seem like Gabriel looks at his time in Genesis as an embarrassing youthful time in his life that he cringes about when he sees photographs.

Since his departure in 1975, Gabriel’s connections with Genesis have been very very thin and rare; they are as follows: (1) in 1979 he joined Phil Collins in singing “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” at the Reading Festival (see here); (2) in 1982 he performed a benefit concert with Genesis for his charity WOMAD called “Six of the Best;” (3) in 1983 Gabriel had an impromptu performance of “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” at a (former Genesis guitarist) Steve Hackett show (see here) which also included Genesis member bassist Mike Rutherford; (4) in 1998 he helped touched up his old live vocals in the studio for the release of The Genesis Archive 1967-75; and, (5) in 1999 he recorded “The Carpet Crawlers 1999” with the band for release on the compilation album Turn it On Again: the Hits.  This is why what happened on July 24, 2016 is so significant.  On the last date of the “Rock Paper Scissors North American Tour,” Gabriel, instead of Sting, sang those few lines to “Dancing with the Moonlight Knight (see here)!  This was a very exciting moment to Genesis fans all over the world as it is only his sixth nod to Genesis in over 41 years.

Gabriel’s recognition of Genesis, however brief, inspired me to resume researching the costumes and masks Gabriel would wear with Genesis.  After spending some time, I think I can finally create a comprehensive list.  To that end, I think the photograph list below represents, for the most part, all of the various looks Gabriel had during his years with Genesis.  If you know of, or have found, any others, please let me know in the comments section and tell me where to find them.  When I get them I will add them to this list.

Thanks and enjoy!

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Hair (reverse Mohawk)

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Standard face paint.

Foxtrot for “The Musical Box

Old Man from “The Musical Box

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The Watcher from “Watcher of the Skies

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Beginning of “Supper’s Ready” (black show only)

Flower from “Supper’s Ready”

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Jesus crucified from “Supper’s Ready”

 

Magog from “Supper’s Ready”

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Jesus resurrected from “Supper’s Ready”

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Britannia from “Dancing in the Moonlight Knight

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Lawnmower from “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)

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Gang member from “The Battle of Epping Forest

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Rival gang member (“Reverend”) from “The Battle of Epping Forest”

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Rael, the main character in The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

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Slipperman from The Colony of Slippermen

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Lamia from “The Lamia

“Death” during “The Waiting Room

Worn for a photo shoot only (never for a live performance).

Decorative flower (never worn)

You can find most of these in action here:

 

 

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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Program From October 7, 2006 Porcupine Tree Concert

This post is part of my series of posts on progressive rock which you can see here.

On October 7, 2006 I saw the progressive rock band Porcupine Tree during their tour in support of the Deadwing album at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PAProjeKCt Six (the Robert Fripp (on electric guitar) and Adrian Belew (on electronic drums) King Crimson duo) opened the show.

The Keswick Theater often produces and distributes an event program at its shows, whether that show is a rock concert, ballet, or comedian or what-have-you, and the October 7, 2006 Porcupine Tree concert was no different.  I have taken photographs of that program and posted them below as fans may enjoy and be interested in what the band authorized for its show.

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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Program From September 13, 2006 Asia Concert

This post is part of my series of posts on progressive rock which you can see here.

On September 13, 2006 I saw the progressive rock supergroup Asia during their 2006 reunion tour at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA.  I reviewed this concert, and that review, along with some pictures of the show, can be seen here.

The Keswick Theater often produces and distributes an event program at its shows, whether that show is a rock concert, ballet, or comedian or what-have-you, and the September 13, 2006 Asia concert was no different.  I have taken photographs of that program and posted them below as fans may enjoy and be interested in what the band authorized for its show.

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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Anderson-Ponty Band Concert Review, 10/27/15 Glenside, PA

This post is part of my series of posts on progressive rock, which you can see here, and Yes which you can see here.

On October 27, 2015 the supergroup Anderson-Ponty Band (APB), led by Jon Anderson, the vocalist/harpist/guitarist co-founder of the progressive rock band Yes‘ and virtuoso progressive rock (and classic fusion bands and Zappa alumnus) violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, played show at the at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA in support of their “Better Late Than Never Tour” in support of their new album of the same name (see here).

The band was:

  • Jon Anderson – lead vocals, mandolin, guitars, percussion
  • Jean-Luc Ponty – violin
  • Jamie Glaser – guitars
  • Wally Minko – keyboards
  • Baron Browne – bass
  • Rayford Griffin – drums & percussion

The set list for the evening:

  • Intro (a new piece which is sort of like an overture for the APB album)
  • One in the Rhythm of Hope  (a reworked Ponty piece (see here))
  • A for Aria (a new piece)
  • Owner of a Lonely Heart  (a reworked Yes song (see here))
  • Listening with Me (a reworked Ponty piece called “Stay With Me” (see here))
  • Time and a Word (a reworked Yes song (see here))
  • One Love/People Get Ready (a Bob Marley cover (see here))
  • Infinite Mirage (a reworked Ponty piece (see here))
  • Soul Eternal  (a reworked Anderson piece (see here))
  • Enigmatic Ocean Parts 1 and 2 (a reworked Ponty piece (see here))
  • Drum solo
  • I See you Messenger  (a new piece)
  • New New World (a reworked Anderson piece (see here))
  • INTERMISSION
  • New Country (a reworked Ponty piece (see here))
  • Never Ever (a reworked Anderson song (see here and here))
  • Wonderous Stories (a reworked Yes song (see here))
  • Long Distance Runaround (a reworked Yes song (see here))
  • Renaissance of the Sun (a reworked Ponty piece (see here))
  • State of Independence (a reworked Jon & Vangelis song (see here))
  • Jig (a reworked Ponty piece (see here))
  • And You and I (a reworked Yes song (see here))
  • Roundabout (a reworked Yes song (see here))
  • Re-Remembering the Molecules (a reworked Ponty piece (see here)) – which included bits of Yours Is No Disgrace (a reworked Yes song (see here))
  • Soon (a reworked Yes song (see here))

Thoughts:

As I said when I reviewed the ABP album (see here), I am not going to comment on the songs themselves as nearly all of them are classic songs from legendary prog-rock albums and do not originate with this band.  I am only going to comment on their presentation at the show.

This was my first time seeing Jon Anderson live since the last leg of Yes’ Thirty-Fifth Anniversary Tour on September 3, 2004 (see here).  Much of what I said about Jon Anderson on the ABP album holds true here (see here).  This is post-asthma attack Anderson (see here).  His voice is not as strident or as powerful as it was in days past.  In saying that, he, as a consummate professional, does not struggle to try and duplicate his old singing style.  Instead, his voice is more soulful and breathier (is that a word?) and he conforms the music to his new singing style.  His onstage persona is much different than how he used to present himself with Yes.  Obviously his Yes stage presentation evolved with the band and their music, yet now, with ABP in 2015, Anderson comes across like a wizened and beloved person who has so many years under his belt that he is completely confident on stage playing and singing directly to the die hard fans that have followed him for fifty years now as opposed to something of a new age spiritual hippie guru.  There is very little “persona” now for him.  He does not play with long flowing robes or quasi-monk overtones.  No, instead he comes across as a man who knows he is older, knows he has been around a long time, and knows the people hearing him are the ones who have been fans for decades.  He was loose and appreciative.  He played guitars and percussion and, instead of a harp (as on the album), he plucked at a mandolin here and there (practically inaudibly for me).  Ponty was just a cool guy with no frills playing his violin.  It is amazing that both of these men are in their 70s!

The rest of the band were mainly guys recruited by Ponty.  The drummer, who reminded me of Niacin’s Dennis Chambers (see here), was a powerful and loud drummer who unabashedly plays in the style of fusion.  Although he was an excellent drummer, his playing was a bit too much a lot of the time for the more mellow rest of the band.  The guitarist was very hard for me to hear from my vantage point in terms of the mix.  I was there to see Anderson and Ponty and he played well enough to keep the music going but did not distract away from the main attractions.  As a side note, he reminded me a lot of Jim Belushi in his looks and mannerisms.  The bass player looked like he stepped right out of a reggae concert.  His playing was clean and in the style of traditional jazz.  Like the guitarist, he played the music but did not distract from Anderson and Ponty.  Finally, the keyboardist is the biggest mystery.  His playing, when allowed to expand, was very jazzy, but I felt that he was not particularly creative in his arrangements and approach.  His best playing was his jazzy piano playing.  His keyboard-synthesizer playing was the weakest part of his playing.  In my review of APB’s album (see here), one of my criticisms was that it was far too twee.  After seeing them live, I have come to realize that one of the biggest culprits causing the twee sound is the keyboardist because his keyboard sound is so light, airy, and, honestly, cheesy.   This description may not be helpful to all readers, but his keyboard/synthesizer sound is more eighties than Rick Wakeman‘s was in the 80’s.

In terms of the sound mix, thankfully the violin and Anderson’s vocals were louder than everything except maybe for the pounding drums.  The keyboard was loudest after that followed by the bass, the guitar, and whatever Anderson tried to strum at a given moment.  The bass player and guitarist offered background vocals but they may as well have had their microphones switched off as they were nearly completely inaudible.

The songs on the album that were played at the show (and all of them were) all sounded basically like the album, which stands to reason as the album was a live recording.  The only differences I can remember is that the solos were sometimes a little longer), the bass player played the acoustic guitar intro to “Roundabout” on the bass (this intro was omitted on the album), and the band added the instrumental section of “Eclipse” to the end of its version of “And You And I” (also omitted from the album).  “Eclipse” was appended to the end this band’s version of “And You And I” (and lacked the steel guitar) and, I thought, was one of the most powerful, dramatic, and emotional portions of the show and it is regrettable that it was omitted from the album.

When it comes down to it, this show was really a tale of two concerts, with the line of demarcation being the intermission.  The first half was, more-or-less, in the style and sound of the APB album and my comments and criticisms about that portion of the show are basically the same as those I had for the album (see here).  Enigmatic Oceans, which was played during the first half of the show and does not appear on the album, prefigured what was to come in the second half.

The second half of the show moved away from the twee and song based approach of the first half and went headlong into a new-age-jazz-fusion direction that was extremely well performed and musically and sonically very interesting.  The keyboardist, notably, focused more on his piano than the keyboard during the second half which contributed significantly to the overall change in sound, tone, and form.  Moreover, the guitarist played acoustic guitar for several of the pieces.  So, between acoustic guitar, piano, violin, and voice, you had the makings of a very interesting sound in the new-age-jazz-fusion style.  One of the highlights for me was “Long Distance Runaround,” which really revealed the impact that arrangement can have on a song.  The original Yes song is a classic song with multiple, and fast moving, contrapuntal lines.  By contrast APB presented it without any of its traditional instrumental trademarks (e.g.: the walking bass, the bouncy piano, or the punctuated guitar).  Instead, APB turned it into a contemplative jazz piece which, if it were not for the vocal melody, I would never have guessed that it was “Long Distance Runaround.”  As an aside, it is this sort of cover of a song that I really like; why simply play someone else’s song when you can make it your own?  “State of Independence” was very powerful and quite a surprise that Anderson would try and mine that part of his career with APB.  That song is a classic that is often overlooked when thinking about Anderson and/or Yes because too many assume it is a Donna Summers song (see here).  This song, too, was a brilliant reworking.  The original (and even Summers’ version) had a terribly 80’s sound with the drum machine and synthesizer (which has an almost midi type sound) and cheesy 80’s saxophone lines.  APB transformed the song into a fast paced and powerful jazz rock song.  Fantastic.  The Ponty pieces were presented more in line with how he recorded them, which makes sense as the members of the band played with him before and they were, more-or-less, presented in the same style in which they were written.  Anderson composed and sang lyrics over some of his music.  The pieces featured long and mesmerizing instrumental sections led by the violin and it was here that the drummer’s talent really came to the fore.  The instrumental sections really showed off the musicianship and prowess of the band and their ability to tastefully, yet intensely, show off their chops while remaining musical and interesting.

The audience was really into the show the entire night.  At this point in their career, and considering the size of the venue (~1000 seats), the audience seemed to have a direct relationship with Anderson and Ponty while they were on stage that perhaps would not have been there when in their prime (when they still had an image protect and project) and/or in bigger arenas where the audience and musicians are too geographically remote.  So the band, particularly Anderson, interacted personally with members of the audience the entire evening.  Anderson’s birthday was two days before the show, so there were a lot of cries of “Happy Birthday!” throughout the show (to one of them Anderson responded with “Merry Christmas!”).  Before introducing “Infinite Mirage,” Anderson starting speaking of “infinity” in a typical Andersonian-spiritual sort of way and someone shouted “You’re getting heavy Jon!” and Anderson responded with “not yet it’s too early!”  He really seemed to have fun and truly appreciate and feel the love the audience had for him.

Over all it was an excellent show and great way for Yes fans to see Anderson in a band setting singing the classics.  As indicated above, the first half of the show was somewhat uninteresting and lightweight, but during the second half the band, and, indeed, its prog-rock potential, came through with some really great new-age-jazz-fusion arrangements and some furious playing.

Photographs:

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