Genesis

Live at Wembley Stadium

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

No matter how popular Genesis became during the 1980s, it is difficult to deny that their live show was seldom more than a disappointment. First time around, in 1976, with Phil Collins still finding his feet, there was a certain drama to watching the band, along with the hope/fear that the entire conceit might stumble badly. But a decade later, experience and complacency had combined to create a beast that still ranks among the most bloated dinosaurs ever to stomp around the arena concert circuit -- which is one hell of an accomplishment if you consider the strength of the competition. So this show...well, if you genuinely liked Genesis in the late '80s, if you truly found Collins charming and his bandmates interesting, then three guys and their sidemen put on an enjoyable show. Especially if you don't particularly care that the repertoire was so geared toward the crowd-pleasers that you could be listening to the records half the time. There's no danger here, no sense of adventure, and not even a hint of the musical heights that the band was capable of reaching, even this late in the day. Indeed, rumors that the always effervescing "In the Cage" medley went unrecorded because the crew was changing film canisters at the time would seem to sum up the lackadaisical approach to this particular project. It was the best thing the band played all night, and they missed it. Never mind -- at least they caught the drum duet. So 14 songs include all the hits, no surprises, and -- just to ram the antiseptic even further down your throat -- the most extravagant part of the stage set is the video screen that projects the on-stage inaction to the back of the nosebleeds. Have we suffered enough yet?

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