Genesis

The Way We Walk [DVD]

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Recorded in 1992 during Genesis' final tour with Phil Collins, The Way We Walk is initially most impressive for the sheer wealth of bonus extras that the double-DVD package provides. The concert itself is no more than a couple of hours long. But multi-camera options, a summer 2001 song commentary from the band members, and a collection of period (1992) interviews add up to an eight-hour extravaganza that should keep even the most demanding fan occupied for a while. It isn't necessarily the easiest task figuring out how to manipulate the cameras, but once mastered, they certainly bring a new dimension to what might otherwise be a fairly static performance -- 16 camera angles recorded the concert and a map of the auditorium allows the viewer to match them to any of four different views of the stage. With so much power at your fingertips, there are those who will sourly complain that such technology is wasted on this incarnation of the band. Eye-catching slides and a competent light show aside, true audio-visual extravaganzas were the preserve of their long-ago Peter Gabriel-led lineup, and the absence of all but a short medley's worth of his era's material should be sufficient to warn you that the band revere those memories a lot less than their oldest fans might. A 15-song set does, on the other hand, hit many of the highlights of the group's '80s work, with the then-fresh We Can't Dance album certainly dignified by enthusiastic renditions of a full 50 percent of its contents. Indeed, as the launching pad for the closing salvo of mega-hits, "I Can't Dance" itself sounds as supersonic as any of the numbers which follow it: "Tonight Tonight Tonight," "Invisible Touch," and the final "Turn It On Again." Of the other extras, a slide show of concert stills and a reproduction of the lavish tour program offer an entertaining diversion, but the live commentary track -- Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks talking together as the concert unfolds -- is probably the most illuminating and useful; Collins' confession, during "No Son of Mine," that "it makes you want to do it again" should certainly raise a few hopes for future band activities. Unfortunately, the trio do not always have much to say about what is happening on-stage, and the viewer will soon tire of the succession of private jokes, off-the-cuff observations, and indistinct mumbling that accompanies the bulk of the performance. Similarly, the novelty of the camera angles is not a lasting sensation and The Way We Walk winds up just as enjoyable with the remote control on the other side of the room, as it is with it clenched in one sweaty little fist. Genesis concerts, after all, are a spectacle to enjoy, not manipulate, and this serves up one of their latter-day finest.