It’s time to coin a new term, experience bands. There are cover bands, those bands that perform songs of many different artists. There are tribute bands, those bands that specialize and perform the songs of just one artist. Then there are experience bands, many steps beyond a tribute band. Experience bands are bands that not only pay tribute to one artist, but due to painstaking research and a deep understanding of the music they are performing, these musicians allow their audience to relive the experience of having attended a live concert of the band to whom they are paying tribute. Such an experience band is The Musical Box, who will perform Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour performance at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 8:00 p.m..
Should you have been one of the lucky ones that saw Genesis perform The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in its entirety the last time it was performed in Phoenix, back in January, 1975, at the Phoenix Civic Center, you’ll have to travel just five blocks away from that location, down Adams Street to the Orpheum, see the performance recreated. Most likely, you’ll now see the vision of the show that Genesis intended for that tour, but due to the technology of the 1970’s, could never properly create.
The Musical Box, formed in Canada in the 1990’s initially to pay homage to the Genesis’ album, Selling England By the Pound, are five musicians who take on the roles of the members of Genesis that existed during the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis, Michael Rutherford, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. According to The Musical Box musical director Sébastian Lamothe, who performs the role of bassist/guitarist Michael Rutherford in the show, other than lead singer, Denis Gagné, who has the responsibility of recreating Peter Gabriel onstage, “it’s not so much a character that the guys in The Musical Box are playing. We’re really more musicians that are trying to develop and understand a specific personality in terms of musicianship. I’m not trying to talk like him or I’m not trying to do the exact moves like him kind of thing. It’s not like that kind of copy. We’re not trying to imitate in that sense. We’re really trying to go a bit beyond that and we’re really trying to understand the musical language.
For their recreation of the Genesis concert experience, The Musical Box has the full blessings of Genesis to perform The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Because The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is a copyrighted work by Peter Gabriel and Genesis, The Musical Box has obtained full licenses from Gabriel and Genesis to perform the work. According to Lamothe, “we were invited to their studio, The Farm and we were able to listen to the original tracks, the original tapes of the recordings, the original albums. Peter Gabriel was very gracious and helped us with a bunch of information. We had access to the original slide show, which The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway visual story is mainly supported by this huge, very complex visual setting with the slide projectors.” In other words, the performance of The Musical Box’s version of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, will be just how Genesis did it back on their tour in 1974-75 with slide shows, costumes and special effects included, but with the advancement of technology that may allow for less breakdowns than Genesis had when they tried to bring their rock theater on tour.
Tickets for the performance are still available through ticketmaster or via the Danny Zelisko Presents website and range from $48.95 to $53.95, fees included. With the possibility of any Genesis reunion of the Peter Gabriel era being nil, as Lamothe states “if this (the Peter Gabriel era) was important for you there is something called The Musical Box now and it’s quite alive and it’s keeping what a lot of people are attached to.”
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The Musical Box tour 2011
The Musical Box The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
The Musical Box
Article by: Ted Hansen Mesa Classic Rock Music Examiner