Concert Review: Genesis – The Last Domino? Tour, Charlotte, NC

Review of Genesis – The Last Domino? Tour from Charlotte, NC on Nov, 20th, 2021

Genesis – The Last Domino?
Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC- Nov. 20th, 2021
Review by: Roie Avin
Featured Image by: Craig Hunter Ross

There was so much anticipation for this concert. More than I can recall in many years. Not only because it was the first concert I would be attending in 20 months, but this was perhaps the last time the legendary Genesis would be touring, and the last time I would see a band that had helped shape prog and pop rock for decades. Much has been said about Phil Collins’ health and at times recently on TV, it has looked both worrisome and sad. But in watching videos of previous shows online, it looked like he was up to the task and reviews had been favorable. So how did the iconic frontman and the band fare in Charlotte, North Carolina?

The partially masked audience filtered in nearly an hour before the show even began, while the lines at the merch stands wrapped around the concessions. The fan base, albeit slightly on the older side, had come out in full force. No doubt, for many others, this was their return to a concert setting as well.

The band took the stage approximately at 8:15pm with no opening act and immediately kicked in to the perfect opening refrains of “Behind The Lines” which led into “Turn It On Again.” As the drums joined in, the enormous screens behind the band presented the trio of Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and Phil. Yes, Phil was sitting, and looked older, but as soon as the voice kicked, there was a feeling of comfort that this was going to go ok. The earlier part of the show ran through some hits like ‘Mama” and “Land of Confusion”, as well fan favorites “Home by the Sea” and the combined trio of “Fading Lights/The Cinema Show/Afterglow”, which was the highlight of the show to that point. While Collins struggled with parts that required extra power like in “Mama”, he was that much more sincere and brilliant with songs like “Fading Lights” and “Afterglow.”

Throughout the show, Collins talked to the crowd, entertaining with jokes and stories leading into songs. You could tell the crowd was rooting for him and willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. And he was as engaging and charming as he had always been, just from a chair.

The band then all came forward to the front of the stage for three stripped down tracks: “That’s All”, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”, and “Follow You, Follow Me.” The three songs worked great with those new arrangements and provided a great opportunity for fans to join in and sing along.

The UK shows had the band performing the Duke album deep-track “Duchess,” however, in the first few US shows the band had swapped that track out for the more well-known “Misunderstanding.” But on this night the band would bring back “Duchess,” which was easily one of the highlights of the evening. Collins sounded brilliant, and the visuals were extraordinary. From there, they continued with a mix of hits and favorites including “No Son of Mine”, “Firth of Fifth”, “I Know What I Like” and the epic “Domino.” This segment of the show seemed to be where Collins really hit his stride, his voice gaining in power and confidence. The last few songs of the main set were the band’s biggest hits: “Throwing It All Away”, “Tonight, Tonight Tonight” and of course, “Invisible Touch.”

Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks were as solid as ever, playing each note as you remember it, and long time touring member Daryl Stuermer showed why he continues to be the band’s go to member after all these years. Perhaps the underrated star of the show was Phil’s son Nic Collins on drums. He was absolutely captivating, playing all of his father’s parts with precision, power and feel.  Additionally, the sound and visuals were outstanding and helped elevate the performances of the each song.

The encore consisted of the 90’s era hit “I Can’t Dance” and “Carpet Crawlers” which was preceded with the opening a capella portion of “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight.” Those two songs perhaps perfectly epitomize the uniqueness of this band that has one of the most diverse catalogs in music. They have just as many fans of the early prog period now as they do fans of the 80s and 90s hits when the band was at their peak. Yet somehow they are able to find the special balance to make an evening that can make both happy. This is the band’s greatest legacy and why they mean so much to so many people.

This was a special evening. It maybe wasn’t the band in their prime, but it didn’t matter. Our heroes will not be around forever, so it is special to enjoy these moments for what they are, a trip down nostalgia road, and a celebration of one of the greatest bands to ever exist. Maybe if we’re lucky they will still find one more time to come around. But if not, thank you to Phil, Mike, and Tony, for the decades of incredible music and for letting us revel in their genius one last time.

Here are some highlights from the show:

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/genesis/2021/spectrum-center-charlotte-nc-7b8a12f4.html

11 comments

  • Glad they decided to entertain the fans, dust off classic songs, get Nic Collins out with Mike, Tony and dad.
    I know Robert Plant refuses a Led Zepp tour, and as an artist we have to respect that. His reasoning:”Artists don’t paint the same picture repeatedly” is fine, but the love and support LZ, Genesis, YES, Kansas, etc fans have makes it pretty easy to know these bands are always welcomed and appreciated.

  • As much as I love Genesis, and I am a big fan, I can’t hear and see Phil Collins like this. His voice is weak and awful. He looks old and sickly. It really makes me cringe. Maybe if you don’t have a good ear for music you wouldn’t notice but I do and it’s horrible.

  • Those are HIGHlights? Phil can’t sing despite the songs being many tones below their original keys. I loved And Then There Were Three, but clearly they would have done the songs credit with Ray Wilson or even Peter Gabriel. I mean the keys to the songs aren’t even close to what they were originally – meaning that the energy is sucked out of them. The band are fine (Nic is okay, not awesome IMHO), but not being allowed to play the songs in their original keys must be a drag for them. A final blowout with Steve and Peter would be the way to go out. The singing to me is bad karaoke. Sorry, the more I watch, the more I cringe.

  • As a lifelong fan of Genesis (aside from most of the 80’s pop “hits”), I just can’t watch this. Steve Hackett and his band have done the Genesis music that matters a thousand times more justice with a highly energetic show. I can’t help but think that Mike and Tony are just jealous of this and have somehow convinced Phil (against his own health, no less!) to traipse around for one more lap to simply compete with Steve. The problem is that at this point, they can’t even come close. Sorry, but any positive reviews seem more like a sympathetic smile to an elderly relative than an enthused response to a great show with energetic musicianship. Hackett’s “Seconds Out + more” tour is out in full force – buy that ticket and treat yourself to these songs like they should be heard and played!

  • Just saw them in Philly…had to leave after seven songs…it was that bad…and I love Genesis. The lowered keys and Phil’s flat voice really made the music unlistenable and Mike and Tony looked like they were laboring to get through the songs at those lower keys. No energy. You’ve got to know when it’s time to hang it up and this is the time. The music Phil, Tony, and Mike gave us the last 40 years is unforgettable. Last nights concert was also unforgettable for the wrong reason.

  • Isn’t normal that the first reaction to the announcement of a tour by the three long standing members of Genesis be: who needs money that much? A big tour to play the same old songs? No new material? Nothing new to say? This is a sad state of affairs. And let us be honest, they became a pop band long ago and left the “progressive” writing behind. Yes, they became mainstream and survived the 1980’s contrary to many other bands. But at what cost?
    I have seen King Crimson live 4 times since their return to live performance in 2014. They changed the arrangements of their catalogue, added drummers, composed new music, and included improvs in their set. While there is not a humongous crowd attending each night – compared to the Genesis crowds – the music is vibrant, impactful, challenging, interesting, and will knock your cocks off.

  • Just returned from the GENESIS CONCERT HERE IN PITTSBURGH..OUTSTANDING MUSICIANSHIP PHIL COLLINS VOICE SEEMED TO GET STRONGER AS THE SHOW WENT ON SET LIST WAS PHENOMENAL

  • The comments so far seem entirely too negative for what this was from the beginning. Are they old? Yes. Are they not the same; absolutely. But get an f’ing life. YOU could NEVER do what they’ve done for 10 minutes! Give them a break you losers ! Don’t call yourself Genesis fans if you really aren’t! The three of them are 72/71 and Phil especially has had a lot of health issues.
    So, for you to rag on them for this -you are the lowest form of life on planet earth!

  • I was at the Charlotte show as well – yes it wasn’t the London Lyceum show or Wembley but it was a fun night to enjoy some of my favorite songs with the artists who wrote them. Blew my mind watching Tony play Cinema Show only half watching his hands. Just wish I could remember the whole show spotlessly! From the other videos I’ve seen it looks like we got one of the best performances both from Phil and the band. Looking forward to seeing Hackett’s show in April and hoping Peter will tour his upcoming album to fill the set!

  • We saw Genesis in a packed Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on monday 21 march. Mike, Tony, Nic (!) and support really rocked the placed. Yes, Phil was struggeling at times – had trouble keeping up – but I loved every minute of it. ‘Mama’ just was just a little bit extra spooky. The love is still there, between Phil and his music. I really, really hope they will come back next year.

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