When Genesis announced a reunion tour, most fans rejoiced — after all, Phil CollinsMike Rutherford and Tony Banks hadn't played together since wrapping their 2007 Turn It On Again trek. But in a development highlighting the divided nature of this band's fanbase, other fans complained.

Collins, who has battled numerous health issues in recent years, will likely perform while seated — similar to the set-up on his recent solo tours. Meanwhile, former members Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett aren't part of the jaunt — meaning the set list will probably lean at least somewhat away from prog and toward pop. The Facebook groups and Twitter threads have been full of lively (and often heated) debate.

Now five UCR writers are throwing their voices in the mix. Below, we tackle four tour-related subjects: our dream set lists, what solo songs might work during the shows, what tracks could feature a Gabriel/Hackett cameo and what album would be best front to back onstage.

What's your dream 20-song Genesis set list?

Ryan Reed:

Keep in mind, this isn't my list of 20 favorite Genesis songs. It's also not my dream set list for a lineup featuring Gabriel and Hackett. I tried to keep in mind what songs would work best for the current group, though I still threw in some proggy favorites and left-field choices that they'll obviously never play again.

"Mama"
"Behind the Lines"
"Abacab"
"Back in N.Y.C."
"Domino"
"Dancing With the Moonlit Knight"
"Dance on a Volcano"
"Man of Our Times"
"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
"Duchess"
"The Musical Box"
"Firth of Fifth"
"Evidence of Autumn"
"The Carpet Crawlers"
"Supper's Ready"
"Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers…"/"…In That Quiet Earth"
"It"
"Paperlate"
"No Reply At All"
"Follow You Follow Me"

Matt Wardlaw:

Genesis has such a fantastic catalog, and I think there's always a feeling that they could go deeper with the setlist than they do. Like so many groups and artists, they're in a difficult position with a lot of hits they have to play, while also looking to satisfy the longtime fans who want more than that. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Nic Collins indicated that there are some interesting possibilities on the table. He mentions the difficulty of learning the last 10 minutes of "Supper's Ready," as one example. So how deep will they go? History suggests they'll probably play it safe. But they could take a page from the Rush playbook and have a few rotating set lists to spike in some rarely (or never) played material. The following set list mixes essential hits with some more ambitious picks.

"Mama"
"Abacab"
"Follow You, Follow Me"
"Home By The Sea/Second Home By The Sea"
"The Carpet Crawlers"
"Watcher of the Skies"
"Dancing With The Moonlight Knight"
"Supper's Ready"
"No Son of Mine"
"Land of Confusion"
"Keep It Dark"
"On The Shoreline"
"Tonight Tonight Tonight"
"Ripples..."
"Firth of Fifth"
Drum Duet (Nic and Phil)
"Los Endos"
"Invisible Touch"
"I Can't Dance"
"The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway"

Nick DeRiso:

It’s a little more Collins heavy than I might have liked, but that's the era they’ll inevitably focus on.

"Turn It On Again"
"The Carpet Crawlers"
"Firth of Fifth"
"Home by the Sea"
"Deep in the Motherlode"
"Eleventh Earl of Mar"
"Ripples..."
"Watcher of the Skies"
"Driving the Last Spike"
"Man on the Corner"
"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
"No Son of Mine"
"Supper's Ready"
"Mama"
"Your Own Special Way"
"Keep It Dark"
"The Knife"
"Domino"
"Afterglow"
"Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"

Rob Smith:

"Squonk"
"In the Cage"
"The Carpet Crawl"
"Afterglow"
"Mama"
"One for the Vine"
"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"
"Firth of Fifth"
"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"
"Supper's Ready"
"...The Musical Box (Closing Section)"
"The Cinema Show"
"Dodo"/"Lurker"
"Abacab"
"Misunderstanding"
"Your Own Special Way"
"Hold On My Heart"
"Home By the Sea"
"Second Home By the Sea"

Encore: "Turn It On Again"

Three sets and an encore. First set is built around a lot of Seconds Out, which I love dearly, with a couple other songs (like "Mama" and "In the Cage") slotted in. Prog City, and it'd be really cool. While the people interested in just the hits head out for beers, the rest of us storm the Gold section and take their seats.

The second set is built around "Supper's Ready," for the hell of it.

The third set has shorter songs and ends with the "Home By the Sea"/"Second Home By the Sea" tandem from the '83 record. "Turn It On Again" is the encore, because of course it is.

Allison Rapp:

(in no particular order)
"The Musical Box"
"Watcher of the Skies"
"For Absent Friends"
"That's All"
"I Can't Dance"
"Domino"
"Dance on a Volcano"
"Ripples..."
"Back in N.Y.C"
"Lilywhite Lilith"
"White Mountain"
"Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
"Follow You Follow Me"
"Supper's Ready"
"Fireside Song"
"The Knife"
"Dancing with the Moonlit King"
"No Son of Mine"
"Since I Lost You"
"Carpet Crawlers"

If Genesis agreed to play one song from the members' solo/side projects, which would work best?

Reed: "In the Air Tonight" would obviously go down well — it fits perfectly with the quiet-to-loud dynamics and creepy aesthetics of "Mama" and other early '80s favorites. But since I'm just that guy, I'd probably go with something more obscure that still fits their trio vibe — probably a Banks track like "Lion of Symmetry" or "This Is Love." (Obviously I know they, including Banks, would laugh at the idea of playing that stuff.)

Wardlaw: It seems highly unlikely, but if they were to go down that road, I'd love to hear "Silent Running" from Mike + The Mechanics, "Angel Face" from Tony Banks' solo work — both seem like songs that Collins could tackle vocally. From a "hit" perspective, one could make a strong case for the Mechanics' "The Living Years" getting the best audience reception. For Collins' own catalog, why not keep it loose and fun and go with "Sussudio"?

Smith: I don't follow Rutherford or Banks as solo artists, so I'd go with one of two Collins numbers: either "I Missed Again" from Face Value (which sounds like an Abacab outtake, and may very well have been) or "Inside Out" from No Jacket Required (which, if the drums are mixed properly, would be a real boomer live).

DeRiso: Anthony Phillips — “Which Ever Way the Wind Blows,” a song that began sessions for his long-awaited post-Genesis record, The Geese & the Ghost, and notably featured Rutherford. Steve Hackett — same deal: "Shadow of the Hierophant” also found Rutherford sitting in on a project which arrived while Hackett was still a frustrated member of a group quickly winnowing down to the current trio format. Peter Gabriel — "Solsbury Hill," despite the fact that it’s actually about leaving all of this behind.

Rapp: I'm partial to Gabriel's So album, and I'm also a firm believer in the idea that if you're a big enough band, you owe the audience at least a couple of hit songs per concert. I think the band as a whole could do something pretty cool with a rendition of Gabriel's "Sledgehammer." It could be arranged in a million different ways to highlight the other members.

If Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett agreed to a live guest spot on one song, what would you pick?

Reed: Anything from the Gabriel era would be incredible, but I'd pick "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight." It's already a perfect showcase for both the former members, and the singer already teased a portion of the song during his solo tour with Sting. Wouldn't that be fate?

Wardlaw: It would be a powerful moment to have the pair come out during the encore and guest on "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway." That's probably the most obvious one — and I think you'd have to put it in the encore to not derail the rest of the show, because how do you follow that? "Watcher of the Skies" in that same position would also be awesome.

DeRiso: "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight,” by a mile. A typically sweeping early Genesis epic, this track provides a sharp commentary on contemporary England to the accompaniment of a prosaic piano signature from Gabriel and counterpoint 12-string guitar figures by Hackett. Then things go thrillingly haywire. It might be their most important close collaboration.

Smith: Man, pick any of the classic Gabriel-era stuff. "The Carpet Crawlers," "The Music Box," "Supper's Ready,""Firth of Fifth," "In the Cage." I realize I just listed five when asked for one. Let's go with "Supper's Ready," because it's 25 or so minutes, and I'd want that moment to last as long as possible.

Rapp: It seems to me that the most logical album to pluck from for a Gabriel/Hackett appearance would be Nursery Cryme, and maybe it would be inviting unnecessary chaos, but I'd definitely give them a shot at performing "The Musical Box." I love the dual 12-string interplay between Banks and Rutherford. (Although perhaps Gabriel could skip the fox costume this time.)

If this lineup decided to play one album from start to finish, what should it be?

Reed: It wouldn't really make much sense for the trio lineup to play any full albums from the Gabriel era — even if I (like a lot of fans) would enjoy seeing it. My favorite post-Gabriel album is probably Duke, partly because it balances their proggy and poppy sides so well, so I'd pick that.

Wardlaw: For the Collins/Rutherford/Banks lineup, Invisible Touch is probably the most viable move as far as a potential ticket sales driver. But if we're still dreaming, A Trick of the Tail top to bottom would be fun — or Duke!

DeRiso: Unfortunately, they couldn’t pull off A Trick of the Tail, the best album of the immediate post-Gabriel era, since Hackett is long gone. So we’re left with the best Genesis album after that – 1981’s Abacab. And it’d still be pretty great. After all, no classic-era prog-rock band, not even Yes, found a more perfect balance between what they’d always been about and this new decade’s sounds and innovations.

Smith: After our first roundtable, I went back and listened to Abacab and Duke, just because I hadn't heard either front to back in a while, and they're two of the best records the three-man lineup made. I'd probably go with Abacab, because it's probably the punchier of the two, and the songs are great.

Rapp: What it should be and what I would like it to be are definitely two different things. This is a pipe dream — I'm not even sure it would be physically or logistically possible — but if I got to choose, I'd want to hear The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Realistically though, it should probably be something a little less lengthy and a little more digestible, like Invisible Touch or We Can't Dance.

 

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