An efficient souvenir of this year's reunion tour by the prog trio...
Chris Jones 2007
For Genesis fans the world over, this year's 'reunion' tour either fulfilled dreams or left them feeling distinctly short-changed. There's an undeniable schism between those who hold the Gabriel-era years as the band's apogee and those who either came to them in their later, commercially successful, period, or just weren’t bothered. Leaving all this aside, Live Over Europe at least attempts to placate both camps, containing as it does a fair smattering of earlier gems amongst the 'hits'.
Covering an age-defying 23 dates in the space of five weeks, Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford (joined by old hands Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson) were never going to be a shabby bunch, musically speaking. This is, after all, still prog, even if it manages to rein itself in for singles such as ''Turn It On Again'', ''Land Of Confusion'' or ''Throwing It All Away'' (a truly underrated piece of pop glory). Covering material from Selling England By The Pound to We Can't Dance (what, no Calling All Stations?); the band manage to cherry pick just about everything the crowd wanted to hear while shying away from the more gauche excesses of, say, a 20-minute ''Supper’s Ready''. Still, one can't help wonder at the somewhat snide decision that went into choosing to perform what was ex-guitarist Steve Hackett's defining moment on the excerpt from ''Firth Of Fifth''. Old school fans will be wondering what could have been had the 'classic' five piece settled their differences.
Collins' voice seems to have aged well and the playing’s as polished as you could hope for. What then is slightly mysterious is the production. Nick Davis' mixing perhaps strives too hard for audio verité in capturing the sound in all its echo-ey, stadium-filling glory. While good as a live souvenir for someone who was at any of the gigs, for anyone who wasn’t it just sounds a little too muddy and undefined for music this dependent on the skills on offer.
Still, for anyone who saw the spectacle, Live Over Europe will make a fine end-of-year souvenir to find in his or her Xmas stockings.