In early April 2022, the longtime Canadian rock band The music Box will hit the road again with a deluxe staging of the classic 1974 concept album Genesis as a double LP The Lamb Lays Down on Broadway.
This famous Genesis legacy band – known for their authentic recreations of the legendary early 1970s Genesis live production – are planning an extensive tour of nearly 100 cities in North America, the UK and Europe. And the tour – which will begin soon, on April 7, 2022, in Sherbrooke, Quebec – will continue until February 2023.
Attend any Musical Box show – whether it’s a production of the lamb or others, like Sell England by the pound – is often described as stepping into a time machine. And this would be especially true for TMBs Lamb reenactments. Aside from the fact that the band and their production team now use cutting-edge technology that’s more reliable than clunky 35mm slide carousels and dodgy, old-fashioned Mellotrons, the “look-and-feel” and The sound of Genesis’ groundbreaking spectacle is faithfully reproduced with painstaking detail and a love for music.
After emerging in the mid-1990s with the full blessing of the extended Genesis family, the Montreal-based TMB tackled its first Lamb tour in 2000. This included set design, effects and costumes closely following those of Genesis’ last historic tour of 1974-75 with then vocalist/frontman Peter Gabriel. And a centerpiece of TMB’s restored show was an equally iconic three-screen rear-projection system for the 1,200 original Genesis-era 35mm slide frames.
With an exclusive license from Gabriel – history’s principal lyrical creator and licensee – TMB has taken the surreal and musical world from the shadows of the lamb touring a total of three times, performing over 300 shows in the process. These included the first tour 2000-2001, as well as two longer tours in the periods 2004-2006 and 2011-2013. Of course, in previous and intervening years, the band has continually presented other full-length Genesis albums and themed shows, including the cleverly curated 2018-2021 Music Showcases. Genesis Extravagances, I & II.
Every time with the lamb would have been a learning experience, with TMB not only honing its renditions, but also continuing to research historical/technical details to refine the shows even further. Since no official films of the 70s Lamb shows have never been captured, TMB was especially lucky to get a glimpse of archival photos and 8mm home movies shared by fans.
For those unfamiliar with the dense, character-rich story of the lambGabriel himself often described it as a morality tale – in his words, “a sort of The Pilgrim’s Journey” – set in a decidedly more “modern” era. The proverbial “hero” of this tale, named Rael, is a young Latin American rebel who leads a violent and hedonistic life on the streets and subways of New York, only to suddenly end up going through “some things”. himself. Karma, in other words.
Right from the start – when a giant “wall of death” descends on Manhattan and sucks the hero into an underworld of shadows, tunnels and cages – Rael encounters various eccentric characters and undergoes many soul-testing moments. . A bit like the character of Odysseus in Homer’s famous epic The Odyssey, Rael must confront his own character flaws and fatal demons, and eliminate them one by one. In the end, he learns that empathy and sacrifice can be his only salvations.
Earlier in the 1970s, Genesis had gained a reputation for a deeply fantasy-based style of progressive rock, with songs that were often long and complex, full of deep literary and mythical references, and even weird sci-fi twists. fiction. To some extent, this affected the lambboth Gabriel’s latest album and his tour with Genesis.
But, as told in the world of Genesis fans, the deeply impressionable Gabriel had been exposed to the controversial arthouse film Midnight. Topo (The mole) – itself a nightmarish story of personal transformation – at one point during Genesis’ 1973 US tour. And, at the same time, he had also observed things on US tours – perhaps even the punk scene emerging rock in mid-’70s New York – which had shaken him up and launched him in a new direction of storytelling.
TopoGabriel’s impact on Gabriel isn’t so hard to see when you learn that many of the film’s more bizarre elements and symbols – like a “big parade” of winding people, a group of alluring women, and an ominous crow – mysteriously jumped off the screen and resurfaced in his lyrics.
So, yeah, Gabriel quickly started designing a tougher character, in tougher circumstances, and, as a result, the Lamb the main character of the priapic graffiti artist in a leather jacket and wielding a knife was born in his mind. In contrast, Genesis bassist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks had offered a lighter option – a musical adaptation of the children’s book The little Prince — which Gabriel dismissed out of hand as “too twee.”
As his fellow band members busied themselves with writing the instrumental music apart from Gabriel in mid-1974, Rael’s mind-bending story seeped into his head and exploded in a torrent of emotion. and psychological narrative that, even today, fans are still struggling to understand. fully understand. (Even Gabriel continued to struggle with this. Years later, he would have even explored the task of none other than El Topo’s director Alejandro Jodorowsky with the translation the lamb at the Silver Screen, but the project did not come to fruition.)
To recreate the classic, hard-to-nail electro-acoustic Genesis sound of 12-string, double-necked guitars and amply stacked keyboards of the lamb, TMB plays the same brands of vintage guitars and amplifiers—but a few more modern keyboards—that Genesis had used. But the current band members also bring with them almost a lifetime of musical knowledge to perform Genesis’ deep and varied songbook. And, better still, they have a charismatic singer in the person of Denis Gagné, who convincingly evokes the changing silhouette and the thin and plaintive voice of the young Gabriel in his woes as Raël.
Gagné is joined on stage by the four instrumentalists who constitute the musical backbone of the lamb production. These include bassist/founding member/musical director Sébastien Lamothe, lead guitarist François Gagnon, drummer Marc Laflamme and keyboardist Ian Benhamou. In unison with the singer, the four musicians follow the original Genesis arrangements, without substitution or modification, delivering them with all the passion, desire and irony inherent in the original lyrics, music, arrangements and recordings. . Truly, every ingredient in the show – musical, technical and human – adds up to a sum greater than the whole.
Whether you’re a ‘golden age of prog’ fan who never experienced the magic of the ‘Gabriel years’, or even if you’ve seen The Musical Box before and can’t get enough of their crazy, musical “Wayback Machine”, then the next
Lamb The tour is one you will definitely want to plan to see. In fact, TMB having recorded so many Lamb performances along the way in their nearly 30-year career and Genesis completely retired from the stage, this time around could very well become the final chapter in the long and storied history of this epic musical adventure.
As Rael himself declares in the final song of the lamb story, “It’s here . . . It’s now!”
More information on Musical Box’s full tour dates can be found on the band’s website: https://www.themusicalbox.net