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Posted at 5:53 PM ET, 08/30/2006

Bringing Genesis to Life

By Julia Beizer

We scope out more than our fair share of strange local events here at Guru Central, but yesterday, we came across one that really caught our attention.

Witness The Musical Box.

This Canadian group re-creates entire Genesis concerts from the years 1972-1975, when both Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins were part of the band.

The Musical Box will be performing two shows at the State Theater on Oct. 17 and 18. The first night brings 1973-74's Selling England By The Pound Tour to life; the second focuses on the Foxtrot tour.

Think I'm making this up? Check out their site. For $40 each night, you could find yourself living through the psychedelic spectacular that was a Genesis concert -- complete with costumes, sets, lighting design and, of course, Peter Gabriel's theatrical delivery of those rockin' 70s songs.

Early '70s Genesis was a little before my time, so I don't know too much about the tours from back in the day. Just listenting to a few clips from the Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound albums, though, it's clear that groovy '70s Genesis is way different than the pop-friendly "Invisible Touch" Genesis I came to know and love when I was 5. The early Genesis was a band committed to being taken seriously, as a rock-and-roll band and as a stage show.

So maybe I'm missing something when I see a $40 ticket price as way too much for a tribute band concert. Granted, the Musical Box has invested a lot of time and money in checking out newspaper clippings, videos, photos and slides in order to re-create the entire Genesis experience. If the reviews on its Web site are any indication, the musicians do what they do quite successfully. But why pay $40? Aren't you going to get less of a show for your money when you check out a tribute band? Isn't that part of the fun?

What say you, Guru readers? What really makes a tribute band worth it? Is this Peter Gabriel wannabe too hard to resist?


By Julia Beizer  | August 30, 2006; 5:53 PM ET
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I think you're looking at this the wrong way; instead of a tribute band, it's more like a night of theater.

As an example, the recent visit of the touring company of Spamalot didn't have any of the big name stars from the Broadway run, and yet ticket prices were huge -- $100 for a decent seat on a Tuesday evening? And that's to see a faux version of what you'd see in NYC!

But most people don't really look at it that way. A musical like Spamalot exists outside its actors; if it didn't it would never be performed again.

From a classical music perspective: should the compositions of Paganini never be played again because they're not played by the man himself?

To call this simply a tribute band is to miss the point that, whether or not they were wildly pompous and/or arrogant, the prog rockers of the 70s really believed that what they were making was art on the level of classical music and that it would stand the test of time. If, in fact, The Musical Box can command a $40 ticket price for a mere "tribute band," perhaps the proggers had a point...

Posted by: jburka | August 30, 2006 10:04 PM | Report abuse

The selling England by the Pound concert by the Musical Box would be $40 well spent. I have seen most/all major rock bands and this show is top notch. Seeing Suppers Ready is worth the price alone. I have my tickets for both shows in Buffalo ( Foxtrot/SEBTP ) but thing SEBTP show is best. Don's be left out!

Posted by: badan | September 5, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

You're an idiot who needs to go back to grad school.

Posted by: Bill | September 12, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Don't knock the-- pop-friendly "Invisible Touch" Genesis I came to know and love when I was 5-- that is some good stuff!

That being said, I agree with the Spamalot analogy, and just might check out one of the shows

Posted by: philfan | September 12, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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