Unforgettable Gigs, Genesis: First US gig at Philharmonic Hall in New York 13/12/1972 - SPECIAL

The Concerts that made History.

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On December 13, 1972, Genesis landed for the first time in the USA, with a Christmas concert at the Philharmonic Hall in New York. Here is the story of those days. 


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By DB

Il Foxtrot Tour leaves on September 9, 1972 and touches the United Kingdom, Europe and North America

After touching France, England, Scotland, Eire and Wales, the Genesis land for the first time in the United States, for a troubled Christmas concert at the Philharmonic Hall in New York on December 13 1972, preceded by a live for a few students at Brandeis University in Boston two days earlier. Phil Collins, in his autobiography "No, I'm not dead yet", Mondadori, tells those days:

"As soon as we arrive we discover that our American manager, (...) has organized a concert for us at Brandeis University near Boston, Massachusetts. At lunchtime. So our first performance on American soil is an atrocious and hasty disappointment. . To New England students English rock, or at least ours, cares even less than we thought, and they seem more interested in their studies or their sandwiches. This does not bode well for Genesis' good fortune in the United States. 'America.

(...) As we approach New York for the first time, we are overwhelmed by the enormity of the metropolis that falls upon a group already beaten by the failure of Boston. But as you enter at dusk from the George Washington Bridge, the Manhattan skyline gradually lights up, illuminated by millions of lights. New York! We've seen it in the movies, and now we're here. (...) 

And then we go to Philharmonic Hall to test and discover a very big problem: the different electrical system in America implies that electromechanical instruments go to 60 hertz and not to 50 as in England. This means that the Mellotron (a new toy that we bought from King Crimson) and the Hammond organ are out of tune compared to the guitars. "

writes Mario Giammetti in Genesis. The river of constant change, Editori Riuniti

"Unfortunately there are a lot of problems: Philharmonic Orchestra director Leonard Bernstein is rehearsing all the elements and keeps the room occupied longer than expected, preventing Genesis from doing a decent soundcheck. Plus the technical drawbacks, including the differences. of voltage between Europe and the United States, not giving respite even this time to the point that even the quiet Mike arrives to throw the bass to the ground upon returning to the dressing rooms. Shortly before the concert, in fact, an amplifier breaks, replaced with another one rented in a hurry and fury which, however, will emit an annoying buzz throughout the concert, ruining the most delicate passages. "

Listen to i Genesis live at the Philharmonic Hall in New York:

Phil Collins again:

"We find an impromptu solution and, that night, we do the concert at the least worst possible way. It seems that the audience does not notice anything strange, but despite the five of us are synchronized in a telepathic way, for Genesis the concert is a mess. We get off the stage, we take the elevator up to the dressing rooms and the air is green with anger. Even years later, just naming that first New York gig puts us all on edge and brings back horrible memories. "

Mike Rutherford tells in his autobiography The Living Years, Arcana:

"The Rickenbacker bass I was playing emitted a hideous hum: I didn't hear a note all evening. The others didn't hear anything either and the feeling was that we were throwing away an opportunity. (...) Immediately after the show I hurled to the ground my bass in a fit of rage, cursing and cursing. "

A first stage in the United States that was not particularly successful, therefore, perhaps for the unripe times and the notoriety of the band still poor overseas, despite the expensive promotional campaign organized by the USA branch of the Charisma Buddah Records. Certainly the technical problems were of great importance. But, as Giammetti still remembers:

"(...) the reception from both the public and critics will instead be very favorable (also for the support group String Driven Thing), even considering the American move, perhaps premature as Genesis are still relatively well known in England and, Apart from Italy, they only made sporadic appearances in France and Belgium. "Our technicians were only able to enter the Hall after four, we had trouble with Mike's bass amplification and at a certain point my voice started to give up. I came home with the flu and the concert was one of the most foolish we have ever done. At the end I was very depressed but now thinking about it I'm happy because if we liked each other in those conditions who knows what will happen when we are in shape next time." (Peter Gabriel, Ciao 2001 14/7/73, «Very recent from London», Armando Gallo). "

Peter is right. Because the North American one is an experience that is repeated from 3 March, with some dates in the USA and Canada, this time with more success. Listen to the first concert:

The album Genesis live was recorded in February 1973 during the English part of the tour. 

Started on September 9, 1972, in fact, the tour ends on August 26, 1973 at the Reading Festival, UK. LISTEN TO THE GENESIS EXHIBITION:

Setlist of the tour:

  1. "Watcher of the Skies"
  2. "The Musical Box"
  3. "Supper's Ready"
  4. "The Return of the Giant Hogweed"
  5. "The Knife"

Other pieces performed during the tour:

  • "Can-Utility and the Coastliners"
  • "Get 'Em Out by Friday"
  • "The Fountain of Salmacis"
  • "Twilight Alehouse"

by DB

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