A Trick Of The Stage (Highland HL319/20)
Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA – April 13th, 1976
Disc 1 (58:02): Dance On A Volcano, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield, Carpet Crawlers, The Cinema Show, Robbery Assault & Battery, White Mountain, Firth Of Fifth
Disc 2 (60:07): Entangled, Squonk, Supper’s Ready, I Know What I Like, Los Endos, It / Watcher Of The Skies
A Trick Of The Stage is Highland’s second attempt at producing the definitive silver pressed edtion of the April 13th, 1976 Pittburgh WDVE radio broadcast. This is an improvement over A Trick Of The Show (Highland HL 010/11#G1). And while the sound is generally excellent, there are instances of static in the mix, most noticable during “The Cinema Show.” Also, the encores are not complete since the tape cuts out right when they are making the segue from “It” to “Watchter Of The Skies.”
A better version was pressed several years after this on Definitive Trick (Virtuoso 059/060). The Virtuoso contains the compelte encore and lacks the heavy static.
“Dance On A Volcano” starts the show and afterwards Phil Collins greets the audience with, “Good evening Baltimore.” Realizing his mistake fast he yells: “Pittsburgh. What am I talking about Baltimore. Baltimore was last night. See you’re only forty miles away. Anyone here from Baltimore? Anybody from England? Any Canadians? French people? All from Pittsburgh, eh? Oh well…”
He refers to the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway medley as “Lamb Casserole” this evening and the delivery is breathless. It is well throughout with the contrast between the fast opening, the plodding and heavy “Fly On A Windshield” and ending with a sublime “Carpet Crawlers.”
Mike Rutherford speaks about One-Eye the scraggly wolf from Pittsburgh before “White Mountain.” Pittsburgh is one of the live and definitive recordings of this little dramatic narrative. Before “Firth Of Fifth” Collins introduces Bill Bruford to very loud applause, and jokes that Bruford told him he had family in Pittsburgh.
Steve Hackett’s introduction to “Entangled” speaks about Tony Banks and the Maria Callas school of synthesizer playing, referring to the high pitched solo he plays by the song’s end. Its transition into the much heavier “Squonk” is another dramatic highlight of the set. Collins’ tambourine is very loud in the mix for some reason, almost drowning out the other instruments.
Rutherford’s explication of the “tap daaaaaaaance” for Collins precedes “Supper’s Ready.” “Did you know you’re on the radio tonight?” “WDVE” Collins says, telling everyone to give the radio audience a hand. The show ends with “Los Endos.” A Trick Of The Stage was great when it frist came out, but has since been superceeded. It’s packaged in a double slimline jewel case with various photos from the tour on the artwork.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)