Cleveland Upgrade (Siréne-064)
Music Hall, Cleveland, OH – April 15, 1976
Disc 1: Dance On A Volcano, Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield, Carpet Crawlers, Cinema Show, Robbery Assault & Battery, White Mountain
Disc 2: Firth Of Fifth, Supper’s Ready, I Know What I Like, Los Endos, It/Watcher Of The Skies
That Genesis chose to broadcast several of their concerts on the Trick Of A Tail tour in 1976 was a very bold decision. They had just pulled through the loss of singer and star Peter Gabriel and the process of writing, rehearsing and recording the new LP left drummer Phil Collins as the front man. Genesis broadcast two of their concerts on the same week, in Pittsburgh on April 13th and in Cleveland on April 15th.
This show was scheduled to replace a postponed show in Columbus (subsequently played on April 19th) and broadcast over Cleveland’s famous free-form radio station WMMS and for the longest time only an hour was available and was utilized on many releases. “Squonk” and “Entangled”, two newer tunes interestingly enough, have never surfaced.
On October 30th, 1998 WMMS broadcast the entire show (still missing the two songs, however) and was booted by Highland as Two Down Three Left Twelve Complete (Highland HL 265/266). Ayanami, Sirène’s predecessor label, issued this tape again on A Trick Of The Band with the missing tracks taken from the Pittsburgh tape and also including various tracks from the following two tours. Cleveland Upgrade, the newest version of this show, comes from a rebroadcast on WMMS from 2002 and mastered by the Sirène people to be much louder and clearer than previous releases with some minor static present.
“Dance On A Volcano” is much heavier in this performance than in others I’ve heard despite a keyboard malfunction. “Good evening to all those taping in radio land…we know it goes on” Collins says before the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway suite called “Lamb cutlet” tonight. “Cinema Show” is strong and “Firth Of Fifth” contains yet another classic Steve Hackett solo, one of the best ever.
The “It/Watcher Of The Skies” encore is very clever and well executed. Thankfully it isn’t cut like many tapes from this era. The band also makes some obvious errors and loses some time signatures. The most well known mistake here occurs in “Supper’s Ready” when someone presses the wrong button in the “we will rock you little snake” portion and some unrelated music comes pouring out.
The temporary drummer for this tour, Bill Bruford, is perhaps the biggest asset for the band. He plays Collins’ parts, but adds many different fills throughout the show breathing new life into the classics. Bruford also adds many different “all-sorts” on percussion giving Genesis an almost Jaimie Muir-King Crimson vibe.
Genesis’ Trick Of The Tail tour is very well documented with several radio broadcasts, soundboards and excellent audience sources to listen to. Cleveland Upgrade is one of the better shows to listen to and this release could only be improved if the two missing tracks would someday see the light of day from the soundboard, or if an audience source were to surface and used to fix the gap.