Definitive Chicago (Siréne-207)
Uptown Theatre, Chicago, IL – October 13th, 1978
Disc 1: Intro., Eleventh Earl Of Mar, In The Cage, Burning Rope, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight/The Musical Box, Ripples, Deep In The Motherlode, One For The Vine, Squonk
Disc 2: Phil talking, Say It’s Alright Joe, The Lady Lies, Romeo and Juliet story, The Cinema Show/In That Quiet Earth, Afterglow, Follow You Follow Me, Dance On A Volcano, drum duet, Los Endos, I Know What I Like, after the show Phil interview
Limited bonus cdr, Brand X, BBC Sessions. BBC Radio, London, UK – July 15th, 1976: Why Should I Lend You Mine, Malaga Virgin. BBC Radio, London, UK – February 26th, 1976: Kubil Blitz, Born Ugly, The Ancient Mysteries
Near the start of the And Then There Were Three tour Genesis played at the Stadium in Chicago. They were unhappy about their sound at the Stadium and so returned to play the smaller venue the Uptown Theatre by the end of the tour. WXRT in Chicago broadcast the concert on the air that night and the two and a half hour show ended with a seven-minute interview with Phil Collins discussing the tour and the broadcast.
The broadcast resulted in a great sounding early release on vinyl called From The Mouth Of The Monster on Atlantis (GTT 78), a ninety-minute recording spread over two LPs. Compact disc releases include Follow You Follow Me on Great Dane Records (GDR CD 8918), Live In Chicago 1978 on Golden Stars (GSCD 2104/1-2), Live and Alive with Genesis and Phil Collins (IMT 900.019/20) on the infamous IMTRAT label, and Live at Uptown Theatre Chicago International Pop (INP023, INP024).
A source that claims to be from the WXRT reels, including the post-concert interview, surfaced and was released on Master Of Chicago (HL446/447) on Highland. The final note of “Ripples” is missing and the complete source on Follow You Follow Me was used to complete the track. Two fan-based releases on SAB and BURP also exist and circulate among Genesis collectors and Sirene most likely is a copy of SAB 05 volume 2.
The sound quality of Sirene just as good as the Highland. The label may have increased the volume a bit but the result is still an amazing three-dimensional stereo soundboard recording that is very close to perfection. “Ripples” is still incomplete and again the final note of the song is supplied from the Great Dane release in a seamless edit. There are three station IDs present on the tape, after “The Musical Box”, “Squonk” and “Afterglow” and a member introduction by the DJ at the end of “Los Endos”.
Between 1976-1981 Genesis were almost always on the radio with each tour producing at least two or three excellent quality broadcasts. This is one of the best concerts from the “interim” period between the “progressive” Gabriel and the “eighties pop” Collins eras. They have always excelled in narrative song writing and they sing about a whole host of interesting characters and take the audience through several different vignettes.
“Eleventh Earl Of Mar” is a high-energy opener followed by a frenetic “In The Cage”. “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” makes a brief return to the set and is edited into the closing heavy section of “The Musical Box.” Phil goes go great pains to teach the audience when to cheer and boo to his pantomimes before “The Lady Lies” (“People are going to think we’re not going down well!” he quips).
“The Cinema Show”segues seamlessly into “In That Quiet Earth” which runs into “Afterglow” as per the studio version.The majestic “Afterglow” is followed by the Brazilian beats of “Follow You Follow Me” which was their big hit of the day. The finale begins with an aggressive version of “Dance On A Volcano” where Collins really spits out the lyrics (“Holy mother of GOD!!!) and leads into the drum duet between him and Thompson. This feature does not translate well on boomy audience recordings with the duet becoming lost in the general mush of sound.
But the clarity of this recording offers a detailed glimpse into Thompson’s and Collins’ contribution. This leads into “Los Endos” and “I Know What I Like”, which includes the “Stagnation” interlude, is the encore. The interview is interesting with Phil explaining the came back to Chicago because they were not happy with the sound mix at the Stadium, their impending first ever tour of Japan, and plans for recording the new album.
Definitive Chicago is an excellent release by Sirene which is an upgrade over the Highland. But the presentation is superior since it is printed on glossy paper with pictures from the tour. The Highland is also one of their more popular titles in their catalogue and is difficult to find, so this is another opportunity to pick up this essential show. The limited bonus cdr is the Brand X’s BBC sessions. This was Phil’s mid seventies jazz-fusion side project and this presents two of their many appearances on the BBC. These recordings surfaced in 1997 and are pristine sounding documents.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)