Live In Tokyo 1978 (Zeus Z-906001/2)
Nakano-Sun Plaza, Tokyo, Japan – December 2nd, 1978
Disc 1 (65:26): Eleventh Earl Of Mar, In The Cage, Burning Rope, Ripples, Deep In The Motherlode, One For The Vine, Squonk
Disc 2 (63:04): Say It’s Alright Joe, The Lady Lies, The Cinema Show / Afterglow, Follow You Follow Me, Dance On A Volcano / Los Endos, I Know What I Like
Genesis ended their most busy touring year to date with a six day trip to Japan at the end of November and the beginning of December. The December 2nd show at the Nakano-Sun Plaza in Tokyo is captured in a very good to almost excellent stereo audience recording capturing the entire performance much detail on stage and in the audience.
Live In Tokyo 1978 was manufactured by the Zeus label in 1999 and unlike their other titles is packaged in a gorgeous gatefold glossy cardboard sleeve with several photographs from the Japanese tour on the front and in the inlay. It is a tremendous effort by the label and one of the nicest Genesis titles ever produced.
Energy and momentum in any kind of performance is dependent upon the performer and the feedback they receive from the audience. The performer performs, the audience responds and a feedback loop is created giving life and a specific character to a performance. There is failure if the performer fails to connect with the audience and when that occurs any and all effort seems to be sucked into a vacuum.
Such is the state of this concert. The band try hard to win over this audience and the playing is competent on many levels. But the coolness of the audience kills any kind of excitement and, what happens in this performance, the band know it and loose steam about a third of the way into the performance.
It’s hard to say exactly what goes wrong in this show but it seems like the audience really want to hear the entire Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Not only is their biggest reaction reserved for “In The Cage” played so early in the show, but various people at times shout out requests from the extended piece.
The opening numbers sound great with a very melodramatic version of “Burning Rope” being a highlight, but about the time they hit “One For The Vine” the show becomes very stale and the worst moments are in the second half when they play lackluster versions of “Say It’s Alright Joe” and “The Lady Lies.” It is not to say this title is not worth having because, given the sound quality and packaging, it certainly is. And Genesis were such a tight band that they performances sound perfect. But it is a good example of what can go wrong in a live performance as well and is instructive in itself.