Genesis performing The Last Domino? Tour at The First Direct Arena Leeds on Monday 27th September 2021

Review by Kevin Cooper

Genesis said farewell last night at the First Direct Arena Leeds but without Steve Hackett, Peter Gabriel and Chester Thompson. Now what a farewell concert that would have been! But instead Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and with Phil Collins sitting front of stage and looking very vulnerable, went through The Last Domino? tour with support from bassist Daryl Steurmer, Collins’ 20 year old son Nic on drums and backing singers Patrick Smyth and Daniel Pearce.

It had been fourteen years since they had even played a single song together in public and in that time Collins has suffered significant health setbacks which have left him frail and unable to play the drums or even stand for extended periods of time, so he sat centre stage for most of the evening.

As the lights dimmed to leave the stage bathed in blue, the crowd stood to give them a warm and rowdy ovation as they walked on and took their places before the rousing instrumental Behind The Lines commenced proceedings, followed by the soaring power chords of Turn It On Again.

Collins was a spell binding singer and raconteur at his finest on the hauntingly dark 1983 hit Mama while bathed in red light over the pounding drums and creepy synthesisers. The arena rock hit Land Of Confusion may be thirty six years old but could have been about today with the screens behind the band showing videos of falling toilet rolls and suited masked protesters.

They dug out Fading Lights for the first time since 1992 and it was lovely to see the three of them performing it on their own. Per long standing tradition, songs from the Peter Gabriel era were largely relegated to instrumental medleys and only the truly faithful in the audience were likely able to discern the bits of The Cinema Show, In That Quiet Earth and Firth Of Fifth sprinkled throughout the set.

The crowd stood for Afterglow which was followed by an acoustic mini set that included That’s All, Follow You Follow Me which was a real highlight and a radically reworked The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway with the keyboard intro stripped away as was anything remotely progressive.

There was their slick mainstream 90’s hit No Son Of Mine, and I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) which showcased flawless musicianship, with Rutherford’s guitar melting into Banks’ synths and Nic Collins showing that he is very capable of holding his own.

The set itself was incredibly impressive with a moveable lighting rig that subtly changed shape to stunning effect, none more so than on Domino when giant moving dominos filled the screen. Throwing It All Away saw the video screens play out a slideshow of cassette spines and images from the history of the band. Even Steve Hackett was given some screen time.

Tonight Tonight Tonight was followed by main set closer Invisible Touch which had the audience on their feet singing along in pure rapture.

Much has been made of Collins’ frailty and at times his voice could have been stronger. But where he was straining or when the notes were no longer within reach or too intensive, he was ably supported by his two backing singers who helped move things along.

The encore opened with the inevitable I Can’t Dance, which defied the audience to do just that, before following up with the opening verse of 1973’s Dancing With The Moonlit Knight which flowed right into a sing along rendition of The Carpet Crawlers, which was essentially Collins saying goodbye to the fans.

At the end the newer members peeled silently away, leaving Rutherford, Banks and Collins centre stage; the crowd deafening with their appreciation. What a magnificent way to say goodbye if indeed that is what this was.