Everyone knows a few progressive rock bands: Pink Floyd, Yes, and Rush. Each of these groups created epic bodies of boldly original music. But one progressive band, though well-known and popular, often gets overlooked: the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis. The truth of the matter is that the Gabriel era was arguably the most progressive band of their type. Between 1971-1975, the group operated with an unparalleled devotion to making albums that were as conceptually complete as they were sonically complex. When coupled with the band’s grandiose stage show, few could compete with what Genesis was doing at the peak of their creative years.
While the Genesis of the ’70s dealt in double-necked guitars, flute solos, elaborate costumes, and 25-minute epics, the period following Peter Gabriel’s tenure had the band veering — or spiraling downward — in a less progressive direction that eventually alienated guitarist Steve Hackett enough that he left the band in 1977. Hackett’s departure saw former drummer turned frontman Phil Collins deliver the remaining members to the “land of confusion” and subsequent MTV fame — ironically enough alongside Peter Gabriel’s (the solo artist) iconic 1980s claymation nightmares.
The bad news here: you have been hipped to the ultimate dark horse of prog-rock that was Gabriel-era Genesis; the odds of you ever having the opportunity to see the classic lineup live is extremely unlikely. While the members of said lineup have flirted with reunion several times, negotiations generally saw Peter Gabriel spoiling the potential fun with a perennial case of cold feet, and unfortunately, Phil Collins can no longer play the drums due to a debilitating back injury resulting from surgery. The good news: Fans of all things progressive in South Florida have a chance to see the next best thing on Wednesday night in the form of Genesis tribute group, The Musical Box.
The Musical Box is far removed from your typical near-karaoke tribute act: the band has received the official blessing of the former members of Genesis, and has even had several of them as guests in the audience and onstage. What exactly comes with the mighty blessing of Gabriel, Hackett, Banks, Rutherford, and Collins? Access to the band’s original slide shows and master recordings, something that affords the Musical Box the ability to pick apart even the most minute details of the complicated productions. As such, the Musical Box has been performing near carbon-copy performances of the classic era’s live show and albums (cover to cover) for 20 years. Think of the Musical Box as a synthetic version of ’70s Genesis, with all of the attention to detail one would expect of prog-rock fans in the first place. The Montreal-based group will be performing Peter Gabriel’s final album with Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, at the Hard Rock Seminole Casino in Hollywood. Below is a video of Phil Collins performing with the Musical Box prior to his injury.
Where: Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood)
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 2
Price: $39 and up
– By David Von Bader