The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – for the last time ever!
Saturday 15th July 2023 is the last opportunity for anyone, worldwide, to experience The Musical Box’s live production of the legendary Genesis show for The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. The performance will be as headliner of the Night Of The Prog Festival. The production includes the original staging, licenced from Genesis, including costumes, make-up, lighting and the legendary projections.
Canadian band The Musical Box aim to faithfully recreate the live shows of Genesis from 1972-1976 and perform them true to the original – because there are no complete, professionally recorded and published concert films from that time.
The Musical Box was formed in Canada in the mid-90s and focused on reconstructing the old Genesis shows and as new insights were gained, the shows were further refined. Alongside vocalist Denis Gagné and bassist Sebastien Lamothe, creative head Serge Morrissette is an integral part of the team.
Genesis themselves played the show for The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway around 100 times – but never recorded the show. Unlike, for example, the shows for Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound, no film recordings of usable quality exist, so that The Lamb Show remained a mystery for many (especially younger) fans, who could only see photos, bootlegs and smaller video snippets of poor quality.
The Musical Box are the only band ever to have a licence from Genesis and Peter Gabriel to perform this show live. Some of the equipment they use is original, while others have been replicated.
The Musical Box will perform the show in North America until June – after which they will return to Europe exclusively for the Night Of The Prog Festival. It will be the last opportunity to see the show live – before the licence expires.
In 2005, Phil Collins was a guest at the show in Geneva. He even sat down at the drums for the encore.
Phil said this about the show in 2005:
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends and Fans….
Well 30 years has whistled by and we find ourselves on a celebratory journey back to 1974 to rediscover that ancient work…. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.
I remember it like it was yesterday, the writing sessions in the rat infested Headley Grange, near Guildford… Pete in one room with a grand piano with sheathes of blank paper waiting to be filled with lyrics, every now and then joining the rest of us as we thrashed through various jams and unfinished pieces of songs that were floating around. The incredible day we “wrote” what was to become The Waiting Room… then titled Evil Jam, improvising wildly through our dictionary of the nastiest noises we could find, and then, when suddenly our “mood” shifted so did the weather outside, from thunder and pouring rain to sunshine and rainbows….. I guess you had to be there, but it WAS very special!!!
The recording at a Farm in somewhere in Wales. Us set up in a barn, with the Island Mobile parked by the pig sty….. John Burns ever ready with a roll up!!! Having more material than the time to finish it, we ended up doing 24 hour sessions at Island Basing Street Studios, now Sarm West (home of Frankie goes to Hollywood the Band Aid single to name but several). Racing to finish tracks so we could get it all wrapped up in time to go to America and play the entire double album before a bewildered public, who had not heard a note of it as it hadn’t been released yet!!! Now that WAS interesting!!!
It also leads me to why I’m writing this. The Lamb was never filmed for posterity. There are some very short patchy videos, very scratchy quality, taken by fans from an audience P.O.V…. but otherwise nothing to jog your memory, until now that is.
The Musical Box are a group of artists who have, over the years, painstakingly recreated various periods of the early Genesis years, with amazing accuracy and aplomb. In the early days, whenever we were invited to go to a bar to see a band playing some of our stuff, I was always amazed at how they actually played it BETTER than we did. Nowadays there are a few bands out there doing it, but right at the top of the pile are who you have come to see tonight…. The Musical Box.
I’ve heard of them for ages, but never gotten around to ACTUALLY see them. Having done so, I have to say it’s an eerie feeling because they have uncannily captured US BACK THEN in every way. Using the original back projection slides from our old show, they now have the advantage of technology unavailable to us back then. We probably only managed a handful of shows (at most) where everything worked as it should have done. Tonight, God willing, you’ll see the show as it should and could have been back then if the projector hadn’t caught fire, or if the operator hadn’t pressed the wrong button by mistake and fast forwarded the slides to the next song!!! Hey, this was the 70’s remember!!! Anyway I doff my hat to the lads and their crew…. they’ve picked up the baton and run with it, and it’s there for all to see. Enjoy it.
Phil Collins (the singing drummer)
Steve Hackett: (2002)
I can’t think of a better tribute to a band. Not only do they manage to sound like we did, but they also manage to look factually identical. It seems like nothing is too difficult for them.
Peter Gabriel: (2002)
The Musical Box reconstructed, very accurately I must say, what Genesis were playing at the time. I saw them in Bristol with my children so they could see what their father was doing then.
Tony Banks: (1998)
I saw a video of them and the man who’s doing Peter Gabriel is brilliant.
Mike Rutherford: (2002)
It was actually better than the original. It was great, it was fantastic.
Armando Gallo: (2000)
Love, passion, dedication and talent came together to make a dream come true: to recreate the magic of a legendary rock era.
The Musical Box features the following musicians (each with an indication of the “role” they embody):
Denis Gagne (Vocals) – Peter Gabriel
Sebastien Lamothe (Bass, Guitars) – Mike Rutherford
Marc LaFlamme (Drums, Percussion) – Phil Collins
Francois Gagnon (Guitars) – Steve Hackett
Ian Benhamou (Keyboards, 12 String Guitar) – Tony Banks
BACK IN 1974
In May 1974, the Selling England by the Pound tour completed, Genesis approaches its most ambitious project: writing and recording a concept album. Many ideas are proposed, including the story of The Little Prince. But finally, the band accepts Peter Gabriel’s proposal to write a contemporary story set in New York City, which he entitles The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The other musicians set up at Headley Grange in England to write the music. Genesis quickly realized that they had material not just for two, but three good sides, so they decided to produce a double album. Meanwhile, Peter writes the lyrics himself, with minimal help from his bandmates on just one or two songs.
The album is recorded in Wales in August 74 and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is finally released on November 22nd, 1974. Much work went into preparing the show and the entire new album would be performed live. The tour scheduled to start in October in England, is postponed when Steve Hackett injures his hand. The first concert is performed at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago on November 20th. After only five concerts, Peter Gabriel decides to leave the band at the end of the tour. Even though the tour is a success, mainly in Europe, Genesis finds that the production is not stable enough to be recorded, so the show is never filmed. After more than 100 Lamb shows [see complete list of tour dates here], Genesis performs its last concert with Peter Gabriel in May 1975 in France. In August 1975, the announcement of Peter Gabriel’s departure from Genesis was officially made.
It was the end of an era.
FROM DREAM TO REALITY
From the beginning of its project in 1993, it was obvious to The Musical Box that recreating The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour would be its greatest challenge.
In July 2000, The Musical Box received a 1-year licence from Genesis and Peter Gabriel to recreate The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in Canada. Never before had any other band obtained these precious rights. To fulfil its mission of accurately recreating the original tour, The Musical Box assembles extensive documentation, mainly in the form of more than a 1000 photos and slides. A few Super-8mm private movies give a better understanding of the choreographies and the general atmosphere of the show. The Musical Box receives, from Genesis, copies of the 1120 slides used in the original tour. More than a month is necessary to put them back in order and situate them in the songs. Finally, thanks to Genesis and to people who worked on the original tour, most of the remaining questions about the show were answered. For the music and the sound, the same instruments and equipment as Genesis used for the album were found. Access to Michael Rutherford’s original guitar and the acquisition of a rare Micro-Fret 6 string bass allowed an exact reproduction to be made. Masks, costumes, make-up, accessories, sets, lights, special effects, choreography and staging of the show are all recreated with meticulous precision. The ‘Slipperman’ alone required nearly two months of work, each detail being scrupulously reproduced by hand. To re-create the ‘Lamia’, many models were necessary, including a full size prototype.
The Musical Box’s first presentation of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was performed at the Spectrum in Montreal on October 11th, 2000 more than 25 years after the last performance of Genesis with Peter Gabriel. In 2004, The Musical Box were granted a two-year worldwide licence to perform The Lamb and this time they toured North America and Europe with this show. It was the last time fans could see a recreation of that show.
The story of Rael is told again, for those who wish to hear IT and see IT.
The Musical Box will perform Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway show on 15 July 2023 at the Loreley – as part of the Night Of The Prog Festival 2023. Not only is this the first time this show will be performed open air (this applies to both Genesis and The Musical Box), but it will also be the last time ever that it will be performed true to the original.
The show starts at 11pm and will finish around 1am.
Of course, there will be other bands performing during the weekend. For the complete programme, please see our line-up.
There are several ticket options for The Musical Box plays Genesis. Prices refer to our WiV ticket shop – elsewhere, such as Eventim, additional fees may apply.
a) A day ticket for Saturday entitles you to visit all concerts from the moment of admission, it costs 105€.
b) You can also buy a ticket for Saturday (incl. The Musical Box) and Friday or Sunday as a 2-day combo ticket (for 160,00€).
c) The festival package (3-day ticket) costs 205€.
d) There is also a ticket that only allows you to attend The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway Show. This ticket costs €90 and gives access to the site from 10pm.
Tickets for the Night Of The Prog Festival 2023 are available in the WiV Ticket Shop!