January 22, 2011 - De Pul, Uden (NL)
The Italian band The Watch made the right decision when they started to give concerts featuring the wonderful music that Genesis recorded in the seventies. These concerts bring a lot of joy to people who witnessed them and the band still succeeds in attracting many people to their live shows. So far all live shows highlighted a different Genesis-album. The first tour focused on the early years with mainly songs from Trespass (1970) and Nursery Crime (1971) (see review). The second focused on Foxtrot (1972) and was called The Blue Show (see review). The latest concert I saw in Uden called The Green Show highlighted Selling England By The Pound (1973). According to lead singer Simone Rossetti this show was named after the main colour of the original album cover.
People who saw The Watch perform know what they can expect from their Genesis tribute shows. As always the five musicians on stage try to approximate the original studio versions as close as possible. At the back of the stage a slide show brings you in a nostalgic mood. The images shown are mostly of an era that England ruled the world. This perfectly reflects the mood that Genesis also reflected on their albums, but without the splendid music performed on stage these images would have no meaning at all. Splendid is indeed the right word to describe the performance of The Watch and that also applies for their own compositions. The Watch started with Medley Sirence, a strong medley taken from Primitive (2007). However, the hearts of the progressive rock devotees beat faster when they heard the first notes of the Genesis-classic Watcher Of The Skies. The Mellotron-parts were perfectly played by Valerio De Vittorio. People who were waiting for Peter Gabriel's bat wings must have been disappointed, because singer Simone Rossetti doesn't perform the same act as Peter Gabriel did once. Rossetti was just sitting backwards on stage and he only turned around to sing his parts. His voice remarkably resembles the voice of Mr. Gabriel; all musicians played like real professionals, but the most difficult part was yet to come.
It was the first time the band performed The Green Show, so the band members were a bit nervous wondering if everything should work out well. However, the three pieces of Selling England By The Pound were performed superbly! Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) and Firth Of Fifth all got a 'stand-up ovation'. Even drummer Marco Fabbri put his hands together for his fellow-musicians. Just before ending the first set with The Musical Box the audience could enjoy One Day, a short and mellow piece from their forthcoming album Timeless (2011). On this album they've borrowed themes from Genesis' first album From Genesis To Revelation (1969). By reshaping them they created brand-new songs, but maintaining the original musical flavour that allowed the young Genesis-members to prove their talents to the world. They just add the typical musical flair and energy that people recognize and love from The Watch.
Simone Rossetti started the second set with the traditional Dutch conversation from a piece of paper. It turned out that it had something to do with the story of The Battle Of Epping Forest, the first song after this introduction. This piece was very well-performed and appreciated by the audience, especially since this song is hardly ever played by a tribute band. Next was the instrumental piece After The Ordeal with a leading role for the two guitar players Guglielmo Mariotti and Giorgio Gabriel. Many fans requested a track from their latest album Planet Earth?. For that reason they added All The Lights In Town to the set list. Unfortunately, the band played this song just between two great Genesis-tracks, so you could notice that their own songs lack the same high quality level. However, that's not something to be ashamed of. It's a hell of a job to write a song that outclasses The Cinema Show, for that fabulous epic piece was performed after All The Lights In Town. Together with Aisle Of Plenty it was almost the perfect finale of The Watch playing a Genesis tribute show.
After the enthusiastic applause and acclaim of the audience, the musicians couldn't leave without doing an encore. People in the audience were shouting many song titles that would do as the final encore, but The Watch played the same song they did at the last Prog-Résiste Festival (see review) in Verviers, Belgium: a breathtaking version of Supper's Ready. The audience kept asking for more, but alas, this time I couldn't enjoy The Knife like I did in Belgium. After the final presentation of the band members the lights in the venue went on leaving the audience speechless. They witnessed a strong live performance, the first in a series of many live shows to come. However, what else could they expect from The Watch's best live line-up ever! After the show I asked their leader Simone Rossetti and he agreed being accompanied on stage by the best musicians that had ever participated in The Watch.
Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Watcher Of The Skies
Dancing With The Moonlit Night
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)
Firth Of Fifth
The Musical Box
The Battle Of Epping Forest
After The Ordeal
All The Lights In Town
The Cinema Show
Aisle Of Plenty
Pictures The Watch by Arthur Haggenburg
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Line up:(left to right)
bass, acoustic guitar, bass pedals, backing vocals
Valerio De Vittorio:
keyboards, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
lead vocals, flute, tambourine
drums, backing vocals
electric and acoustic guitars
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