Genesis Concert Review

Phil and the gang are back at it one more time as they kick off their 2021/2022 Tour in Chicago

Cody Wagner, Staff Writer

The notorious prog rock band known as “Genesis” kicked off their North America 2021-2022 Last Domino Tour for two nights on Nov.15 and 16 at the United Center in Chicago, IL. I witnessed the final night as guitarist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist Tony Banks and iconic frontman Phil Collins took the stage for an incredible show that surprised many. Both the band and Collins proved they had one last shot at a memorable musical performance. But in the back of the minds of all attendees was the reality that it would likely be our last time seeing Collins onstage. 

The English rock act formed in 1967 at Charterhouse School in Godalming, Surrey, England. Their original lineup included guitarist Anthony Phillips, bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford, keyboardist Tony Banks, Drummer Chris Stewart and vocalist Peter Gabriel. Stewart eventually left the band and was soon replaced by Phil Collins. Gabriel’s pragmatic and often flamboyant stage performances created a cult following. After Gabriel’s exit in 1975, Phil Collins took over as the vocalist and sometimes drummer of the band. Collins’ introduction as frontman skyrocketed them to superstardom.

However, Gabriel wouldn’t be the only singer to leave the band. In March of 1996, Collins left the band, pursuing a solo career that ignited even more fame after the critically and commercially acclaimed single “In The Air Tonight.”  Collins rejoined in 2007, embarking on a reunion tour with the band.

Now, after 14 years, Genesis took the center stage for the last time with the help of new members such as side guitarist and bassist Daryl Stuermer along with backing vocals from Daniel Pearce and Patrick Smyth. Despite the immersive and invigorating musical experience itself, Collins was slowly breaking apart. An Injured vertebrae eventually led to nerve damage, forcing the now 70-year-old musician to give up playing the drums and piano altogether along with issues of type-2 diabetes, diabetic abscess, that forced him to walk onstage with a cane, and acute pancreatitis. 

Collins’ debilitating physical state forced the singer to sit throughout the entire set except for one dramatic moment where Collins walked towards his son Nic and sat beside him throughout a drum solo. Collins paid close attention to his son’s drumming while having an expression of joy and hope knowing that his time would eventually come but his legacy would be passed on to his offspring as a continuation of musical achievement and dominance of a truly passionate and sincere percussionist.

The almost two-and-a-half-hour long, 23-track setlist was composed of many hits including the wicked and poignant “Mama” with Collins presenting a vicious and frightening demeanor followed by a lava ooze filled background. There was the heavily pop-influenced “I Can’t Dance” with Nic and the other background vocalists integrating the iconic dance move prevalent in the band’s music video, along with emotionally driven tunes such as No Son of Mine,” “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight,”  along with other hit singles that included “Follow You, Follow Me,” “That’s All,” and “The Lamb That Lies Down on Broadway.” 

 “Land of Confusion” contained an honest interpretation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with kaleidoscopic visuals of old English gentleman in tophats wearing the medical masks prevalent today. The message highlighted the immense struggles the world has faced throughout the past year, instilling a politicized message of relatedness among a group of people who are forced to live in a dark and dreary time full of fear and uncertainty. This was just one of many moments of prolonged connection in the already electrified show.

Two performances captivated my attention and love. Before the show, I only knew a few Genesis tunes and was more interested in being able to see Collins. But I was quickly fascinated and introduced to a live version of one of my favorite tunes, which was “Throwing It All Away. This was the most emotional and heartfelt track performed. It was joined by genuine and unfeigned visuals of the band’s entire discography on cassettes, along with memorable concert footage that presented a timeline of the band’s evolving success. This would be followed by another one of my favorites, “Misunderstanding,” that I instantly sang along to with the thousands of fans who joined in the celebration. 

Nics powerful and sometimes abrasive other times soothing drumming left everybody in awe and appreciation knowing that the son of Phil Collins had learned from one of the best and was undoubtedly worthy of the instrumental role that ignited the musical career of his father.

Rutherford’s use of the guitar, and at one moment double bass,  brought striking and surreal riffs that correlated directly with the later ‘70s to early ‘80s tunes, perfectly synchronizing with Bank’s electric and synth-pop oriented keyboards. Bank’s took front and center throughout the 11-minute song “Domino.” dazzled the audience with a stellar and cosmic keyboard solo that felt as though you were entering another reality. 

Pearce and Smyth’s backing vocals helped to fuel Collins’ voice. Their ability to provide a smooth and even harmony allowed fans to hear the higher range of vocalization that was once heavily prominent in Collins’ performances. This was especially supportive throughout the ending of “Misunderstanding” with their tenor vocals being guided along with the audience, as well as myself.

Collins’ performance shocked many audience members who were skeptical of his appearance; nevertheless, Collins stuck it out with mesmerizing and haunting  vocals that allowed for a night that no fan would ever forget. His performance showed the courage of one man struggling to maintain himself as he starts to crumble.

This was truly a night I will always remember. It’s sad to know that one day if I ever have children of my own they will never be able to experience an event such as this, but the legacy of both Collins and Genesis will always live on as the beginning of “The Last Dominio Tour” allowed for a magnetic display of music and gratitude for fans of both Genesis and Phil Collins. 


  • Behind the Lines/Duke’s End
  • Turn It On Again
  • Mama
  • Land of Confusion
  • Home by the Sea
  • Second Home by the Sea
  • Fading Lights(first two verses)
  • The Cinema Show(instrumental)
  • Afterglow
  • That’s All(acoustic)
  • The Lamb Lies Down Broadway(acoustic)
  • Follow You, Follow Me(acoustic)
  • No Son of Mine
  • Misunderstanding
  • Firth of Filth(instrumental)
  • I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)

(Extended version with Phil on tambourine)

  • Domino
  • Throwing It All Away
  •  Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
  • Invisible Touch

Phil’s break followed by Encore

  • I Can’t Dance
  • Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
  • The Carpet Crawlers