The Musical Box (band)
Covering the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis
Taking their name from the 1971 track of the same name, The Musical Box formed in Montreal, Quebec in 1993 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1973 album Selling England by the Pound. The original band was a seven-piece, and incorporated visual effects and costumes that were in the original Genesis shows of the 1970s.
With the addition of Denis Gagné as the new lead singer in 1995, the band reformed as a five-piece (mirroring the seventies-era Genesis) and put more emphasis on an accurate stage show, from the lights, costumes and in-between song banter of a classic Genesis concert. Gagné immersed himself in the role of Peter Gabriel, learning to play flute and shaving a bald spot in the front of his hairline to better emulate Gabriel's early-70s appearance. From 1993 to 2000 The Musical Box focused on the Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound shows.
In 2000 The Musical Box purchased the rights from Peter Gabriel and Genesis to re-create The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Genesis helped The Musical Box greatly with this show staging by giving them copies of the 1,200 original slides. They also had access to the original slide operators who helped them put them back (more or less) into the correct order. In addition the band was granted full access to the original album master tapes so they could correctly reproduce the sound live on stage, even though Genesis themselves did not do this. The band's decision to exactly reproduce the sound of the original studio albums in a live environment caused some controversy especially within the Genesis hard-core fan community.
The band announced another world tour on 12 July 2007. This covered several countries in Europe and a number of midwestern and eastern US cities. The European leg of the tour was a selection of shows based on the Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound tours, with both the white and black shows on the England Tour. It was reported to be the last time that Foxtrot based shows would be performed in Europe. The North American leg of the tour did not consist of any Foxtrot shows, but rather one Selling England "White Show" and one Selling England "Black Show" in most cities. The black and white shows feature the same setlist but very different stage designs.
Covering the Collins-Banks-Hackett-Rutherford era of Genesis
In Summer 2008, the band announced its "Trick of the Tail" tour, based upon the tours first performed in 1976. The role of Phil Collins was played by Denis Gagné (as a singer) as well as Marc Laflamme (as a drummer). Gregg Bendian (who played the role of Collins on their recent tours) played the part of Bill Bruford on drums. The rest of the band remained the same. According to the band's website, the band worked with Genesis and others involved in the original 1976 production to recreate the show as closely as possible. The band started the tour in Europe on the 27th of September 2008, playing a total of 27 shows. This was the first time that they had performed music from after the Peter Gabriel era. There were some rumours about the band performing other tours from the Phil Collins era, but apparently the band never had any intentions of going further in that direction.
Denis Gagné appeared in the 2010 film Soupernatural, and also sang on the soundtrack.
Return to the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis
The Musical Box took a break in 2010. In late 2011 and early 2012, the band conducted another tour re-creating The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, this time with keyboardist Michel Cloutier. They toured eastern Canada and the United States from October to December 2011, and then Western Europe from January 2012. They also performed the show in Toronto on November 30 and December 1, 2012.
In the Fall of 2013 and early 2014, the band toured with the "Selling England by the Pound' show, celebrating its 40th Anniversary (and the band's 20th anniversary as well), along with a couple of dates with the "Foxtrot" show.
The Musical Box's setlists are identical to those played by Genesis during their early tours.
- The Foxtrot shows included songs from the albums 'Nursery Cryme' and 'Foxtrot': "Watcher Of The Skies", "Can-Utility and the Coast-Liners", "The Musical Box", "Get 'em Out By Friday", "Supper's Ready" and "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed", as well as two encores: "The Knife" and "The Fountain Of Salmacis".
- The Selling England setlist comprised six eighths of the titular album ("After the Ordeal" and "Aisle of Plenty" were not performed), and a selection of live favourites: "Watcher of the Skies", "The Musical Box", "Supper's Ready" and "The Knife". "Horizons" and "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" were sometimes played instead of "More Fool Me" and "The Knife" respectively.
- The Lamb shows comprised the entirety of the 1974 album, plus "The Musical Box" and "Watcher of the Skies" or "The Knife".
- The A Trick of the Tail shows comprised the following numbers: "Dance on A Volcano," the Lamb Medley "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway/Fly on a Windshield/Carpet Crawlers," "The Cinema Show," "Robbery, Assault and Battery," "White Mountain," "Firth of Fifth," "Entangled/Squonk," "Supper's Ready," "I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe)" and "Los Endos" with an encore of "It/Watcher of the Skies." "The Cinema Show" featured extensive double drumming from Collins and Bruford as did "Supper's Ready," and "Los Endos." "Watcher of the Skies" was a short instrumental version merging the beginning and ending sections of the song.
Support from members of Genesis
Genesis has supported The Musical Box in many ways. In 2002 their former guitarist Steve Hackett joined the band in London, England at the Royal Albert Hall, playing on a special encore of "Firth of Fifth". Drummer Phil Collins watched the Lamb show in Geneva in 2005, and joined the band onstage to play drums during the encore of "The Musical Box". He watched the entire show and told reporters afterwards that "they played it better than we did." Peter Gabriel, meanwhile, has taken his children to a show so "they could see what their father used to do."
When Genesis told the world about their plans to reunite, the Musical Box came up numerous times during their press conferences.
Some of the crew involved in the early Genesis tours have assisted the Musical Box in locating the original slides used by Genesis during that period.
- Denis Gagné ("Peter Gabriel") - lead vocals, flute, occasional percussion (he also represented Phil Collins as vocalist during the Trick of the Tail tour)
- François Gagnon ("Steve Hackett") - 6-string electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string guitar
- Sébastien Lamothe ("Mike Rutherford") - bass, bass pedals, 12-string guitar, vocals
- Guillaume Rivard ("Tony Banks") - keyboards, 12-string guitar, occasional vocals
- Marc Laflamme ("Phil Collins") - drums, percussion, vocals
- Former members
- Michel Cloutier ("Tony Banks") - keyboards, 12-string guitar, vocals
- François Richard ("Tony Banks") - Keyboards
- Guillaume Courteau ("Phil Collins") - Drums, Percussion
- Denis Champoux ("Steve Hackett") - Guitars
- Éric Savard ("Tony Banks") - Keyboards
- Christian Hebert ("Steve Hackett") - Guitars
- Martin Levac ("Phil Collins") - Drums, Percussion
- Pierre Veilleux ("Tony Banks") - Keyboards
- Marc Léveillé ("Peter Gabriel") - Lead Vocals, Percussion
- André Lépine ("Tony Banks") - Keyboards
- David Myers ("Tony Banks") - Keyboards
- Gregg Bendian ("Phil Collins", "Bill Bruford") - drums, percussion
- The Soupernatural Movie website and The Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB)
- http://themusicalbox.net/ (accessed April 17, 2011 and March 2, 2012)
- Makedon, Terry (Dec 3, 2012). "The Musical Box at The Danforth Music Hall". Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "The Musical Box Gig Reviews". Retrieved 17 March 2012.