Prog Musings on The Musical Box

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Words and Photos by Dave Fulton, host of 12 Steps Beyond Prog

Using original props, instruments, slides and equipment the Musical Box pulled it off again. A friend of mine once said that Progressive Rock is essentially the same thing as watching a musical while stoned, in this case he is right. A Genesis concert in 1974 was musical theater, and in this case so are The Musical Box.

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“Selling England By the Pound” emulation was so spot on that it included a vintage Arp Pro-Soloist keyboard. It, of course, was a bit dodgy while being played which caused the keyboardist some concern but he had the chops to adapt and recover very quickly. Rather than detracting from the performance, it only added to the realism of this vintage style performance.

The heroes of the night were the rhythm section which allowed some swing that was not on the bootleg recordings of that particular era of Genesis. While this was distracting, it also made me feel like they were making it their own. Overall I felt the performance the last time the Musical Box was in town was slightly better, except the selection of material from the original SEBTP tour eclipsed any perceived difference. That said, they did a ripping version of Watcher of the Skies at both shows with this one a bit over the top. Sound quality was excellent as you might imagine at Revolution Hall, but it was rather amusing to see their big FOH system mostly off and being driven by the vintage gear of 1974!

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Next time they come to town, do not hesitate to attend and fans of the bass pedals rejoice! They are there in full pant leg flapping force. I generally have trouble with “tribute bands” but I don’t have trouble with covers. The Musical Box has no troubles with either.

High point: The Cinema Show and The Battle of Epping Forest.
Highly Recommended.

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