120206 The Musical Box, Toronto, ON

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On December 2nd, 2006 I was pretty much dragged to see The Musical Box performing the Genesis epic Selling England By The Pound at Massey Hall.  I had tickets to see The Who at the Air Canada Centre and had come to Toronto a few days early to hang out and see the sights with m’lady, so I was in town anyway….  

We had scored a huge deal online on a room at the hotel in the Skydome at something like $70 a night.   A friend had told me to ask for a complimentary room upgrade when we checked in.  He said the hotel’s policy dictated that they had to upgrade our room upon request if they had anything available.  He was right and we ended up in a split-level suite with a back wall of windows overlooking the playing field inside the Skydome.  

At the time it was the awesomest hotel room I had ever stayed in, and we had three nights!

Clearly a motocross race had just happened in the giant stadium – huge yellow machines were busily hauling away load after load of dirt as they dug into one big, brown motorcycle jump after another.  The machines spent the next three days converting the stadium floor into a football field, obviously for some upcoming Argos game.  It was really nifty spending much of the weekend (was it a weekend?) sitting in the upper level of our suite watching the little ants below working hard at their task.  

And so kicking and screaming I was pulled from my elevated perch to walk to Massey Hall.  Though I’m always up for a live show a Genesis tribute act promised to deliver a double-whammy of musical elements that I just don’t care for.

First, I just don’t really care much for Peter Gabriel-era Genesis.  I know it’s borderline sacrilegious, but despite my love of Rush and math-music in general somehow I’m just not that into progressive rock on the whole.  And despite my high regard for Gabriel’s solo career the only Genesis I have time for is when Phil Collins took over the vocal duties, a throwback to my teenaged pop-oriented tastes.  

And secondly I have a general disdain for tribute acts, though I’ll admit I flounder with the details.  I figure if you’re good enough to recreate the body of work of a highly regarded artist then you should be good enough to strike out and try your own thing.  And really, sating the thirst for public nostalgia is no way to carve out an artistic career. 

Plus I was having so much fun sipping drinks back at the hotel watching those little doozers at work.

But like I say, I’m always up for a night out and out we went.  If you are at all interested in knowing what the show was like put on the Genesis record Selling England By The Pound.  It was exactly, precisely like that.


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