PERFORMING ARTS

Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins earlier this month. At Verizon, Genesis had to turn it on again after a power problem.
Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins earlier this month. At Verizon, Genesis had to turn it on again after a power problem. (By Frank Gunn -- Associated Press)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Genesis

Genesis encountered a minor problem at Verizon Center on Sunday at the start of its "Turn It On Again" reunion tour: The band couldn't turn on much of anything because of technical difficulties attributed to a "power fluctuation." When the problem was finally resolved after nearly an hour delay, the group's need to tap into all available juice became apparent.

Original Genesis members Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins and Tony Banks, along with guitarist Daryl Stuermer and drummer Chester Thompson, required a huge lighted backdrop, two gigantic monitors and various other electrical flourishes. Then there was the matter of the British band's sprawling prog-rock numbers, such as the show-starting "Behind the Lines," which have a way of draining a power grid.

Even with the late start, Rutherford, Collins and Banks still played for nearly 2 1/2 hours. They plucked selections from almost the entire span of the Genesis timeline -- from 1973's "The Cinema Show" to 1991's "I Can't Dance."

Although offering a little bit of everything made sure the group satisfied all fans, the tactic also exposed the tour's inadequacies. When the band performed Peter Gabriel-era '70s material -- "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)," "In the Cage" -- the idea of a reunion tour without Genesis's first singer seemed especially ill-conceived. When the group launched into '80s pop tunes ("Land of Confusion," "Throwing It All Away"), it created a craving for Collins solo material. Unfortunately, he didn't offer so much as a "su-sussudio."

Despite those shortcomings, both the ancient and the merely old members of Genesis's fan base seemed to love every minute. They even remained high-energy right through the final encore of "The Carpet Crawlers," despite the fact that the show stretched well beyond the typical baby boomer bedtime.

-- Sarah Godfrey

Verge

Hazy blurs subside into quiet whispers. Pounding passages morph into tuneful lines. Such sounds are the stuff of contemporary classical music and the high-octane fuel for Verge, the cool, newly named playing ensemble of the Contemporary Music Forum. Verge's Sunday afternoon performance at the Corcoran Gallery was an engrossing bazaar of sonic novelties.

Benjamin Broening's "Nocturne/Doubles" and Cort Lippe's "Music for Hi-Hat and Computer" refract traditional instrumental voices through a processor. Glistening textures are the result in Broening's 10-minute piece, rendered smartly by pianist Audrey Andrist with the electronic assistance of Steve Antosca. A colorful if clangorous sound fabric emerges in Lippe's more expansive essay in which percussionist Bill Richards showed restraint and rhythmic exactitude.

Flutist David Whiteside gave a rapt account of French composer Carole Chargueron's "Fluide." Gorgeous flute tones -- gentle timbres, percussive taps and breathy mouthpiece puffs -- fused with a rich recording of water sounds, unfolding with a kind of primordial languor.


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