On Peter Gabriel’s ongoing tour with Sting, the band kicks into the 1973 Genesis classic “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight” midway through the set. On opening night, the Genesis nuts in the audience must have lost their collective minds since Gabriel hasn’t publicly performed a song from his old band since an impromptu rendition of “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” at a Steve Hackett show in 1983. Well, the streak basically still stands since Sting just sings the opening section to protest the recent Brexit vote (“Can you tell me where my county lies…”) before kicking into “Message in a Bottle.” Peter Gabriel watches it from the side of the stage, not joining along.
Peter Gabriel has a complicated relationship with his Genesis past. He remains very close to the members and even selected Phil Collins as the best man at his 2004 wedding, but he’s turned down all offers for highly lucrative reunion tours over the years and didn’t even show up when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. “We had a great run,” he told Rolling Stone in 2011. “They did way better after I left anyway. So I don’t think anyone has anything to complain about.”
Gabriel was willing to go into the studio in the mid-1990s to re-record some vocals for a Genesis box set since the elaborate costumes he wore onstage in the 1970s sometimes muffled his vocals. The result was an occasionally odd duet between the young and old Gabriel. In 1999, Genesis released the hits compilation Turn It on Again. To give fans that already had all the albums an incentive to buy it, the Gabriel-led lineup of the group re-recorded the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway classic “Carpet Crawlers” as a duet between Collins and Gabriel. They originally planned on having Ray Wilson, who briefly fronted Genesis in the 1990s after Collins departed, sing a verse. But he left the band around this time and was ultimately dropped from the project.
As far as anyone knows, this duet is the last time Peter Gabriel sang a Genesis song in any capacity, though maybe by the time this tour ends he’ll step onto center stage and sing at least a couple lines of “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight” with Sting.