A film of the January 10th, 1973 Genesis concert at the Bataclan in Paris, France has circulated within the fan community for years, but the good folks at the Genesis Museum recently shared a 4K restoration that is a stunning improvement over anything seen before. Simply put, it’s the most pristine video of a Peter Gabriel-era show that has ever surfaced.
“This was a really big project,” the Genesis Museum noted on YouTube. “Not that the source was bad; the source was actually very nice. However, the source had many anomalies, but enough ‘clay’ was there to mold this into something even better. The entire process was helped immensely by Ikhnaton, [the user name of the person who uploaded the concert], who provided material as well as suggestions and many many previews.”
Sadly, the concert is incomplete. The only full song is “The Musical Box,” and even that features a brief audio patch from the 1973 LP Genesis Live since sound was missing from the beginning of the recording. It is followed by the first half of “Supper’s Ready” and large chunks of “Return of the Giant Hogweed” and “The Knife.” It ends with a backstage interview that is difficult to hear because a narrator translates their words into French.
Despite these limitations, the film still captures the incredible energy and intensity of an early Genesis show. The camera crew roams the stage and presents the action from all angles, even behind Phil Collins’ drum kit and Tony Banks’ keyboard rig. Their show at Shepperton Studios in October of this same year was captured in full, but the lighting is poor and it lacks the intimacy and aggression of this Paris gig.
This was the Foxtrot tour and Gabriel had just started to incorporate costumes into the show. At the seven-minute mark, he comes out in his wife’s red dress and a fox’s head to sing the climax of “The Musical Box.” He started doing this just four months earlier, and it landed him a spot on the cover of Melody Maker, the band’s first significant press.
“I think that very few people had seen a man in a dress at that point,” Gabriel says in the official Genesis book Chapter & Verse, “and certainly not one wearing a fox’s head as well. There was a sense of shock and it was very exciting. And I thought, ‘We’re on to something.'”
Gabriel left Genesis at the completion of the 1974/75 Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour. That show featured a complete performance of The Lamb at all 104 tour stops and was the most elaborate production they’d ever attempted. In a decision they lived to regret, they never bothered to film it. Thankfully, they were better at documenting earlier eras. Let’s just hope they don’t ask YouTube to take down this Paris gig. It deserves to be seen far and wide.