Genesis formed in early 1967 when two rival bands at the prestigious Charterhouse boarding school in southeast England came together as one. They ended Saturday night at London’s O2 Arena at the final date of the group’s Last Domino reunion tour.
“Tonight is a very special night,” Collins told the crowd early in the evening. “It’s the last stop of our tour. And it’s the last show for Genesis… After tonight we’ve all got to get real jobs.”
There was a small degree of ambiguity about this being the last tour when they announced the reunion back in 2019. They even called it “The Last Domino?” to leave a bit of wiggle room, but Collins made it increasingly clear as the months went by that he had no intention of continuing with the band after the final show in London. To drive the point home further, they removed the question mark from the name of the tour during this last run and started billing it as “The Last Domino!”
Genesis fans from all over the world traveled to London to them wrap things up, and it was a very emotional evening. The setlist, however, was the same as every other show. It’s a mixtures of radio hits like “Invisible Touch” and “That’s All” with lesser-known tunes like “Duchess” and “Home by The Sea” and a few prog-era classics like “I Know What I Like” and “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.” Above, see fan-shot video of the grand finale of “Dancing With the Moonlight Knight” and “Carpet Crawlers.”
Phil Collins has severe physical problems that make it hard for him to stand for extended periods of time, but he stood up for a bow with the entire touring band. At the end, the extra musicians stood aside so core members Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Collins could take a final bow. Collins was the last one to depart, moving slowly towards the back stairs with a cane.
The last two songs were from the Peter Gabriel era of the band, and Gabriel himself was in the audience. Here’s a backstage photo of Collins, Gabriel, and their early Seventies road manager Richard McPhail. Gabriel is wearing a laminate giving him “AAA” access to the arena. Unfortunately, he didn’t use it to wander onstage and join the band for the final two songs. It’s not very surprising since Gabriel hasn’t sang a complete Genesis song in public since 1983. He also probably wanted them to have this moment to themselves.
From tonight’s final #Genesis show in London (from left): #PeterGabriel, #PhilCollins, and Richard McPhail (long time friend and tour manager in the ‘70s). If you’ve not read Richard’s book on Genesis, you should. @genesis_band @itspetergabriel @PhilCollinsFeed pic.twitter.com/Zsmo0WMGr1
— World of Genesis (@WorldofGenesis) March 27, 2022
Die-hard fans will never stop hoping a reunion tour with Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett. The fantasy is that they’d do it with Nicholas Collins subbing in for his father on the drums, much like he did on this tour. But it remains a very, very remote possibility. In all likelihood, this show at the O2 Arena was indeed their Last Waltz. It’s a sad day, but at least Gabriel was in the audience to see the end of the band he helped start all those years ago.