Prog Royalty – Nad Sylvan Reimagines ‘Selling England by the Pound’ for Genesis Revisited Tour, Releases Enchanting ‘Vampirate’ Album Trilogy

Nad Sylvan will perform Genesis’ 1973 album, “Selling England by the Pound,” with Steve Hackett during the “Genesis Revisited” tour. Photo by Scott Saldinger

Tonight, a Grand Rapids, Mich., audience will travel through time to a majestic era filled with British knights, sailors, lovers and battles.

They will step inside the 20 Monroe Live “time machine” and sonically travel back to October 1973, when Genesis released their definitive prog rock album, “Selling England by the Pound.”

During their sonic travels, the audience will receive Nad Sylvan as their exquisite, effervescent and enchanting musical tour guide. Dressed lavishly in dark ruffled shirts, dark velvety capes and cloaks, slim riding pants, and tall black boots, Sylvan, a “vampirate,” will magically perform “Pound” in its entirety alongside legendary former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, keyboardist Roger King, bassist Jonas Reingold, saxophonist/flautist Rob Townsend and drummer Craig Blundell.

“I’ve done more than 500 shows with Steve now, and this is my seventh year with him. But I felt that this tour has been perhaps the most successful tour because people love ‘Selling England by the Pound.’ We go out and do the whole album without any words in between songs,” said Sylvan, a U.S.-born Swedish prog rock singer-songwriter and musician.

“We just play it like you play the record, and I take on these characters, and I do it in my own way. I’m not mimicking Gabriel at all, I do sound a bit similar to him sometimes because of my register. Everyone knows I’m a massive Genesis nut. I always have been, that’s why I got the gig.”

Sylvan, Hackett and the band are currently embarking on a 27-date North American “Genesis Revisited” tour through Oct. 20 and performing “Pound” as well as highlights from Hackett’s popular 1979 album, “Spectral Mornings,” and his latest release, “At the Edge of Light.”

The band previously performed a series of “Genesis Revisited” tour dates in 18 countries in seven weeks and will head back to Europe and the U.S. as well as Australia and New Zealand next year. Their next Michigan stop will be March 4 at The Fillmore Detroit.

Sylvan started touring with Hackett and his band in March 2013 in support of Hackett’s 2012 release, “Genesis Revisited II.” Hackett learned about Sylvan after he released a Genesis-inspired album with Bonamici called “Unifaun” in 2008 and a mutual friend suggested they work together.

“That’s why I did the ‘Unifaun’ album, that was just prestige of Genesis just for the hell of it, and that was long before I got to know Steve. I think that’s partly why I have the gig because he knew that guy sounds authentic, he sounds like a Genesis singer,” said Sylvan, who first saw Hackett perform with Genesis during the 1977 “Wind & Wuthering” tour in Stockholm.

“That’s how he felt about my singing, even though I have the ability to sing more soulful and go different ways with my vocals with different vibratos and what have you. But when I sing Genesis, I just sing it the way I believe I’ve heard them, but I put my own stamp on it.”

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Genesis Revisited – Steve Hackett Brings ‘Selling England by the Pound,’ Solo Gems to 20 Monroe Live Thursday

Steve Hackett will perform Genesis and solo classics at 20 Monroe Live Thursday in Grand Rapids.

Steve Hackett will breathe new life into a beloved Genesis album Thursday in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The legendary former Genesis guitarist will perform the band’s 1973 prog rock classic, “Selling England by the Pound,” in its entirety at 20 Monroe Live, a 2,600-seat music venue located in the heart of Furniture City.

“It happens to be my favorite Genesis album. That setting was 1973, and just as we were leaving New York desperately trying to find a gig anywhere else in the States, we heard that John Lennon gave an interview and said Genesis was one of the bands he was listening to, so I assumed he liked that album at the time, and we were all very proud of it,” said Hackett, who performed with Genesis from 1971-1977.

“I get to do it again in its entirety, which wasn’t possible with the technology we had back in the day, plus an extra track included like a deleted scene. Something that Peter Gabriel introduced to the band as an unfinished song. I finished it years later with his blessing, and we shared credits on it.”

That “deleted scene” of a song is “Déjà Vu,” a quiet, emotional track filled with deep synths, exquisite classical guitar strums and a haunting extended electric guitar solo. This time, Hackett will perform it live with singer-songwriter and musician Nad Sylvan, keyboardist Roger King, bassist Jonas Reingold, saxophonist/flautist Rob Townsend and drummer Craig Blundell.

Together, the prog rock sextet is embarking on a 27-date North American “Genesis Revisited” tour through Oct. 20 and playing eight other influential tracks from “Pound” as well as highlights from Hackett’s popular 1979 album, “Spectral Mornings,” and his latest release, “At the Edge of Light.”

The band previously performed a series of “Genesis Revisited” tour dates in 18 countries in seven weeks and will head back to Europe and the U.S. as well as Australia and New Zealand next year. Their next Michigan date will take place March 4 at The Fillmore Detroit.

Continue reading “Genesis Revisited – Steve Hackett Brings ‘Selling England by the Pound,’ Solo Gems to 20 Monroe Live Thursday”

Selling England by the Pound — The Musical Box Covers Peter Gabriel-era Genesis in Detroit

The Musical Box performs Genesis’ “Watch of the Skies” at Motor City Casino’s Sound Board in Detroit.

French-Canadian Genesis tribute band, The Musical Box, covered the prog quintet’s famous 1973 “Selling England by the Pound” tour Sunday at Motor City Casino’s Sound Board in Detroit.

The two-hour show celebrated the best of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis with “Firth of Fifth,” “Watcher of the Skies,” “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight,” “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe),” “The Knife” and other favorites.

The Musical Box singer Denis Gagné wore memorable and colorful Peter Gabriel-inspired costumes from the era — Bat Wings, Britannia, the Old Man, The Reverend, The Flower Mask and Magog.

It was like stepping back in a 1970s British prog rock time machine and never wanting to come back. At least I didn’t.

Alive and Well — Phil Collins Proves He’s ‘Not Dead Yet’ at London’s Royal Albert Hall

Phil Collins performs his third sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on June 7.
Phil Collins calmly hobbled on stage amidst a chorus of welcoming cheers from 5,200 ecstatic fans at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The former Genesis frontman and Grammy-winning pop balladeer performed his third sold-out “Not Dead Yet Live” show at the iconic 146-year-old concert hall on June 7.

Collins kicked off the 2.5-hour show with the No. 1 power ballad “Against All Odds” from 1984. Fans erupted with thunderous applause and a collective call of joy in response to the Collins classic.

“I know I said that I wouldn’t do this again, but the truth is that I missed you,” he said. “You won’t be seeing too much dancing from me tonight. Thank God! I had a back operation, leg’s f**ked, but we’re here, right?”

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‘Magnificent (She Says)’ – Elbow ‘Little Fictions’ Opening Track Fuels New Personal Journey

There’s something “magnificent” about Guy Garvey’s voice.

It soothes my musical soul and provides a lush sonic backdrop on a warm Saturday afternoon in mid-February.

Garvey’s voice quickly transports me to a faraway land with purple majestic mountains stacked against the horizon and an azure blue sea crashing up against the beige sand that’s massaging my toes.

This is the mental image I conjure in my mind while hearing “Magnificent (She Says)” by British alternative progressive rock band Elbow.

The first single from Elbow’s seventh album, “Little Fictions,” sets the scene for a 4.5-minute “head-trip” filled with love, hope and personal growth.

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‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’ — Genesis Prog Classic Transports Fans to Mythical World

The green, orange and red beaded butterfly curtain is my passageway to another land.

As I hear the beads collide against one another, I feel the energy change around me. The laws of science no longer apply and the power of logic is defeated by magic and art.

I’ve just stepped inside a medieval land dominated by knights, dragons, elves, wolves, wizards and royalty.

Radiant hues of sap green, yellow ochre, phthalo blue and alizarin crimson adorn the mystical landscape. The brilliant scenery is a painting in my mind’s eye that comes to life to right before me.

As I absorb the lush beauty around me, I suddenly hear a voice cry out:

“Can you tell me where my country lies?”

I quickly turn my head and see Peter Gabriel singing a cappella to me dressed in shiny plate mail wearing a galea.

Gabriel’s question is the opening line to Genesis’ 1973 prog classic “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight.”

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Cornucopia of Music: Artists, Songs and Albums Abundantly Fill My Life

For me, music abundantly fills my life with a repertoire of endless possibilities.

There’s always a new artist, song or album to study, digest and experience. Each musical encounter slowly satisfies my hunger until the next one comes along. I live for musical abundance, and there’s still more for me to see, hear and do.

Each week, my life is a flurry of concerts, albums, family, friends and professional commitments. The energy I draw from concerts and albums replenishes me in a way I never thought possible. I recharge the most when I can combine music and people together. It’s truly what makes me tick.

One of my greatest joys is to discover new musical talent that leaves a sonic imprint in my mind. I constantly monitor satellite radio and social media for new artists, songs and albums. I keep mental and physical lists of artists and albums handy when I visit record stores and merch tables at concerts.

As a music aficionado, it’s not uncommon for me to randomly hear my favorite parts of different songs in my head throughout the day. Tony Banks’ iconic piano solo in the beginning and middle of Genesis’ “Firth of Fifth” is on repeat. Mick Fleetwood’s gentle drumming in Fleetwood Mac’s “Sara” is another. I hope these beautiful instrumentations never vanish from my mind.

My abundant love of music also allows me to draw musical connections between different artists. I often say to my husband that’s a Geddy Lee bass line or Steve Hackett guitar tap. It’s gratifying to form those connections and see how artists truly influence other musicians.

I just wish they all knew how much they influenced me.

Genesis, “Firth of Fifth”

Fleetwood Mac, “Sara”