Between 1974 and 1975, before drummer Phil Collins would eventually go on to front progressive-rock band Genesis, they embarked on a tour accompanying their album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the last album and tour with Peter Gabriel fronting the band. They performed the double album in its entirety over 100 times.
The band did intend to have the show filmed, but due to a desire to produce it in a way which did the show justice, Gabriel did not allow it to be filmed until he felt ready. As far as is known this time apparently never came. Gabriel left the band during this tour and the show was never performed by Genesis again.
Despite video cameras being highly expensive and rather bulky to sneak into a concert in the mid-seventies, there exist bootleg clips by fans in the audience of short duration and low quality, as shown in the DVD recreation of the show. However, it is unknown how much footage is available, and fans continue to speculate about the possibility of a full video recording of the show surfacing.
The Album and Concert
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is a concept album which tells the story of Rael, who disappears into the New York sewer system and journeys through a surreal underground fantasy world full of dangerous and fantastical locations and creatures. For the concert the band wanted to tell the story visually as well as through the music, and so, with singer Peter Gabriel as the main player, they created a full theatrical show, where each song had its story or characters acted out to some extent. Gabriel wore multiple elaborate costumes, including the infamous 'slipperman' costume, complete with an oversized inflatable penis. There were also set pieces, extensive projection, and a finale involving Gabriel appearing on stage in a puff of smoke alongside a life-like replica of himself. The show delighted the fans as an example of exuberant progressive rock conceptual art and is still fondly remembered today by those lucky enough to have attended one of the shows.
Recreations and Tributes
A DVD was released in the late 2000s which offered low quality audio from the show with a recreation of the video footage made of bootleg clips and still photographs taken by audience members, pieced together to approximate what the show looked like. It also included the slides projected by the band during the show.
In recent years, Genesis tribute band The Musical Box have taken to recreating the show live, with the blessing of Genesis. In recreating the show they use the original slides and recreate all of the theatrical and musical elements of the original show as closely as possible.