Genesis Musings: Tweaking The Setlist For The Last Domino Tour

Creating a setlist that pleases every fan is an impossible task.  The level of difficulty rises with any band with a long history and discography like that of Genesis. Some fans prefer the old songs, some fans love the newer songs, while other fans love a mixture of both.   Regardless of the setlist choices, the end result will never please every fan. 

When I go to a concert I do not want to move from my seat unless I absolutely have to.  Every concert is a unique experience and I do not want to miss anything. Even if the band is playing a song which is not among my favorites, that lesser song is still a part of the experience.  I know some fans refer to bathroom break songs. Those  songs which they may not care for, thus a perfect time to go to the restroom. You can not please all of the fans all of the time. A perfect setlist does not exist.

The fact that Genesis is doing another tour, regardless of the setlist, is a bonus.  I was quite content with the Turn It On Again tour being the band’s last hurrah.  All these years later the band has opted to give it one last shot.  This news has been a pleasant surprise for many Genesis fans.  Obviously time has passed and taken its toll, on some band members more than others.  With the additional of Nic Collins on drums and Daniel Pearce and Patrick Smyth on backing vocals there is some freshness added to the mix.  The familiar sound of Genesis is augmented by the sound and feel of new elements.

Having watched many of the videos posted online I feel that I have a sense of the show.  Obviously  these videos, no matter how good the quality, will never replicate the full concert experience.  But the videos do give a sense of the setlist and the performances.  Of all of the aspects of the tour the only real issue that I do have is the setlist.  I know that I am not alone in this regard.  The setlist feels a bit safe and predictable, at times.  I do understand why the band included most of the songs.   Obviously there are some surprises, such as the addition of Duchess and the “unplugged” section.    Overall the band predictably plays many of their most known hits: Land Of Confusion, Turn It On Again, No Son Of Mine, Invisible Touch, Throwing It All Away,  I Can’t Dance.  The set also includes popular live songs: Home By The Sea, Second Home By The Sea, Domino and the Firth of Fifth instrumental/guitar solo.  As I said earlier, there is no setlist that the band could put together that would please every single fan.  Other then this minor issue I am just glad that one of my favorite bands is making music and doing what they love to do.

As fans we all have a dream setlist that we would like to hear.  In the midst of our excitement we do have to be  realistic in our expectations.  With a band as popular as Genesis we knew before the tour started that the setlist would include  many of their hits.  The idea that the band was going to delve into their back catalog and pull out deep cuts from the 1970’s is a pipe dream.  With that mindset, assembling a setlist becomes a bit easier. I have put together what I believe to be a realistic setlist that the band could play.  Obviously this is pure fantasy and done with no disrespect to the band’s choices.  As a fan it is fun to sit and ponder on such things.  There is a good chance that if every Genesis fan created their own setlist that no two would match.  Here is a somewhat realistic setlist of what could have been.  I will admit that there is a lot of personal bias in my selections.  One aspect of my song choice was an attempt to keep the setlist less predictable.  With the exception of the medleys, the song choices are  the full versions of each song.  I know that some are not fans of medleys.  Over the years Genesis has done a fantastic job putting them together.  It is a way to touch upon more songs in the band’s catalog.  The medleys have allowed the band opportunities to include some of  their older material.  Medleys allow the band to play a full show of their hits, address the past and not be on stage for four hours.  When done properly they can be very effective.  This being the last tour, the medleys would allow the band the opportunity to more fully celebrate their whole career. Here is my setlist.    


Behind The Lines

Tonight, Tonight, Tonight

Hold On My Heart

Deep In The Motherlode

It’s Gonna Get Better

Medley #1 – (instrumental and vocal bits from Watcher Of The Skies, Fly On A Windshield, One For The Vine,  Supper’s Ready, In That Quiet Earth)

Man On The Corner

Dreaming While You Sleep

Never A Time

You Might Recall

Invisible Touch

Keep It Dark

The Cinema Show

Medley #2 (instrumental and vocal bits from Driving The Last Spike, Dance On A Volcano, Duke’s Travels, Second Home By The Sea, Dodo/Lurker, Domino)



Fading Lights

I am aware that the construction of a setlist is no easy thing.  There are many factors to take into account.  First and foremost the band members have to agree on the songs.   Just as important the band has to be able to play the songs.  Arranging the songs into a cohesive sequence is vital.  The placement of hit songs, popular album tracks and deep cuts will determine the flow of a concert.  Opening the show with a song that no one knows is probably not the best way to go.  Song tempos are another factor to consider in the overall ebb and flow. These are just a few considerations, but there are many other factors that go into putting together an effective setlist.  It is a sure bet that the process varies greatly from band to band.   I tried to take these factors into account with the above setlist.  It is my ideal Genesis setlist?  No, but it is one that the current band seems capable of performing.  As a fan I would greatly enjoy the experience of hearing this setlist. I am certain that my setlist will not be to every fans liking. If you feel up to the task, put together your setlist and share it with your fellow Genesis fans.

Troy T.

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