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Friday, Oct. 10, 2008

Genesis

When In Rome 2007 (Atlantic/Rhino)

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  Genesis skipped Wisconsin during last year's reunion tour, but the three-DVD box set When In Rome 2007 spectacularly captures what we missed.

  Although original frontman Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett passed on this tour, the incarnation of Genesis captured at a free open-air performance in front of 500,000 fans at Rome's historic Circo Massimo still boasted the longtime trio of vocalist/drummer Phil Collins, bassist Mike Rutherford and keyboardist Tony Banks. All three, each pushing 60, looked and sounded better than expected; Collins seemed winded early on, but recovered nicely during the classy two-and-a-half-hour show heavy on progressive-pop hits of the '80s with a smattering of '70s progressive rock.

  The unsung hero of the high-tech musical extravaganza-check out the towering and breathtaking stage with the record-breaking, 210-foot-long video screen-is Milwaukee guitarist Daryl Stuermer. He's gigged with Genesis since the '80s, appearing on concert albums Three Sides Live and The Way We Walk, yet he's never really received the recognition he deserves. But during "Firth of Fifth," a highlight from 1973's Selling England By the Pound, Stuermer scores plenty of screen time and proves why he deserves full-time status in this band. He also gets priority placement in some of the visual extras for each of the set's 21 songs.

  With the concert spread out over two DVDs, the third disc features Come Rain or Shine, an engrossing, nearly two-hour documentary about the reunion tour's trials and triumphs. Also worth noting: Genesis followed the lead of fellow classic rockers Eagles and Journey by releasing When In Rome2007 exclusively via Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.