Those who had the chance to see Genesis perform live (particular in their progressive rock / theatrical heyday with Peter Gabriel fronting the group) can tell you that it was an incredible experience. You can’t really get that experience these days, but Grand Parade is the next best thing.
While many probably know Genesis as the pop band of the 1980’s, the true fans remember their roots in the formation of the progressive rock movement in England. They forged out a good deal of the sound that became known as prog rock. Since several members of the band had been art students, a flair for the theatrical seemed pre-destined, and it was most fully realized through Peter Gabriel’s use of flamboyant costuming and the band’s staging. In any event, Gabriel left the band in the mid-1970’s and Phil Collins (already the drummer) took over the vocal duties. This lead, eventually, to their movement away from their progressive rock origins and more towards short pop songs.
Grand Parade’s main focus is on the Gabriel era of the band and they have a way of making you think you are at a vintage Genesis show. Mind you, they do touch on some of the early music from the Phil Collins fronted lineup, but the early stuff is the bigger portion of their set.
Grand Parade has been around in one form or another since 1997. That’s when Jay Fuentes (guitar/bass) and Sally Freels (keyboards) put together “The Genesis Project.” Their first gig was played later that year without a full band lineup. By the fall of 1998, though, the group had been filled out a full band roster and the name was changed to Grand Parade.
Over the years the group went through personnel and other changes. They also made a name for themselves in the process. 2002 saw them listed in the “Tribute Bands” section of the official Genesis website. By 2005, though, the group had expanded their set-list to include music by other progressive rock bands and later broke up.
That could have been the end of things, but Grand Parade got back together in 2007, once again as a Genesis tribute band. Their current lineup is Roey Ben-Yoseph (drums, percussion and lead vocals), Jay Fuentes (bass, guitar and vocals), Bill Harrison (drums, percussion and vocals), Jeff Denton (guitar) and Brian Harris (keyboards). Creating the right live experience is so important to these guys, though, that they also list Mike Nyquist (sound), Scot Goodrich (live sound) and Steve Tomczyk (live lighting) as members of the band on their website. That shows you that seeing Grand Parade is not the same as seeing your average bar band. These guys present a professional show.
The live Grand Parade experience consists of three to three and a half hours of Genesis music ranging from 1971 to 1980. While it isn’t a Genesis concert, you really can’t get much closer than this. Your next chance to experience Grand Parade is at Otto’s in Dekalb on April 12th. The show costs $10 and starts at 9:30. For more information on Grand Parade check out their website at grandparadeprog.com.