When Jason Dionne went about choosing a venue to launch his all-Genesis concert, Surrey Arts Centre seemed a logical choice.
The main stage at the Bear Creek Park facility was where he first performed with his wife, flutist Karen Augusta, back in the late 1980s. Not only that, the founding members of Genesis hail from Surrey, England.
"I thought it was pretty funny to do a Genesis concert in the other Surrey, the B.C. one," Dionne, a Port Coquitlam resident, told the Now.
Dionne, a bass player, brings The Undoing to Surrey on Saturday night (Sept. 15) for the band's debut as something of a Genesis tribute band - but only songs from the early years, before Phil Collins sang all those '80s-era hits with the progrock icons. The concert will focus on the songs of Genesis from around 1971 to 1977, just as Peter Gabriel left the band for a solo career.
"That's the classic lineup," Dionne said. "Because we don't do those songs sung by Phil Collins, it's a smaller niche group, sure, but I talk to people who discovered Genesis because of those huge hits and they have gone back to those early gems and discovered the songs we're doing."
Dionne turned 50 this year, and he went out and got a custom double-neck guitar - the kind played by Mike Rutherford in Genesis. It has 12 strings on the top neck, four on the bottom. "With that guitar comes Genesis songs," said Dionne, who then sought musicians who could pull off the band's tricky songs.
"They're very capable players," Dionne said of the band, which includes Augusta, keyboardist Joel Noftle, drummer Allan Dionne (Jason's brother), singer Eric Severinson and guitarist Eric Wettstein.
"Musically, it's pretty technical stuff," he added. "My brother and I played this music growing up, and it's really big in the U.K. and in places like Montreal, but not so much out here. It's a challenge to get an idea if there's an audience for it. It's amazing how many people did grow up with this music, but it's a challenge to find them."
Tickets are $28 for Saturday's "Cinema Show" at Surrey Arts Centre. For info, call 604-501-5566 or visit tickets.surrey.ca.