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Phil Collins (a)live: Not dead yet...

Phil Collins at Vienna Phil Collins at Vienna Ekstatisch im Sitzen - © APAweb/APA/Herbert P. Oczeret

Hijacked by aliens and replaced by a doppelganger, this conspiracy theory pays off Phil Collins.

In 1970 he came to Genesis as a drummer and proved to be a stroke of luck with the English band. Already interested in large-scale songs before, the group refined their style increasingly, spoiling rock music with surprising harmonies, counterpoints and complex rhythms. Collins was the ideal drummer for this: no accent in these dense structures, which he did not emphasize, no groove that he did not make as impulsive as smooth. Complemented by Peter Gabriel, then singer with a penchant for grotesque theatricality, Genesis formed the central star in the sky of Progressive Rock.

Ten years later, this style was the smirking snow of yesterday and Collins in a metamorphosis. The once best drummer in England began to develop into a ballad writer and singer - well, yes. Although this lowered the claim to art, but the bonuses bubbled, not least thanks to the popularity of the format radio. This still uses Collins' tunes as a reliable all-purpose weapon, but these songs cleverly linger past the shutdown impulse of the listener.

In the air tonight: Phil Collins - © APAweb/APA/Herbert P. OczeretIn the air tonight: Phil Collins - © APAweb/APA/Herbert P. Oczeret

Lifetime Achievement applause

Thanks to this long-term presence, the 68-year-old can still mobilize crowds today. "Still Not Dead Yet" is the name of Collins' current tour and she filled around three quarters of the Ernst Happel Stadium on Sunday night. The tongue-in-cheek title is not by chance, but Collins is still powerful singing, but has to sit on a bar stool. At 8:45 pm, the Briton entered the stage and immediately received a lifetime achievement applause. Those who hoped for a car radio night without the agony of shifting and steering were not disappointed either: At the beginning it was gentle greetings with the slumber number "Against All Odds", followed by the moral apostle ballad "Another Day in Paradise".

Phil Collins at Ernst Happel Stadion - © APAweb/APA/Herbert P. OczeretPhil Collins at Ernst Happel Stadion - © APAweb/APA/Herbert P. Oczeret

The happy-peppy sound of "Do not Lose My Number" turned up a gear. But the solo phrases of the rock guitar and the chord surfaces of the keyboard could only be danced to the extent that one shifted the weight leisurely from one foot to the other. Restrained in luck, humble even in heartache: in this measuredness lies the success of Phil Collins. It is significant that a look back at the Genesis story brought two pale pieces that were made long after Gabriel's departure, when Collins took over the band's vocal rudder: "Throw It All Away" rippled from the speakers to another a sedative called "Follow You, Follow Me". And of course, the tough stadium-pop mantra "In The Air Tonight" had to come from Vienna. Whatever this text means.
On the other hand, it could have been worse this evening. After all, Collins spared his Tarzan film lard "You'll Be In My Heart," and he also largely renounced the use of the e-pianos from the 1980s. If you do not know this horror sound, it's the acoustic equivalent of spray cheese.

Phil Collins rocks the stadium - © WZPhil Collins rocks the stadium - © WZ

More funkiness

The young gentleman on the drums is also likeable: The man, who looks like the grandson of Phil Collins, actually turned out to be his son Nicholas and delivered a nice talent test in duo with the percussionist. In general, the band gave stimulating impulses: four background singers contributed not only sporadic Schubidus, but were allowed to relieve Collins even with larger chunks. In addition, four winds at the edge of the stage brought thrill to the evening: When in the context of a Feelgood block towards the end "Dance Into The Light", "Sussudio" "Invisible Touch" and "You Can not Hurry Love" were given, the dashing Horn James Brown style saddles add more funkiness. As an encore then "Take Me Home" and a strange quote: The keyboard played a quote from the science fiction film "Eerie encounter of the third kind". That's just not an encounter with Phil Collins.

© Wienerzeitung, by Christoph Irrgeher

Last modified onTuesday, 04 June 2019 18:03


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