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Phil Collins Reminds Australian Fans His Musical Genius is Not Dead Yet

The genius of Phil Collins is in the songs. Even before we were treated to his 1981 masterpiece 'In The Air Tonight' Phil gave us a preview in Genesis of what was the come with 'Follow You Follow Me'. Both songs feature in a show that is a remarkable self-tribute to a true superstar.

Phil Collins was never your flamboyant rock star. While Jackson was doing the glove, Prince donned the purple uniform and Bono never appeared without the signature sunnies Phil was always just Phil. We were never directed to an image because his music said it all.

The Not Dead Yet tour has reached Australia and even in that title we are treated to the scallywag instead of the superstar. The once retired musician looks frail these days due to a bad back but the voice is still there, albeit the occasional struggle.

While the body no longer holds up to the powerful drumming Collins is known for, he bred a mighty fine heir and a spare in 17-year old son Nicholas who has perfected his fathers signature style of drumming. The passing of the torch between father and son in the Drum Trio midway through the show is Phil, Nicholas and percussionist Luis Conte simply enjoying themselves.

The Collins band has some familiar names for Genesis and Phil fans. Daryl Stuermer on guitar has been a mainstay with Collins both solo and with Genesis for 40 years. Bass player the eternally bearded Leland Sklar has been on so many of your favourite albums I recommend you Google him to see. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leland_Sklar

(Fun fact: After 40 years of marriage, Leland's wife has never seen his face).

A special shout out to backing singer Amy Keys who not only gave Phil a worthy vocal workout on 'Easy Lover', it looked at one point like she was about to perform a miracle and get him on his feet again.

Phil Collins has a lot of career to cover in his two hours on stage but there are surprisingly few casualties. 'One More Night' is missing from the set, so is 'Don't Lose My Number'.

The show kicks off with one of Collins most beautiful pieces 'Against All Odds'.

He covers off his Genesis era with 'Follow You Follow Me', 'Invisible Touch' and 'Throwing It All Away'. When 'Follow You Follow Me' was released Phil was a few years away from a solo career. The song was a departure from the art-rock stylings of Genesis but told us something great was about to happen. Historically, it was the song where the name Phil Collins took on a meaning of its own.

As expected the Gobsmack moment in the show was 'In The Air Tonight'. I can still vividly recall that song coming into the radio station back in the days when radio played real music and everyone just being stunned by its innovation. That song set a template for production and quality that became a guideline for music in the 80s. Hearing it almost 40 years later makes anyway 50+ appreciate the truly remarkable time we experienced musically in our youth.

The big finish, before he took us out with 'Take Me Home', was 'Sussudio'. It had everyone (except Phil) on their feet.

Here is the setlist for Phil Collins' Melbourne, 1 February 2019

Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) (single, 1984)
Another Day in Paradise (from But Seriously, 1989)
I Missed Again (from Face Value, 1981)
Hang in Long Enough (from But Seriously, 1989)
Throwing It All Away (from Genesis, Invisible Touch, 1986)
Follow You Follow Me (from Genesis, And Then There Were Three, 1978)
Can't Turn Back The Years (from Both Sides, 1993)
Inside Out (from No Jacket Required, 1985)
Who Said I Would (from No Jacket Required, 1985)
Separate Lives (single, 1985)
Drum trio
Something Happened on the Way to Heaven (from But Seriously, 1989)
You Know What I Mean (from Face Value, 1981)
In the Air Tonight (from Face Value, 1981)
You Can't Hurry Love (from Hello I Must Be Going, 1982)
Dance Into the Light (from Dance Into The Light, 1996)
Invisible Touch (from Genesis, Invisible Touch, 1986)
Easy Lover (single, 1985)
Sussudio (from No Jacket Required, 1985)

Encore:
Take Me Home (from No Jacket Required, 1985)

© Noise11, by Paul Cashmere

Video

Phil Collins. Against All Odds. AAMI Park, Melbourne. 1st Feb 2019 Essence

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