CONCERT REVIEW: Phil Collins may be moving slower, but he showed Toronto he’s still got it

Phil Collins
Scotiabank Arena
Thursday night
RATING: *** (3 out of 4)

Singer-drummer Phil Collins has jokingly called his first trek in 12 years the ‘Not Dead Yet Tour,’ after his 2016 autobiography of the same name.

And while Collins is definitely still walking the Earth, he’s doing it slowly and with the help of a cane.

The 67-year-old British musician, who has come out of a self-imposed retirement, blamed “a back operation and a f***ed-up foot,” for his frail appearance at the Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night before he sat down in a swivelling black leather office chair.

“I’m going to be sitting down a lot tonight – but we’re going to have fun,” Collins explained. And he was – true to his word – still in good voice and humour.

Sure, Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl toured with a throne when he broke his leg, but Collins had another secret weapon up his sleeve.

Would you believe his 17-year-old son Nicholas, the eldest with his third wife Orianne (who he divorced but has since gotten back together with)?

So if nerve damage has prevented you from playing the drums – as is the case with Phil – having your teenaged son behind the kit accompanying you really isn’t such a bad thing, especially if you’re a monster player like Nicholas.

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The younger Collins certainly got a rousing reception from the audience after he was introduced by his proud papa about halfway through the show.

In fact, the applause was so loud, Collins Senior jokingly told the crowd to stop a few times.

Father and son also sat together by themselves at the piano to play one of the younger Collins favourites of his dad’s – You Know What I Mean – which ended with Nicholas hugging and kissing his father.

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There was also an impressive drum solo performance by Nicholas and percussionist Richie “Gajate” Garcia before they joined the elder Collins at the front of the stage while he played a slap-top cajon and they sat atop standard cajons.

Otherwise, it was a pretty straightforward arena spectacle featuring Collins, who has sold more than 100 million albums, playing hit after crowd-pleasing hit over the course of two hours, with plenty of eye-popping videos on a curved LED screen behind the band.

Accompanied by 14 musicians, including longtime guitarist Daryl Stuermer, along with a four-man horn section and four backup singers, there was barely time to get over one singalong before another began.

Opening with Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now), Collins slowly moved into a higher gear with Another Day in Paradise, I Missed Again and Hang in Long Enough.

Two Genesis songs – Throwing It All Away and Follow You Follow Me – were preceded by Collins pointing out it was London, Ont. where he first sang as the band’s new, more mainstream frontman after original singer Peter Gabriel had departed.

We also got to see a lot of goofy videos of Collins and all of his Genesis bandmates and a third song from the band, Invisible Touch, came towards the end of the show.

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Ballads like Separate Lives, a duet between Collins and his backup singer Bridgette Bryant, and You’ll Be In My Heart (from Tarzan) were thrown into the mix, but the crowd really went nuts for Collins’ signature ’80s song In The Air Tonight, with the younger Collins doing his dad’s most famous drum fill proud.

The last half-hour was chockablock with uptempo numbers like The Supremes’ You Can’t Hurry Love, Dance Into the Light, Easy Lover – sadly without Philip Bailey – the ridiculously catchy Sussudio and then finally the encore number Take Me Home.

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SET LIST
Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)
Another Day in Paradise
I Missed Again
Hang in Long Enough
Throwing It All Away (Genesis song)
Follow You Follow Me (Genesis song)
Can’t Turn Back the Years
Who Said I Would
Separate Lives
You’ll Be in My Heart
Drum Trio
Something Happened on the Way to Heaven
You Know What I Mean
In the Air Tonight
You Can’t Hurry Love
Dance Into the Light
Invisible Touch (Genesis song)
Easy Lover
Sussudio

ENCORE
Take Me Home

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies