Phil Collins – Not Dead Yet – North America – Phil’s far more confident

Phil Collins surprised everyone with his announcement of his intention to return to touring, now almost two years since that announcement at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Phil has toured Europe with a series of shows in the UK, Germany and France. Whilst a clumsy fall in his hotel room meant that some of those London dates were postponed until the Autumn / Winter of 2017. Phil and his promoter decided to fit in a small UK tour visiting Nottingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London. A tour announcement for North America was inevitable, had Phil not had that tumble in his hotel room then the North American tour might have occurred as early as October 2017. There was a sneaky hint of a show in October 2017 in America but after that fall, it disappeared. Phil even took his band back to the South American continent in the spring of 2018, his first return to the area since his 1995 Far Side Of The World tour, not only playing to long standing fans but also to a brand new selection of younger fans, some of whom were not even alive when Phil last visited the region.

Phil Collins brought a 14-piece band to the Bell Centre in Montreal, October 16, 2018. CHRISTINE MUSCHI / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Well now finally a year later than originally planned, it seems Phil’s health is coming back. It was startling to see online photos and youtube videos of him standing up during In The Air Tonight and Invisible Touch. What was even more of a stunner was to see Phil taking part in a percussion triple with his son Nicolas and North American tour percussionist Richie “Gajate” Garcia, Phil’s hands are looking pretty athletic on that Cajon percussion instrument.

The set list has changed as well, with the Genesis song Throwing It All Away from the 1986 Genesis album Invisible touch, and the 1999 song You’ll Be In My Heart, from the Disney project for the animated film titled Tarzan. Taking the place of Wake Up Call.

Phil has also adjusted the running order, with some shows starting with Against All Odds, perhaps in a metaphorical way the title of the song could be taken literally. Especially if you have read Phil’s autobiography Not Dead Yet.

Reviews from the tour such as this one from the Montreal show  – Montreal paints a kind picture of the fact Phil’s health means that he is sitting down, no longer running around and playing the drums. This review from the show in Toronto – Toronto is also very positive. This review from the show at Cleveland – Cleveland also paints a positive light on Phil’s health aliments but also offers a positive spin on the show, another review from the Cleveland show is at At The Q . Here’s another review this time from Boston – Boston another well written review talking about the show and the way the audience reacted.

Although some reviews are critically honest such as this one from Newark – Newark but to be fair only Phil knows what Phil is physically going through with regard to pain management. Yes the tickets have been expensive but then Phil actually last toured in North America with a production of this scale back in 2004, on his amusingly titled Final Farewell tour, 14 years on touring costs have risen.

On a lighter note, here is an excellent full concert film shot by a fan from a good position behind the mixing desk at the BB&T Center, in Florida on the 15th October 2018.

Meanwhile, the tour continues into early 2019 visiting New Zealand and Australia, with what I have seen on youtube I can honestly say that his confidence and health has come along nicely, he should return to the UK with this show whilst he has this ever growing confidence, I can honestly say I would love to see the drum / percussion triple thing especially with Phil and the others playing Cajon’s. Just to clarify, Phil is not back behind the drum kit, he is playing hand percussion before the song, Something Happened On The Way To Heaven.