After another scorching day in Adelaide (25 January), the breezy evening was a welcome relief for those who had gathered to see Phil Collins.
He opened the night with what I would imagine is one of his most popular karaoke songs, ‘Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)’ that had everyone in the almost sold-out Adelaide Oval swaying along and roaring the lyrics as loud as they could.
If this was anything to go by, we were bound to have no voices left by the end of the night.
“I’d like to thank you for coming because well, we realise you had a choice," Phil said. “I’m going to be sitting down for most of tonight, 'cause what can I say; I had back surgery and my foot’s f…ed, but that’s not going to stop us from having a good time.”
‘Another Day In Paradise’, ‘I Missed Again’ and ‘Hang In Long Enough’ all featured early bringing a smile to the diehard fans who filled the Oval.
The night wouldn’t have been complete without a few nods to Phil’s former band. “About three or four hundred years ago I was in a band called Genesis. And we all still get along really well, so I thought I’d sing you a few of those tonight.
"We had a lot of songs and you have to understand that the chances of us playing the one you want to hear is very slim, but we’re going to go ahead and play this one 'cause we rehearsed it.”
They launched into ‘Throwing It All Away’, ‘Follow You Follow Me’ (my favourite of the night) and ‘Invisible Touch’ were also welcome additions to the setlist. After presenting the crowd to the 14 members of his band, Phil introduced with great pride the drummer - his 17-year-old son, Nicholas Collins.
One of Phil's back-up singers pulled up another chair and joined him centre stage for ‘Separate Lives’, complete with a celestial backdrop and a silent crowd this song was easily one of the most heartfelt and magical songs he performed for the night, of course giving full credit for the beautiful words to Stephen Bishop.
Aside from this magical duet and the fabulous throwback Genesis songs, one of the highlights of the night for me was the drum solo performed by Nick, which then moved into a drum/ percussion trio - a very special piece to witness.
“Nick was going through some of my old records when it looked like he might be available to come on tour. And he found one that he liked… oh this just in, he found two that he liked from all my old albums; not bad for a life’s work.
"Anyway he asked me to teach him this particular one on the piano and I couldn’t remember it [laughs] so he went ahead and taught himself to play it and I retaught myself the lyrics and here we are.” Together they performed ‘You Know What I Mean’, a short and sweet song with a lovely message.
Their duet was sealed with a quick hug between the two before Nick headed back to the drums and the rest of the band re-joined them onstage. And then finally, it was time for the song everyone had been waiting for.
The front row pulled out their drumsticks and drummed against the fence in time with ‘In the Air Tonight’, just waiting for that amazing drum roll so they could really let loose. The lighting and sound during this song was incomparable.
A few covers such as ‘You Can't Hurry Love’ by The Supremes, and ‘Easy Lover’ co-written by Phillip Bailey, started to round out the evening that had everyone on their feet and bopping along, almost like a warm-up for the moves that were going to be pulled out for ‘Sussudio’.
I couldn’t see a single face around me that wasn’t smiling through this energetic piece; even Phil attempted to stand for a moment.
They exited the stage before returning to perform one, last encore track, the very appropriately titled ‘Take Me Home’. And judging by the lines at the merchandise stands after the show, there was going to be a lot of people taking his face home with them.