Of Fathers and Sons: Phil Collins “Not Dead Yet” tour

Last night, the night before a significant birthday of mine that will not be named, I went to see what proved to be a really fantastic and unexpectedly emotional concert. Phil Collins in his Cleveland, Ohio appearance of his “Not Dead Yet” tour. One of the first concerts I ever went to back when I was in college, was the Genesis “Invisible Touch” tour back in 1987. I went with some of my very best friends in college and had the absolute best time. Phil was an amazing drummer and I loved the album and enjoyed the whole show.

Fast forward many years (and how the heck did *that* happen) and some friends at work wanted to know if my husband and I would like to see Phil as he did one more tour that, thankfully, took him through Cleveland. My husband, being a drummer, and knowing I loved Genesis, said yes! So last night, the night before my birthday, and a school night, we went downtown to enjoy dinner and some music.

You can read several wonderful reviews of the concert here and here┬áso I won’t go into depth about the sets and Phil’s performance. What I will say is that it was surprisingly emotional . When the show opened, Mr. Collins walked out to center stage with the help of a cane. Apparently he’s recently had surgery and his foot isn’t in very good shape, so he would not be playing the drums. Instead he sat on a stool and sang every song from the front of the stage. His voice was sometimes soft, and at times, timid, but it was still the same Phil Collins voice I remembered from college. As he continued through the set, he became stronger in song and presence. His band and backup singers were delightful and it was obvious to the audience that there was love and admiration all around.

That wasn’t nearly the emotional part. No, that came when Phil introduced his band. He started with the horn section, because no Phil Collins or Genesis song is complete without horns. Then moved to the guitars, percussions, backup singers and keyboards. He skipped over the drums and the audience was on the edge of their seats waiting to find out who the young man was on the drums.

Turns out that the young man in question was Phil’s 17 year old son, Nicholas Collins. When introduced. the audience could not have beeb more loud. Yes, I cried. That was it for me the entire night. If Phil couldn’t play the drums, his son was there to carry on for the next generation. Maybe it was because I was about to turn a milestone birthday or maybe it’s because my own children are starting to mature and grown into teenagers who are their own people but I was deeply touched.

Here’s a little youtube video I found of the father/son duo during this tour.

If you can see Phil Collins on this tour, whether or not you’re a fan, it was definitely a wonderful time. Last night’s show was sold out, but I suspect there might have been one or two tickets still remaining here or there. I’d recommend it without hesitation.

Thank you again, Mr. Phil Collins, for your music, for your gift and for sharing both with the world.