On October 7, 2019, Phil Collins brought his ‘Not Dead Yet’ Tour to Madison Square Garden for two nights. The tour was 97 shows total including legs in Europe, North America, South America and Australia. and named after his 2016 autobiography. Due to ongoing nerve damage with his hands, this is the first tour that Collins did not play drums. Instead he relied on his son, 18 year old Nicholas Collins to handle all the drum parts. He did an excellent job and I’m sure his father was proud.
Back surgery had also left Phil with a paralyzed right foot so he had to remain seated during this tour. His backup band included guitarist Daryl Stuermer, keyboardist Brad Cole, bassist Leland Sklar, percussionist Richie Garcia and featured Nicholas Collins on drums.
It was a bit awkward as Phil hobbled on stage assisted by a cane, but I don’t think he cared much and neither did the audience. You realize he is an absolute legend as he begins to play hit after hit spanning his 50 plus year career. He sounded fantastic. He even snuck in a few Genesis songs along the way and teased a Genesis reunion which is now supposed to take place sometime in 2021. They played for 2 and half hours, and still couldn’t possibly play every song everyone wanted to hear.
The 19 song setlist barely scratched the surface of even just his greatest hits. One of the highlights of the show was when Collins, his son Nicholas and percussionist Richie Garcia had a wild synchronized percussionist duel which culminated with both of them coming out to sit with Phil and play amplifies cajons. It really brought the energy up and was the closest thing we got to see him playing drums. Another highlight was when he brought his son Nicholas to accompany him on piano on “You Know What I Mean” which Collins said his son requested to be included on the tour.
Nicholas returned to the drums as Phil stood for the only time to perform “In the Air Tonight.” He kept the energy up with “Can’t Hurry Love” and “Invisible Touch” ending the show with “Easy Lover,” Sussudio” and “Take Me Home.”
The crowd, including myself was definitely pleased with the performance and went home happy. Weather or not he will ever play again solo or with Genesis will remain to be seen.
Setlist: Against All Odds, Another Day in Paradise, Hang In Long Enough, Don’t Lose My Number, Throwing It All Away (Genesis), Follow You Follow Me (Genesis), I Missed Again, Who Said I Would, Separate Lives, 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), Easy Lover, Sussudio, Take Me Home