The music legend enters the stadium stage on his walking stick and settles down – phil collins will remain seated on the swivel chair for the next almost two hours and still be able to hear the 38 or so people in the audience.000 listeners in stuttgart’s mercedes-benz arena drift along.
The 68-year-old and his fans are connected by hits like "another day in paradise," "you can?T hurry love" or "easy lover". At the beginning of his performance, collins introduces the song "against all odds", which translates as "against all expectations" – on this evening, it can also be understood as a declaration of war on life, on fate.
Almost apologetically, collins addressed his audience before the first notes: he would have to spend most of the evening sitting down – "but that won’t stop us from having fun. After a back operation his right foot is paralyzed. In addition, nerve damage makes it impossible for collins, who became famous as the drummer for the band genesis in the 1970s, to play the drums.
In the meantime, this is done by his son nicholas – and the 18-year-old was received in stuttgart with just as thunderous applause as his famous father. And so "in the air tonight" – with that legendary drum break – is set up as one of the emotional high points of the concert: shots of the stoically singing father on the swivel chair are quickly cut on the stadium screens against images of the drumming son. The last line "I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life" is followed by an ovation.
In an interview about a year ago, collins said that this song has a bittersweet taste for him: "of course, there’s always that moment at the concerts when ‘in the air tonight’ comes on and people think that maybe I’m going to play after all."But even in stuttgart collins doesn’t pick up the sticks and has to disappoint such expectations.
Collins now adds to the sarcastic motto of his world tour "not dead yet," which started in 2017. Under the title "still not dead yet", he will make guest appearances in berlin, munich, poland and hanover during his european tour. In the fall, the musician moves on to the U.S.
In stuttgart, numerous young listeners mingle with the many fans who got to know collins as a genesis drummer and, after peter gabriel’s departure, as a lead singer. That’s hardly surprising: collins, who has been much maligned for his radio-friendly mainstream music, has delivered world-famous earworms in the past decades and has enjoyed success like hardly any other musician: solo and with his band, he has sold more than 250 million records, several number one hits, seven grammys and even an oscar for the music to the disney film "tarzan. But tour-goers will have to settle for the old – collins’ last album with new songs was released almost 17 years ago.
Some fans are surprised by the energy of the aged pop star. "Inside him bubbles?S, he really wants to do it," commented two audience members. "He would have loved to have jumped up from his chair at any moment."Instead, collins slowly limps off the stage amid loud cheers. And then – visibly enjoying the moment – he returns for an encore. From his swivel chair, he will conduct the crowd’s chant to "take me home. The father receives an appreciative pat on the back from son nicholas.