“One more night in Glasgow” - Phil Collins in concert at the SSE Hydro Glasgow on Friday 1st December 2017. Review by Gordon Halliday. Photographs by Oystein Hage.
After months of anticipation, it was time. My main man was back in town. My home town, Beyond excited! Before I make a few comments about the gig, I must point out that I am firmly in the Genesis camp. Not the Phil solo camp. I mention this only as I find a lot of his solo tracks banal. However, he is the lead singer of my heroes so consequently I am going to be there!
I had seen clips on the fan pages since the start of the tour and I was very concerned about his voice if I am honest. My concerns were not warranted in the slightest. At 8.00 pm sharp, the lights dimmed, the background music stopped and on he came to screams of delight. Yes, walking with a stick. Yes, slow and pedestrian, but he was right there on the stage. His first visit to Glasgow since 2005. After brief introductions we were off!
I am not going to detail the set list. If you are reading this you will know it off by heart anyway! The voice is deep, an octave lower perhaps. The microphone is pushed away from his face as he reaches the higher notes. Some of these are significantly lower than previous but his voice is strong. It booms out of the huge PA and fills the hall.
The band are pin sharp. On top of their game as one would expect with such seasoned pros. My daughter remarked “sounds just like the records”. She should know, she has listened to it for thirty years!
Young Master Collins is on drums as you know. Now, here’s a thing. At sixteen he is one hell of a drummer! Not quite a Chester Thompson. Yet. But for his age he is phenomenal. He is different to Chester and his old boy. Not quite as jazzy, more rocky, more thumping. Not as many licks but for a boy he is superb. Greatness awaits I reckon. As it turns out, he is also an accomplished keyboard player.
|The stage was simple this time with a huge screen behind the players filled with various anecdotes of years past. Memories for us fans flashed up as we crashed through the set. Talking of which, to be honest I was a little disappointed. Apart from two Genesis numbers: my highlights obviously, what we got was a shortened 2005 First Final Farewell Greatest Hits set. It was safe and pretty predictable. I know there is no new record to promote but nevertheless, it was a bit tame for an old fan like me.
If you hadn’t seen him or the boys previously, then I am sure you would have loved it, but just a tad stale for me. Each song was performed superbly with Daryl Stuermer leading the way on lead guitar effortlessly. I am not sure why we Genesis fans don’t give him more credit. He’s one hell of a player!
A surprising change on this gig was an interval of thirty minutes for a lie down I assume. The auditorium was filled by humorous Phil Collins spoof adverts for the duration which were entertaining.
Back they came and off we went again. It wasn’t long before In The Air Tonight started. The long keyboard introduction before the drum machine kicks in. Alarmingly half the hall didn’t recognise the intro until the drum machine appeared! Anyway, the crowd went crazy and young Nic smashed the skins like a pro and blew the crowd away.
Before long it was Take Me Home, the end of the show, it was over. Lights up and please leave the building. Will I see him again? I don’t know but I really hope so….
Phil’s health has been a major talking point. Whilst he sat down for the entire show it’s very noticeable that his interactions with the audience are a bare minimum. Being brought up on the Duke tour, Invisible Touch and We Can’t Dance, it was sad to see him sat there quietly getting through the set list. Perhaps nothing to do with health but certainly a different man.
The choice of set probably pleases 90% of the audience however I was a bit disappointed that he wasn’t more diverse. He certainly has plenty to choose from!
The band were faultless. Not a single criticism. The PA was magnificent and the volume perfect.
|This brings me on finally to the venue. I am sure many of you weren’t aware that Glasgow never really had a decent large auditorium for the “big bands” to play. Well, we do now Phil said after the Both Sides tour that he didn’t like Glasgow’s old SECC venue. The acoustics were terrible he said. This echoed all the music lovers’ opinions up here. Now we have this 21st Century space ship, with elevator bars, 17,000 seats and world class acoustics. If any of you wanting to go to a favourite gig and the Hydro is an option, grab it with both hands. Must be in the top ten in the world. I just wish we had had it during the Genesis years.|