"Dancing into Hanover" - Phil Collins' gig at the Eilenriedhalle Hanover. Review by Annie Lysebjerg-Jensen.

November first, 1997 was the best day of my life. Not only was it my seventeenth birthday, but I along with my sister who has now almost been converted to a fan of Phil's made the 600km journey from Esbjerg in Denmark to Hanover to see Phil in concert. This was my first Phil Collins concert but it certainly will not be my last! The show was all standing but by a stroke of luck we managed to get a good place about 20 metres from the stage. The round stage ensured that no one had a really bad view and when Phil finally stood still it was usually right in front of us!

The concert was delayed due to technical problems, so everyone got more and more tense, myself included. The show opened with Phil emerging from the back of the crowd getting them to sing in his very own vocalese. By the time he made it on stage, the rest of the band were already there. It was at this point that I got my first impressions of a German audience, and the people in front of me didn't speak a word of English so I wondered how the hell will they understand what he is saying...?

When the time came for "Wear My Hat", everyone was dancing and when Phil came out wearing a white cowboy hat - I laughed my head off. He wore it for a couple of minutes before being chased by Arnold and Amy then he disappeared to return wearing a massive "Carnival" hat. It was hilarious to watch. Arnold and Amy also shone during "Separate Lives" and there were moments when I couldn't hold back the tears and they got a great reception. In the middle of the show a song started and I was thinking "Gee, a new song..." because I couldn't recognise the new intro to "In The Air Tonight" but that was soon put right when the familiar drum pattern began and everybody cheered their heads off.

Andrew Woolfolk's sax solo during "One More Night" was perfect; it simply blew the roof off. "You Can't Hurry Love" was also fantastic and the Vine Street Horns were awesome during the middle of the song where they seemed to be having some sort of weird dance contest which from where I was standing - Harry won. The impromptu drum improvisation followed with just about everybody playing some form of percussive instrument, chasing each other round the stage like it was a school playground.

"Easy Lover" followed and it was amazing to see the sheer effort that went into it including the send-up of Arnold who was supposed to be in love with the girl in the song. Daryl's guitar was really on fire during this show. It was the second show in Hanover but it seemed like the first and Daryl's solos all worked out well. The show ended with, of course, "Take me Home" where Phil made the band run around the stage while he introduced them all to the crowd. Before this, they had played a superb version of "Sussudio" where on the first drum bang there was an explosion and the party streamers which had been threatening to make an appearance finally did so, covering the audience.

Phil on stage in Hanover
(Photo - H. Jamisch/IT)

During the really quiet songs like "Long, Long way To Go" and "Do You Remember?" Phil sat alone on the stage with his keyboard that slowly rotated so that everyone got a good view and the show was an enjoyable experience for everyone. After the show, we returned to our bus but when we arrived back in Denmark at 3-30am, we had to wait until 7-30am for our train back to Esbjerg [I'm sure that most TWR readers can sympathise with you about waiting in the early morning for trains etc, after gigs, Annie - AH].