"Dancing into Paris" - Phil Collins in concert at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy, Paris, December 8 and 9, 1997. Review by Frederic Martin.

Phil had the great idea of performing in the round which, for once, gave everyone, even those "little people" at the back, a great view. This is of course, not a new idea and Phil used something similar with the carousel on the "But Seriously" tour back in 1990.

This time he also had the idea to play two small sets of drums which were at opposite ends of the stage. This also enabled everyone to walk, run and even dance around the stage. The Vine Street horns were also able to play in different places and Brad Cole had an additional set of keyboards. The tension was on when Phil's drums emerged centre stage along with his piano which rotated.

The stage set up itself was designed to resemble a ship with Phil as its captain. Phil made his entrance by running through the crowd and climbing up on stage. The show got under way opening with "Hand In Hand" followed by "Hang In Long Enough" before the first sample from the new album, "River So Wide" with Luis Conte on additional percussion. Twenty five songs were played during both gigs, some old favourites like the eternal "In The Air Tonight" and "Easy Lover" and some surprises, such as the inclusion of "Long Long Way To Go".

Phil introduced "Lorenzo" in French and did so without any notes this time when he thanked the crowd. As usual, the lighting was impressive; a moving gantry creating different moods for each song. At the first gig the audience were more enthusiastic and Phil had less problems - especially the audience participation during the drum duet with Luis Conte.

He was his usual amusing self, especially during "Wear My Hat" where he came down among the crowd and wore different hats offered by both band members and by members of the audience. The show was rounded off by "Take me Home" and now we are all waiting for the next tour - make it soon, Phil!


Phil meets the fans in Paris
(Photo - F. Martin/TWR)