"Little Dreams Foundation Dreaming On The Beach Gala" – Phil Collins at Miami Beach’s Fillmore, March 11th 2016. Review by Robert Alderman.
I’ll be honest, I was somewhat apprehensive about this show. I attended last year’s Little Dreams Foundation Gala show in Miami when Phil was unable to perform at the last minute owing to illness. His health issues over the past year have been well documented and having seen recent interviews on local TV I was not sure that Phil’s voice was going to be up to a “comeback”.
The evenings show featured various talented youth who have benefited from the Little Dreams Foundation and a tremendous set by Foreigners Lou Gramm. Phil had introduced his set and appeared in good form. The highlight of the evening arrived and Phil took the stage along with the musical talents of Daryl Stuermer, Brad Cole, Nathan East. Luis Conte and Gerald Albright.
Nathan East had tweeted earlier in the day “Phil Collins is back!!” and indeed he was!! From the first notes of Another Day In Paradise it was clear that I should not have been concerned. Phil’s voice sounded great and a heavy sax backing made for a great opening number.
Phil’s 14 year old son Nicholas took his place behind the drum kit for the next song Against All Odds and then the opening chords of In The Air Tonight filled the theater. Phil sang with passion and Nic kept the drumming tight throughout.
Nathan East joined Phil on vocals for the next song, East Lover and despite Phil’s recent foot injury he managed some dance steps from the 80’s video! “It’s good to be back” Phil said before a launching into a bongo backed version of Take Me Home complete with audience participation sing along at the end. It was clear that Phil was enjoying his return to the stage.
The final two numbers were covers that we have seen Phil sing in the past. My Girl and a reggae style Knocking On Heavens Door during which the rest of the nights performers joined Phil and the band on stage.
It was a tremendous evening – a great benefit gala supporting a very worthy cause and hopefully just the first chapter in Phil’s return to recording and live performances.