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.... it's all over now! Long awaited and already passed: Phil Collins’s German concerts in 1994


Phil kicked off the second part of his German tour on 03/09/1994 in Hannover setting a new record for an audience of 240,000 at four consecutive shows in Niedersachsenstadion. After a brief stop-over in Paris, France, he continued his tour through good old Germany with gigs in Stuttgart, Munich and Frankfurt. But on Stuttgart the worst case occurred when the keyboarder Brad Cole, injured himself when he jumped over a fence just before the show began. As a result the shows on 16, 18 and 19/9 had to be cancelled. What now? Phil quickly hired Greg Phillinganes (a keyboarder known for, e.g. Eric Clapton shows) and after three days of straight rehearsals the Munich show could take place as scheduled on 22/9 – with Greg and Brad at the keyboards, a rare image! It was good to see the band have fun on stage after all these troubles; and the set list had changed, too. Before the band was introduced they played the classic Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, and My Girl was added to the encores. The number of cover versions in his set grew with these; he had sung Helpless Heart before at various shows (and together with Paul Brady in Dublin!). But the fans’ bliss vanished already the very next day when bad news spread like a wildfire: “The show is cancelled because Phil Collins’s vocal chords are chafed.” The show after that one was cancelled, too. Fans began to worry whether the Frankfurt shows would take place at all. Fortunately Phil had recovered, and all three Frankfurt gigs (on 26-28/9) took place without a hitch. The cancelled Stuttgart gigs were made up for on 18-20/10. Greg was not in the band anymore by that time: Brad Cole had recovered quickly and could play the whole show again.

The Stuttgart gigs suffered from the lacklustre atmosphere in the audience. There was never a party mood as there had been in Hannover despite the pouring rain; one factor in the equation may have been that the show was all seated. From the end of November to mid-December Phil will be touring in the UK; six consecutive nights at the Wembley Arena (on 7, 8, 10, 11, 13 and 14/12) will certainly be a highlight. 


So far this tour is the best I have ever seen by Phil Collins. There is so much more energy in the whole band – perhaps because it was an almost completely new ensemble? The stage design is a real eye-catcher; the steel construction may make it seem cold at first glance, but the varilites prove the opposite in the course of the show. Some people have voiced their opinion that dividing the show into a slow and a fast part was not so lucky, but it certainly was a change from the previous tours. The success of this tour tells a similar tale – what artist has ever managed to sell out the Niedersachsenstadion four days in a row? Hopefully we will see Phil back in Germany soon – whether as a solo artist or with Genesis.

by C.M.
English by Martin Klinkhardt

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