Where to start?! I can't make this as detailed or knowledgeable as reviews I've read on the main site. This will just have to be a personal thing. Before anyone asks, I took the photo during ITAT. I have a few others but I don't know if I can share them here.
It was very exciting doing the VIP thing, which I hadn't done to this extent before. Because we had to be there at 5 pm we heard some of the sound check. I recognised the melody but struggled to name it. Then it hit me; it was Throwing It All Away. I was just thrilled that it was a Genesis song I heard. We then had a three course dinner & bought some merchandise, which is excellent. I could have got more if I had had more time.
When the band appeared seeing Leland Sklar & Daryl Steurmer was honestly like seeing old friends. This was the first time I had ever seen either of them & yet their faces were as familiar as any I'd ever seen. I gave Nic a special cheer. When Phil appeared, walking very slowly, I wondered how he felt & how he would cope. But there wasn't long to wait. They launched straight into Against All Odds. I know why he is doing this song; it's the 'take a look at me now' thing. I've never liked it much & I didn't really change my opinion. It was followed by a beautiful rendition of Another Day In Paradise. The show really kicked off for me with two of my favourites, I Missed Again & Hang In Long Enough.
After HILE Phil said that he was going to do something by Genesis, which brought a massive cheer. He said he thought it was unlikely he would play the song we wanted to hear, but anyway. Daryl then started playing the opening chords of Throwing It All Away. At this point, although I'd heard it at soundcheck, a look of absolute joy & delight came over my face. Daryl picked up on this & basically played the song in my direction (the same thing happened with Something Happened On The Way To Heaven - he could see how much I was enjoying myself; I was fifth row centre. It's an honour to get that sort of recognition from someone you admire. With Phil himself I think I had a few fleeting glances). Anyway TIAA was gorgeous. I will never hear a word said against it any more. I mean this was different from when I saw Steve; this was the man who sang the songs.
Follow You Follow Me was just raw emotion as a backdrop of Genesis from all eras played on the big screen. I could hardly take my eyes of it & watch Phil. He saing it beautifully. What a privilege - the song means a great deal to me.
Can't Turn Back The Years is just a pleasant ballad which I know means a lot to him, but I couldn't really get into it. However it was followed by two highlights - Inside Out & Who Said I Would. At this point I should be writing about how hot Nic Collins is & how tight the horn section was & how Daryl played a great solo, etc. I don't have the musical knowledge to do that, I'm afraid. These two highlights were unfortunately followed by the low point of the evening - Separate Lives., sung with one of the backing singers (I could barely hear her; in fact, I could barely hear any backing vocals as they were mixed far too low. I had no problem with this. I wanted to listen to Phil).Separate Lives is a dirge, I'm afraid.
This was followed by the drum duet, which had Phil sitting & watching NIc & the percussionist Ritchie Garcia. This segued into a Drum Trio... with Phil playing some percussion himself. This was worth the price of admission, to see him do this. If he can't play drums this was the next best thing. After this came Something Happened & then the gut wrenching angst of You Know What I Mean, with Nic on piano. Phil said this was one of the few songs by him Nic likes! At the end Nic hugged his father. It was a great moment for me because it's my third favourite track on Face Value (I knew I wasn't getting The Roof Is Leaking).
Then he stood up & clutched the mic stand & those spooky opening notes of You Know What began. He nailed it. My only complaint was that he now pronounces the word 'last' the American way (but that was mitigated by a later effort). So I've finally seen the song that I honestly think changed my life performed live!
You Can't Hurry Love is not a favourite of mine but it was a crowd pleaser. People started to dance. Then we had Dance Into The Light, which I think a lot of people didn't really know, It was nice to see something a bit different.
Invisible Touch was MIGHTY. I have mixed feelings about this song, although I think the video is brilliant. Well, I don't care any more (to coin a phrase). I've seen it now & it was just awesome. I can't describe it Also, we got the line 'and though she will f*k up your life'! It was followed by Easy Lover, another crowd pleaser with the backing vocals prominent. It is not a favourite of mine. Then we had Sussudio. You have to just go with it. I'm not sure Phil himself was all that thrilled to be doing it. By the encore, Take Me Home, his voice had thinned out and got that rather metallic sound he has had in more recent years. I was pleased though. He sang the word 'can't 'with the English pronunciation, including the moment when it's sung the American way on the record. We all roared the chorus & then he walked slowly off the stage & that was it. I went to the VIP after show cocktail party & then went home (I got home at 12.30 am)! Fantastic, wonderful experience.