Phil Collins

27 July 1994

Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, Englewood, CO


I ask my co-worker Jeff, "So, uh, what are you up to tonight". After he responded by saying that he was going to the Phil Collins concert, I asked, "Got an extra ticket?"

After replying with, "Maybe," a few hours later I was joining him and a couple other friends for a trip to Englewood, CO to see one night of the Both Sides tour. Before we could get started, riding shotgun in our car, I moved my seat back to accomodate a necessary amount of legroom for myself. In the process, the seat sandwiched a friend's foot in between it and the seat track, tearing his toenail in half.

I felt especially bad, since that friend happened to be a marathon runner. After waiting about 30 minutes for him to douse his wound with H2O2, I apologized, and offered to hold the door open for him, for which he replied with a noticeable flinch, "NO, no, th-that's okay!" Can't blame him.

We arrived, general admission tickets in hand, at the Green right at showtime, and the place was PACKED. We found a sloped lawn area on the left.

Phil opens with a drum solo, followed by two recognizable tunes, "I Don't Care Anymore", and "Don't Lose My Number", followed by two unrecognizable (to me) numbers, and four more recognizable numbers, "Another Day in Paradise" (minus David Crosby), "I Wish It Would Rain", "One More Night", and a favorite of an ex-girlfriend, "Groovy Kind Of Love". Phil spent most of his time away from his drums. After all, he's not touring with Genesis at the moment.

Interspersed within the rest of the setlist were "Separate Lives", and cuts off of his relatively less successful recent album Both Sides, "Both Sides Of The Story" and a track that sounds similar his duet hit with David Crosby (called "Hero"), "Everyday".

After one of many costume changes, and one of many stage setup changes, Phil played "In The Air Tonight" solo on piano. Amidst three more relatively unrecognizable tunes, Phil performed on a marching band drumset with other band members on one song, during which my now drunk co-worker yelled, at top vocal amplitude, "This song SUUUUUUUUCKS!!!!!"

Almost as if in response, Phil then launched into "Easy Lover", and one of my all-time Phil Collins favorites, "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven". The barrage of hits continued with "You Can't Hurry Love", "Two Hearts", and "Sussudio", "Take Me Home", and an encore of another personal favorite, "I Missed Again".

Remarkable was how Phil filled a full three-hour set with only solo tracks. No Genesis material at all. How often can a solo artist separate himself from an otherwise extremely successfuly career with another band on stage? Not very often.

Though my drunk co-worker urinated in the parking lot (only to not remember doing so the next morning), I left the Amphitheatre with a good memory of the show. The combination of musicianship, singing ability, songwriting skill, choreography, and pure effort, on the part of Phil (with his solo tour bandmates), made 27 July 1994 an unexpectedly fine evening.

[****] - Steven T.

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