For the first time since his retirement in 2011, Phil Collins has performed in front of a live audience. The set for his grand return wasn’t a sold out ampitheatre or the final act of a music festival but the auditorium of his son’s middle school. In front of the very enthusiastic crowd Collins performed “Land of Confusion” and his biggest solo hit “In the Air Tonight”. A spinal cord injury had been the rumored cause of the singer’s retirement, though that didn’t stop him from making the performance at the Miami Country Day School.
“I was nervous you know,” Collins admitted. “I’ve been doing this all my life but how good can it be? How good can it be tonight? All of these kids came up to me yesterday and were very pleasant and nice and polite and made me feel like part of the band.” This was his first live performance since 2010 and it will most likely not be his last. Collins’s oldest son Simon told Smashing Interviews last year that his father is “doing really well. He’s starting to write again actually and spending more time with family, myself included.”
This seems to be the season for returning rock stars, as less than a week ago Steve Perry came out of retirement to perform with the Eels. Though it is too early to speculate what more will come from the sudden concert, many fans of Collins were thrilled to see their beloved singer take the stage once again and belt the classics that have made him a star.
Collins began his career as a child actor in the sixties before transitioning to a music career. After mild solo success, Collins joined Peter Gabriel’s band Genesis as a drummer and backup vocalist. In 1975 Gabriel left the band, forcing Collins to step up and take the frontman position and be thrust into stardom. While Collins remained with the band until 1996, he took time for a solo career gaining international attention for hits “In the Air Tonight”, “Sussudio”, and “Don’t Lose My Number”. His 1985 album No Jacket Required went diamond certified and won the Grammy of Album of the Year. Collins would later win a Golden Globe and Academy Award for writing “You’ll Be In My Heart” for the 1998 Disney film Tarzan.
The full video of Phil Collins’s triumphant return can be seen here