We’ve been waiting for this moment. Phil Collins returned to the stage for the first time in four years last week to perform two of his biggest hits with, get this, a band made up of middle school kids. The former Genesis drummer/singer sang “In the Air Tonight” and “Land of Confusion” at his sons’ school concert in Miami.
“I was nervous you know,” Collins said before performing at Miami Country Day School. “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.”
The nerves he was experiencing could be attributed to his 2011 retirement to be a full-time father. He hadn’t performed live since 2010.
Collins and his ex-wife Orianne Collins Mejjati have two sons who attend the school. Mejjati told the Miami Herald that Collins agreed to perform because his son asked him to. It’s unclear whether either of his sons are in the band.
“In the Air Tonight,” with its iconic drum break and haunting lyrics, was Collins’ first single as a solo act, via his 1981 “Face Value” album. It topped out at No. 19 in the U.S. on the Hot 100. The video for “Land of Confusion,” off Genesis’ 1986 album “Invisible Touch,” gained heavy rotation on MTV for its innovative (and creepy?) use of puppets.
The singer’s return to the stage arrived just days before another iconic rock frontman — Steve Perry of Journey — peformed live again for the first time in two decades.