Late last year, Phil Collins told Rolling Stone that he was “no longer officially retired” and “raring to go” after nearly a decade out of the spotlight, but he hadn’t done much to actualize that until the opening of the US Open in New York Monday night.
His brief set began with “In the Air Tonight,” featuring longtime Genesis touring guitarist Daryl Stuermer, bassist Nathan East, keyboardist Brad Cole and his 15-year-old son Nicholas on drums. Extensive nerve damage has made it nearly impossible for Phil to play drums at this point, but his skills clearly passed down to the next generation and Nicholas handles one of the most famous drum fills in rock history with ease.
They followed it up with Collins’ 1984 hit “Easy Lover,” with Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. handling the vocal parts originally done by Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey. “That song doesn’t sound like any particular era,” Collins told Rolling Stone last year. “It’s just fantastic. The hip-hop brigade fell in love with me after ‘Easy Lover.’ They were like, ‘Where’d that come from? That ain’t black music and that ain’t white music. That’s kind of an interesting color of beige.'”
The set wrapped after just two songs, but Collins is releasing his long-awaited memoir on October 25th that he’ll support with a promotional book tour. He’s revealed no firm plans for a new album or comeback tour, but much of his old band reunited for the US Open. His drummer may still have a few years of high school left to complete, but hopefully that won’t impede any road work. “My kids were in nappies when I was last on the road,” he told Rolling Stone last year. “They love my music and I’d like to take them out so they can enjoy it.”