REVIEW: "What the f*** do you call this weather," Phil Collins said as he sat on stage in front of 26,000 in Napier, "I could have stayed in England for this."

It's true, people were crammed under tarpaulins and the hill at Mission Estate winery was decidedly colourful.

Whoever was selling plastic ponchos will have done well last night.

People huddled under tarps to hear Phil Collins, who captivated Napier on Waitangi Day. Photo / Paul Taylor
People huddled under tarps to hear Phil Collins, who captivated Napier on Waitangi Day. Photo / Paul Taylor

It didn't matter. As soon as Collins came on stage, walking stick in hand, the audience was enthralled.

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One concertgoer said it was an amazing concert even though it rained now and then. "Collins' 17-year-old son was outstanding on the drums and the backing artists were so polished. My favourite song was In The Air Tonight, it was a real crowd pleaser. His voice was powerful, with that unique twang of his."

Another said it was "well worth getting wet. He was fantastic".

It takes a special kind of person to keep thousands of people captivated. Collins did it while sitting down.

The person I was standing next did not come to the concert a Collins fan, but said she left as one.

Before the concert I spoke to a lot of people about what songs they wanted to hear. Most people said he could sing anything and they would be happy. I understand why.

It might have been a bit on the nose to sing I Wish It Would Rain Down On Me. He didn't, so a couple of fans who I spoke to before the concert would have been slightly disappointed.

"I could have stayed in England for this," Collins moaned about the weather.

Another group would have been happy, when I asked what they were most looking forward to all three said in unison In the air Tonight. It was probably one of the highlights of the show. It is something quite special to hear a crowd that size, singing their hearts out.

Apart from Collins, there were other enjoyable parts of the show.

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Personally I really enjoyed Germein, an Australian band who was one of the opening acts. Other opening acts, Badger and Rob Ruha and The Witch Doctors were also fantastic.

Overall it was a fantastic concert. I agree with everyone around me. It was well worth getting wet for.