Roger Hodgson ~ Light, Joy, and Nostalgia in Caracas
José Domingo Guariglia
Took one hour to fill, but it did. The Sambil amphitheater was packed Thursday May 20 to welcome Roger Hodgson, British rock legend, the man who is described as "voice and soul of Supertramp." The band who managed to go through three generations and sold over 60 million records.
After 15 months of his first visit to the country, Hodgson, 60, managed to repeat the feat. Not only filled the amphitheater but left ecstatic fans and curious that they decided to go to his performance, framed in the tour that the artist made by several countries in Latin America and Europe and has a second date in Venezuela this May 21 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Valencia.
At 9:00 PM, the lights of Caracas Sambil Amphitheatre went out and the artist came on the stage, wearing black pants, white shirt with long sleeves and a black and gold vest. Devoid of big sets and visual devices, Hodgson's major attraction is its talent, the joy that is reflected in his music and his empathy with the audience.
Hodgson quickly fired up. The enthusiasm of fans with one of his most famous songs: Take the Long Way Home. The mood would stay up with the second hit of the night, Give a Little Bit, which would lead up to the quiet Lovers in the Wind. The set list included 17 songs from his himself writing were played for nearly two hours, with an excellent sound, for a Caracas audience from 40 to 60 years, mostly.
With the first three songs, and in the middle of flared blue, violet and orange lights, the British artist showed his mastery not only singing, but also with the keyboard, guitar and piano. Only four musicians, one of whom also served as a chorus, were sufficient to bring the memory of those attending Supertramp's greatest hits in an intimate setting, yet open and with a cool climate.
Between each song, Hodgson made comments in perfectly understandable Spanish, which further cemented his bond with the audience. He revealed the importance that for him is helping people through his songs and started Hide in your Shell, strongly echoed by the people.
A whistle accompanied by a rapturous audience gave way to Easy Does It. At this point the attendees-many of whom had attended the first date in February 2009 - had been delivered to the artist. On A Soapbox Opera the artist demonstrated his wide vocal range and extraordinary high-pitched, while his reminded success Breakfast In America -that the singer said it could be called perfectly Breakfast in Venezuela- , began to sing even the youngest, they were a minority in the hall.
Another classic song, Logical Song, aroused the applause and served as the entrance to a Medley with items as Only Because of You and Lord Is It Mine, recognized as the artist's favourites.
Hodgson included in his repertoire a new item, he explained, have not recorded even, and talking about forgiveness. It was followed by Don’t Leave me Now, the blockbuster Dreamer, which was the most clapped by the public and produced a standing ovation from more than a minute, and pseudo instrumental theme Fool's Overture, after which both the artist and the musicians were withdrawn from the stage.
But the insistence of the audience was such, that they had to go back to finish with a flourish the evening with the performance of the classic School and It's Raining Again, that many had previously requested and for which the singer asked everyone to stand up, but not before promising to return next year perhaps.
Since his departure from Supertramp in 1983, Hodgson has performed songs he composed and wrote. With the passage of time, Roger Hodgson showed that musical prodigies can carve his own fame without using preconceived formulas, and with a repertoire that mixes both the alternative and the commercial, in a smart way to create the soundtrack to many, overcoming cultural barriers and temporary barriers.