Take the Long Way Home
Give a Little Bit
Hide in Your Shell
Lovers in the Wind
Easy Does it/Sister Moonshine
Know Who You Are
Breakfast in America
Along Came Mary
Child of Vision
Only Because of You/Lord is it Mine
If Everyone was Listening
Don't leave me Now
It's Raining Again
The weather was good that day - it had been raining the previous days, so we were very lucky that this promised to turn into a warm and dry summer night. The venue was outside in Weinheim's beautiful palace garden and when we arrived we found that there was plenty of food and drink available - they had everything from beer to sparkling wine, fried sausages to French fries available throughout the show. There was an abundance of eager security personnel in yellow shirts among rows upon rows of black plastic folding chairs tightly arranged in expectation of a very large, high spirited crowd.
Before playing "Give a little bit" Roger welcomed us by saying "Guten Abend" and this is "fantastisch". He added that he would not play "It's Raining Again" till the end and with a look up at the blue skies he thanked God - probably not only for the nice weather but also for having arrived safely at the venue. He told us: "We are glad we are both here - the equipment is working - I hope... and we are in one piece". Roger and Aaron had arrived later than planned - the concert started in time - but Aaron's equipment had yet to be set up, soundcheck had to be done and you just have to admire the sereneness with which they handle situations like these. We had heard that the delay had been caused by a late train. Someone who had also come by train said there had been difficulties with a broken down train on her and at the same time Roger and Aaron's route and I wonder if the two actually happened to be in that broken down train.
Roger was also commenting on all the "paparazzi" who had gathered in front of the stage and in particular he was looking for one photographer who had a real big lens on his camera - Roger seemed to be impressed with that "monster-lens" but the photographer had disappeared somewhere in the audience. When Roger had moved over to the keyboard again after "Give a Little Bit", he spotted the huge lens and told the "paparazzo" to hold his camera up so the audience could see this arm-long lens and Roger asked him: "Are you taking a picture of my nose? How do you even hold it up?".
The audience loved his stories and jokes, I think some people have been calling it British humour and I wonder if Roger would agree - there was his usual friendly banter with Aaron and there was one more scene when Roger welcomed us where he gave us some more of his warm-hearted humour: He was saying Hello to some little children in the audience and he was adding - putting on that typical smile - : "Do you know who I am?" subsequently wondering if really it was "Daddy" who was the fan and who had told his children to come along.
And I have to add a story I heard from some guys who were in Hemer the previous night, where he had also asked one of the little ones (a ten-year-old) who attended his show whether the boy knew who Roger was and following the question, Roger was pretending that he was Elvis Presley, swaying the pelvis in Elvis-style and although I have not seen it, now I cannot get that picture out of my head and my imagination mingles it with Andy Kaufman telling the people in his Foreign Man-voice: "And now I would like to do for you the Elvis Presley" which makes me want to laugh out loud...
When Roger introduced Aaron, Aaron got a huge applause - he is such a brilliant musician - I lost count on how often I heard remarks from people who were so impressed by having heard the full sound they were remembering from the concerts back in the seventies or from the albums. There was one father with his maybe ten year old son standing in front of the stage during the break, examining all those instruments in Aaron's corner and they started to count how many there actually are and finally the son asked his father whether Aaron could also play the piano and the father said: "Well, if he can play the keyboard, he probably can play the piano as well." - I would have liked to see their faces when Aaron made the piano keys smoke during "Child of vision"...
But to return to the first set, after some spot-on whistling during "Easy Does it", we had the privilege of hearing a brilliant version of "Know Who You Are" which Roger introduced like this:"This is a song I just started to play and it's one I haven't played for awhile but it's a beautiful song." Not only is it a beautiful song but I absolutely loved how it was performed - the guitar, Roger's voice and Aaron's sax - such a magical combination.
After a beautiful "Along Came Mary" - Roger mentioned that this is one from the album "Open the door" which caused quite some applause and after "Logical Song", which always pleases the audience very much, Roger announced a 15 minute break to let everyone get a much needed chance to stretch their legs. But the announcer decided that everyone would need 30 minutes for that stretch.
After intermission and a herded scramble back to our seats, Roger came back on stage. But it took awhile for everyone to find their seats again so some people chose to stand right in front of the stage instead. Roger responded with an amused "good to see you" before security quickly escorted them back to the seating area.
During "Breakfast in America" the audience started applauding before the song was over so Roger had to extend the bridge to allow people to get that the song was not over yet and get them to settle down again before he and Aaron could play the last part. I guess that might have been a bit of a surprise to Roger who loves the otherwise so "attentive German audiences"...
After wonderful renditions of "Only Because of You/Lord is it Mine" and "If Everyone was Listening", Roger played another song which he hasn't played in quite awhile from the Open the door album: "Say Goodbye" - and it was even more intense than on the album. He dedicated this one to a couple called Stephan and Ingrid.
"Don't Leave me Now" had some additional humming from Roger at the beginning - the singer totally one with his music - which was awesome and there was a whiff of the characteristic clapping there - maybe that was because some French fan club members were there as well...
Before "Dreamer" Roger was fiddling about with his jacket telling us that he was looking for something very important and when he finally had found it, he told us that this was for the Dreamer in all of us and he dedicated the song to Ulrich who was celebrating his 50th birthday that day and to a girl named Larissa. Towards the end of "Fool's Overture" there were new sounds - a choir which was recorded in Canada, where they sometimes have a choir on stage with them (that's what Aaron told us after the show) and I was even more impressed by that epic song than last time I heard it in concert.
There were two encores, "School" and "It's Raining Again" - obviously Roger knew it was safe to play the latter after all. Both songs got a tremendous audience participation and when Roger had waved good-bye and had left the stage, I guess I was not the only one in that audience who couldn't believe how fast this second set had passed by.
Sending out a huge Thank you to all the people who keep making the impossible possible.