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Thursday, March 3, 2011

16:50

Pechanga Casino and Resort ~ Temecula, CA ~ February 25, 2011 ~ Review by Cristophe Chartier 



My wife & I had purchased our tickets the day they went on sale. We had been looking forward to the concert for weeks now. Being in sale I had been driving up & down Southern California all day that Friday, February  25th, rain coming down hard at times I even wondered if I had planned my day right. Was I going to be on time to pick up my wife & make sure the baby sitter was herself going to be in time? You see, raining in Southern California creates havoc on the road…………I know, I can hear "It’s raining again” But enough about me, I was on time to pick up my other half, told the baby sitter who we were going to see & yes, even at 19 she knew the songs that hopefully we would hear later on that magical evening. So off we go along the winding road, a packed 15 freeway. At night you could see a river of lights, thousands of people going home or getting to work, a daily commute like so many others. An hour & a few shortcuts later, to avoid the traffic, here we are. Pechanga in
all its glory, packed with thousands of gamblers hoping to find a dream in a slot machine. For us what followed was a true amazing night. It comes to show you that sometimes the greatest expectations do come true.
I had not seen a concert at Pechanga so it was with great surprise when we entered the theatre. Every seat in the auditorium was great, the stage only a shout away from the highest seat, truly a great venue. Now with everybody seating tight, people standing up on the side, lights dimming the "official speaker” introduced Roger with an applause that says it all, of the love, respect & admiration that we all have for him.
A few seconds later Roger comes on stage, huge smile on his face as relieved that he is again with his fans. Takes his place with the rest of the band & what follows was true magic. His voice better than ever, songs after songs you could hear the crowd just in awe, truly loving every bit of it, standing ovations after the other. For my wife seating next to me she was not only happy to see me with that huge smile on my face but also that amazement to hear Roger sing & discovering other songs that she was not familiar with. Beforehand I did tell her to expect a great show…but I could tell on her face that she was also on cloud nine. I could not make the show the year prior but boy was this performance great. For his first show of his 2011 World Tour he did say that everybody was nervous but this was truly the opposite. Every song was alive, flawless, full of energy & joy on his face. You could feel the togetherness with every band member. I have seen Roger with Supertramp at
Pantin in Paris & yes this was the same performances that produced the Paris live album in the 70’s. These were my first concerts, my first concert, a few years later with another 70,000 people I saw the last Supertramp tour with Roger outside Paris, the last true tour. Even if this last album with his old mates was not Roger’s favorite,  it did produce a song that he played for us tonight. A song called "Know who you are”. In my very humble opinion, when I think of Roger I think of this particular song. Ok, back with the show, it just went by like the perfect dream for every Roger’s fan. Seeing Roger play Fools Overture just a few feet away from you is truly something else. A few weeks ago I was in the middle of nowhere down in Mexico, had my ipod blasting the same song through the speakers, tonight it was live, it always gives me goospumps…everyone too I am sure. After an encore the band came back & played "Give a little bit” to a standing ovation, not the first of the
night but one to wish him good travels & love for his upcoming World Tour.
After the show Roger took the time to thank a privileged few for coming. I had a thousand questions to ask him but just like last time at his show in Coronado in San Diego I was more or less in haw & also realizing that Roger was probably exhausted & they were people behind my wife & I waiting. Another chance maybe I will be braver to ask him questions that we all have.
So off we went opening the doors to another world, the slots machines working overtime. My wife & I smiling at each other driving home in the rain we could not stop talking at what we had just seen. It might have been raining again but we had a huge smile inside, for that, Roger thank you from both of us. For me, I was 16 again but it was also time to recognize that with a song like "Along came Mary” it is time to embrace Roger’s new songs. I can’t wait to buy his new album; we can’t wait to see him perform again. There might have been 2,000 people tonight but Roger belongs to be heard by millions. 

Kristina & Christophe Chartier




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