Montreal, Canada ~ October 28, 2011 ~ Reflection by Marie and Tony Coyne
How many artists cannot actually start their show because the audience is giving them a standing ovation? That was the pleasure that met Roger tonight... the crowd went wild with an enthusiastic roar as soon as Roger walked on to the stage. Eventually Roger got to strike the first chord and play the introduction that so many fans recognise...'Take the Long Way Home' got us up and running. Roger then took the first of several opportunities to describe the mutual love and respect that is very palpable in Montreal.
'School' was swiftly followed by 'In Jeopardy'. This song has taken on such a rich quality with contributions from all band members making this a stand out number. Roger then proceeds to describe how 'Hide in your Shell' was written when he was experiencing troubled times and explains how this resonates with many who write to tell him how this song has helped them through their own troubles. This song obviously touches many hearts tonight and Roger is rewarded with another standing ovation.
One of the many amusing anecdotes is when Roger explains how 'London' was written after a brief (very!) bout of homesickness for England in 1987. However, as Brits, we love to hear a humorous piece of home... We are then gifted with a track, that isn't often played live, but the French title seems apt for tonight's audience. 'C'est le Bon' is a beautiful track that deserves airing more often, with its melodious guitar and Aaron's haunting sax. Roger moves back to the keyboard to give us one of his most popular songs that the crowd have been waiting for...'Logical Song' is accompanied by yet another standing ovation.
For the second part of the evening we launch straight in with ‘Child of Vision’. This song includes a stunning piano solo by Kevin Adamson. Roger points out at the end of the song that Kevin and two other band members - Aaron MacDonald and Ian Stewart hail from Canada and a loud cheer fills the hall.
The exquisite 'Even in the Quietest Moments' is another song that moves many in the crowd...it is one of our favourites and we are not alone...yet another standing ovation. This crowd are loving every minute of the performance. 'Don't leave me Now' features a powerful and rhythmic drum performance from the American in the band...Bryan Head.
We then the hear the track for the dreamers...and you may have guessed...more standing ovations - one at the beginning and one at the end of the track. Roger expresses the feelings in his heart by stating..."there is nothing like Montreal". Everyone is now exploding with emotion and delight. We round off the evening with ‘Fool's Overture’. A piece that is met with rapturous delight, followed by a reverent silence and then this outstanding number is rewarded with yet another justly deserved standing ovation.
We are treated to that wonderful classic, 'Two of us' "Just as long as there's two of us, I'll carry on" The crowd wish Roger would carry on... for another couple of hours.
After Roger leaves the stage, the crowd won't let the evening end there...loud whooping and hollering are a sure sign that the maestro must return...and return he does...
Roger then asks the crowd to get on their feet and join him in singing 'Give a Little Bit'. It's as as if they have been waiting all night to let rip with this song and it looks like not a person is left sitting. Roger humbly states "I'm the luckiest man alive". We complete the set with 'It's Raining Again' and the crowd are bouncing off the walls by this time and do not want this frenzied experience to end.
So the crowd finish this evening as they started...standing up, acknowledging this artist whose songs have been with them as they journeyed through their lives. Their emotional heart strings have been tugged, they have laughed and cried but they have gone home with their hearts full...
We have travelled across the ocean to hear this man sing for a reason. There is no other artist who can move us in this way...who lifts our spirits and makes us long for our next live performance. Thank you Roger...