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Thursday, March 8, 2012

18:30

Hollywood, FL ~ March 7, 2012 ~ Reflection by Simone Spanu 



"My dream for many years was to go to California and see the pretty girls there. I did not know Florida back then.”  - Roger Hodgson


It seems like yesterday that Roger Hodgson returned to the stage in the United States for the first time in years. I can still remember the news of his upcoming concert at Pechanga, Southern California, in 2010. Prior to that announcement, many longtime fans had ventured to see him in Canada. The concert would be his first "Breakfast in America” after a long absence in the States. The choice to attend was obvious. So after 30 years of listening to Roger and Supertramp while growing up in Europe, I would finally get the chance to "take a jumbo” to California, just like his song says. Roger has returned to the States many times since that memorable show. The incredible people I met in California also have traveled from coast to coast, state to state, country to country, and even continent to continent to relive that experience in other cities. Indeed, the Roger Hodgson fans are a special group of people. They do not wait for Roger to visit their town; they get on a plane, in a car, on a train, and make their wishes of seeing him play come true.


The news that Roger Hodgson was coming this year to South Florida, where I have been living for over a decade, was a great surprise. No need to "Take the Long Way Home” this time? The Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida, would be a great venue. I have never seen an artist in that place who did not return to play there from time to time.


It was the first time that I heard Roger playing with his own band. His songs lend themselves to a variety of musical arrangements, including those of orchestras. He could easily entertain an audience by himself with his guitar. With that said, Roger did create and play some incredible pieces with Supertramp, at a time when "musical journeys” were not uncommon. The hope to hear something in that vein was only natural.


The show began with the classic "Take the Long Way Home,” an anthem in his repertoire and concerts around the world. Roger welcomed the audience to the show, saying that he had not played in South Florida in 30 years. "I definitely took the long way back to Florida,” he said smiling, adding, "It is nice to be down here. We are having the time of our lives.” Given the warmer weather after his shows in Wisconsin, "My guitars are very happy.”


"Leave all your troubles outside the door for the next two hours.” Roger always introduces his songs by saying something special. His second tune of the night, "School,” was no exception. Personally, this was the "a-ha!” moment of the show that made the presence of a band even more special. Those galloping drums sneaking up on you toward the middle of the song, leading into that cathartic bang, it was an emotional reminder of the power of synergy, of teamwork, of Supertramp years ago. The same feeling would happen again with "Hide in Your Shell,” a song that has helped many people during difficult times, and "Fool’s Overture.”


Prior to Roger’s three-part opus, his other hits and solo gems thrilled the audience. The crowd of all ages was overwhelmed, cheering, singing, clapping, and, since Miami is close by, dancing and even more dancing. The band, too, was having a good time.


"Sister Moonshine” was a second personal highlight of the show. Coincidentally, I had just seen the moon going in and out of clouds around sunset. A story that is not new to Roger fans followed, "I was 19 or 20, watching T.V. The Beatles had just gone to America. I thought, I gotta do that.” He continued, "My dream for many years was to go to California and see the pretty girls there. I did not know Florida back then.” For many locals, that was the line of the night.


Following "Breakfast in America,” Roger introduced the band, which did not miss a note the entire evening. The drummer in particular could have been in the studio the day A&M recorded Crime of the Century. The classics "The Logical Song,” "Lord is it Mine,” Supertramp favorite "Child of Vision,” the above-mentioned "Fool’s Overture,” and "Dreamer” concluded the evening. Having asked the audience to come to the front of the stage, "Give a Little Bit” as an encore topped off what was an incredible celebration of music.


"I’ll play one or two [songs] that have been a friend to you.” These were among Roger Hodgson’s first words to the audience at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL, on March 07, 2012. In order of appearance, here are the evening’s friends who showed up for the occasion:

Take the Long Way Home

School

In Jeopardy

Lovers in the Wind

Hide in Your Shell

Sister Moonshine

Breakfast in America

Along Came Mary

The Logical Song

Lord is it Mine

Child of Vision

Fool's Overture

Dreamer

*****

Give a Little Bit



**Comments published upon approval

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COMMENTS


[ Posted by James Januszka, March 08, 2012 21:12 ]
     Phenomenal show Roger Hodgson put on last night at the Semnole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL! He and his band were incredible as they went through an emotionally charged set of songs. My Canadian friends told me over the years when we saw Roger up at Casino Rama that they wish Roger would play with a band because his songs would be even more powerful. Were they ever! This I believe was the best display of music yet from Roger! Aaron McDonald his multi-instrument Sax player was amazing as well. The rest of the band were up to the high standards of a Roger Hodgson concert. As I waited for my wife to meet me at the venue, I felt almost like I was back in Canada. I couldn't get enough of Roger talk with my friend Bill, my new fan buddy Tom, and his sweet girlfriend Mariana. Great time with them at the Hard Rock Cafe!


Here was the setlist:


1. Take the Long Way Home - Even more amazing with the band!
2. School - This song was so emotional and intense. Best version yet!
3. In Jeapordy - Great to hear this wonderful deep message song. Brilliantly performed.
4. Lovers in the Wind - Sweet and beautiful version.
5. Hide in Your Shell - So emotinally powerpacked. I felt filled up and could have ended this as the encore and left. Amazing with the band adding the intensity even further.
6. Sister Moonshine - Sweet song with a deep message treading lightly.
7. Breakfast in America - I was again amazed how much the band added to this song! It had me rocking as hard as School, In Jeopardy and Hide in Your Shell before it. His story of his dreaming of coming to America was entertaining as was his stories and banter on other songs.
8. Along Came Mary - A beauiful song that Roger sung and played to perfection.
9. Logical Song - Great version with Roger's story of searching for meaning.
10. Lord is it Mine? - An emotionally spiritual song played in full without the deep spiritual song Only Because of You.
11. Child of Vision - Finally after 11 Roger concerts of not hearing this song, the wait is now over! Incredible song and version! Roger and band were terrific!
12. Fool's Overture - Song is always incredible, but extra special with a band!
13. Dreamer - This song made me a Supertramp/Roger fan. Great song that closed the show. Roger encouraged fans to come up to the stage.
14. Give a Little Bit - Encore that let everone leave with a smile on their faces.


Roger also added a lot of sound effects and overdubs of his vocals to this electrified high volume emotionally powerpacked concert!

After the concert that we really enjoyed, I was able to go backstage with my wife and friends thanks to Roger's amazing managers Linda and Shakti. It was great to see and talk to Roger. I was happy to tell Roger finally how much Hide In Your Shell song has meant to me. He is such a gracious and loving person. We hugged and had pictures taken. Incredible evening!


[ Posted by Ana Lopez, March 09, 2012 2:46 ]
     I'm happy to read so amazing reviews, I feel I was there!
You have captured all what happen in a Roger show!
Can't wait to see him and all the crew again, I hope in Spain ;)


[ Posted by Marci, March 09, 2012 11:04 ]
     Simone, thank you for that beautiful review. I was at this show, my first (hopefully not my last) time seeing Roger - amazing! I'm very impressed with his band as well, especially bassist Dave J. Carpenter.

[ Posted by J eiger, March 11, 2012 12:01 ]
     Great concert but I couldn't help feeling a little disappointed at it only lasting 90 minutes. We expected more and it felt like it ended entirely too soon. Enjoyed it...only wish there were more.

[ Posted by Mariana, March 17, 2012 13:38 ]
     My personal experience of this concert was unpredictable to me. First of all I chose to think Roger's concert in Fort Lauderdale was my birthday gift, since I was turning 45 a few days later... and what were the chances he was coming to town after 30 years...
After the concert, call me crazy... I felt happier for days... Seeing Roger's singing his songs like time never passed, his voice intact... remind me of who I was before I grew up. My soul was fed. Thank you Roger.
Best birthday gift ever!



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