Tuttlingen - TUTTO - TUTTI
July, 11th 2012
by Elke Beckett
First, let me explain that headline: In Tuttlingen the licence plates consist of TUT plus one or two more letters and some numbers (like, for instance: TUT-RH 321) So, on our way there, we saw a lot of licence plates saying TUT-TO or TUT-TI which in the end was the motto for tonight: TUTTO and TUTTI - Everyone and Everything! Everyone came - Everything was perfect - Everyone gave Everything.
From the moment Roger came onstage that audience was awesome. Fair warning: This will probably end up being a review about that audience, who were, as Roger said, the real stars of the night. This was the second time for Roger at the Honberg Summer Festival and his 2009 concert is, as the organizers themselves say, one of their greatest Honberg concerts ever - I guess after tonight, the new list of top concerts reads as follows: No.2: Roger and Aaron in 2009 and No.1: Roger and band in 2012.The audience literally went wild from the very beginning. Roger said that sometimes a/n audience/concert/venue really stands out for an artist and how that audience/concert/venue remains in memory forever. It's wonderful to know that Tuttlingen - a circus tent (which served as location up on the Honberg hill in the ruins of Honberg castle) and TUTTO - TUTTI will have that special place in Roger's memory.
Roger had "warned" his band but I did get the impression that Kevin, David and Bryan were a bit overwhelmed by the sheer enthusiasm of that audience - mind you, we are talking about a German audience here - the "sophisticated" Germans going crazy! When Roger introduced the band, everyone got a huge applause. He introduced Kevin, David and then Aaron - and TUTTI remembered Aaron. Most people from that audience were there for the second time, after 2009 and they all remember Aaron and the applause did not want to cease. Roger introduced him as "his German pupil" and Aaron could hardly stop us in order to greet us with those German sentences that his "German professor" Roger had "taught" him. That whole epsiode took so long that Roger, guitar round his neck, sat down on the piano chair, arm on the piano, head in hand and when we were finally done, Roger told Aaron to go on and give us some more of that German that he had taught him but finally, Roger came up front again and the audience already feared that he might forget to introduce Bryan on drums and they began to shout "drums! drums!"´. I did not have the impression that Roger would have forgotten to introduce Bryan but that story shows how alert that audience was.
The singing was just fabulous - I don't refer to Roger's singing, he always sings fabulously - I am referring to the audience singing along. There were so many people in that audience who knew every single word of every single song that Roger played tonight! And he played many of the lesser known songs tonight - "The More I Look" - "Death and a Zoo" - "C'est le Bon" - you name them and the Tuttlingen audience will sing along - verbatim.
There was one guy left of me - long black hair - who was singing very loud and at the same time pitch-perfect and I admired him - I really should have given him a hug. I think Roger was enjoying that guy's singing as well. Then there were some guys right behind me who were well-versed singers as well - this had nothing to do with the usual "shouting along" during concerts. "Give a Little Bit" was just "WOW", the "find out"- echoes from the audience during "Two of Us" were immaculate, "Breakfast in America" was one huge sing-a-long, during "Logical Song" TUTTI got all those "-al words" in the right order and "Dreamer" and "It's Raining Again" were a blast.
Now you might think, that this was just some crazy and wild audience but the surprising thing was, that we were not just that - there were songs like "Know who You Are" or "C'est le Bon" where we let the last note fade away completely before breaking into applause - There was once an exchange of glances between Roger and Kevin where Roger seemed to say: "See, I told you, that Tuttlingen audience will surprise you."
Well, I told you that it would mostly be about that audience - but now I will change the subject and it will be about Roger and his solo songs. They played "The More I Look" which was great. I have to get used to it being played with band but I just love that song. Oh, right, the band and Roger - Roger and the band... They are having so much fun together and they have become such an entity by now.
When they played "Death and A Zoo" that was so intense - I was not able to applaud for a couple of seconds. I was spellbound. I let that song take me on the journey and I felt that loneliness of an animal at the zoo, I had the sounds of all those wild animals ringing in my head, resounding in my whole body - and I wondered what the answer would really be if we asked a wild animal confined to a zoo if he/she would prefer to die rather than to live in a zoo for the rest of her/his life. No worries, I won't get that philosophical now but I was scared and ready to run from the very first sounds of the song and it got more intense with every note/sound that was played and sung - so powerful!
After I had seen those recent setlists - most of them without "Along Came Mary" and "Easy Does It / Sister Moonshine", I was thinking about starting a campaign on facebook to get those songs back on the setlist but after tonight, there's absolutely no need for that - this was a perfect setlist. --- But maybe Mary might still be coming along in Mainz...
A huge Thank you to TUTTI! And a special Thanks to Howard for the immaculate sound (Roger mentioned it a couple of times during the show: "If you like the sound tonight, give Howard a hug after the show") and for the fantastic photo - you actually captured the "head in hand" scene!