|Sunday, September 23, 2012
Newport Beach and San Diego, CA ~ September 16 and 18, 2012 ~ Reflection by Peter Rimel
What man leaves one of the world’s most popular bands at its commercial height to raise his kids for 17 years? Such a man certainly has his priorities in order, and that man, Mr. Roger Hodgson, is the genius that was the legendary singer/songwriter/composer of the band Supertramp. I was fortunate enough to have seen his two recent shows in Southern California at the Taste of Newport in Newport Beach, California, and at Humphreys By the Bay near San Diego, California.
The Breakfast in America tour is winding down for 2012. It is Roger Hodgson’s first United States tour in 30+ years. The Taste of Newport show was a déjà vu for me, for Roger’s last show (I still cling to the ticket stub from that show) with the famed band Supertramp was in 1983 at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine, California, just miles away from the Taste of Newport site. The real question is, was the 2012 Roger Hodgson the same as the 1979 Roger Hodgson, who was then singing the very same songs for the first time? The answer, happily is NO! Roger’s voice is BETTER than it ever was when he was with Supertramp. With all due respect, the 2012 band is tighter than was Supertramp in its heyday. The songs, the true soundtrack of our lives, have really held up as the singing crowds enthusiastically showed. I closed my eyes for a moment during the show and went back to 1979, for Roger’s voice is THAT GOOD. His current band lineup includes Aaron Macdonald, an absolute up and coming star, on backing vocals, sax, keyboards, and a number of other instruments. A ton of credit should be given, also, to Roger’s sound man, Howard Heckers.
Roger opened with his 1979 anthem, Take the Long Way Home, off the immensely popular Breakfast in America album. He then went on to play many of his Supertramp classics such as School, Dreamer, the Logical Song, and the song everyone wants to hear, Give a Little Bit. Anyone watching tv these days will see the commercial with Roger singing Give a Little Bit with a children’s choir. Everyone sang and danced for 2 hours, forgetting about the bad economy and the pathetically boring "I am -----, and I approved this message” commercials in this election year.
But Roger is so much more than just his Supertramp songs. He played several solo tunes, including Rosie had Everything Planned (actually from Supertramp’s second album), In Jeopardy, and Death and a Zoo. The latter, a song from Roger’s most recent studio album, Open the Door, asks the question, "If you were a wild animal and should be caught, would you prefer death or life in a zoo?” In a VintageRock.com
interview after the Newport show, Roger stated that he loves playing his songs as much or more today than he ever did. Judging by the crowd, that love showed through with flying colors.
At Humphreys, Roger actually dedicated a song to a young fan, Heather Wise, who turned 18 that day. Clearly, Roger cares about his fans more than ever, reaching out to each and every fan as though that fan were the only person to whom he was singing. He even welcomed the fans up to the stage for his encores, much to the chagrin of the security.
Roger’s career may be unorthodox and unique. He admits as much. However, he clearly took a book from the Chairman of the Board and did it "His way”. And His way continues to delight millions of fans throughout the world.
Do NOT miss Roger Hodgson in concert. I rarely guarantee anything, but I guarantee, with confidence, anyone’s happiness who purchases a ticket to Roger Hodgson.
**Comments published upon approval
Great write up Pete Rimel. wished he was coming to UK , I still have my t-shirt , ticket , program and poster from the `83 tour Roger`s voice is as good now as it was then , if not better Rick Davis also wrote some great songs in the Supertramp days but alas has ruined his concerts (from what i`ve seen on youtube ) by having others sing Rogers songs , he is a master at extending his piano solos (Another mans woman live is fantastic )
He could hold a concert on his own merit with just his own songs .
Back to Roger , He`s a genius and it`s been far too long since i`ve seen him live so next time he`s in the Uk i`m going.. also far too long since he made a new album .