A REVIEW FROM PARIS, 5 OCTOBER, 2012
REFLECTION BY ANA LOPEZ
Almost a week ago I went to Paris to enjoy a new concert of Roger, My second one and the last of this year, after attending to Marbella last July.
This long-awaited concert exceeded all my expectations.
On one hand the great meeting of friends of this great International Community which as a holy pilgrimage headed our footsteps towards Paris, the City of Love. Never an epithet was more appropriate for a city, because last October 5th, Paris was indeed the capital of Love, the capital of the Joy for the reunion with friends who already knew us each other, and the first meeting with others who were virtual so far, and from 5th they are already by flesh and bone.
Even the rain stopped and the temperature was nice to celebrate this meeting of Fans with their Artist, the Minstrel
with his Friends.
This time I also enjoyed the privilege of enjoying the sound check. These moments are always special. All lucky people that we met there, saw everything in strict silence, as if we were attending to a religious celebration, the conscientious development of lights, instruments, voices, songs ... What a sound check!! It was like enjoying a private and intimate concert, where Roger, to our delight, gifted us three of those gems that he has neatly stored in a drawer and occasionally he shares as the one who shows the best of his treasures, and so, we could enjoyed three songs, for me, delightful and fascinating: "I knew It Well”, "Teach Me To Love Again” and "Brother Saint Paul”, which it was the first time I heard live.
During the sound check, was at my side the young Christian, 18, who came to Paris from the Canary Islands (Spain) to attend together with his mother, to his first concert of Roger. His face, filled with emotion, said it all, after which I knew later, it was a beautiful prelude to what he lived at concert later and his next meeting with Roger at the backstage.
Like him, many young people are starting to know Roger's songs and get excited and tears come to their eyes, feeling very own these songs, which are universal heritage of the heart, due for being born from inside. Roger tells us what happens to us and that serves to us who already combing gray hair and to young people that lean out to life, full of questions.
After the sound check we all go out in harmonious meeting, friends from all over, speaking different languages, but understanding one to each other, with the universal language that Roger has taught us: music and smiles. It's easy to understand one to each other, when we are all joined by the same illusion. That's another key for the success of this great family that grows and grows daily.
The hour is near and we headed to the Olympia, people is taking its place, until the theater is completely filled.
Hundreds of expectant eyes, hundreds of hearts beating in tune, when someone from the stage, introduces ROGER HODGSON!!!, who just put one foot on the stage, the audience thundered into a standing ovation, a long standing ovation,(repeated several times during the show), foreshadowing all the great emotions that we were going to live for the next two hours.
And Roger placed his hands on the keyboard and sounded the first bars of "Take The Long Way Home”…
One by one, all those songs you never get tired of hearing, were playing perfect. Only two men on stage, only two musicians, only? ... But if they sounded as a full band…!!!
This time, my seat was right in front of Aaron Macdonald, and, my friends, is quite a sight to see him in his set, with his instruments, with his happyness, with his professionality, with this great rapport and complicity he maintains with Roger...
I could highlight many memorable moments, everyone has his own ones, "Lovers In The Wind” or "Lord Is It Mine”, with included dedication, or "Teach Me To Love Again”, the gem of the night, dedicated, how could it be otherwise, to the French Fan Club, our dear host, who made us feel so comfortable, as if we were all French people.
But I have to highlight, like the last time in 2010 in Paris,that sublime moment that always happens when it's the time to perform "Don’t Leave Me Now”. This song, as I have said on some occasion, is very special to me, but in Paris takes on a new dimension, the drum beats that hurt the soul are transmuted here on clapping, executed with such masterfully, that I always feel
a shiver on my spine.
And after the intense moments we lived with that perfect trilogy formed by"Lord Is It Mine”, "Even In The Quietest Moments” and "Don’t Leave Me Now”, came "Dreamer” and an explosion of joy.
Roger invites us all to get closer to the stage, to approach him and live together the end, that already glimpse on the horizon.
Nobody returns to his seat, we were all stay there together gathered close to the stage.
The concert is ending, it’s a sad moment, no matter how long the show could be,we always feel it's too short, but there is still the last round, the final explosion, the final blast, the end of the party.
Roger says goodbye with "It’s Raining Again”, and this is another one of those moments that you can only live in Paris,when suddenly begin to open umbrellas and all of us start dancing and singing under them, sharing them joyfully.
The stage lights switched off. The concert is over and already beginning plans for the next one. And as a password, we say one to each other:
"See you in London in May, 2013… and it's a deal…”