November 16th and 17th 2012
These two shows at Casino Rama marked an outstanding achievement. Roger is the only artist to have been invited back to perform at Rama every year for 10 years... so why Roger?
It becomes quite obvious when one of the first questions Roger asks is "who's been here before" and a loud roar goes up from the crowd. Several people shout out that they have seen Roger for every one of the last 10 years' performances. Roger is definitely amongst friends at Rama.
What is so special about these concerts? It's the added compliment of the Casino Rama Orchestra, the Elora Festival Singers and stunning backing vocalists including a lady called Nicky, whose solo performance in "Only Because of You" is the icing on an already beautiful cake! They all bring such a depth of emotion to Roger's compositions. You pick up on the layers of the music... violins, cello, clarinet... that were in Roger's mind when he composed some of these songs and dreamt one day of being accompanied by an orchestra.
"School" and "Hide in Your Shell" are favourites with this crowd. They receive one of those 'wall of sound' appreciation greetings as many members of the audience are suddenly transported to their youth...for whatever reasons these songs brings to mind! Perhaps as Roger said, people can identify with what he was feeling when he wrote them.
"Lovers in the Wind" is a beautiful composition of Roger's that is made even more beautiful with the orchestra and as usual Roger dedicates this song to the lovers in the audience and asks us all to hang on to love in these difficult times.
Roger likes to keep those up on stage on their toes and is not averse to suddenly deviating from the set list...usually accompanied by amusing looks on faces... When we get to "RosieĒ Roger explains how this song came about, as has happened many times, while 'doodling' on his guitar. Then the line "Acting upon information received..." came to Roger and not much more!! Thankfully for this great song, Rosie went on to have an 'interesting' turn of events!!
"The Awakening" is another amazing composition. Roger explains the song is about forgiveness and forgiving ourselves. The crowd listen reverently as Roger sings this song and the guy near us said "man, he's got to record this stuff one day"... ahem Roger, please take note!
The crowd are quite comfortable shouting out what songs they would like to hear and "Babaji" is one that is heard from several areas of the concert hall and Roger rewards these people with a stunning version accompanied by the orchestra. The crowd are living every note of this song with the minstrel and Roger is honoured with one of many standing ovations.
Rogerís band are impeccable and faultless. They follow Rogerís lead so effortlessly. The first night we are treated to Kevin Adamsonís magnificent piano skills on "Child of VisionĒ which is all the more astounding when we learn that Kevin couldnít hear a thing!!!
There are two stand out songs over the two nights that resonate personally. On the first night "If Everyone was Listening"..."What is your costume today, and who are the props in your play" applies to so many in very different ways. The other is "Fools Overture" but this time it brings a lump to the throat as we sing the line from "Jerusalem" ... "and did those feet in ancient times walk upon England's mountain green". We're 3000 miles from home but are so proud of our Englishman who has gone on to win the hearts and souls of so many others around the world, who has brought about enduring friendships amongst his fans and for two hours enables everyone to leave their troubles outside.
Thank you Roger for another unforgettable experience.