It was probably 30 minutes or so after Roger Hodgson’s concert at The Colosseum at the Windsor Casino, and a young woman, celebrating her 20th birthday, was at the merchandise stand. She could not contain her excitement.
Kassie came to the concert with her father, a lifelong fan of Hodgson’s since The Minstrel’s days as frontman for the progressive rock band Supertramp. In fact, Kassie said she and her two older siblings heard Hodgson’s music through Supertramp as her father, who played the songs so much they became the soundtrack of their childhoods – and she said she considers it a proper way to bring up a child.
Kassie spoke of the excitement she felt when she heard that Hodgson was coming to Windsor for a concert. And it would be on her 20th birthday. After a few contacts were made, Kassie was allowed to meet Hodgson briefly after the concert.
It is not an uncommon story. Another enthusiastic crowd cheered Hodgson in Windsor, and he delivered another stellar performance. And many in the crowd were part of the self-proclaimed "uber groupies,” who travel to as many Hodgson concerts as possible. Most of those people have either met through the social media (mostly Facebook) or met at concerts and have kept in touch through the social media, and there also are several fan pages dedicated to Hodgson on Facebook.
It was the third consecutive night Hodgson performed in Canada. The two previous performances had been at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ont.
Casino Rama has been a gathering place for many of the "uber groupies” for many years, and this year Hodgson became the first recording artist to perform there for 10 consecutive years. It is about a five-hour drive from Orillia to Windsor, but that was not daunting to the many who concluded a full weekend by taking in all three concerts.
In talking to the fans before and after the show, it was nothing to hear from those who had seen more than 10 or 20 shows this year alone.
Probably nobody came further than Hans Peter Schwartz and his wife, Andrea, who traveled from their home in Germany and made the concerts a major part of their international vacation.
The performance at Caesars Casino in Windsor seemed to satisfy everyone as Hodgson was cheered throughout the show. It seems every concert has its own personality, and part of this one was beyond the band’s control. There was a magnificent light show during the performance, complete with smoke coming off the floor of the stage, and bass guitarist David J. Carpenter said after the show that he had no idea that would happen.
The band also might have been surprised when many members of the crowd ran to the edge of the stage about two-thirds of the way through the show. They sang and danced and generally had a great time, and Hodgson gave a smile of approval at their impulsive action.
Hodgson and his band (Aaron Macdonald on the saxophone, harmonica, keyboards and backing vocals; Kevin Adamson on the keyboards and backing vocals; Carpenter on the bass and backing vocals; and Bryan Head on drums and percussion) had to be exhausted from the two long days of soundchecks and concerts, but they didn’t show it.
He played all the classics, like "Take the Long Way Home,” "Breakfast in America” and "The Logical Song,” and mixed in three songs from his solo albums. "Death and a Zoo” seems to captivate many people with its meaning ("If you were a captive animal in a zoo, would you prefer to live without your freedom, or would you choose death?”) along with the animal-like sounds during the song.
He ended the set with the sensational "Fool’s Overture,” and when he returned for an encore he offered up the popular "Give a Little Bit” and "It’s Raining Again,” with many in the crowd on their feet singing along with Hodgson.
Some of them were seeing him for the first time, but many were repeat customers who make up the "uber groupies,” a collection of Hodgson fans that likely will only grow larger with every performance.