A whole spectrum of emotions, including laughter, smiles and tears, were felt tonight by the audience at Rogerís sold out show in Clearwater, Florida. I was amazed at the vast differences in ages of those in attendance. Parents with children as young as two were sitting next to couples in their 70ís. Roger definitely attracts multiple generations to his shows.
There was jubilation in the air and even as the announcer came out on stage, people were already applauding and standing. What an evening we had at Rogerís first US show with an orchestra! When Roger took the stage, there was a roar of applause. Fans had been waiting many months for this night, and the wait was finally over. Yesterday, March 21, was Rogerís birthday and the audience made sure that he knew they did not forget. In unison, the whole audience sang "Happy BirthdayĒ to Roger moments after he walked out on stage, which visibly touched him!
From the first song on the setlist, "Take the Long Way Home,Ē there were smiles all around and I could see faces light up as people sang along and memories were resurrected. Rogerís stories throughout the show of how his songs were born had everyone listening intently. "A Soapbox OperaĒ got the whole house applauding within the first few notes of the song and during "Only Because of You,Ē it was a breathtaking moment to look out over the house and see everyone sitting in silence and soaking in the beauty of the performance unfolding before them.
One of my favorite songs of Rogerís is "Even in the Quietest Moments.Ē This beautiful song has always held a very deep place in my heart. Many people told me that Rogerís performance of this song tonight literally got them in tears. Believe me, I understand, as I, too, was just as deeply moved. This song is special every time itís performed but tonight there was something extra magical about it. Roger and his guitar are able to touch people so very deeply.
Foolís OvertureĒ was especially mesmerizing with the orchestra. The orchestra did a fantastic job in bringing yet another dimension to Rogerís creations. I have been to many, many shows of Rogerís in countries all over the world and I can honestly say that tonight I witnessed something that I had never seen before. Each and every song got a standing ovation Ė every single one! A story could be written about each song performed tonight.
Magical evening seems to not do the night justice for the fans who came from Spain, the UK, Germany, Brazil, Columbia and fans from North America who traveled from as far West as California and as far North as Canada. There is no doubt Roger will return to Clearwater, Florida!
Photo by Howard Heckers