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Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Frankfurt, Germany ~ May 7, 2013 ~ Reflection by Elke Beckett 

New York, London, Paris, Sydney, Frankfurt, ...
The big cities are always quite special locations when it comes to Roger's concerts. As for Frankfurt, it is one of the five biggest cities in Germany and it is situated on the Main (pronounced Mine) river - or to play on words a bit: on the Main stream. A lot of what you get here in Frankfurt is just that: mainstream but if you are lucky, you will get a lot more than that. It's just the same with Roger Hodgson. You cannot deny that there are certain aspects of mainstream here - you can't sell more than 60 million records and have your hits played on the airwaves for almost four decades and not be labelled mainstream. But, boy, if you take a closer look, there is so much more to Roger Hodgson than that. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with mainstream - we're all swimming in it, floating with the current to a certain extent. But for me, I love it when magic happens and when mainstream is left behind - moving on to the endless possibilities of the ocean. And that's what always happens during Roger's concerts. Even his mainstream hits become waves in the ocean taking you to new shores.
It never ceases to amaze me how much Roger cares for his fans, how he sees the good in everyone and how his concerts are always journeys of the mind and growing experiences - at least my husband and I always get to hear from people we regularly meet at concerts, how our nine-year-old son has grown since they last saw him --- forgive me the pun, I just couldn't resist.
Seriously, I always wonder about how Roger does it. How does he always choose the perfect songs (which sometimes even requires him to change the setlist halfway through) to exactly hit the nerve of an audience of more than 2.000 people? In Frankfurt, we had a bit of a "more solemn" setlist. There was "Say Goodbye", there was "The More I Look", "Don't Leave Me Now", "Rosie", "Lord is it Mine" and there was a  spontaneous change: "The Awakening". Most of these songs had me in tears and the growing experience is once again a tremendous one. Judging from the audience response, Roger got it all perfectly right to fit the "collective mindset" that night.
Roger and Aaron are simply fabulous, there seems to be an understanding between the two that is beyond words and some of my favourite moments during the shows are when they smile at each other. But Roger is not only Aaron's musical mentor, Roger is, as he keeps jokingly saying, also Aaron's professor for German and last night all of us could hear what a great job the professor (whoever he or she may really be) has done over the years because Aaron surprised the Frankfurt audience by telling us about his relationship with Roger and how it feels to play for us - in flawless German!
The bantering was not limited to the stage, though. Roger always communicates with his audiences and sometimes he loves to tease us as well (which I simply love). It's also a certain risk that he takes but that makes things just more thrilling... Some "teasing-episodes" from Frankfurt: Right after the opener "Take the Long Way Home" Roger was presented with a couple of roses. He put them onto the piano, where there was already a huge bouquet of flowers (in a vase, I should add), a gift from the venue/promoter. Roger then played "Give a little Bit" which had some massive singing along. When the song was over, he put his 12-string down,  then walked over to sit down at the piano to play "Lovers in the Wind" but while the applause was still roaring for "Give a little Bit", I could see that playful sparkle in Roger's eyes which may imply that something totally unexpected is going to happen next. And it really did. Roger got up once more from his piano chair, took the huge bouquet of flowers - including the vase and gave it to the lady who had presented him with the roses before. But, no need to worry, the venue/promoter got their vase back in the end - sans the flowers, of course!
At one point, someone from the backrows yelled a question at Roger. The man asked: "How old are you?" but Roger did not get it at first and asked back: "Pardon?" (yes, he simply does things like that!) and so the man got the chance to rephrase his question into: "How young are you?". This time Roger got it and answered: "32!". The audience and Roger himself chuckled about that and finally he said: "I believe you're as old as you feel." which caused quite some applause. I love how Roger kind of not answered but at the same time more than answered that question. Not sure if the man who had asked the question was totally satisfied but if he still insisted, I'm sure that someone sitting next to him was able to give him that unimportant figure...
This story later caused Roger to state that he "only gets that from a German audience" and how he loves German audiences in general. He told us that we should not be so harsh on ourselves and instead see the good aspects in ourselves as well and he added that Germans never can do a thing badly. Being a German myself, I finished that last sentence by saying to my husband that this may be a blessing or a curse and in the end we agreed with Roger to concentrate on counting the blessings...
Thank you Roger for playing all of those songs for all of us who needed them so much at this particular point of our journey. We're very curious to discover the setlist the next concert will bring - far away from the big cities and out in the open!

**Comments published upon approval

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Linda Tyler

Harmonic Management

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