Sunday, November 12, 2006
delivered just what the
crowd wanted at the
Rebecca Cohn last night.
(Photo: RYAN TAPLIN)
By Jim Reyno
The Daily News
Roger Hodgson stood and smiled warmly, his arms extended as a gesture of thanks. More than 1,000 fans in the sold-out Rebecca Cohn Auditorium were on their feet, cheering, hollering and clapping in appreciation.
And that was before Hodgson, in his first Halifax concert since the 1970s, even played a note.
"We love you, Roger!" someone yelled at one point.
The fans were on their feet again, again and again during this 211/42-hour love-in.
They rose after Hodgson and his multi-instrumentalist sideman delivered a spirited version of The Logical Song to end the first half of the show. They rose after Hodgson and a special guest offered a playful take on Breakfast In America.
The fans gave six standing ovations during the concert - not including the finale, when Hodgson encouraged everyone to stand and sing along with the song he called "my baby."
After the warm welcome, the former Supertramp singer/songwriter sat down at the electric keyboard and kicked things off with Take the Long Way Home. Switching to 12-string acoustic guitar, Hodgson then played his baby, the song he says best represents his philosophy - Give a Little Bit.
And we were on our way.
Hodgson was engaging during the relaxed performance, regularly bantering with a crowd that obviously felt they knew him. People shouted out song requests and comments to the 56-year-old London native as if they were sitting in his living room.
Not that Hodgson minded - he encouraged people to express themselves. He even let one fan introduce the song Oh Brother.
It was interactive performance. Hodgson wrote them, but they're our songs, too.
When Hodgson started picking out the intro to Easy Does It, a few people contributed the whistling part.
"I didn't even have to tell you," Hodgson said.
During The Logical Song, after the "Watch what you say" line, one fan provided the double hand clap. Hodgson looked out from his electric keyboard with a nod and a smile.
"You have to be the schoolkids," Hodgson told the audience before launching into School. That meant making noise during the buildup in the intro.
Most of the songs were well known to Cohn crowd, but that's not to say there weren't a few surprises. Hodgson was a guest on Canadian Idol last season, and told the crowd he "fell in love" with the contestants.
So during his Canadian tour, Hodgson said he's inviting contestants to spend the day with him and join him on stage. For the Halifax stop, that meant a visit from Chad Doucette of East Chezzetcook.
Doucette joined Hodgson for Breakfast In America, during which the veteran put the aspiring singer through some tough call-and-response vocals. The crowd ate it up. Standing O.
"I think maybe we should do another," Doucette said. "My bedtime's not for another half-an-hour."
Doucette stuck around for Puppet Dance, then returned toward the end of the show for some backup vocals on Dreamer.
And everyone joined in during the concert closer, the night's second version of Give a Little Bit.
Before starting the tune, Hodgson addressed the crowd again: "I hope you've enjoyed yourselves as much as I have."