20:15 – Roger Hodgson goes on stage, accompanied by a real wizard, the master-musician Aaron Macdonald. Roger is playing keyboards, guitar and an acoustic grand piano. Aaron plays almost any possible instrument. Just name it.
The show takes place at the “Admiralspalast” hall, one of Berlin’s oldest theatres. The building was constructed in 1867 and began to function as a theatre in 1920. Crimson coloured, with its stylish opera-like terraces, the hall is definitely breathing nostalgia in and out. I could not imagine a better environment for Hodgson’s spectacular show. Above all, the acoustic quality of the place is just perfect.
To begin with, I therefore declare that this was probably the best rock (is it rock music indeed?) concert I have ever been to. But please bear in mind that I’m not what you would call objective. I admire Roger Hodgson, and although not knowing him in person, and probably never will, I have the feeling that this guy is one of the deepest people I have ever met, so far through his music, and as from today, through my own witnessing eyes.
Hodgson sings like he was still in his early twenties. His voice is quite the same as it was during the merry Supertramp days: clean, bright, amazingly high at times and extremely expressive at all times (did I really count a full three octave scale?). His lyrics are superb, his music a dream to quality music lovers. His performance and style are cool, human and sensitive, and in short – he gives the audience a living example of artistic perfection.
The song list included all his greatest hits, accompanied by two songs from his 2010 solo record, “Open the Door”. Perfect and touching would be an understatement. Hodgson flirted with the German audience: “I think that I might have some German blood”, he said, making his local admirers giggle with satisfaction. However, he chose to end the set with a thrilling performance of his “Fools Overture”, which opens with Winston Churchill’s famous quote: “We shall never surrender”. Was that a thick hint or what?
21:45 – The applause brought him back to the stage with the song that I have been waiting for throughout the evening: “Two of Us”. This was not just a fulfillment of a wish, but a specific answer to a direct question I had privately asked earlier.
The audience went crazy, literally, myself included. I have never seen anything like it before. We were standing there for 15 minutes, clapping our hands and feet, shouting and begging for more, like a flock of sinners, after having realized that a real saint has been benefitting them with his grace, never to return.
Roger didn’t return either. I kind of understand it. The guy gave his guts on stage for full 90 minutes, in which he didn’t pause to breath or rest even once. No complaints on my side, Mr. Hodgson. Thank you from a deep, deep, echoing corner of my heart and soul.