Oldenburg 2009-08-27 and Osnabruck 2009-08-28
by: Lisa Flieger
Three shows brought Roger at the end of August back into the (sorry) province of northern Germany. The first show took place in Oldenburg, a town not far away from the North Sea. Right at the beginning Roger told the audience that he had spent some leisure in town that very day and how much he had enjoyed it. Remarks which were very well received by the attendance of the concert.
The show began like always with "Take the long way home" and from the first keyboard tunes the atmosphere was great, though the show was not completely sold out. The audience sat only in the balcony, but mostly stood in the auditorium. I appreciate this kind of concert atmosphere: hey, we are still alive and the only one who should sit is Roger behind his piano or keyboard. Roger underlined the fact that he appreciates the German audience for its directness to let him know whether it likes or does not like a song. I think that is only partially true, because there are very few songs or none at all the audience does not love.
Of course there was most applause for the well known and classic hits, but the euphoria was almost the same after the performance of more serious and deep songs like "Lord is it mine" which Roger always announces as one of his favourites.
So far so good, and not much surprises until the intermission was over and the second set started with "School". What a brilliant idea to put it there! It prepared the audience well for a huge program still to come. And Roger had even a bigger surprise for the audience. He introduced a song still in progress with lyrics not yet finished. "I knew it well" appeared to me contemplative and quiet. As I generally prefer the fast songs, I would like to listen to it more often to become familiar with it. The audience answered this new song with more than a warm applause. They really loved it! Roger seemed to be very comfortable this evening: as usual the audience did not want to let him go in the end, but this time there was a real encore after the whole hall had danced to "It's raining again" and after having sung along "Give a little bit". We all have been rewarded when Roger returned to perform "Babaji".
Concerning the program, the following evening in Osnabruck was similar to the one in Oldenburg. Roger joked with the audience, wanted to know who in the audience was inhabitant of Osnabruck, counted two persons and so one.
And by the way: there had been a seating that night, but after the intermission it would not have been necessary any more, because the crowd has been beside itself with enthusiasm clapping and standing all the time. That was also due to "School" after the intermission. Again I noticed how much I love it as musical fireworks and opener of the second round! A funny incidence took place after the intermission, when the responsible person for the light did not get the moment to switch off the light in the hall. Finally someone put the hall into darkness, but the stage light did not come on. So Aaron - as awesome as always - played the harmonica intro in completely darkness and when Roger began to play guitars the stage light came along. What emotional moments this setting created! Great effect even if not intended. I really do not know. But if it has been a mistake, please, please keep on this dramaturgy!
But: those of us, who hoped to hear the new song "I knew it well" again, were disappointed. Roger preferred to perform "The Awakening" instead - another song which is not yet released on CD, but a bit older than the brand new song. On both evenings the sound was brilliant! For the first time I heard that Roger introduced Howard as third member of the band: a remark as kind as appropriate! In my opinion Howard is able to produce a very sober and always clean sound even in difficult surroundings of certain concert halls, where you can distinguish every single instrument at every single moment. I never listened to a show of Roger, where the sound was poor. Congratulations! Thanks again for perfect concert experiences with elements I did not expect but appreciated a lot.
Unfortunately the encore was not as extended as in Oldenburg - Roger and crew soon had to start a trip to Kiel, where a new day and another (LIVE!!!) event waited for them...
Set List Oldenburg / Osnabruck:
Take the long way home
Give a little bit
Lovers in the wind
Hide in your shell
Easy does it
Rosie had everything planned
Along came Mary
The Logical Song
Breakfast in America
Lord is it mine
Child of vision
I knew it well (Osnabruck: The awakening)
Don't leave me now
Two of us
It's raining again
Give a little bit
Babaji (only in Oldenburg)