Review - Vienna, September 30, 2009
By Christine Pinter
Actually I wasn't able to write a single word for some days after this concert, my emotions were too bubbly, too deep, I can't even describe the feelings I had when the concert and days with my friends were over ... but then I decided to write a review anyhow, whatever comes out with that, maybe it will be a surprise in some way for me, too.
When I heard that Roger Hodgson is going to do a concert in Vienna, the capital city of my homecountry, just a few "steps" away from my hometown, it was like a personal gift to me ... I never thought it would happen to see Roger in the town I know rather well and where I worked for several years in the past .. well, dreams are coming true sometimes, and that's why I'm a believer!
My friend Claudia and her hubby from Germany also decided to join me in Vienna and a few weeks later, Mick from Ireland, told me he wants to come, too, so we were a small but nice formation of our "Gang" from Nuremberg in March this year. I was incredibly happy to see them again and headed for first row tickets as soon as the concert was announced at the homepage of the venue. Telling the good news about the upcoming concert to my brother and two friends of mine they also decided to go.
Summer months went by and soon it was end of September.
Claudia and her hubby arrived in the morning of the 30th on Vienna airport and my hubby and me waited there to pick them up .. oh it was so incredibly exciting to meet them again, I can't say how much I looked forward to welcome my dear friends with a big hug in my homecountry.
A few hours later I was happy that also Mick arrived safely in Austria and we all met at our house, had lunch together and in the afternoon we headed to Vienna for we were all invited to attend the soundcheck in the concert house ...
In Vienna we met my brother Sigi and then we waited for Linda Tyler at the main entrance to pick us up for soundcheck and there we surprisingly met another German Roger Hodgson Fan, Elke, she came with her family and they had managed a long journey by car and seemed a bit tired but above all happy. Elke and her 'boys' stayed with us and soon Linda came, welcomed us warmhearted and lovely, hugs made the round and she lead us to the concert hall. We took seats in the middle of the hall and soon Roger and Aaron started soundcheck, before that Roger waved and gave a 'hello' to us, that was really nice. Roger seemed to be worried about the piano, it wasn't in tune and he had to work that out for a rather long time.
Then Roger offered a real special gift for us, he played an unrecorded song "I knew it well" for us at soundcheck, we were thrilled about that, the song is amazing :)))
The concert house in Vienna is a beautiful place, an original art nouveau building with impressing interior design - a perfect venue for a concert of such a wonderful artist like Roger :)))
Roger finished his soundcheck and was then occupied by other people, I remember him calling out to us 'I see you guys later' and then we went out the hall, saw Linda to say goodbye and thanked her for being so lovely and kind to us !! Honestly we were hoping to get a chance to talk a few words to Roger and thank him personally for inviting us to soundcheck but otherwise we were really grateful to have had that special gift to attend those 'private', extra minutes with our favourite artist on stage and the more he played his new song especially for us, knowing that all is still nearly unbelievable for me, I don't think many artists would do so much for their fans ...
There was a bit time left until the beginning of the concert so we decided to take something for dinner and went to a near restaurant.
After returning to the concert hall we met my two friends who also joined us at the concert and soon it was time to head for our seats. On our way to the hall we recognized that there was a kind of 'guestbook' at the merchandising stand where fans could write personal messages to Roger, and Claudia, Ali, Mick and me wrote a few lines in there.
The hall was already full of people, we were some of the last to come in and I cannot deny that it was an incredible feeling to head straightly forward to the first row !! And then we recognized how near that first row was to the stage ... oh wow, there was not a single better place in the whole hall I guess ;)) I remember the lovely smile of Linda Tyler when we arrived at our seats and she stood there at the side entrance, looking for us, I love to remember that moment, she seemed also happy for us and our luck with the seats :)))
Linda stepped over to us and talked a few words again and wished us a great time at the concert - THANK YOU, Linda, at that point, for everything you do for us crazy fans .. we just LOVE you !!!!
Then we hardly couldn't wait any longer for the concert to begin ;)) But we needed to be a bit patient for there was a support act on stage for about 20 minutes before Roger started, well, they really did a nice job, an excellent guitar player and a lovely female singer, but all we were waiting for was Roger ...
The promoter came on stage and announced Roger, and the audience cheered and clapped for him, and we started to get a bit worried for Roger was not in sight for a - it seemed to us - long time of at least three minutes ... well, finally Roger certainly appeared and an amazing concert evening started. It was so amazing to sit just next to the stage ... we could even count the lines on Roger's shoes ;)) It definitely was a 'livingroom-atmosphere', that's what makes Roger's shows so most special, too. And it was just magical that we enjoyed a kind of 'communication' with the artist we adore so much during the whole concert, the smiles we all exchanged spoke volumes.
The Playlist :
Take the long way home
Give a little bit
Lovers in the Wind
Hide in your Shell
Easy does it
Rosie had everything planned
A Soapbox Opera
Alone came Mary
The Logical Song
Breakfast in America
Lord is it Mine
Child of Vision
Don't leave me now
It's raining again
Roger seemed to enjoy the show as well as the whole audience, the atmosphere was fantastic ... at some stage he said the Vienna show is one of his last ones this year but he could go on doing 70 more, I believe him every single word - and Aaron did an outstanding job as expected ... I was ravished by his piano part at 'Child of Vision', absolutely brilliant :))
A wonderful surprise was that Roger played his beautiful unrecorded song 'The Awakening' - he rarely plays it at his concerts, that was truly a gift to listen to :)))
Another amazing fact ... my brother who is a fantastic hobby-photographer took many wonderful pics during the concert, so I was just enjoying the show, knowing he will do a good job for sure ;)) Thank you so much, dear Sigi :)))
My friends from Vienna enjoyed the whole show as well, I often took a look over to them, and it was a wonderful feeling to see them totally 'wrapped' in Roger's music and charms :)))
At the end Claudia, Mick, Ali, Sigi and me were nearly unable to leave the concert hall ... again it was much too short ... Roger's concerts could last forever, we would never get tired of listening, clapping, cheering, laughing, singing, dancing .... oh what a pleasure that is :)))
The fact that we were not meeting Roger personally because of different reasons made us sad though... but agreed we have had a most special 'meeting' anyhow ... the whole concert, the soundcheck, and we friends united there ... it was all so beautiful :))))
The next day, after we had 'Breakfast in Austria', we returned to Vienna to walk around the city and did some sightseeing. Our first 'station' was the colourful house of the artist 'Friedensreich Hundertwasser' where we also stepped in to the shops and museum ... Claudia wrote about that already so wonderful in Roger's guestbook, but I want to retell what we discovered there .. we came across a beautiful quote from that artist, it says 'The right to dream is one of the last human rights' and all of us agreed that this fits perfectly to the meaning of Roger's message, to so many things he shares with all of us ... what would we be without our dreams ? They do keep us carry on, strengthen our hopes and beliefs, they can take us wherever we want to be ...
That last hours with my wonderful friends from the gang were really special, precious, I so love to think about all we enjoyed ... it was wonderful, also funny and happy in everything we did, if it was sightseeing or having lunch or even shopping ... I had a ball, I can't express how much it all meant to me to see Claudia, Ali and Mick again in person .... I so hope we will meet again soon, and really, really wish there will be the whole gang and more reunited then ... reunited at another awesome Roger Hodgson concert, all I can say at the end is THANK YOU, Roger, thank you again for the gift of your music, for you as a wonderful human being, for connecting people, and for making this year a most special one for me by attending four concerts of yours !!!!