'In Linz beginnt’s’ (It starts in Linz)

Christine Pinter

In Linz beginnt’s’ is often said around here in Austria when people start talking about Upper Austria’s capital city – it’s just a funny rhyming saying which means something like ‘start your adventures in Linz’ – and I’m just about to agree to that meaning when I think of a most beautiful adventure I had lately!!

Just a very few weeks ago I got to know some breaking news … Roger Hodgson is going to play an orchestra show in Linz!!! A free show !!! Only 2 hours drive from my hometown!!! That was such a fantastic surprise to me for I was hoping to see Roger together with an orchestra some day .. I really didn’t expect to have that chance so soon !!! 2009 seems to be a real ‘Roger year’ for me … Munich, Nuremberg (with all the wonderful and unforgettable memories with my dear Garden Gate Gang … hey, Gang, I really, really missed y’all in Linz!!!), now Linz and then Vienna in September … I AM a ‘lucky dog’ and so grateful for that :))

My hubby and me started our journey on Friday, August 21 about 3 p.m. – we had a smooth drive of about 2 hours and made it safe to Linz. We visited a longtime friend of ours who lives in the area of Linz and who we don’t get to see very often, and we had a really nice talk, coffee and cake :)

About an hour later we got back to the city and found a parking lot near the Danube river where we started towards the center. Looking at the sky and dark clouds made me a bit worried concerning wet feet, but we decided to think positive and that helped ;))

When we arrived at the venue in the city it was already crowded by many people and on stage was one of the local artists that performed before it was ‘Roger-time’ at 9 p.m.

We walked around the place and the stage and I was ‘scanning’ the crowd if there was any familiar face to find …. And some time later I was overhappy to catch a glimpse of Linda Tyler :D I was hoping to meet her in Linz and talk a few words so I stepped over to her but she really seemed in a hurry and was straightly heading to a hotel entrance just next to the stage, so I thought to better not disturb her right now and waited if she would return. Linda returned a few minutes later and I thought I’ll just wave to her and then she recognized me with a big smile and ‘hello’ and instantly we hugged each other :)) We spent a few very nice minutes together – though often said, but not often enough : Linda is simply a wonderful, warmhearted human being :)))

From then onwards Christian and me decided to stay near the stage and joined the ‘support act’ on stage. When they finished at about 8.15 p.m. it was a perfect moment to reach the ‘top places’ in front of the stage because now the very young audience mostly moved somewhere else. And yeah, finally we managed to take place in the ‘central’ first row – woohooo :D What a feeling !!!

After all the preparing on stage was done the musicians of the ‘Bruckner’ Orchestra of Linz one by one arrived, drums (Jesse Siebenberg!!), bass, saxophone were ready …. and finally Roger came on stage :)))

Take the long way home …. Yeah, now my first time at a Roger Hodgson Orchestra show started … it was magical, amazing, stunning …

Probably not in the right order and hopefully complete – these are the songs we were listening to :

Take the long way home

Give a little bit

Lovers in the wind

Hide in your shell

Easy does it

Sister Moonshine

If everyone was listening

Breakfast in America

Only because of you

A soapbox opera

Along came Mary

Lord is it mine


Logical song


Fool’s Overture


Two of us

It’s raining again

Give a little bit

All these songs sounded absolutely wonderful and amazing to me … and one of the ultimate highlights at the show was ‘Only because of you’ .. I never heard Roger playing it live before, that is without doubts a typical ‘Orchestra-song’ and it was a truly gift to listen to.

During the concert I was often looking into the faces around me .. people were getting more and more into singing, clapping, cheering, laughing, dancing ... a happy crowd captivated by an exceptional artist and his ‘crew’ :))

Roger definitely seemed to enjoy the show as well as all the musicians on stage – they all established a fantastic formation and also had much fun … at the end of Fool’s Overture it was time for Roger to head for the baton .. the orchestra seemed to go crazy … and Roger had to intervene for corrective action ;))

Then Roger left the stage and certainly everyone cheered for him to come back .A few moments later he returned and offered us three more songs … with a crowning, very, very special end for me …. as Roger finished with ‘Give a little bit’ he threw the plectrum right in front of me to the audience …and hey, I really got that precious piece :D I would have never expected such an outstanding gift … I love, love, love it :D

And just as Roger uses to announce ‘Give a little bit’ at the encore, we left the scene with our hearts full and happy to had the opportunity to join that incredible concert. Roger, thank you so much for sharing your precious time with us, for giving your music, heart and soul and hopefully your tour keeps moving smoothly - may you all on that tour keep being healthy and having good and safe times!

‘Music really is a good friend in times when we’re having a hard time‘

This was one thing Roger said while introducing his songs in between and still these words are buzzing in my head – I believe everyone can just agree to that statement, it’s simply the truth :))