2008 TOURS Roger Hodgson, Waukesha 8th June

2008 TOURS Roger Hodgson, Waukesha 8th June

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Photo: Mike Mantei

Wauk2008


Mike Mantei

If you want to skip all of my rambling at least check out the links at the end of this message. They will take you to my photos from last nights Roger Hodgson show...

I made a short 10 minute drive to Waukesha, Wisconsin yesterday afternoon to see Roger Hodgson perform at the "A Taste of Summer" festival. It's a local festival that started 4 years ago but is having a hard time catching on. Waukesha is in the Milwaukee area and Milwaukee is known as "The City of Festivals". This is primarily because it is the home of Summerfest. Summerfest is now 41 years old and is the worlds largest music festival. It attracted just over 892,000 people last year. "A Taste of Summer" however is just 4 years old and likely drew under 50,000 in it's 4 day run. The crowds were small, but the weather was really lousy too.

Roger Hodgson has been a headlining attraction at the festival for all 4 years of the festival. I've been fortunate enough to see him all 4 times. I wasn't sure if last nights concert was going to happen or not. The concert was to take place inside of a huge tent-like structure on the county fairgrounds. The temporary structure can only be described as massive. It was easily 100 feet wide and several hundred feet long. Opening act "Peter & Gordon" were scheduled to perform at
6:00pm with Roger taking the stage at 8:00pm. If you never heard of "Peter & Gordon", you're not alone. I've never heard of them either, but bad weather and an incredibly slow setup and soundcheck (lasting about 2 hours) was pushing back their start time to 7:00 with Roger to follow shortly after them. They finally finished setting up the stage shortly after 7:00 but the band didn't come out. We all new bad weather was coming, but had hoped things would still go on as scheduled. 15 minutes after the stage was setup, they announced that there was a front of bad weather coming in and we were all to evacuate the tent and go to one of the fairgrounds permanent buildings.

There we waited. Heavy wind and rain pounded the area and we all sat inside one of two buildings on the grounds, waiting for it all to end.
Since I have health issues that prevent me from doing a lot of walking, I had a motorized scooter to get me around and it provided me a nice place to sit at all times. Most people stood around while we waited. After a while we were told that we could go back to the tent. The rain was still coming down but the show would go on. I was able to zip back to the tent on my scooter while holding a large umbrella over my head.
I passed Rita on the way and offered her and Zoe a spare umbrella to help them with the elements. I continued on to the tent as fast as I could, because I only had general admission, meaning no reserved seat.
I got a great spot right behind the fence separating the general admission area from the reserved seats. It was muddy. I'm still cleaning the mud off my scooter. There was standing water in most of the tent, in some cases 3 or more inches deep.

After a short wait, they started turning on the power to the equipment. The rain continued to fall and beat on the roof of the tent and we continued to wait for the opening act to start. Finally they came on stage and started performing. While I know there were fans of the group there, I have to admit to never hearing any of their songs before. It was like torture for me, because I knew that the longer they were on stage, the shorter Roger would be on stage. Peter talked before every
song. I think sometimes he took longer to introduce the song than to perform it. Just my personal opinion, but he needs to talk less and sing more. I could go on about them for quite some time, but you are reading this message to read about Peter and Gordon. You're reading to find out about Roger Hodgson.

After Peter Gordon finished performing, dozens of people swarmed the stage, dismantling all of the equipment and getting the stage set for Roger. I've never seen that many stage hands on stage at one time and performing their jobs that quickly. There was a very quick soundcheck and it was time for Roger to perform. He didn't disappoint. He knew everyone had waited a long time and put up with miserable weather to see him and he thanked everyone for putting up with all of the delays but stated that he would have been really depressed if he hadn't been able to perform for us. He came out wearing a tweed jacket but took it off after a song or two saying that the crowd had warmed him up. He sang a great mix of Supertramp and solo songs and the crowd cheered after every one of them. I was really impressed with Aaron. I've seen him performing with Roger on numerous occasions, starting with seeing him in Kitchner with the orchestra 4 years ago. He becomes more a part of the show every time I see him. He played at least 9 instruments as well as providing backing vocals. When he's not on stage performing, he is sitting on the side of the stage slapping his leg to the beat of the music. These are two guys that really appear to enjoy their jobs.

Enough talk. I'm into photography big time and it wouldn't be a concert fo rme if I didn't have pictures. I've got plenty of them. You can see the latest pictures of Roger at:
Roger Hodgson photos

If you want to see pictures of Peter & Gordon you can look here:
Peter&Gordon photos


Mike "still drying out" Mantei

 


Lisa Doxrude

Roger, Standing in the 3 inches of mud, in the dark at Waukesha on Sunday night June 8th, I was unable to say what I was thinking, my emotions made it difficult to talk. Music for some is not heard or is only there, some feel it deeply and others are the Music, you are the music.
Your complex lyrics, range of voice, multi-layered music and pace of delivery make you a unbelieveble musician. Thank you for sharing your gift of music with us. It was a true honor to meet you.
Lisa DoxrudeOshkosh
Wisconsin.


Peggy Jonsson

What an outstanding performance lastnight in Waukesha.
It was a gift to hear you perform. Your concert was the best I've ever heard. With all the delay's with the weather and sitting in the soaked grounds it didn't even matter. Thank you for coming to Waukesha.

 


 

Tim

No Washout in Waukesha! I sat with my 16 year old son in row 4 with ankle deep water rushing through the seats and there wasn't a single person who complained about the torrential rains while you reconnected us with your amazing gifts!
I told my son I've never heard you perform his favorite song, "Child of Vision" in all my years of attending your concerts and then last night, you and Aaron unleased a perfect rendition and made our evening even more special!
I have 9 children and they're all begging me to buy the VIP package next year so they can ALL meet you! Safe journeys this summer!

 

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