Article by: Kelly Milionis, Senior Contributing Writer/Interviewer/Reviewer
Photos by: Brian Morgan
Hard to imagine the last time Roger Hodgson was in the Chicagoland area was in 1998. And, even harder to imagine was that, according to Hodgson himself, it had been nearly 35 years since he was involved in a band tour. The legendary co-founder of Supertramp and songwriter of songs that have been woven into the tapestry of daily life of generations worldwide delivered a full menu for a hearty and tasty Breakfast In America Thursday Night at Ravinia Festival. And, the legion of fans would not stop letting Hodgson know how thankful they were for his contribution to their lives through his music with an immediate and lengthy standing ovation to begin the show and again at the end of every single song performed. That energy and genuine good will could literally be felt between the audience and Hodgson throughout every inch of the venue all evening long.
Sometimes, in a review of an artist of this magnitude, describing the performance or even the songs themselves can be difficult…a monumental task. The best way may be to explain it in the following manner; imagine the comfort of a warm embrace from a loved one…that is how many concertgoers felt upon hearing Hodgson’s timeless songs “Take The Long Way Home”, “Breakfast In America”, “Dreamer”, “The Logical Song”, “It’s Raining Again” and “Give A Little Bit”. Again, these songs are the part of daily life for many generations of fans and individuals alike. For an artist to be lucky to have one song viewed in this manner is quite special, rare and difficult to accomplish. Too have more than one is rarer still. It is also something that one can simply not make happen on their own.
Hearing Hodgson’s unmistakable and unique vocal almost unchanged was quite remarkable, especially on the songs performed on this night: “School”, “In Jeopardy”, “Lovers in the Wind”, “Hide in Your Shell”, “Sister Moonshine”, “Lady”, “C’est le Bon”, “Death and a Zoo”, “If Everyone Was Listening”, “Lord Is It Mine”, “Child Of Vision”, “Don’t Leave Me Now”, “Fool’s Overture”, and “Crazy”. The strength of Hodgson’s backing band shone through also. Kevin Adamson (Keyboards), David J. Carpenter (Bass), Bryan Head (Drums), and Aaron Macdonald (Keboards, Flute, Saxophone) were exceptional in their musicianship and delivery.
The festive atmosphere brought out the best in everyone. Whether you were dancing at your seat, dancing in the aisle, rushing the stage in a controlled and peaceful manner, clapping hands, singing along loudly, jumping up and down or simply sitting back and taking it all in, it was one of those nights where you felt fortunate to be in attendance.