Finally, here are my photos of Roger Hodgson‘s gig at Tollwood. Hope you’ll like them; the quality is a little better than on facebook!! Unfortunately we were only allowed to take photos during the first three songs. That means I didn’t get the chance to catch Roger playing the piano… sadly! But I guess you can’t have it all, eh? I’m happy with what I got!
I’d like to say a heartfelt thank-you to Linda Tyler for allowing me to take these photos. Linda is one helluva kind lady, always smiling and always there to help Roger’s friends/fans with whatever we need. She’s simply amazing!
And then there’s Kathy, our dear friend who is the driving force behind Roger’s Garden Gate (and Roger’s web-master!). She is the one who has brought us all together… Here’s a big virtual hug for you Kathy – but you really should have been there with the rest of us for the real thing!! Maybe next time??
Click on the images to see their larger versions. Enjoy!
Finally a cooler day… The weather was incredibly hot until last night a heavy thunderstorm cooled things down. Today it’s been raining on and off; I’ll enjoy it as long as it last! Seeing Malta’s weather forecast really makes me want to stay here forever!
Six long months waiting for Roger Hodgson’s gig at the Tollwood Summer Festival (I bought my ticket in January!) – and now it’s already over; the days have flown by, just as good times tend to do!
Tuesday night our friend Gregor received a shocking e-mail from Linda: After Roger’s concert in Quimper/France they were unable to fly to Munich because French air traffic controllers chose to strike exactly between Tuesday evening until Thursday morning!! In another e-mail at lunchtime on Wednesday Linda told him they were still in France… She certainly managed to keep us in suspense! Well, we all know how dedicated Roger is to his fans. In the end they drove by bus to Germany, then hired a “little jet” and arrived at the venue half an hour before the start of the gig!
Even after such a harrowing journey, a beaming Linda came out before the show to greet and hug each of us, after arranging photo passes for those of us with cameras and organising those coveted little “after show” passes for the whole gang…
And what about Roger & Aaron? Nothing short of astonishing. You could not only see, but also hear and feel how much they enjoyed playing for about 4,500 people! After opening with The Long Way Home, Roger explained to the crowd what had happened that had caused the delay, and then played Give A Little Bit. Thank you Gregor (again – I’ll be forever in debt with you LOL!) for capturing it. I had recorded the speech too, but the sound is awful…
Because of the half-hour delay to the start of the show, they also did away with the intermission as apparently there was a curfew and they weren’t allowed to play after 10 pm. Roger’s voice was impeccable as always – and if you believe that I’m biased (which I am but that doesn’t mean I would lie!), today’s ‘Abendzeitung’ captioned Roger’s photo thus: “Glasklar wie immer” = crystal-clear as always! (Although the journalist who wrote the article, a certain Arno Frank Eser, should be ashamed to change Aaron into Eric… I mean, that guy gets paid for his writing/researching, right?!)
Still not showing any signs of fatigue, Roger welcomed quite a crowd of fans at the after-show meet & greet – all separately in individual groups of friends. His incredible gift of making you feel good is just amazing. Thank you for being the person you are Roger!
I will post photos on Saturday or Sunday, but if you don’t want to wait that long, there are unedited pics of the concert on facebook. But here’s the set list – kindly provided by Gregor (thank you!!). I don’t know how he does it, but he seems to get it every time LOL! *envy*
The friendships that were made through Roger’s music are lasting ones; it never ceases to amaze me how well we’re all matched, even though we’re all so different from each other.
Our little Garden Gang group was almost unchanged from March 2009: Mick & Sharon (Ireland), Claudia (Germany), Christine (Austria), Gregor & Family (Germany), Anina & Sámal (Faroe Islands), Miriam & Olaf (Germany) Sylvia (Switzerland), and last but really not least, Lisa & Jenna (Wisconsin, USA) (yes that’s right, USA!!). Seeing each other again was like coming home… We all stayed at the same hotel (Best Western Aparthotel) very close to the Tollwood venue, which meant we were able to spend many hours together. Especially dinner and after-dinner drinks on the first night were hard work on the muscles: the laughter was killing us all LOL!
We’re already looking forward to the next time… Mick mentioned Dublin to be a possibility in the future – well, I think I’ll be there!
Something that’s been nagging me
I don’t really want to taint the wonderful time we all had with negativity, which is why I’m hesitating a little to write about the organisational aspect of the event. On the other hand I believe one should mention these things, not least because people might mistakenly blame Roger or his management. Interestingly, Roger said in the beginning, “I don’t know if they allow you to dance here, but…” As if he knew already that dancing was a big no-no as far as the organisers were concerned.
But for more serious starters, there was the opening of the gate – or more precisely two openings. After queuing for hours at the outside gate, one scrambled to queue at one of eight entrances to the concert tent. And “queue” isn’t even accurate; there were no lines to speak of, just crowds. Because of the delay, tensions started to rise a little, and by the time the metal doors did open (to the outside, i. e. onto the crowd and no security staff in sight!), people just seemed to be crazy. I’m honestly surprised – and relieved! – that nobody got hurt in the resulting stampede as people scrambled for what they could scramble for (really, really sorry for the pun!!), which were the unnumbered seats! It was like a huge game of musical chairs, only it wasn’t funny.
I’ve decided not to describe the events as they kept unfolding throughout the concert, courtesy of the security guys and girls. The name printed on the staff t-shirts was “MfG”. That is a German abbreviation for “Mit freundlichen Grüßen“ (= with kind regards). Of course I’m sure that’s not the company’s name, but the association in the mind is there. Well, what can I say, I’ve never seen security staff behave like these people did, and kind or friendly aren’t attributes that would jump to mind. What’s certain, however, is that the organizers didn’t have a clue what Roger Hodgson is all about. Let’s leave it at that. Maybe, just maybe, they will know better next time, but I doubt it…