Hodgson gives more than a little bit in TA

Roger Hodgson, former co-frontman/co-founder of Supertramp, opened his show Monday night by asking the audience to set aside its concerns and embark on a musical journey.

ROGER HODGSON (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Citing the great medicinal value of music for our troubles, Roger Hodgson, former co-frontman/co-founder of Supertramp, opened his show Monday night by asking the audience to set aside its concerns and embark on a musical journey. Over the next couple of hours, Hodgson and his band did just that, taking the crowd on a trip that reflected Supertramp’s journey to stardom.
Founded in 1969, the English group started out as a progressive rock band. Within a few years, Supertramp transitioned to traditional rock. And by the end of the 1970s, it had added clear pop elements that culminated in the hugely successful Breakfast in America. Opening last night’s set with “Take the Long Way Home,” one of many hits from that album, Hodgson showed that his distinctive silky-smooth voice with unlimited range has not changed in over 40 years.
Making his first appearance in Israel, Hodgson immediately endeared the audience at Menorah Mivtachim Arena. He relayed how thrilled he was to be in Israel and to have checked off another item from his bucket list, but regrettably added that now he would have to add another item to the list – returning here for a second show. He then launched into an inspiring rendition of “School,” the lead track in Supertramp’s 1974 breakthrough album, Crime of the Century.
Accompanied by a keyboard- and sax-heavy four-man band, Hodgson deftly moved between the electric keyboard, grand piano and several guitars as he navigated his musical journey. Getting the crowd going with the title track from Breakfast in America, Hodgson turned the clock back with a number of Supertramp hits from the early-to-mid-1970s. In “Easy Does It,” the audience responded to his request for whistling support, which was followed by “Sister Moonshine” and “Soapbox Opera.”
At that point, Hodgson shifted gears to Supertramp’s pop period with two songs off of Breakfast in America: its greatest hit, “The Logical Song,” and “Lord is it Mine,” featuring a Hodgson piano and voice solo that got the audience’s cellphone-fueled lighters in high gear.
Hodgson, who left the LA-based Supertramp in 1983 to pursue a simpler, off-the-grid life in Northern California, displayed simplicity all night through his music, his lyrics and his remarks. Commenting on how music crosses many boundaries to touch people worldwide, Hodgson time and time again humbly thanked the crowd for coming and listening to him.
Hodgson also played some of his solo work, including “Lovers in the Wind” and “Had a Dream (Sleeping with the Enemy)” from the 1984 album In the Eye of the Storm. In a third solo piece, “Death and a Zoo,” from his 2000 album Open the Door, Hodgson prefaced his haunting performance with the question: “If you were an animal, would you prefer death or life in the zoo?”
Moving to the final part of the journey, Hodgson whipped off a number of fan favorites. He started with Supertramp’s first hit single “Dreamer,” as the nearly 100% middle-aged crowd jumped to its feet as if it were 1974, followed by the 1977 instrumental “Fool’s Overture,” from the album Even in the Quietest Moments....
Hodgson and his band closed the simple yet inspirational journey with two encores – the ’77 hit “Give a Little Bit” and “It’s Raining Again” off of …Famous Last Words…, ironically Hodgson’s last album with Supertramp.
Menora Mivtachim Arena
Tel Aviv, November 11