Review: Roger Hodgson at the Tulsa Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

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Photo and Story by Scott Smith

Roger Hodgson is proving that he indeed was the golden voice of Supertramp.

The 61-year-old former Supertramp co-leader smiled countless times throughout his hit-filled, solo set Feb. 28 at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Catoosa, Okla., near Tulsa, bouncing between piano, electric keyboards and possibly the greatest-sounding 12-string acoustic guitar. Billed as part of his “Breakfast in America: The Voice of Supertramp Tour,” the concert offered ample proof that Hodgson still brings his A-game to the stage.

The Supertramp show-stopper “Take the Long Way Home” came first in the set, surprising many people in the near-capacity audience who expected the 1979 classic to be an encore. “So you think you’re a Romeo, playing a part in a picture show, take the long way home,” Hodgson sang with ease, his voice still registering in strong, first-tenor territory.roger-hodgson-by-scott-smith

Backed by a gifted quartet of musicians who smartly chose to play close to — but not exactly like — the sound and style of the Supertramp originals, Hodgson reached for his 12-string acoustic guitar for “School,” the opening track on Supertramp’s “Crime of the Century” LP from 1974. “School” is a track that finds Hodgson at his most serious. Either Hodgson’s narrative is just ranting against the machine (school, society’s expectations), or its the warped vision of stalker — “I can see you in the morning when you go to school, don’t forget your books, you know you’ve got to learn the golden rule,” “Maybe I was wrong, expecting you to fight …..”

Hodgson returned to his gleeful, kind-faced self for the hopeful “Sister Moonshine,” and when he played the stomping-yet-bouncy “Breakfast in America,” Hodgson won some of the evening’s loudest cheers — and the first of several standing ovations.

Also nestled into the nearly infallible set were “The Logical Song,” “Hide in Your Shell,” “Lovers in the Wind,” “In Jeopardy,” “Lady,” “Child of Vision” and “Don’t Leave Me Now.”

The concert didn’t include “It’s Raining Again,” Hodgson’s 1982, metaphorical good-bye to Supertramp, but a home-run take of “Lord Is it Mine” and splendid readings of “Fool’s Overture” and “Even in the Quietest Moments” more than covered for that omission.

Following the peppy “Dreamer,” Hodgson strapped on his 12-string acoustic guitar for the encore, a faithful reading of his 1977 Supertramp classic, “Give a Little Bit.” The moment Hodgson struck the opening, chiming chords of the song, almost every audience member smiled and stood.

Hodgson’s feel-good vibe jumped even higher as he invited two fans onto the stage. The male fan held a microphone and described the other fan, his girlfriend, before bending one knee and proposing marriage. When the woman offered an enthusiastic “yes,” Hodgson then hugged the couple and wished them decades of happiness.

Backstage, Hodgson was equally friendly and laid-back with VIP ticket-holders, posing for photographs and autographing a few CD and vinyl LP covers. Clayton McGill, a fan who drove from Van Buren, Ark. to attend the concert, told Hodgson that his father once worked for a Radio Shack store.

“Yeah, when I was a kid, my father sold more radios and stereo equipment in that store by playing Supertramp music than any other band,” McGill said as Hodgson smiled. “My father passed away about a year ago.”

Hodgson then placed his left hand on McGill’s shoulder before speaking.

“Well, maybe your father is looking down right now, and, hopefully, he likes what he’s seen and heard tonight.”


  1. Kathy March 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Indeed, Roger’s kind spirit comes through not only in his compositions and performances, but also on a personal level with his fans.

    I was also at the Tulsa show (drove 6-1/2 hours from Abilene, Texas) and was so pleased to have another opportunity to see him play again, this time with a very talented group of musicians joining him on stage.

    Like all of Roger’s audiences worldwide, this one was “giving a little bit” of their love right back to him. Seeing Roger is a unique experience. While listening to his music and seeing that smile (and those of the fans), memories old and new are being realized all at once.

    It’s not something one can explain in words, so check out Roger’s Tour page, find a date nearest you, and make the journey for yourself. If magic really exists, it’s at one of his shows. You’ll feel it in your heart. Enjoy.

  2. kim johnson March 10, 2012 at 1:52 am

    A magical evening for myself and my son Tyler who proposed to his girl during the show.
    I have traveled many miles to see Roger perform. Each show leaving me revived and grateful for his music which speaks to so many of us who have followed him for years.
    Roger and his band promises an evening which will take you back in time. With his solo music which still tells a story about life, love, and hope for us all. I leave each show with a message that speaks personally to my heart. I encourage everyone to experience what many fans call the “Roger Experience”. Thank you to Roger, Linda and the team at Harmonic management form making this an extra special evening our family will tell stories of throughout generations.

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