Hodgson has become a magnificent onstage communicator. In his Supertramp days, he never talked to the crowd, but he’s slowly grown from an initial diffidence as a bandleader into someone who has an easy rapport. He doesn’t so much work the crowd as work with them. After opening song Take The Long Way Home, Hodgson asks for the house lights to be turned up, so that “I can see my beautiful audience. I think I know most of you!”
This betrays his intimate charm, while he gently chides a few latecomers by wryly observing, “You’ve missed the best song. But I can’t do it again as time’s short!”
The humour immediately gets everyone into the right frame of mind for what’s to follow.
School leads into the solo tracks In Jeopardy and Lovers In The Wind from his overlooked 1984 album In The Eyes Of The Storm. Both slot in beautifully with the iconic material, as does Along Came Mary, from his most recent solo release, 2000’s Open The Door. But it’s classic moments from those Supertramp days that get the fans on their feet, with Breakfast In America and The Logical Song simply stunning.