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2010 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Manheim Sept. 23

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Text and photos: Uwe Nessler

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Last Thursday I was at Supertramps show in Mannheim. Here?s my personal
review:

The venue SAP-Arena was 50% filled, so when I arrived I first had to change my ticket from the upper level to the lower level. The complete upper balcony remained empty. So there were about 5,000 people in this 10,000 people arena.

The sound was acceptable, but not excellent or crystal clear, because it was a little bit too loud. Ricks voice was always clear but the rest of band wasn?t always exactly balanced. Although the live recording I bought after the show sounds excellent. So this seemed to be owed to the acoustic of the venue (or the ability of the soundboard-technician?).

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The show was almost the same as the 2002-Tour: A plain stage with black curtains, opened from time to time to show videos on a screen. They added 2 videoscreens left and right of the stage where they showed the band. A nice gimmick was the camera at the piano showing Ricks hands playing. I liked the light show more then in 2002.

The setlist was the same as on the shows before. No changes.

How did the audience react on Rogers songs?
Rogers songs were very well received. Better than most of Ricks songs. I think that people know that it isn't Roger singing and they have to accept that other singers are doing his job. Although I had the impression, that for the band Rogers songs are a "ok we have to do this songs". Like many of us here I still have very ambivalent feelings about Supertramp playing Rogers songs. Reminds me when Ray Wilson was a member of Genesis and singing Phil Collins songs. Not the perfect hit.

From now on was the first highlight of the show. After that they played Give a little bit, but nobody stood up and danced. Same procedure on every song of Roger: the audience remained seated. That's for me the sign if a band got the audience: when the people on the balcony are standing up and dancing. In Mannheim: nothing. Just during the encore.

The highlight of the show was Another Man's Woman with Ricks outstanding
piano solo. Almost the only time when they got standing ovations.

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What I liked:
To hear after this long time Ricks songs again live -- especially Gone Hollywood or Poor Boy.
The interesting ending of Bloody well right -- it faded out
The sound of 2 electric guitars playing the solos at School and Crime
This epic sound -- although it wasn't crystal clear
To hear the original Wurlitzer sound. Great!

What I didn't liked:
The poor sound of the electric Grand Piano. OK, it is cheaper to do it
this way, but I prefer the sound of a real piano.
The poor sound of Jessies 12-string guitar on Give a little bit.
The disco-like beginning of Dreamer. Reminds me of a live version of Glenn Freys The Heat is on
The voice of Gabe Dixon. Sorry, I hate to say it, but for me it sounded like Mickey Mouse was singing. Did he take Helium?
Why did Gabe hide behind a keyboard when singing Rogers songs when he just play some single notes on it? Jessie is playing all the keyboard parts on Rogers songs.
I am pretty sure that Cassie Miller was singing, but sadly I never heard her voice alone.
Sometimes the bass playing of Cliff Hugo. His style of playing a pumping, rolling bass which is ok on Cannonball is not so much my cup of tea. On It's raining again he played more quavers then the syncopes of Dougie.
Most times the spotlight was only on Rick, the rest of the band played half in darkness.

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My conclusion is:
A good show whithout gimmicks but not outstanding and sorry, they did not get the audience. People liked the show but they did not went nuts.
I think that people just enjoyed to hear this songs again and maybe for the last time. It would have been ok to play some songs of the past Roger era, but to be honest: I did not miss them. Maybe because I am not so much into this era?.

Before or after the show there weren?t any people giving away flyers announcing Rogers new Live-CD.

Uwe Nessler

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