I wasn’t sure what to expect when Supertramp took to the stage last night in Victoria. At the height of the band’s success, it released Paris, one of the best live albums to still hold a coveted spot on my iPod (having been originally purchased on vinyl, then cassette, and then CD).
Now, I wasn’t looking for a duplication of that album (with Roger Hodgson missing from the lineup, that wouldn’t be possible anyway), but I wanted the passion — the live experience. And, boy, did frontman Rick Davies and his seven-piece band deliver.
Davies was slaying the keyboards and pounding the ivories, and while his voice has roughened with age, it still held that unique Supertrampiness (think Ruby and Goodbye Stranger) that let you know you were in the right place, watching a little bit of Victoria history being made.
The last time Davies and the boys (only two original members — saxophonist and audience banterer John Helliwell and drummer Bob Siebenberg — are still in the lineup) played town was in 1977, and the audience has aged along with the band. (For reference, I actually had a backstage pass to that tour when the band played the Calgary Stampede.)
In fact, the audience was so retro, fans held up actual lighters during the ballads instead of the cellphones that all the kids use today.
And while there were a few stuffed shirts (such as the people who asked my daughter and myself to stop dancing and sit down so they could see better) who had obviously stayed up past their bedtime, an appreciative audience of 6,000 raised the roof of the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre with the first notes of each much-loved hit.
In the end, the audience had a bloody right good time. And that’s definitely what it’s all about.