Dreamer celebrates the music of Supertramp with a complete performance of the British band’s 1974 album, Crime of the Century, and numerous tracks from Breakfast in America. SUPPLIED PHOTO
Rich Hamelin knows audiences want their fill of Breakfast in America.
Serving up a healthy portion of cuts from Supertramp’s mega-selling sixth album from 40 years ago is a must for Dreamer.
“The songs are what makes that album so special,” said Hamelin. “If you’re not a diehard Supertramp fan, you know those songs still.”
Expect to hear Hamelin’s tribute act to the British prog/pop band serve up about half of Breakfast in America’s tracks when they play the Caruso Club on Sunday.
“We definitely do a lot of songs from that album,” Hamelin said from his Oakville, Ont., home this week. “I mean, you can’t avoid it with a Supertramp show.”
The Logical Song, the title track, Take the Long Way Home are some of the songs Dreamer presents from the album that won two Grammys.
Hamelin covers material first sung by Rick Davies. Getting a chance to do Goodbye Stranger is especially satisfying.
“I just think it’s such an amazingly written song,” said Hamelin. “There are just some songs, it’s not even about the message of the song. There’s a feeling that you get as soon as you hear it and it brings you back somewhere.”
He’s played all 10 tracks from Breakfast in America about 20 times with Classic Albums Live. The presenter of classic rock albums vows to give concert-goers “note for note, cut for cut” presentations.
“They’re so intricate with their parts,” said Hamelin of the care musicians take to present studio efforts such as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Green River, Billy Joel’s The Stranger and Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. “They’ve almost helped me correct parts that I’ve been doing all these years.”
While Classic Albums Live offers an exact performance of legendary albums, Dreamer takes a few more liberties on Supertramp’s music based on what the band would do in its concert performances. Dreamer also aims to offer “more of a show” including getting the audience to occasionally sing along.
“Our goal is to give nostalgia more than anything else, so when you go to the concert you feel like you’re back in the 1970s,” said Hamelin.
Dreamer’s setlist also includes a complete performance of Supertramp’s 1974 effort, Crime of the Century. The album’s cuts include School, Bloody Well Right and Rudy.
“It’s like Breakfast in America,” said Hamelin. “Almost every single song on that album is a popular Supertramp song.”
Dreamer’s eight members featured in concert are drawn from a pool of about 20 musicians based in Ontario and Quebec. New to the group is Greg Tyler. He succeeds Phil Naro covering Roger Hodgson’s lead vocals. Naro was with the band for six years.
“Phil’s an amazing singer,” said Hamelin. “He’s also extremely, extremely busy.”
Troy Harmer, winner of Rock Out with Randy Bachman in 2015, joins Dreamer on guitar.
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If you go
The Supertramp Experience is presented in support of Health Sciences North’s Children’s Treatment Centre.
An eight-piece group of multi-instrumentalists performs all of the sounds used in the real Supertramp show, from sax, clarinet, trombone, vintage keyboards and of course the unmistakable Supertramp vocal sound.
The musicians for Dreamer, hand-picked for their incredible expertise in capturing the often intricate arrangements of Supertramp’s material and are a strong complement to the featured vocals of Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies (performed by keyboard player and singer Rich Hamelin).
The show goes on Sunday at the Caruso Club, 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7).
Get tickets at the door for $40 each or call for family discounts in advance.
Event ticket and info line: 1-888-777-9793.