I waited 3 long months before our hero came to Sioux Falls. But, MAN, was it worth it! His band came out, the "Virgin" S.F. Fans Cheered. Then, Rod casually came out, and the Crowd REALLY Cheered!
(I Screamed Like a little girl!) This was the first Rod concert for Brian, my hubby.
And then the magic, fun, and music as only Rod can give began. Rod, for a 70 year old musician, did not dissappoint. I noticed his voice was as clear as when I first saw him in 1980? He sang the big favorites, Maggie May," "Tonight's the Night," "First Cut is The Deepest," and introduced an old Faces tune from "Longplayer" album, of 1972, called "Had Me a Real Good Time." And he didn't miss a word or note - And the back up musicians were ALL OVER THIS SONG!!! Made me wonder, hhmmmm, FACES Reunion, IT COULD HAPPEN! I wasn't real close to see Rod's face, but I know he loves his Ronnie Wood! So, other songs on this last leg of the "Hits" Tour included "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" and, Of Course, "You're In My Heart," A HUGE favourite of Rod's and RSFC fans alike. And Footballs were everywhere! That man, who I call a friend, still has SOME KICK!! IT didn't matter to me, whether I caught a Soccer ball, cause I felt pride in the fact that we GAVE ROD a FAN-O-GRAPHED ball from his loving, loyal Fans. AND I know He got it, God put a nice Driver of Rod's in my path. He took it, with Souvenir writing & 15 some fan Greetings on it to My oldest, Best R & R friend. And, for stats, the Denny Sanford Premier Center holds about 13,000 fans. I asked my friend in security how many seats sold, bout 8 - 9,000. But what does that natter. Rod, his musicians, and Fans had ONE 'ELL OF A REAL GOOD TIME!!!
Be Well n Happy, Rod. WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!
Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25 in Iowa and South Dakota
On Friday July 24th Rod graced the stage in a wild yet tasteful animal print jacket at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It reminded me of what someone posted on FB comparing the suits Rod's wearing now with those of 20 or so years ago. This one was different for sure but I compare his stage wardrobe to his hair--they both have been a variation on a theme over the years.
Rod opened to "Having a Party", which was more appropriate than "Infatuation" from nights before because America's heartland loves Rod and the entire audience was having a party during the entire show. Lots of audience participation-it reminded me of the first show I attended in England where they sang every word to every song. It continued to remind me of the shows across the pond when Rod sang "Every Picture Tells A Story" and then during the sit down "The Killing of Georgie". Kimmie did a great job on backing vocals. What a great night!
Before he sang "Tonight's the Night" he said that a lot of unwanted children were born because of this song. (I think he meant unplanned children.) I noticed a lot of Al Jolson moves down on one knee or at times both knees. He also sang "Love is" and the banjo player who I believe was in the video accompanied it.
It was more of the party-like atmosphere on Saturday night too at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And just to give an update on his suit, Rod came out in the tightest pair of black pants I've seen since the days of spandex, a white jacket and blue tie. He was right in front of us in the front row a lot so I was able to take particular notice.
When Rod introduced Jimmy Roberts, he talked about the fact that Jimmy was in the band years ago, left for awhile and then came back. On Friday night he said Jimmy left to open an omelet shop and then on Saturday night he said he left to open a sexy lingerie shop called "Jimmy's Secrets". At the end of the show someone threw up a very padded bra which ended up on Jimmy's head.
Rod also said that he has many beautiful women in his band and said that's why he was going to sing "Some Guys Have All The Luck". He applauded Katja and said she is looking for love and came all the way to Sioux Falls to find it. The crowd loved it!
Lucy woke up with a cold on Saturday and before they sang "Rhythm of my Heart, Rod and Lucy appeared to be having a conversation which I thought might be about whether she felt well enough to do her solo part. She must have because she did it beautifully.
I've saved the best to last: Rod sang "I don't want to talk about in" which he rarely sings in the states and then he said they were messing about during the sound check and decided unbelievably for the first time ever to sing the old Faces tune "Had me a real good Time". I know I should have videoed them but I was so much in awe of both of them, I simply enjoyed them without being behind a lens. I sure hope someone did!
What a perfect way to finish off seeing five shows in a row and the last night of the U.S. Tour. Rod has said that his audience will tell him when it's time for him to retire and as long as he has air in his lungs he wants to do the live shows. Based on what I've seen, the audience his telling him to keep going! He's on his way to Vegas and then to Hyde Park and of course the new CD in October. I don't know how he does it. We're heading on to Mount Rushmore for some sightseeing and much needed R & R. We might be getting too old for this but I'm delighted that Rod is not! Had me a VERY good time!
Bloomington, IL July 22, 2015
It turns out that Johnny Gates, lead singer of Runaway Saints, the opening act for five of Rod's July shows, is a huge fan of Rod himself. I had an opportunity to talk with him prior to the Bloomington, IL show and found that Johnny's mother isn't the only one in his family that is a Rod fan. He said Rod was always on the radio when he was growing up and their band used to cover "Maggie May". In fact he's also a Faces fan and loves to hear Rod sing "Ooh La La". When he received the phone call about opening for Rod, he "very calmly flipped out". He also said its been an "unforgettable experience" to hear the support of Rod's audience when they come out on stage. He admits they snuck out in the crowd in Toledo to watch the show and had the chance to meet fellow Rod fans, share stories and hear some favorite memories from past Rod concerts. I got the impression Johnny might be looking forward to these remaining shows as much if not more than I am!
This was the first of three Midwestern shows and the folks in these parts love Rod. It appeared to be a sell-out crowd of 8,000 or so at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, IL which is about 100 miles south of Chicago. Rod asked the crowd if they had been drinking and said he loves the sing-a-longs that he thinks started back with the Faces. He really appreciated the response and said "you should be up here and hear what it sounds like."
As a part of Rod's support for wounded warriors (which is outstanding) during "Rhythm of my Heart" he said "Donald Trump is right, we should take better care of our veterans". He didn't endorse The Donald's presidential bid but did give him a shout out. I believe they are friends and have homes next to each other in West Palm Beach. I don't think the media will pick up on this comment though as they are still wasting time talking about Rod's time in Canada having his picture taken in a coat made of Seal and lunching with a long-legged blond beauty who turned out to be a member of his management team.
During the acoustic set, Julie did a wonderful job opening "First Cut" on the harp. I was watching her up on the screen and she's very serious about her work. And it wasn't long before her newlywed husband, Don was highlighted also.
Rod dedicated "You're in my Heart" to "those two girls in the Celtic shirts" and it turned out he was pointing at Deb Anderson and her daughter Genny. I love when he does that---we all know that you don't really see Rod until he sees you.
During "You Wear It Well" I held up my obligatory "Lost in You Since '72" sign and the cameraman was nice enough to put me up on the screen. Rod probably regrets writing on my sign "Always hold it up" as I do at every show. Awhile back I was surprised to find an envelope in the mail with a photo that Penny took of me years ago holding my sign with a personal note from Rod saying "Look what I found!" I love that man!
We had a fantastic time seeing Rod friends in Bloomington. If you haven't met or spent any time with Bernie Brennan and her husband Mick you are missing an experience you'll not soon forget on a Rod trip. Bernie is an absolute delight and made our hotel stay and time before and after the show really special. It's been a very long time since I've laughed that hard. You have to have her sing one of her Irish drinking tunes! Dave loved chatting with Mick and how little Kevo took to him. And we finally met Sara Drehfal Vila's husband Mark and if there was anyone there who had to call in sick from work and therefore I can't mention them by name--it was absolutely wonderful to see you. I've missed you so much.
I hope Rod knows, and I think he does, that his fans are so dedicated that they literally count their lose change, call off sick from work and buy plane tickets at the last moment to attend his shows. They also would wait in line for hours at the prospect of getting their picture taken with him. And his smile and a mere "Enjoy the show ladies" is enough to mark that bill paid in full. Thank you Rod! Stay tuned for nights on the town in Iowa and South Dakota.
Toledo, Ohio July 18 and Soaring Eagle Casino July 19
At the Saturday, July 18th show at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, Rod apologized for a "virus" he has been dealing with for the past 10 days. He said he wasn't contagious and the ladies could still come up and kiss him. Which of course wasn't possible because although it was an intimate venue with every one of the 5600 seats filled, the stage was high and a good distance from the front row where we were seated. If it would have been Vegas, we all would have gone home sick. Other than Rod wiping his nose a few times and an occasional slip-up on a high note, you wouldn't have known he canceled a show two nights before in Alabama under doctors orders. But without a doubt he looked and sounded great.
A band out of Nashville and now in LA called the Runaway Saints opened the show with 4 songs. I wasn't familiar with them but their one song, "We Got Love" was a very catchy tune and one you could imagine Rod singing. The lead singer, Johnny Gates, said his mother is a Huge Rod fan and she was there tonight and he knows she wasn't there to see them. They were a great prelude to Rod mentioning his name a couple of times to outrageous screams from the audience.
The set list was pretty much the same as you've seen with two exceptions: he sang "Young Turks" early on and surprised us with what he said was the first time he sung it, if at all--"In A Broken Dream". The crowd loved "Love Is" which I hope is a sign that "Another Country" will sell better than "Time" did in the U.S. which I still don't understand. He kicked the soccer balls during "Stay With Me" foregoing "Hot Legs".
It was like the old days with several pieces of sexy undies thrown up on stage and one pair made its way to the tip of Conrad's guitar----he didn't miss a chord acting as though they belonged there. Something I've never seen at any concert before was off to the one side of the stage were two gentlemen seated with the one holding two Paris Hilton-like small dogs. When introducing "Sweet Little Rock and Roller" he said we would see a very pretty but very straight version of him when he was 19. During the first curtain drop Lucy found herself outside of the round-shaped curtain and while laughing uncontrollably had to crawl up under it to get in. At the end of the show during DYTIS, when the local string section joined them on stage, Rod was poked with one of the violins and grabbed his crotch right in front of us. It was quite enjoyable, I must admit. I love those "cock-ups"--no pun intended.
The next night in Mount Pleasant, Michigan was at the Roaring Eagle Casino but the only thing that resembled a casino show was that they held to the 90 minute limit. The set list was trimmed leaving "Love Is", "Broken Dream" and "Young Turks" out. John Waite opened and other than a few technical issues was fantastic. A special treat was when he did "Missing You" which Rod covered on his rock classics CD. Don Kirkpatrick used to play in his band and you could see Don watching some of his set from the sideline. It was an outdoor venue which I haven't been to one in years. It was the perfect night for it---warm but not hot. The sky was blue and when Rod (and most of the band) came out in sunglasses, it reminded me of the opener of the Cigarettes and Alcohol Tour. Rod said the "f_cking sun" was in his eyes and wished the sun would go down so he could take his sunglasses off. I can't remember exactly what else was said but more than a couple F-bombs were dropped before the night was over. Once the sun did go down and the sunglasses were off, Rod said he was cold and put his jacket back on.
Seeing Rod is always the main focus of these trips but we also love seeing friends we haven't seen in awhile and putting faces to those we've only met on line. We spent some great time with our good friends, Kathy and Gary Hurd. And it was so good to see Sara Drehfal Vila, Dave and Deb Anderson (aka soccer ball head--who caught a ball) and Sandy Jendrusina, her husband and her son TJ, who also caught a ball. Sara's good friend, Eduardo, who loved Rod's music in the early '70's was there to see Rod for the first time and did so from the third row. His opinion of the show was no surprise. He said it was so well done. He loved Rod and thought the band was great too. He gave Rod the ultimate compliment in saying it took him back to 1972. He got a couple of fantastic pictures too.