Vegas review by Barbara Holland

The Big weekend event started off with a “Rod Stewart Tribute concert” performed by Rick Larrimore, a well known singer from the northeast of the United States. After a 2 hr drive to see Rick and 5 hrs of sleep, I was off to the airport to enjoy my big weekend celebration for Rods birthday. When I arrived in Las Vegas, I found out that there would be over 200 hundred Rod Stewart Fan Club fans that were showing up for Rods birthday.

My first show was Wednesday November 19 which was great as usual. I had my favorite section 2, 2nd row. I was in this seat when Rod had signed his autobiography book for me at the May 10, 2014 show.

The fans were really ready for Rod this night. He was in a good mood and very energetic. The opening song was “Having a Party”. Some of the songs that Rod sang were “Can’t Stop Me Now”, Sweat Little Rock n Roller”, “First Cut is the Deepest”, “Hot Legs” and of course “Maggie May” one of my favorite.

During the show Rod received a green and white pillow which he loved. He carried that pillow around with him and then he put it on the stage and lied his head on it.

Rod then decided to take a stroll through the arena while his band played “Sweet Little Rock n Roller”. Rod was just getting over being sick and he sounded great.

It was now time for “Maggie May” the crowd went wild. The curtain can down, the crowd when crazy, then the curtain went up and his last song was “Do You think I am Sexy”.

The band was all in a line across the stage, at that point balloons started falling from the ceiling. I grabbed a balloon and with a marker I wrote Happy Birthday to Rod. I pushed the balloon on the stage to Dee and she picked it up and showed it off. That was my way to wish Rod a Happy Birthday.

By the next day most of the fans flown in for the Rod Stewart Fan Club party on Friday night, November 21, at a pub in Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas.

Mike Scully came up with an idea of having a 6ft soccer ball signed by the fans for Rods birthday. Mike said he would try to get this idea approved by Rods management company, they approved his idea. We had a table set up and raffled off Rod memorabilia such as T-shirts, Cd’s, Rod Stewart posters, 3 signed soccer balls, a Rod Stewart autobiography book, tapestry and etc. The raffle ticket would give the fan a chance to sign the ball and write a message for Rods birthday. Mike’s wife Jill would be one of the ball rollers with 2 other lucky winners that Rod himself will be picking on November 22, Saturday at 6:30 before the show. Mike and his wife Jill did a great job in organizing this event, the event raised $3,500 dollars for the “Wound Warriors” fund. Mike you did a great job.

The November 22 show started at 7:30 as scheduled and the crowd was energized. A lot of fans were in Celtic shirts and one had a “Wound Warriors” flag, Rod ask all the Celtic shirt fans to come up on stage and show the audience the “Wound Warriors” flag. There were a lot of British fans along with USA fans which made a great night.

Rod made a comment that Saturday nights crowd was full of energy. Well it is a Saturday night he said. Ruby sang a great song of hers it was called “Just One More Day”. As she was singing, she walked through the audience. Then Rod came and met Ruby on stage and they sang “Forever Young” together. They sounded great together.

As the show went on, Dee handed me a maraca to shake, I felt like part of the band. I was very happy that she has recognized me from previous shows. I met her later and she told me that I was a great fan. I was very pleased to hear that especially by one of the members of Rods band. Rod wore a gold and black jacket that looked good on him. Later he changed into silver outfit, which matched the girls dresses. This night was my night because Rod came over to me kneed down to signed autobiography book for me, I was very happy.

The day we all been waiting for has arrived, many friend gathered together to celebrate the wedding of mike and Susana. It was a very sunny nice day. The wedding took Place at a private estate in Las Vegas. The wedding it self was performed out side, with so many fans and friend from the Rod Stewart fan club. A very special quest also attended Vic Vaga, he played at our fan club party Friday night and he was fantastic. Susana wore a beautiful white wedding dress and Mike wore a nice suit. The wedding was great, Susana and Mike were very happy. We all had some good conversations about our experiences at different Rod shows we attend. Many of us keep in touch thought out the year. The good thing about the Rod shows in Las Vegas are the people from all around the world meet here to see Rod. They all say it is the best place to see his shows included Rod himself. Many pictures were taken of the wedding. There were three very special people that were not able to attend Marcy and Dave who were missed along with Kara. After the wedding it was time to go back to our rooms and get ready for the big event. Mike and Jill were going to Present Rod with a 6ft giant soccer ball that all the fans wrote a birthday message to Rod.

I was on my way to the concert and I spotted Shawn playing a game of poker. As a fan I recognized him from his photos. I was wondering if he was winning.

The Nov. 23, 2014 show was about to start. The fans were all ready and excited for this event. Mike, Susana, Manny and Jean were all up in the front on one side and Mike and Jill, Gilles, Terrie and myself were on the other side. The fan club and Celtic supports were all in there seats waiting for Rod to appear. Rod opened with were “Having a Party' and he was right. This night was a party that all of us fans will treasure forever. My camera broke just after the 2nd song Rod saw the disappointment on my face and he made a face at me like what wrong?

Rod did “Rhythm of My Heart” and the crowd went wild, because this was the night for the charity event for the “Wounded Warriors”. Rod had a few girls come up on stage with a “Wounded Warriors” flag. We all had our Celtic shirts on, the theater looked green and white. It was great to see so many supports.

Rod was ready to take his stroll in the audience with the band playing “Sweat Little Rock n Roller”. It was now time for “Hot Legs” and we all know what happens at this point. Rod went to the right and start kicking soccer balls then he goes to the left side kicking balls all the way to the 3rd level. He was fantastic, you could watch his face as he was kicking the balls out and see the joy in his eyes. Rod then sang “Stay With Me” and at that moment it was the clue for Jill to leave and meet Leslie and Sue (which were the two raffle winners) so they could get ready to roll the big soccer ball to Rod. They would be rolling the big soccer ball out after “Maggie May”. Rod sang “Maggie May” and then the curtain came down. Then back by popular demand Rod Stewart doing “Do You Think I am Sexy”. As the song started to play the girls started to roll the ball onto the stage towards Rod. Rod seemed To be happy about the event being taking place. At this time he was down by the right side of the stage, I asked him to sign his autobiography book for me, he came to me kneeling down by me and signed his book and then Terris’s picture. I was so happy a very special friend Gillles was next to me who let me use his camera and now has a signed book. I keep the special marker, I will treasure it forever. This group has brought so many nice people with the same interests together, that share the same way of thinking and caring for others. I am proud to be long to it.

The show was about to end and Rod said, he will be buy the Celtic fans a drink at “Gordon Ramsey Pub”. Many of the fans gathered at Gordon's to have diner and drinks. About ½ hour went by and we were all talking about the show and to our surprise who walked in but Rod Stewart to have dinner. The band members and his Shawn joined him. He was in the back of the restaurant, I went to say hi, I waved to him he waved back, then I went back to my table. Rod was there for about 2hours. Everybody was respectful to Rod and it paid off. Just to sit in the same restaurant with him was a dream come true for me. When I walked to the bar, I could see his blonde hair and red sweater. This memory is in my head forever. I will never forget even if my camera failed me. Rod made my day. It was about 11:15, I was at the end of the bar, Mike heard the security saying Rod will be leaving in 5 minutes. I asked my friend Gilles if I can brought his camera. He gave it to me, I was on the way to Rod. I was determined to shake his hand and get a picture. Rod Stewart was walking my way, I had a clear path to him, he shook my hand. I told him thank you for signing his book for me, he said “Thank you to the fan club”. I took a great picture of him snaking my hand. This was the best time of my life.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROD STEWART

LOVE BARBARA HOLLAND

NEW YORK FAN FOREVER

Review of Vegas Shows Nov. 5, 8-9, 2014 By Karen Chande

The first show I attended on November 5 opened with This Old Heart Of Mine, followed by It's A Heartache.  Rod told us that he had a touch of bronchitis and apologized if he needed to cough during the show.  Having A Party was next and after that Rod introduced the next song as a romantic song, then said “no, actually it's a shagging song”, which of course, was Tonight's The Night!  He asked for a bottle of water at a certain point early in the show saying he didn't usually drink water at this time.

This Wednesday crowd was seated during the show and at one point Rod called the crowd an "intelligent" crowd, which I take to jokingly mean not one of the more on their feet enthusiastic crowds.  I was happy when the next song he introduced was from his latest album and his father's support getting into show business and that of course was, "Can't Stop Me Now".  I wanted to stand but since everyone was sitting, would kind of sit up on the chair in such a way as to be sort of half sitting half standing.  What a great song where everyone should be on their feet!  Next up was the introduction to "Rhythm of My Heart" the song he dedicates to the troops and he wanted us to pay attention to the important message at the end.  When the backup singers did their part in the song, Rod would have to turn back to cough, poor guy, even with a little hesitation when it was his turn. The message at the end was the Wounded Warriors Project.

He pointed out to us with his bronchitis and coughing that he was not contagious and if we wanted to kiss him, we wouldn't catch it!  I was surprised the women didn't storm the stage to do so after that remark!  Next song up was Forever Young, by himself and Ruby was not here tonight.

He went off to change during the drum solo, coughing along the way.  When he returned, now changed into his silver suit with fluffed hair, the local Las Vegas orchestra came out as the seats were set up for the acoustic set which included three songs.  Rod acknowledged David Palmer, asking him to come down and take a bow.  Rod tells us there is no miming here, this is a live show and that is what you are paying to hear.  First Cut Is The Deepest was first followed by Ooh La La which he introduced saying that Ronnie Lane, now deceased had written.  During this song was the delightful inclusion of J'Anna Jacoby and one of the violinists in the orchestra getting up out of their seats and doing a little jig.

The next song was Have I Told You Lately.  I was surprised that after that song, Rod did not go out into the audience as usual for Sweet Little Rock & Roller but instead introduced the ladies taking over for Proud Mary.  Knowing the general lineup of the show having seen it so many times, it seemed this show was taking a "fast forward", perhaps because Rod was not feeling well.  The ladies did a great job as always with this song and several in the audience stood to shake their booty which always makes the ladies happy to see the interaction and enthusiasm.  Rod came out after that in black pants and black shirt for You're In My Heart, and then Hot Legs kicking the balls out into the crowd, starting on one side, then the other and back again to the first side he started with. 

 

When Maggie May began, the audience sat back down.  I don't recall ever seeing a Vegas crowd that would be sitting by this time in the show and during that song, especially since they’d been standing right before it for Hot Legs, trying to catch the balls. In fact, this is the point where usually the guards come down to keep the eager fans at bay from jumping up on stage.  Rod started the song and after a short bit into it had the band stop playing.  He told the crowd to get up and stand, had we just come from a funeral?  (LOL!)  At that point everyone got on their feet and the guards came down to the front as they usually do.  When Rod wandered over to the side of the stage in section 2, he engaged the audience on that side and motioned one lucky lady to come up on the stage and someone took her picture with him.  For the finale Do You Think I'm Sexy, now the crowd is into it like they should have been right from the start.  The last thing Rod said before he left the stage was to enjoy ourselves and that he was going to go home and cough.

 

I was worried these next couple of days in between if he would get better or worse, remembering what happened in London last year where the second concert had been postponed.  I even went over Nov. 7 and checked at the box office and was told they hadn't heard anything and that was a good sign. On show day of Nov. 8, all was a go.  As I arrived at my seat with no one yet around, I happened to notice a small perfectly shaped square piece of paper on the arm rest and as I looked around, saw several more on the floor.  I picked up the one on my arm rest, held it up on my finger tip and said to myself, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"!!!  I had heard that song before in Vegas last year and the year before and recognized the pieces of paper as the snow that comes down during the song.  I was so excited as I love that live performance and also excited to see if I'd guessed it right.  I then looked on the shiny white stage surface and noticed several more of these little paper pieces which further convinced me I knew this was a song on the set list tonight, some evidence of a little afternoon test on the snow, lol! 

 

When the show started, Having A Party had moved up to being the opening song, a good up beat opening song.  This Old Heart was cut entirely from the set list.  After this was It's A Heartache.  When Rod welcomed the crowd, he again mentioned having the bronchitis.  When the audience moaned, he told them, "No, the good news is, I'm here!" to which we applauded.  He again mentioned not being contagious if we wanted to come up and kiss him.  Lol, and again I'm surprised no one took the opportunity to do so!  He mentioned it's Saturday night and asked had we had a drink, to which the audience applauded.  The show continued with Tonight's The Night and the song written in 1972, "You Wear It Well".  I was happy to again hear the introduction to "Can't Stop Me Now". 

 

He introduced Rhythm Of My Heart, dedicating it to the troops and again saying to pay attention to the message at the end.  After the song was finished and the moving Wounded Warriors message was shown, he said if that didn't bring a tear to your eye, you'd have a heart of stone.  People I talked to who had not been at the Wednesday show said they could notice Rod was not feeling well but to me I thought his health seemed better than Wednesday, not as much coughing.  When Forever Young started, it was him alone again, and no Ruby.  He went off for the change of clothes into the silver suit and came back with fluffed up hair as the chairs were being set up for the acoustic set.  The local orchestra came out again and Rod mentioned a new song to be played tonight.  First Cut Is The Deepest was started and next up was Ooh La La which has the adorable jig in it with J'Anna and the violinist in the orchestra.

At this point, knowing we usually get just 3 songs in the acoustic set and knowing most of the times Have I Told You Lately was one of them, I started thinking I was wrong on my earlier guess about the Christmas song.  After Ooh La La, Rod gave recognition as he had at the Wednesday show to J'Anna and the local violinist.  Next he asked if anyone was here from the UK and there were lots of cheers and applauding which I added too, ha ha, why not, I am applauding for all my British friends who were not there!  He said this next song is one they love, and it was of course, I Don't Want To Talk About It. 

After the song finished, Rod mentions having been to the stores and seeing the decorations - yes, here it comes!! - and it might be a little early but what the heck, we are doing a Christmas song tonight!!  Yes, I was right!! 

At this show after the song had finished, Sweet Little Rock N Roller started for a bit with everyone still onstage but then he starts down the steps as a few band members followed between sections 4 & 5 down the aisle as the sweepers strategically used that time to clean off the "snow" with everyone off the stage as Rod takes the show into the audience.  People stopped him to have a quick picture taken with him and he shook hands as he went along down the aisle and across the back over to the side on section 2.  Once the song finished when they were back up onstage, Rod then introduced the ladies to take over with Proud Mary.  He left for the final change of clothes for the black pants and shirt and another hair fluff up.  Next up was You're In My Heart and after that the funny videos on the screen.  A little change this night was that Stay With Me was performed as he kicked the soccer balls out to the audience.  One lady on the side I was on was having trouble getting the ball he intended for her so he motioned her to come forward to the stage so he could place it in her hands.  At another point in the show when he was on that side, a lady ran forward reaching her hand out to him and he bent over to shake her hand as she approached the stage.  After Stay With Me, Maggie May started.  This song has some open time for Rod to interact with fans and on the other side in section 2, he was seen signing his book that someone had reached out to give him with a marker.  He also shook hands with people over there.  Once the curtain came down, it was up quickly again and Do You Think I'm Sexy starts. 

The show on November 9 opened again with “Having A Party”, followed by “It’s A Heartache”.  When Rod welcomed the audience he said Sunday crowds were usually a bit quiet, but we were a good crowd tonight.  He also mentioned again that he’s had bronchitis for the past couple of weeks and hasn’t been able to shake the bloody thing.  He said it makes you short of breath and need to cough and to excuse him if he missed a couple of words in the songs.  He joked around, saying the show was over and turned to leave, then turned back saying he was just kidding, “Rod never cancels,” to which the audience applauded.  The show continued on with Tonight’s The Night and You Wear It Well.  As he introduced Can’t Stop Me Now, he said this was the song about how he got turned down from the record companies and “I showed them!” (we all laughed and applauded) and how his father was the person who stood by him.  He said playing the newer songs is always hard and that the British fans like this song.  At that point I said to myself, “Now wait a minute, Mr. Stewart, your die-hard fans around the world also love this song as well as the whole album it’s from, and some of them are right here under your nose tonight, darling!” Lol!  He asked us to look up on the screen and we would see a 19 year old Rod Stewart.  And the wonderful upbeat Can’t Stop Me Now begins.

Then he introduced Rhythm Of My Heart as the song he always dedicates to the troops of long ago as well as the present who are fighting ISIS while we are here tonight enjoying ourselves.  He salutes them and the song begins.  While Kimmi was singing, Rod turned back asking Don to hand him a bottle of water, took a sip and then got back to the mic in time for his part in the song.  After the song finished and the ladies took their bows, Rod went over to pick up his jacket saying, “I’ll just put me jacket back on,” telling us he had left it on the stage once and it had gotten stolen.  Then Forever Young begins.  Once the band finished up, Rod comes back out with his silver suit on, showing it off to the audience, who applauded.  When Forever Young finished, he gave David Palmer recognition and also the ladies in the leopard skins stood together and bowed. Rod also told the crowd about how Jimmy Roberts was in the band long ago and had left to go work in a factory making sausages, got tired of that and decided to come back and “join Rod’s band again”.  The chairs were brought out for the acoustic set and he introduced the Magnificent Seven in the Vegas orchestra who are called that for obvious reasons.  The set was the same as the night before with First Cut Is The Deepest, and when he introduced Ooh La La, mentioning Ronnie Lane no longer with us and asked if there were any Faces fans in the audience and they were not ruling out a reunion tour.  Here is a short clip of the adorable jig in the song, at a better angle than I had the first night.

Rod also mentioned at this show this is all live music, no miming.  I Don’t Want To Talk About It was next followed by Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.  After that, the ladies in the local orchestra stood to leave and Rod thanked them saying, “See you after the show in my dressing room!” then adds, “Just kidding, I’m a married man!”  Next was Sweet Little Rock & Roller, where Rod again took the show out into the audience leaving the stage between sections 4 and 5.

I have found when sitting up near the front of the stage it is best to watch the screen onstage to get a better view of what is going on out in the audience.  The most touching moment for me at this show was when I saw Rod kneel down beside a handicapped woman in a wheel chair, put his arm around her as someone took their picture.  Once Rod and band reached the stage and the song finished, the ladies took over with Proud Mary, a good song to keep the high energy going. 

 

Rod came back after the song, now in the blue multi-shade paisley jacket over the black shirt.  There seemed to be some confusion as Rod was looking around on the stage and then said someone in the band decided to go home.  He told us to talk amongst ourselves, but it got quickly sorted as the band all got in place and “You’re In My Heart” began.

Next up, Rod shows the funny videos on the big screen.  The newscaster was shown - who has now, by the way, moved from Detroit to San Diego – Lol! – and I just about cracked up when Rod says as she is slowly drawing the diagram to keep watching, it takes her awhile, “just like me these days” OMG, Rod, so funny!!  The soccer balls were kicked out to Stay With Me.  It’s fun to watch this at close range to the stage as Rod eyes the audience for where to kick the ball next.  He intended a man several people down from me to get one and it bounced over, yes, brushing my finger tips and the woman next to me got it.  But as Rod often does when the intended person didn’t get the ball, he tries again.  Rather than just handing the man the ball, he placed the ball on the stage floor right in front of the man, looks up at the man and then gives the ball a little kick so that it lands right into the man’s hands.  A little bit of footie skills taking place right before my very eyes!  After this song ends, Maggie May begins. 

There were two scarves at the front of the stage and during Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, Rod picked them up and tucked them into his belt.

This was my last show, and I was grateful to Rod for giving it his all despite not feeling well.  See you next “Time”, Rod! 

North Sea Jazz Festival at Willemstad, Curaçao 29-august-2014

By Antonio España

Curaçao (pronounced Curazao) is an island I’ve never heard about before in the caribbean, 50 miles north from Venezuela coast and it is south from the hurracaine area.

 

Couple of months ago I saw that this gig was added on the tourdates list at Rod’s official website and I started my research about it and I found out the gig would be a part of the North Sea Jazz Festival, wich take place every year in Holland and Curazao, so my friend Gabriel and I decided we will attend the show.

 

I had a very tight flight schedule for the ongoing trip: got to the México City Airport at 2 am, flight departed at 4:40 am to Panama and then my next flight would be out less than an hour from the supposed arrival time of the first one, so I was VERY nervous about making a conection at an airport I never been at before with that short time. Lucky me the first flight was almost empty and I got a 5th row seat, so I was the first (after the 3 guys who were seated on business class) to get off from the plane. I ran to the information desk to find out the location of my next gate, and then ran across the airport to reach my gate – and lucky me, the boarding haven’t even started yet!! so I had time to get a small personal pizza and a coca cola before boarding.  The flight from Panama to Curazao had a few musicians from God knows wich band having a gig at the festival and a whole bunch of people from Colombia or Venezuela attending the festival who were VERY loud on their talking, with that annoying accent from the area – god bless the hearphones!! 

 

90 minutes later and having an amazing view of the crystal blue Caribbean waters and reefs, the plane made some unusual turns at very low altitude and my undies stayed clean by pure miracle – guess it was one of the two most terrifying experiences while at a flight I ever had in my life.

 

“So what is the purpose of your visit to Curazao?” asked the lady at the migration desk – and I just showed both hands with Rod Stewart wristbands, then pointed at my RSFC pin and my Rod T-Shirt without saying a word, just with a big smile.  “Ah, Rod Stewart!! She will receive him (pointing out at the girl on the next migration desk) at 2pm, he will arrive on a private jet” and I got the seal on my passport.

 

Taxi was waiting for me outside the airport, and the heat was unbelievable. The trip from the airport  to the hotel was like 25 minutes long, and I saw a very poor and far from civilization streets and houses – they had asphalt roads and sideways marked, but the actual pedestrian areas were naked, without any concrete. The few cars parked outside the houses were very old (most of them early 90’s) and the stores and restaurants  had names written in a mixture of English and Spanish, sometimes with the phonetic version of certain words in English. The local language (Papiamento) is a mixture of European and African languages, but most people speaks good enough English and/or Spanish, so the language barrier was not an issue at all. Since the island was part of the Netherlands Antilles and it had a vast population of slaves coming from Africa a few centuries ago, it has a lot of African ethnicity and also a lot of people from Netherlands living here: that mixture of cultures provides a very rich multilingual environment.

 

An hour later my friend Gabriel arrived to our hotel, wich is an amazing outdoors villa with 80 rooms splitted into complex of up to 6 rooms each, plenty of vegetation and nature everywhere, swimming pools, a museum, etc. (We noticed that all the operative staff at the hotel are afroamerican, except the people at the frontdesk who all are “white”… might have been coincidence).

Antonio and Gabriel at the hotel lobby.

Did I mentioned the heat issue?? Locals told us that current week have been hotter than usual. During the afternoon we went to the festival area to get familiar with it, and we had lunch and a few drinks at the nearby hotels by the WTC where the festival would take place next day. Then we got back to our hotel (and we were walking in the wrong direction until a lovely nice big mamma taxi driver rescued us) and headed to the downtown area/main plaza a few blocks away, and there were a huge video screen with a live broadcast of a local act who was playing at the festival venue, some sort of “pre-festival” gig. Then when we were about to cross a huge bridge to the other side of the bay where we saw some bars, Gabriel bumped into Di Reed and Kimmi Johnson who were making some tourism – and as usual they were very nice to us, they were very surprised and pleased that we had traveled that far just to attend the show.

Gabriel and Di Reed,by the floating bridge.

Now the bridge… when you cross that bridge  going to the bars area, the bridge moves because it is a floating bridge wich moves from left to right in order to provide access for boats to the bay. Now when you are coming back from the bars area, the damn bridge moves wider and faster. Trust me.

 

Friday morning we woke up late, spent time at the swimming pool, had lunch and a few drinks and various liquids to hydratate ourselves saving our energy for the gig: since it was a festival without seats we wanted to arrive early in order to make it to the barrier  - well, wich other location a couple of hardcore Rod fans would get for a general attendance gig?? The Mexican RSFC Flag MUST be at the barrier, no matter what. And even if for some reason we couldn’t get to it in a fair way, we were decided to push some people in order to make our way to the barrier (Oh boy, that’s why we Mexicans have a fame of bad ass all around the World LOL). Damn, it would be my first ever Rod gig at general attendance (first time I saw Rod was stadium, but tickets upstairs were different than pitch and I had upper area tickets) so there was no way in the World I would not be right at the barrier.

Getting ready!!

Doors were supposed to open at 6 pm, and according to the audience we saw on the bunch of videos from previous editions of the festival and the info we collected from the locals, we didn’t  tought there will be a crowd making a line since early hours to get in, so we arrived at the venue around 4:45 pm and there were only 2 people by the gates before us. By 6 pm there might have been like 150 people to enter… and when the staff were scanning the tickets, Gabriel’s ticket didn’t worked.  We lost like 2 minutes there, then it was obvious that the scanning device had a malfunction and we entered trough the line beside ours. Once inside we sort of ran to the Sam Cooke Stage wich was far left of the complex at a parking lot area, the biggest out of 3 stages. We were the only ones in a hurry, everyone was calm and lay down walking trough the areas and approaching to the food and beverage stands, wich BTW didn’t take cash: we had to buy some tokens with cash and then use them to buy our drinks or snacks.

When we entered the Sam Cooke stage area, we saw the whole area empty and the barrier also empty, all black. I even had time to ask Gabriel to stop for a picture of him with the whole empty area behind him and the stage. When we reached the barrier a couple were already on the very dead center, but we noticed that the stage was so tall (like 2metters high I guess) and there were wedge monitors at the edge of the stage (they were just for Nile Rodgers), huge speakers for the audience between the stage and the barrier and also Rod’s video monitors (one with the lyrics and another with the main screen video) and we choose to be slightly at the side so Rod could see the flag hanging on the barrier, and then we had a little discussion: I wanted J’anna side, Gabriel wanted Di Reed side…  I lost.  Still it was practically dead center, just like 2 metters at the right but we were certain that the flag will be 100% visible for Rod. This would be my first time at the front dead center ever at a Rod concert, since all my previous front row seats had been at the sides. When we finally got our arms over the barriers I started to cry because of the happiness of being at the barrier, and Gabriel conforted me.

WE MADE IT!! and the whole barrier were waiting for us.

Since it was a festival, it wasa generic stage without any of Rod’s main gear: no central video screen, no towers, no hanging moving light rig, no curtain, no back plataform – not even David Palmer current drum kit, he was using the tartan one from 2007-2008 tour. Girls drums for the percussion solo weren’t theirs either, and Chuck’ organ were not his or it didn’t had the white cover – maybe it was his but not the one he use on regular basis. There were a video screen on the back and it got the signal from the usual back big screen, and there were screens at the sides of the stage wich had the signal normally used for the central screen, and the stage overall was smaller than regular Rod stage, even smaller than the one used during the most recent stadium gigs in UK & Europe in the last couple of years.

Small portable chairs were allowed into the venue, so there were a lot of people placing their chairs at the front or few metters behind to have better view of the whole stage – from the barrier we could barely see David Palmer’ head and there was no chance to see his bass floor drum. Wish we would have knew about the portable chairs allowance, because the sun was pointing right at us and we were just seated on the floor by the barrier, with bottles of water wich we couldn’t drink because of the fear of a trip to the bathroom and loose our spot. Most people  around us were there to see the Mexican latin-pop band Maná wich were third on the bill on that stage (Chic & Nile Rodgers, Rod and then Maná) and they were impressed by the fact that we were there to see Rod and being Mexicans we were not interested in Maná, wich are very big there and all around Central America.

Chic & Nile Rodgers.

Nile Rodgers & Chic gave an amazing show with a lot of disco classics and good funky music – we loved their performance, the bass player was fantastic!! At the end of the show we got Nile’s guitar pics and printed set lists.

 

As soon as we saw the first Rod’s crew member on the stage moving Julia, David and Chuck stations wich were already set up at the left side of the stage, we take out our flag and placed it on the barrier, and I take off (yeah, I was half naked for a moment) my red top and got my Celtic – of course and as we tought since we decided to attend this gig, we were the only Celtic tops around.

 

So far so good: we got the perfect spot, we have been talking to the security guys at the barrier and the people around us (two teens from Aruba by my left, one had a cast on her hand and a Colombian family by Gabriel’s right, all of them there for Maná) and the sun had been gone almost since Nile Rodgers started – but still it was hot and humid.

Familiar faces running across the stage setting up Rod and Band’ gear, final moment adjustments, a couple of additional fans to provide fresh air to Rod wich couldn’t get fixed properly, problems to un-roll the white plastic flooring, and suddenly Runrig’ Loch Lomond came out loud from the speakers infront of us. Took my camera out to take video of the start – a video you might never get to watch because Im singing so loud and so out of tune. David Palmer came out, then Emerson, then Conrad and then Chuck. Katja, Anne and Jimmy at the other side of the stage waiting for their moment to enter, and J’anna there with them with her violin on her hands. We were not sure what to expect about the opening song, since Rod’s mic stand was placed right by the drums and not in the front, and J’anna had her violin.

 

The Seven Magnificent and Don entered the stage. We lost view from J’anna because of some speakers blocking our view for the left side of the stage, we couldn’t even see Julia’ station. Ok, here is my infamous Loch Lomond Rendition.

Chuck were smiling while he was counting to 4, and then the Time is tight/Cant turn you loose intro. Few seconds into it and I started to jump, so I took down my camera. Conrad gave us a big smile and a “surprise” face expression – I say “surprise” with “ “ because they all already knew we were attending. Jimmy pointed and smiled at us.

 

And then Rod came out. He wasn’t smiling. He walked to his spot, and when he saw or freaking flag he smiled, a marvelous big beautiful smile while pointing at our beloved and sacred RSFC Mexican Flag!!! And he started with Having a party – a logical song being at the Sam Cooke stage. Rod was wearing white jacket, white shirt, black tie and black pants – no idea of the shoes, we couldn’t see. The girls were wearing the red dresses – I´m impressed those dresses still are functional, they should stick to the animal print and the black leather skirt with the white blouses.  Boys had the usual dark grey suits. Katja had her alternative hair style and Julia had her hair arranged in different way than usual.

This old heart of mine, and halfway into the song I noticed there was a woman behind me singing out loud every single word – at the end of the show I looked for her but she was gone.

 

Security at the barrier started to put special attention to us – we might have look sort of dangerous, some sort of  Dr.  Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde who morphed from a couple of cool quiet guys into a couple of crazy frantic screaming headbangers… oh boy, it was only the Rod Factor. And I say “headbangers” because to me, seeing Rod live provides me the same energy I get when I see KISS or Iron Maiden or The Rolling Stones – is not about heaviness, it’s about power, it’s about passion.

 

Some guys, and then Tonight’s the night: due to the speakers I couldn’t see J’anna and she couldn’t see me either (she said later)… so when she got to the front of the stage, she started to scan the barrier and when she found me she smiled at me and made a reverence, I swear the World stopped its spinning for a second – or at least that’s what I felt.

 

Cameras pointed at us during Tonight’s the night and then several times during the show – we were on the screens at the sides of stage at least 3 times. Then Rod get the mic stand and said the next one would be from 1971 and since he always mistake the years I tought it would be You wear it well, but Maggie came out as 5th song on the set list.

Rhythm of my heart and I got the chance to take out my camera again and got some pics during the backing vocals segment and got a couple of good pics, but most of them were pure crap - Im not a good at taking pics.

 

Forever Young and when Don came to the front of the stage he saw us and smiled – Emerson didn’t but that is understandable since he is the new kid in town and I bet he still don’t recognize all the faces yet. Kimmi, Lucy and Di were smiling and tossing with us since the start of the show and til the end of it. The audience  loved the drum solo, they were very interactive with it. Rod came out back with the golden suit and the boys came back without their jackets – it was so hot that Conrad even took his tie off. After he introduced David Palmer, Rod started to make the mimic of leading an orchestra, but this time there were no orchestra – actually they didn’t even have chairs !! First cut and J’anna came back to the front of the stage, so I got my camera again and got great video of First cut and then I don’t wanna talk about it, both songs got a great sing along by the audience, far better than we  expected. At the end of I don’t wanna Rod and Jimmy improvised something and it was great!!

Around this moment we opened our bottles of water, it was a secure timing to avoid a trip to the bathroom before the gig was over.

 

Sweet little rock´ n’ roller and had to put my camera down again in order to jump and shout properly, and a pregnant girl in her late 20’s who wasn’t feeling very well and was seated on a portable chair behind me finally surrended and moved her chair like 20 cm back in order to avoid getting her feet injured because of my jumps. Don solo after Jimmy ‘s were longer than usual and Rod approached  to clean Don’ shoes. He made the “I got a woman who lives upon the hill – if she don’t rock me I know somebody will” line and few band members were pointing at a nearby hill while Rod was singing.

 

Proud Mary and a chance to get some good video again, excellent performance by Di Reed as usual and Jimmy and Anne smiled at my camera while I was filming.

Rod came out with the black shirt with yellow flowers and black pants, the girls stood with the red dresses during the whole show.

 

Hot Legs surprised us, we were expecting You’re in my heart because we wanted our flag on the video screen, but that didn’t happened.  We raised it high a couple of times and Rod gave thumbs up to it with a big smile. Gabriel managed to jump high and got his 9th soccer ball and Rod cheered him up when he saw Gabriel catching it. Being an outdoors venue he kicked out the balls all the way to the bottom, and he even sent one outside the Sam Cooke area, right into the lavatories area.

Press picture

Baby Jane and I tried to get a few pictures of Katja for Katja's German website, but they didn’t came out so good. Audience response to Baby Jane was huge!!

Sexy got a great sing along and gave me the chance to see Julia up close – I “discovered” her while she was on tour with Roxy Music and thought she were talented and beautiful and now with Rod I like her stage presence a lot, I like the way she stomps while doing percussion!!!  I have to admit that she looked more beautiful than I tought at a 4m distance, wish I had the chance to have a picture with her… hopefully next time.

Press picture

 

Sailing was the encore and again the audience made a great sing along, and I noticed an improvement on Emerson solo - but still I would like some more passion and guts on it. When the song came to an end and Rod made his final bow, he made thumbs up to Gabriel and the flag and said off from the mic “fantastic” and they walked off from the stage and the dream was over.

 

During the whole show Rod’s voice was in top form, he didn’t lost the voice at all, he got all the high notes correctly and he sang with passion, beautiful singing.

 

Rod’s crew pushed Julia, David and Chuck stations to the edge of the stage so the Maná crew could enter the stage for their set up, and Matt O’Connor chatted with us from the stage while he was tearing down apart David drum set. Then Chucks’ tech provided a bunch of printed set lists and we got ours, and he even was so kind that he threw 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of Gatorade to us – have I mentioned the weather was hotter than hell?? That was an amazing kind gesture from him!!! We drank the Gatorades in a heartbeat and of course all the people around (including security staff) were amazed by our interaction first with Rod and the Band, and then even with the crew.

Printed set list marks Its a heartache as second song, but they actually did This old heart of mine instead. Sailing was the last song but it didnt came out on the picture.

As we said goodbye to the people besides us at the barrier they all were very surprised that we would not stay to see Maná performance – “You Mexicans don’t like Maná :O ??” was like “you Yankees are not staying for ZZ Top??” kind of thing. We got out of the Sam Cooke area and got seated for a moment, we were so tired. An amazing good looking european girl asked to take a picture of Gabriel’ soccer ball and then offered to buy it, of course Gabriel refused. If the ball were mine I might had accepted something in exchange for the ball, the girl was beautiful… anyway, we got a taxi right outside the WTC and got back to our hotel, left the ball and stuff in our rooms and went walking to the moving bridge area to get something to eat, but everything was closed. We entered a couple of cheap casinos and we found plain hot dogs, and that was our dinner: plain hot dogs with 2 glasses of water. NOTE: whenever in Curazao if you like gambling you got to choose in advance a hotel with its own casino inside: the casinos on the street intended for the locals might be a dangerous place, specially after midnight.

 

Saturday we finally discovered that the nice area of the city was just 2 blocks away from the bridge area and we had lunch there. Later on we meet  J’anna and her Husband there for a drink, thanks a lot to both of them for sharing a couple of hours of  their private time with us - since 2008 I had the privilege to meet J'anna everytime I attend a show, I'm a blessed lucky guy.

Then we headed to the festival second night and we saw Boz Scaggs who were fantastic at the Celia Cruz stage, the only one indoors and with fresh cold air. Di Reed was around and I finally got my first ever picture with her alone :D . Then we saw most of Bruno Mars show and I didn’t liked it at all, I don’t know why he is so famous. Chaka Kan performance was good and her sound engineer was amazing, what a way to deliver a powerful loud sound without any distortion.

Sunday we went to the beach and I ended up with very bad sun burns all over my skin, but it was a beautiful beach and the burns worth it - also we got some pictures of us with our flag at beach!!!

Sunday night we finally got good quality sleep after a few days of concert activity and inclement sun and heat.

 

Monday noon Gabriel departed back to México and I stay here one more day, and took the afternoon to write this review  - but not just write!! I’ve been taking some breaks to go to the swimming pool, and I depart back to México City tomorrow at noon.

 

Great performance by Rod and Band, nothing important on the short 15 song setlist (BTW the setlist was changed at last minute: the printed one says “It’s a heartache” but “This old heart of mine” was played instead), amazing interaction during the show with Rod and The Band, couple of good videos, crappy pictures, barrier, our sacred RSFC Mexican flag up high, and of course a meeting with J’anna – perfect weekend, mission accomplished.

 

1:26 am, might go back to the swimming pool….

A Batty Good Time in Atlantic City
By Karen Chande
 
Right from the beginning of the show, it was clear that an unexpected guest had made it’s way into the venue free of charge and had the best seat in the house.  I imagined it to be a bird that perhaps wandered into the venue from the seashore.  Rod opened the show with Infatuation in the yellow jacket and pants, white shirt and orange tie performing without a hitch as the creature flew around him and the band members onstage.  Much to my pleasant surprise when Rod came over to the side of the stage I was on during this very first song, he pointed to me in the Celtic shirt while I excitedly waved my arms so happy to see him again.  I would have been happy enough with that for the rest of the evening but there was more to come.
 
Next up I was happy to hear Some Guys Have All the Luck as this one had been omitted at the Washington, D.C. show.  When Rod welcomed everyone he said “We’re in Atlantic City, it’s Saturday night and there’s a bat on the stage, what could be better!”  He was handling the situation in his usual jovial way.  The bat kept swooping around the stage and even the backup singers had to do an occasional dodging while dancing as it swooped around.  Next up was Having A Party.  As I was dancing around I realized most of the whole place was also on their feet and as we sailed through the remaining songs up to the sit-down acoustic set, I never sat down and no one asked me to.  The only downer for me here was it had been announced prior to the show that photography and video recording was strictly prohibited.  (I am sure that is the venues policy, not Rod’s.  I am so glad in Vegas he has made it loud and clear that we are allowed to take pictures!)  Nonetheless, so many people could be seen taking pictures with their phones but I happened to be “standing” right in front of the security man who was sitting in his chair facing me the whole time.  I managed to sneak in a few pictures whenever he got up from his chair to go tend to something down the aisle.  (This was quite unnerving for a die-hard photographer!)  I took the opportunity to instead just dance and sing and enjoy the show.  Much to my delight I was over the moon as I recognized the backdrop on the screen and Rod getting into a kneeling position that the Downtown Train had not been derailed in Atlantic City!  This is one of my all-time favorite songs and I had even made a little sign saying “Downtown Train” to ask it to be performed but didn’t need to use it tonight! 
 
After Forever Young as the men came out to arrange the chairs for the acoustic set, the bat was finally captured and the audience applauded.  Rod was relieved saying it could be dangerous and in his jovial way said he was worried it might hit him in the face.  The first song in the acoustic set was First Cut Is the Deepest, followed by the introduction to Reason To Believe where Rod told the story of how this was the A side and Maggie May was the B side and how if the DJ in Cleveland hadn’t turned the record over we wouldn’t be here tonight.  He jokingly commented, “They had records in those days!”  He introduced the final song in the acoustic set, Have I Told You Lately saying we were going to really love this next song and it was the most played song at weddings.  I was very happy to hear a good strong audience singing along during this song.  I always want to hear that for Rod like he gets from audiences outside of the U.S.  After the acoustic set was Sweet Little Rock & Roller.  Then Di and the ladies took over with Proud Mary while Rod went off to change clothes and freshen up.  At the introduction of You’re In My Heart, Rod said he was dedicating this song to everyone who was wearing a Celtic shirt, had banners, flags, etc. (Awww…never actually heard him say that before!)  He was very acknowledging to the Celtic support this night and I believe if it was physically possible probably would have called us up on the stage as he has sometimes done in Vegas.  I held up my scarf and low and behold I suddenly showed up on the big screen during the middle of the song!  I was so overjoyed and honored since this had been my third time up on the screen on this tour – in Albany, Washington, D.C. and now Atlantic City.  No one had captured that moment at the other two shows until tonight when my dear friends Marcy and Dave were prepared “just in case” and got a picture of it. 
 
Next up was the funny videos on the screen before Hot Legs.  Now when Rod shows the clip of the broadcaster drawling her little picture, he doesn’t say Detroit anymore but “somewhere in the U.S.” and points out the ABC logo on the screen.  Hot Legs began and Rod kicks out those balls first on the opposite side I was on and some of them towards the middle almost reaching to the opposite side!  When he came to my side, he threw me a ball which hit me right in the face and bounced off to some unknown place.  He threw me another one which I caught this time and he goes, “Whew!” wiping his brow as if to say, “Thank God you caught it this time!”  LOL, I am a poor catcher!  By the time Maggie May started after that, I said to myself “The heck with it” and recorded the song, knowing Rod had once said he doesn’t care.  I figured if security said anything to me it was late enough in the show that I wouldn’t care.  Amazingly, they never said a thing during the whole show.  During the encore Do You Think I’m Sexy  I again pressed the record button at the point when Jimmy and Conrad had a solo.  When Rod had wandered over to the side of the stage I was on prior to that, I was able to wave goodbye to him and blow him a kiss and get one blown back.  It was a fantastic show, as always, and great that we were able to stand, sing and dance so much.  If I had only one request it would have been to have something from “Time” as I love the songs he’s been singing from it, Can’t Stop Me Now, and/or Brighton Beach.  But the Downtown Train pulled into the station tonight, so I can’t complain!
 
A most surprising ending to the whole evening was later when we were outside of the venue taking pictures of ourselves beside the lit up ad for the show with a nice picture of Rod on it, the great man himself walks right by us with a security team!  It wasn’t the right “Time” to bother him for a picture with the “real deal” and we knew it, so for the most part (I did see a few people running after him) he was able to go off in peace and we stayed back in total disbelief that he had just walked by.  Thank you, Rod, for another amazing show!  See you in Vegas!

Rod in Atlantic City

Review by Debi Groves

Here I am in Atlantic City seeing the man himself. Will try to be as accurate as my memory allows as is so exciting and overwhelming trying to soak it all in. Here goes.

 

I attended my 4th show, in 9 months, which is a record for me. And every show is unique in some way or another. It’s overwhelming trying to remember everything he says and does while trying to take pictures and singing along. So, things may be a little Out of Order but will do my best: I am not going to run through every single song he did, but will mention the highlights. The prelude to opening was an old Scottish song The Bonnie Banks O’Loch Lomond (Take the High Road) followed by Infatuation. Then he noticed he had a surprise guest. A bat! A bat had been flying before the show started and he decided to stay, he had VIP meet and greet. He joined Rod on stage flying all over the place, everyone was on their toes with some extra dance moves this night. Rod was thinking it was a bird then realized it was a “f**king bat”. He said I want to make a joke but don’t have anything, but I’ll come up with something. Eventually after some time, the bat was captured.

 

He did surprise us with a few, It’s A Heartache, Downtown Train on bended knee. Even though Time did not fare well nor was promoted well at all over here in the States I still was hoping to hear something from it. Rod and the band were full of energy and Rod joked a lot. Love his humor! He did acknowledge those of us in our Celtic and he dedicated to us Your In My Heart which brought a tear to my eye as I was one of those he was dedicating it to. Is amazing though seeing people sitting behind me (which if fine if want to sit) but with no emotion, no participating whatsoever, UNTIL he started kicking the balls out, then wow, did they spring to life. And had guy in row behind me yelling at fans in his row to sit down. I did not get a ball, but it’s okay, I think, at least I think I did, have a few moments with him, at least it seemed like he acknowledged me
a few times, I looked behind me and seemed like it was directed at me, and you know what, I am taking it that it was! LOL It’s a good feeling when he recognizes our familiar faces and/or acknowledges us.

Was a great show, over too soon as usual. I did get to meet Karen Chande, Marcy Braunstein, Teresa Moulton, and then some new fans. Also was amazing in talking to different ones, finding out that they hadn’t seen him in years, like 20 some years, so I told them WOW, you have missed a lot and are in for a treat. I ran into a few after and they really did enjoy the show. After the show, me, Karen, Marcy, Teresa were outside the door of arena taking pictures of each other with his billboard and I happened to turn around and there HE was, right there, I could have knocked him over. I had said not too loudly, OMG, it’s you, Rod. He had come out of the arena with security and I was just as startled as he was. I think I scared him, let alone him being scared as it was coming out thinking maybe no one would be around. He look frightened so I had my hands up like it’s okay I’ll back off. Once people realized it was him, they crowded him in and started after him. Security whisked him away, and I believe he cut through a restaurant that was right there. So the four of us just stood there gasping in disbelief going OMG!, he was right here, standing right in front of me. NOW, the show was over…Until next Time.

Rod Stewart in Denver

By Jacki Richards

 

It was a gorgeous night in Denver for the Santana/Rod Stewart show, a real treat for this Arizona girl to be able to sit outside in August. The venue itself I felt was a bit disappointing and I don't think the promoter or whoever decides such things did our Hero any favors by booking at this particular location.  More about that later.

I won't make a statement as to "who was better?" between Santana and Rod because they are different entertainers with their own talents, personalities and styles.  Santana is a gifted musician and it showed Tuesday night.  I know nothing about playing the guitar, but to my untrained, untalented ear he is superb and the joy playing brings him is obvious.  He is coupled of course by other talented musicians as well as vocalists so, in my opinion, it is less incumbent on him to carry the show fully as Rod must do since Santana shares vocal duties.  Nevertheless, his music is high energy, fun and and you can tell he still loves performing. Those that actually made it to the show on time were treated to hits "Black Magic Woman", "Oye Como Va",  "Smooth"and, crowd participation song "Tequila".  Not unlike Rod, Santana was very engaging with the audience and he also gave special recognition to the recent death of Robin Williams, highlighting the importance of making each day your best.  All told, Santana gave a solid 90 minute performance that left those wearing Santana shirts wanting more.

Next up....our Hero.  As many of us have been to multiple shows over the last year or two, there aren't many surprises outside of "Which song did he open with?" (Infatuation) and "Which song did he do from Time?" (Brighton Beach) and "What color were his socks?" (he wore the black and white spotty ones).  Contrary to some past reports, I didn't find him looking any more tired than the rest of us and he was his ever cheerful, cheeky, energetic, giving self, which I considered impressive given the number of people directly in front of him that couldn't be bothered to get out of their seats, I will refer to this group as "The Lumps".  I was unable to do better than 8th row center for this show and The Lumps were directly in front of me, dead center, rows 2 through 7....great for my viewing but I suspect a real downer when you're trying to entertain them.  I kept waiting for a cheeky retort from Rod, but that never came.


 In addition to the challenge of The Lumps, the venue itself seemed to lend itself more to Santana than Rod and, do I dare say, his voice couldn't always fill the area.  Whether this was due to the acoustics themselves, or just notes that are harder to hit I'm not sure, but there were times when his voice could not overcome the musicians around him.  To be sure there was at least one song when his voice gave out and he himself acknowledged it with a tap to his throat and chuckle, which of course, only made me love him more.  There were also a couple of technical difficulties with microphone and guitar but these were minor hiccups and handled with the ease by our Hero.  A highlight of the night which others have reported as well was the combination of Rod and Santana for "I'd Rather Go Blind".  Brilliant choice for a song for them to do together and, as always, hearing our Hero sing it gave me chills and Santana on guitar alongside him was wonderful.  Later, as we watched the videos we've come to know well, those of us 'in the know' got ready for "Hot Legs" and the soccer balls and, as luck would have it, The Lumps suddenly had the energy of 3 year olds on Christmas morning.  On their feet!  Arms raised high!  It was a miracle!

Bottom line for me is that I will always turn out to see him and will always love and appreciate that he truly seems to love and appreciate us.  As the set list changes little from show to show and I have difficulty being unbiased, I thought to have my brother write a short paragraph since last night - at age 47 - his big sister took him to his first ever Rod Stewart concert so he could see with his own eyes and maybe, finally "get it".  

"Thanks for taking me to my very first Rod Stewart concert last night. I’m a fan of much of his music, but he isn’t someone I would have seen otherwise. I thought he put on an entertaining show that caters to his mostly female audience and he was very audience friendly, spending a lot of time connecting with different members of audience. The production definitely has a “vegas” feel, with the wardrobe changes and sequined show girls on every corner of the stage. While his voice is still iconic, he can’t “fill the room” like he used to and I thought the sound of the band overall was “hollow”, but that might have been as much of the venue as them. Overall, it was an entertaining night though, with the hard hitting Santana opener and some classic, and not so classic, Rod tunes. I did wake up still singing and humming "You Wear It Well", so that says something.


The best part of the evening for me was seeing your face light up and knowing what a good time you were having and how much joy you get from going to his shows. I’m glad you shared that with me."

What the fans have to say...

Rod Stewart in Berlin

By Elizabeth Klaes

        We left our hotel. Silke. Andrea and I in a taxi to Murphys Irish pub pre meet. We were there the night before and boasted about 30 people would be there the next day. Got there about 3.30pm to find a german couple with their son Rod and Judy Mansfield from England, no sign of Kevin and David. Oh well, got chatting to the german couple and Judy ordered some drinks and we waited for the others. I think the pub manager was a bit disapointed no people showed up, in all we had 13 people and kilty Rod.
 
We all got taxis to the venue and  as we had some spare tickets to sell  got started on that. One ticket tout had the nerve to tell us he needed the tickets for his elderly  parents and after he sold them he suddenly needed one for himself. I asked them what his parents looked like and mentioned to him that they would be behind us lot and would need to stand the whole gig to see anything. Finally get inside and got a pitcher of beer for the people at the front, didnt last long though. No DixieMix  band this time which was good. Finally at 8pm it was Loch lomond  and right to the barrier. No joy there got pushed back to stand at our seats, but kept inching forward. I was at the side so got closer to the barrier than the ones in the middle. I was not allowed to touch it though and got pushed back by the dour security guy.
 
 Rod was in very good form and acknowledged us as soon as he came out. Everybody stood up and there were no complaints about not sitting down. He was wearing his white jacket, black trousers and black and white striped tie. Started off with This old Heart of mine and the set list  had no changes, except when  I got the setlist at the end Tom Trauberts blues was on there. Wonder why he didnt sing it: Katja said a few words in german and Di Reed rocked it with Proud Mary. Emerson did a couple of solos and Conrad Korsch did a brilliant bass guitar solo at Sexy the crowd gave a big cheer. So happy some band members are getting more and more solos. During  Hot Legs it seemed like he had more balls to kick out than at  the UK part of the tour. He threw one to Holger and it slipped from his hands and this girl got it. I gave her a piece of my mind because it was very much Holgers ball and I told her off not too politely. Then came Maggie and I danced with Pat Rivera much to the amusement of the german fans. Ruth saw I was behind her and made room  at the barrier for me, by this time everybody was at the barrier and the security let it go. At Baby Jane Rod made his way over to our side and looked at me, waved for a ball and very gently threw it to me.  I was absolutly delighted and everyone agreed it was one of the nicest ball moments ever. Thanks Ruth.  Holger also got a personal ball  from Rod  as well which  made up for the one that got away. All in all one of the best concerts this tour with Rod looking very happy and content and interacting with his die hard fans. We ended up at a pub across from the O2 at the Berlin wall and next to the River Spree stayed there  till it got too cold and we had to move on.

Next stop Mannheim where I hope will be as good as every other show so far..

Rod Stewart in Falkirk

By Susan Morritt

 

Our journey started at 2pm Friday 20th June, I was that excited to be going to see Rod Stewart I was awake at 4am and I was driving to Falkirk from Dewsbury West Yorkshire, so was a bit anxious too, my traveling companion was my mum Angie, we had a great time music blaring out and it was the one and only Rod,  we were singing away/ people might have thought we were mad lol.. Any how driving wasn't as bad as I thought, stopped after 2 hrs for a caffine break ,a much needed one before continueing the next 2 hour journey. It just seem to fly by as we arrived at our destination which turned out wrong (blame sat nav) to be fair the hotel wasnt really sign posted well, the Premier Inn receptionist was really helpful to us. Got finally check inn at the Metro Inn, the only fault we later realised is that nothing was mentioned about breakfast, but we put that down to her wanting our £10 pounds deposit for remotes for telly.The room was terrible but it served its purpose, we had dinner and chilled for the rest of the evening.
I woke up early well I had very little sleep but that didnt matter as only a few hours to go and we were to get to see one of the greatest singers, we made our plans for the day. We arrived back into the hotel for a quick change before heading to Falkirk stadium, we decided to go early to get a decent parking space but little did we know that the car park in stadium was for pre-paid customers, and we were directed to the college, but didnt park there we went and parked near fire station which is were everyone was parking any way lol. We had to queue for what was like ages, we could here the sound checks going on and could have sworn we heard Rod, doors were suppose to open at 5pm but it was more near 5.30pm. once in we found our seats the stewards werent that helpful.
The weather decided it was going to turn and it got a bit cold so we went for a walk, think we arrived far too early wish we had joined the other Rod groups for a drink were ever they had gone. Some of the people that were standing on the side stands started cheering and everyone thought Rod was coming on he wasntt,, they had just seen him from behind the stage. The atmosphere was great despite the weather. We had the pleasure of the pipes for a couple of times during the wait and they were brill as always, then had Dixiemix, you could tell that they were trying with us but they could sense that we were there for one guy and one guy only and so they finished their set with a rendition of "When the Saints go Marching in" some seem to enjoy this and sang along. Eventually after a 10 min wait Rods band started to arrive to there places and begin, we had fireworks and then Rod appeared to a huge roar of cheers, and straight into the song "This old Heart of Mine", followed by Cant stop me now, After a quick change and back on stage he addressed the audience saying "sit down stand up its up to you as you have paid to be here" this was a dig at security as when people were trying to get close or see they were pulled back, I for one was stood on my chair (being only 4ft10) I could see and I got a great view, but was told very abruptly to get down now, not a very nice way to talk to someone, but that didnt stop me enjoying my self singing and dancing along, I sat down only once through the whole night. He went off for another quick change and came back singing Rhythm of my Heart and Hot Legs where he was kicking his footballs out as always which we were reminded every one of them was signed by Rod himself. oh I wish i could have one of those footballs,. his backing singers were fantastic especially Di Reed who sang  "Proud Mary" absolutly fantastic.  Everyone joining in and singing along, Rod said that he wil never forget this one, and you could tell he meant every word of it. He did his usual ending of "Do yo think im Sexy" and was a great way to end with the extra of a hugh firework display once he went off it was fantastic, made the four hours drive there worth it.  On leaving the staduim people were still in high sprits and singing "Your in my heart" where those that heard them joined in.  Got out to car eventually and drove back to our hotel, and slept like a baby for the rest of the nihgt even though Angie heard people arriving into hotel at 3am they must have had a fab night where ever they had gone.

Rod Stewart at Brighton on 13.06.2014

By Anne-marie Francis

 

Well Friday 13th.... Usually unlucky for some though on this particular one in June not for me as I had a hot date with the even hotter Mr Rod Stewart at brighton.... It was a fantastic sunny day my tartan top (in the stewart tartan of course ) had arrived in time had to work for a couple if hours initially but was too happy to care until I got off later than planned!!! Still all went well and we started our journey from kent to brighton not at all far providing the traffic was ok... It was we arrived in good time around four thirty even got parked a short walk from the stadium and made our way..
 Have seen rod many times and in many stadiums in the country..usually my hometown of Glasgow but had never been to this one before... Wasn't too sure of the choice food on offer wasn't great but again too happy to care as we eventually headed to the pitch and our seats.... Sitting down but not for long when I could hear the swirl of the pipe yep he hadn't let us down suddenly a full pipe band were playing all the way from Hastings;) and weren't they brilliant again dressed  in rods family Stewart tartan and playing their hearts out we made our way over and enjoyed was great to be able to wander over that way and stand or dance for a while... These were followed by the DixieMix a jazz type band who were an unusual choice but worked and were good but we just wanted Rod ... A quick chat with the lovely couple beside us who ended up kindly babysitting our bags all night we waited...
 Rod was a little late but we knew he was coming on stage with the bang of fireworks and it all started. Coming out in his electric blue jacket to what I think is the magnificent 7 tune (and a common one for Rod to use) he took the stage with his trademark swagger and style ...the true Peter Pan of rock having first seen him live 32 years ago he still looks in great shape and you wonder if he will ever stop touring (we hope not!!) he in his usual warm way greets the crowd apologises in his gentle mans English for being late due to three hours in traffic before beginning by belting out infatuation!!! At this point we are standing nearer to the stage and await being ushered back to our seats but no wait no one is saying a word excellent room to dance then and to watch the man a little closer.... Thank god I lifted my iPad I'm in for a good night! He belts his songs out that voice sounding as good as ever as he dances around he has his usual band on stage along with the usual pretty ladies who can't half sing too dress in matching electric blue dresses (I'm sure I could do that rod!) as we go from Infatuation to Some trademark Motown with This old heart of mine.... As it goes I love you yes I do this old heart ... We all definatly love you Rrod. As we move onto tonight's the night and he lets the crowd take on some of the singing which we do beautifully... Looking over at the other side of the crowd is some girls holding Rod in big green and white stripped letters, which light up when it darkens how fab and you just know he appreciates it espcially green and white strips another love I share with rod our football team Glasgow Celtic of who this man is a great talisman for! And so the songs keep coming to suit us all you can't stop me now..... With great pictures of an early Rod and on the chorus great pictures of him and his beloved dad.... You Wear it Well then onto a little faces number (which I usually belt out in the car) Stay with Me for this rod tells us he has located his original mic and with that it's brought from the side of the stage,something really special about this as he uses it for this song..before telling the stagehand to return it to the safe Rod then says a few words about the veterans of the world wars .... For him especially WW2 when he came into the world I recall him doing this last year at the O2 and posting a lovely tribute to fallen Lee Rigby which was so respectful and brought tears to my eyes, which may explain the prickle of tears as he says this and the chords to rhythm of my heart strikes up with flashing pictures paying respect rod sings his heart out and turns to the pictures and salutes well done rod by this time rod looks rather untidy but adorable his jacket has been off and his shirt is now untucked and tie not quite straight he reaches for his jacket stating it's a little chilly.... He speaks to the crowd swears then apologies to any children that uncle rod swore the crowd just cheer Rod sings Shake your Money Maker, before one of my personal favourites Forever Young which he sings so good  for a near 70 year old his voice still has it as good as ever as he sings with his backing singers. Time for a quick costume change girls in leopard skin dresses, needed to feature somewhere and rod in a very bright gold suit with gold shoes....really yet somehow he pulls it off!! He then tries to encourage people to take their seats that they paid good money for but we are going no where as he slows the tempo for abit ...Frst Cut is the Deepest,assisted by the harp and the crowd .... I don't wanna t+alk about it .... Have I told u lately , my friend starts to swoon as this is her wedding song ... And how. cool her married name ? Mrs stewart ! Mark not rod tho Then brighton beach dedicated to his oldest daughter Sarah and seems very poignant to be in brighton as this is sung onto she makes me happy with pictures of Penny who we all know makes rod very happy and we like her for this .... To sweet little rock and roller in this rod is assisted by two adorable backing dancers Aiden and Alister and can't they both move very cute made cuter at the end by taking a bow before dad says off to bed.... But follows them moments later like a dotting dad We are treated to one of the girls belting out proud Mary in little red dresses which I'm sure the men enjoyed whilst Rod again changes,  he comes out in bright red trousers and a flowery shirt!!!! Very bright Rod! Pefered the lime green suit from last year myself!! He then tells us of his love for Celtic!!!! Yes Rod I love it as he launches into that famous ding with the famous line every Celtic fan knows.... Your  in my Heart your in my soul (always will be Rod) nice touch as behind him not only shows Celtic games but brighton games too touch of respect being at the home of the seagulls ...we are treated to clips of him in tears after Celtic beat Barcelona and end with the Celtic flag flying high ....seems only right it's time for the famous signed footballs ... Still to get one sigh!!! He does this during Hot Legs and man can he still kick well .
...
 The sign above the stage wishes to remind every fan that Rod Stewart signs everyone personally and we are treated to video footage of him doing just that.... Nights not over yet we are treated to Maggie may the crowd go wild then Baby Jane that iconic 80s hit .... She will be well over 30 now lots of singing and dancing love it we slow the tempo for sailing hands in the air..... Then it's Do you think I'm sexy before Rod leaves us Seems to end all rather abrupt and we wait will he come back? The stage hands start to move bits and it's obvious for now it's over ..... As with all concerts this is confirmed with the recording of its a grand old team to play for another nod yo my second love after rod the mighty Celtic..... We make our way out buzzing for a great night anyway.... Not the greatest stadium to get out of but we have the time album on for company as we rant about how great he is..... 40 min journey there ended up being a three hour journey back thanks to roadworks and diversions now I know what rod meant the no encore is forgotten..... Three hour frustrating drive worth every min thanks for the memories old and new Rod.... Same time next year I hope ???

Rod Stewart at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, KY on June 3, 2014

 

 


The KFC Yum Center is relatively new, only being four or five years old. I had never been there before. I was remarkably impressed by its size and crowd-friendly atmosphere. It was bright, lavish, and open. I thought it to be a perfect place for a Rod Stewart show as it seemed to reflect his typical concert setup. I was eager to see Santana perform after all the disappointing reviews and reservations of some concerning the pairing of Rod and Santana. I’ve always liked Santana and own several greatest hits cds; however, I found that I’m not as big of a Santana fan as I thought. He came onstage without a grand entrance which is very different from most artists I’ve seen through the years. The songs were upbeat, the band was active, and the crowd stood and danced in approval. I knew a few songs but really couldn’t sing along with anything other than “Black Magic Woman” which is a stark alteration from Rod’s shows where I know every word instinctually. The majority of the songs were in Spanish. Everyone seemed to be having a great time; however, nearly a third of the seats were empty. These would later be filled as Rod took the stage. For me, sitting front row is a necessity for a Rod show, but I think I would’ve enjoyed Santana more if I were in the stands. Most of the front section was blinded by the lighting throughout Santana’s show, and the music seemed to take over the singers’ voices. Still, I was satisfied with the show until Carlos Santana made a snide remark, “I understand we’re a warm-up band, but---.” I was so put-off by the remark that I didn’t hear the rest of it. The crowd booed and then applauded, and he seemed pleased. I simply waited for Rod.

As the curtain came down and people shuffled equipment behind it, the excitement in the crowd grew as well as the empty seats filled. Finally, it was time for Rod. As the curtain went up, the crowd got on their feet and didn’t sit down until Rod made us during the band’s sit down session. We returned to our feet as soon as Rod did. I glanced around several times and was amazed at the amount of people who stood and danced throughout the entire concert. As everyone knows, it’s usually just the diehard fans that stand throughout the whole show. Not this time. I was proud of my fellow Kentuckians, and Rod loved it! He was in a great mood and his voice was fantastic.

He opened with “Infatuation” as he has been doing. He took the stage dressed in black pants, white shirt, yellow jacket, blue tie, red socks, and black and white shoes. Definitely odd but typical attire for Rod. After all, I think most agree that he does wear it well, whatever he chooses to wear. He was full of energy and fed off the lively crowd. He followed with “Having a Party” and acknowledged my Celtic shirt as he passed in front of me. I waved with both hands as a child would. It’s always such a thrill to get “the look” from Rod. There were only a handful of Celtic shirts that I could see, so it seemed to thrill him even more when he saw one. He made a comment about how long it had been since he’d played in Kentucky. Then, he added that he had remarried and had two more children since then and that’s why he was still touring. I remember being so surprised when I saw Kentucky on his tour list. 1999 was his last visit in Kentucky. It felt good to have him in my home state.

He sang “You Wear It Well” and “Some Guys Have All the Luck” with ease and then made a comment about unwanted pregnancies before singing “Tonight’s the Night.” Lighted microphone stands were brought out for the girls; however, I was at the opposite end and didn’t really get a good look at them. At some point through these songs, he said he wanted to “say hello to a fellow Brit out there somewhere.” A man in a long-sleeved Celtic jersey on the side of the stage proudly stood up with both arms in the air and Rod waved. The crowd sang along nicely with Rod and he was pleased by it, as always. The song ended oddly, as if not quite finished, with Rod laughing and saying “that’s all there is to that one.”

He introduced “Stay With Me” as a Faces song and brought out the microphone stand that he said had been used by the Faces and had recently been found. He paid homage to it as you often see him do to a Celtic or Scottish flag when given to him. He tossed that stand around like it was 40 years ago. He twirled it like a youngster and the crowd marveled at it. It was truly a great moment, especially for those of us who knew the true magnitude of such a great find. The stand was taken backstage after the one song, but not before Rod gave it a kiss and said, “Thank you old friend.” It was very touching.

He introduced “Rhythm of My Heart” by dedicating it to the troops, as usual, saying, “This is for the boys” before he began to sing. Toward the end of the song, he pointed to the screen and said, “Look at this” at video footage of war heroes being reunited with their families. Next, he announced “I’d Rather Go Blind,” one of my personal favorites, and gave Carlos Santana a flattering introduction as he joined him on stage. He called him his very dear friend and gave him a big hug before beginning the song. I have to admit, I immediately recalled that snide comment about being the warm-up band and felt a little begrudged. I thought Carlos’ guitar was a little louder than it should have been but Rod didn’t seem to mind. Halfway through, Santana began a guitar solo while Rod slipped off stage to freshen up a bit. He came back dressed the same but with his face and hair a little drier. After the song, he hugged Carlos and kissed his cheek before Carlos walked off stage.

He smiled and acknowledged something in the audience on the other side of the stage during “Forever Young” and I saw Vicky Marrow’s now famous Celtic hats in the air – two of them, one on each hand waving madly. He went offstage about midway through the song and the girls did their percussion routine dressed in their leopard dresses. It is an awesome addition to the show and they do a great job. Rod came back out in a silver suit with a black and white polka dot shirt with socks to match and black and silver shoes. He looked good, as always!

Then it was time for the chairs to come out and for Rod to ask everyone to sit down and relax. There were a group of young women that came out to play the string instruments. Rod introduced them as local girls and gave them a thumbs up during the first song “The First Cut is the Deepest.” They were nervous but did a great job. He stated that both Cat Stevens and Sheryl Crowe had sung that song but “neither as good as mine.” I agree! He continued with “Reason to Believe,” introducing it as the B side to Maggie May. He said, “You’re going to love this one,” and began “Have I Told You Lately.”

Finally, the chairs were removed and the audience happily rose to their feet again as he began “Sweet Little Rock and Roller.” I was happy to see him doing his “butt whipping” dance move during this song. I had noticed the absence of this famous move during his last Vegas shows. At the end of the song, when the tempo got real fast, he turned his back to the crowd and stomped his foot in rhythm with a close-up of his foot on the screen behind him. As soon as the song ended, he fell on the floor on his back with his legs curled up toward his head and his bum stuck out as I fumbled trying to get my camera. Nope, too late. I didn’t move quick enough. He left the stage as the girls took over with “Proud Mary.” They did an excellent job, as usual.

He returned to the stage in blue pants, a blue floral shirt, and tennis shoes and began “You’re In My Heart.” Linda Marrow threw her famous Celtic hat onstage and Rod packed it around for the majority of the song. Afterward, he showed the funny clips on the screen and then went straight into “Hot Legs.” The energy of the crowd had been steady throughout the show, but seemed to grow even more as he began kicking out soccer balls. I was really hoping to get one as I was only one of a few Celtic shirts on the front row and was in my home state of Kentucky. For some reason, that seemed to matter the most to me. When he got to my side, he looked right at me and threw me a ball. Melisa Askew was standing next to me and she caught it. Rod tried it again. He looked right at me and threw me a second ball --- it went over my head and landed in the arms of the guy directly behind me. I was so disappointed. Rod had tried but it just didn’t happen, and he moved on. A little while later, Melisa very graciously gave me the ball she had caught. It meant so much to me because it’s a Kentucky ball and he wanted me to have it. I later heard the guy behind me say that he was planning on selling his ball to pay for his ticket. I have never understood the selling of soccer balls. They are priceless to me, yet I would never buy one because it’s just not the same if you don’t get it yourself. This isn’t my first, but it’s already my favorite. After the show, one of the security guards came over and said, “He sure tried to get that ball to you.” I agreed and he repeated it again. Then, I told him that I had gotten it because the woman had given it to me. He smiled and seemed pleased.

Rod closed the show with “Maggie May” and an encore of “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” The young local women were on the ends of the stage dancing through the last song, looking extremely nervous, yet very excited. Rod came down and bowed in front of them and made a wave with his hand while two of them did a twirl together. I wonder if they really know how great a man he is and what a wonderful opportunity they were given. I love the fact that he brings locals onstage like that. It’s truly a memory they should cherish forever. I’m not sure if it’s because it was in my home state or if it was because the audience was one of the best I’ve been in or maybe because Rod’s performance was impeccable, but this show easily goes down as one of my favorite shows ever. I believe I’ve said that before though.

My Five minutes with Rod Stewart  

        by Ann Martineau

This is going to happen I am going to meet Rod Stewart” I said out loud to no one as I read the confirmation e-mail outlining the details of my once in a lifetime opportunity. 

   

 

6:45 PM May 2, 2014 I was waiting with my sister Kim at the requested location just outside  the Colosseum.   We were met by Talia, a petite, smiling pretty brunette who you just knew was someone important.  Talia our escort was taking us to Rod Stewart.  We entered the Colosseum and then an elevator  took us below the scenes.  There was a long very plain cement block hallway and walking towards me was Katja Rieckermann  I said hi to her and “were going to meet Rod”  She smiled, I’m sure seeing this kind of excitement all the time.   A minute later Di Reed dressed in her stage fringe dress walked by.   Holy Crap! That’s when it really hit me where I was.  Yes it was real, I was there, my heart was beating so fast and loud I was sure everyone could hear it.   We turned a corner  and  entered  The Green Room.  Our escort Talia was giving us details of what we could expect.  Where Rod would enter, what he would do, we were told we could not use any of our own cameras or phones at all they had a photographer  that would take our picture with Rod.    We asked if Rod would sign our books and if I could give him a gift.  We were told he  most likely would not sign our books we would only have a brief minute with him just enough time for a picture.  It was fine to give him my gift.  Talia also told us how professional Rod is on show nights, he’s in show mode and being punctual is very important to him “ he is an old school rocker”.  She mentioned that tonight was a bit unsusal Rod does not usually do  meet and greats on Friday nights he does them on Saturdays but was making an exception tonight.  Also there are usually as many as 30 people at these meets but tonight it was just Kim and I ( how did we get so lucky?) If we weren’t nervous yet, we were now!    Talia kept receiving texts from Rod’s assistant with details on when he could be expected.     Talia kept giving us the updates, very soon now.  Then the text came in “ HE”S ON HIS WAY".  The room was full of excitement.  

Rod Stewart entered the room so casually and unassuming looking straight at us saying “ wow, tall girls”.  He then said who’s Ann.  I stepped towards him with my hand out to shake his hand saying “I’m Ann”.  He brushed my hand to the side and came in for a huge hug that he held for a few seconds.  He then met my sister Kim and also hugged her.  This was very unexpected we had no idea this would happen.  We then just started chatting like he was an old friend.    We told him  how we have loved him since we were girls and now in our 50’s still loved his music and so appreciated that he was still preforming.  He then said while looking us up and down “ no way you're in your 50’s.  How sweet, always the charmer I’m sure.  I then told him tonight was going to be my 58 show he  said “with all you’ve spent on tickets you could of bought a Ferrari”   I laughed and said “no way I spent  my money on the right thing”.  Rod then noticed the books we had set on a side table and offered to sign them for us, personalizing both our books.   He then said lets take some pictures.  So Kim and I each got on a side of him, he put his arms around both of us.  I put my arm around him too and while looking for a place to put my hand I grazed ( well Ok maybe more than grazed)  his bum.  I immediately apologized and was a bit embarrassed he quickly laughed it off putting me at ease and said “no problem, not the first time that’s happened”.  The picture was taken and Rod told the photographer to take a few more saying “these girls are special”  so a few more shots were taken.  I asked Rod if he was staying in Vegas that night since he had a show the next night.  He said “no I always go home”.  “Tomorrow I have to take my son to a  activity, so I need to be home”.   I then told Rod I had a gift for him.  I handed him the bag thinking he would just take it but he looked in the bag and pulled out the scarves that I had knit for his young sons saying “oh great and in Celtic strips too, thank you”.   I then showed him the iFetch I brought for his dogs.  ( it’s an auto fetch machine so dogs can play fetch by themselves).   He laughed when he saw it and said “how great Penny will love this”.  He then said “well  I have a show to do, I best go”.   Kim and I both thanked him again for all his music and how he has touched our lives over the years.  We told him to look for us in the front row that night.   He then hugged us both again one of those huge Rod hugs and kissed us both on the cheek.   My cheek was still wet from the kiss as he walked out the door.   

We were then escorted back inside the Colosseum for the show.  

Kim and I stood there in disbelief for a minute laughing at what had just happened.  We then both called our husbands and gave them the details.   Minutes later we were in our seats ready to enjoy the show.   It was another great show made just a bit better than others I have seen because of what had just happened.  Rod nodded to both of us during the show and at one point gave me a huge wink.  

 

This was a wonderful treasured experience for my sister and I to have.  Rod is truly a wonderful, engaging, charming and talented man.  I can say this with all certainty now because I have experienced it first hand. 

 Thank you to ROD STEWART from the bottom of my heart.

Rod Stewart. Las Vegas 2nd/3rd May 2013

Review by Irene Bynum

  I traveled from Kansas City to Las Vegas for the first time alone. Fellow Rod fan Debi Groves and I arranged to meet in Las Vegas and share a room to attend Rod Stewart's Hits show on Friday May 2, and Saturday May 3rd 2014. A risky undertaking to meet someone for the first time and spend a weekend together but of course it worked out great due to our mutual love of Mr Stewart.
       Friday was my 52nd birthday and I was thrilled to have the chance to spend it at the Colosseum with Rod and all the fans I met over the entire weekend, Terri Harbour, Valarie James, Jan Elizabeth, Maggie, Sonja Schenk,William Deans, Mary Barnes, Sharon Liles, Ruth Hannuschka, Ann Martineau, Joy Deltiempo, Lucille Esposito, Mike Gregor to name a few. I had a fantastic seat in section 6 row cc.
        Rod got the party started with Infatuation, we were up on our feet and ready to have a great time. He was in what I would call a fun playful mood. He was relaxed and enjoying himself we all agreed later he could have used a little hair trim however. When he would make a little mistake with a lyric he would look to the band and laugh a little at himself. He sang nothing from Time the entire weekend but surprised us with My Heart Can't Tell Me No and Rather Go Blind. He made his way down the isle into the crowd while singing sweet Little Rock and Roller, much to the excitement of the fans. He dedicated Handbags and Gladrags to those there from the UK who he jokingly said are usually in the balcony.
         When he began his usual ballad sit down part of the show I began my to plan to celebrate my birthday and at the same time thank him for the evening. I had made a sign that read.... first concert 36 years ago today on my 16th birthday.... Then with some encouragement of RSFC members near me I made my way up closer to Rod. He was singing Reason To Believe and I stood quietly holding my small sign. He was trying to keep with the lyrics at the same time as reading the sign causing him to laugh as he tried to focus. When he finished the song he read the message out loud and as the audience sighed at the sentiment Rod said to me " aww Bless your heart. I'll take it you've heard all these songs before. We have a surprise coming up, one we haven't played in... 36 years" I thanked him and sat back down so pleased to have had that moment to thank him. I am very grateful to Ruth Hannuschka for capturing the whole thing on video.
           Saturday before the show a group of us met up before the show for drinks, food, laughs and a little Rod singing to the surprise of some of the restaurant patrons. 
            Debi and I had seats in section 2 row bb. Actually its front row since there is no aa row in that section. Not very far into Saturday nights show Rod told people they could come down on to the stage. Careful what you wish for Rod. Not long after one fan started up and within seconds dozens went up, including myself. It didn't take long to realise it was out of control and security scrambled. Rod noticed it was out of hand and sort of turned back towards the stage a couple steps , picked up his jacket. I now think he did that to give security time to get everyone in order. Now I always feared if I ever went up I would end up tripping, scaring Rod or upsetting him. I stood there holding a championship Celtic scarf I brought for him and we were eye to eye and he sternly said " I need to sing!" Embarrassed I quickly got back to my seat. Wrong place at the wrong time is all it was but I was crushed. He was fine and happily continued with the show. First and last time I will do that. I redeemed myself shortly after when I tossed the scarf to him and he put it on for the last couple of songs.
           Rod did not sing Hot Legs Saturday and kicked soccer balls out during Stay With Me. Debi managed to get her first ball as did William Deans behind us. Pure joy !
           I think it was a wild crowd Saturday. It was so much fun and there was so many warm and friendly RSFC members in attendance.
           After the show a group of us were sitting in the food court reliving our experience when Di Reed walked past us and said "hi Celtics". We stood up to greet her and thank her for a great show and then she invited us next door to the pub to meet some of the rest of the group. They were celebrating an early birthday for Conrad. Debi and I stayed a short time chatted, took some pictures and met Conrad, Di, J'Anna, Katja and Lucy. They were all very nice and friendly and it was a pleasant experience but we didn't want to wear out our welcome and headed to bed.
           A great two nights with the ageless and timeless Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart concert at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, May 3, 2014

Review by Joy Deltiempo

I’ve seen Rod Stewarts shows several times and each time is like the first. He is so energetic, funny, talented and you can just tell by the way he talks and interacts with his audience that he loves his fans. Rod did not disappoint this time either, he took Vegas by storm, and he is incredible..Opening the show had fans on their feet and clapping and dancing to the music. His voice was in top form and his hair, oh his hair. He opened telling fans to “take picture, enjoy yourselves, even come up on stage if you’d like” well that was all I had to hear as I have come so close to doing just that so many times. I even got 2 steps up at the last show and of course security told me no. Well this time as he began singing “Can’t Stop Me Now” I looked at Ann Martineau, my friend and said I’m going up on stage..Ann said go for it! Here I go waving my Celtic flag and up on stage I went. I stood to the left of Rod, put my arm around him and gave him my flag that I had brought for him. I did it I couldn’t not believe and for just a few seconds it was just Rod and I “to me anyway”, then a sea of green and white jerseys were coming from all directions, the stage was full of fans. I think LOL Rod didn’t expect so many of us and security started taking us off the stage..It was ok though because I actually got to live out what I had wanted to do for so long. Rod stuffed the Celtic flag into his pants and sang maybe a couple songs with it, then went off stage for his costume change. Ruby Stewart came out next, which is such a treat; she talked to the audience a bit and said wow that was a bit scary, meaning all of us on stage. She got a big laugh out of that as she began signing her song “Just One More Day”, incredible voice! Rod came back on stage to do Forever Young with Ruby, but before he began singing he said “Well I asked for that now didn’t I?” meaning the landslide of fans coming to greet him onstage. Priceless.

 
As the night continued Rod and his marvelous band Rocked Vegas with a Vengeance..I met so many fans from our RSFC family and what a bunch of lovely people.

                                                

 

United Centre, Chicago. USA  24th October 2013 

 

A fan review by Ann Martineau

 

 

 

Rod is in Chicago in 4 days, it’s so close, 450 miles, how can I not go?
This is how it started for me.  I had no plans to go, after all I had just seen Rod in Vegas in August and I was going to Vegas again in November, I could wait.  But being that reasonable only lasted a few minutes. 
Tickets, I need tickets.  Any good seats at this late date are expensive.  OK I don’t need to go I’m seeing him in a few weeks.
Again, being reasonable only lasted a few minutes.  Tickets, just get them you gotta see him so I dug deep and got the 3 tickets listed for sale.    
TICKETS- Check. 
Who’s going with me?  I don’t have any close friends that are Rod fans, yes I have mildly converted a few over the years but none have the gotta drop everything and go attitude that I proudly possess.   Damn I can’t find anyone, how did I end up with all of these responsible friends?  “ I have to work”  “ I have the kids, I can’t get away” .  Then I remembered a former co-worker who now lives in Chicago.   Enter Ashley!  And the best part she tells me “Yes I would love to go with you I LOVE ROD” .    
FRIEND- Check.
Oh Damn I forgot I should probably ask Tom, my husband.  Meekly I say “so, Dear, you know Rod is in Chicago in a few days I think I should go.  “ Really, but you just saw him”. Obviously he doesn’t understand.  So I drop it for a day. 
Then again the next day.  “So Dear I really want to go see Rod in Chicago”.   This time he stops what he’s doing and listens to me. 
A few short minutes later he says “ Go, you should go if you want to.  You know I would never stop you from seeing Rod”.  WHOP WHOP!   I knew there was a reason I married him! 
OK from HUSBAND- check.
So I hit the road the day of the show.  A 7 hour drive, no big deal I have my Rod play list and we all know that’s a bit more than 7 hours.  Driving along I remember I have 3 tickets.  So I went to the place I knew I could find someone to drop everything and go RSFC.  I offer up my extra ticket.  Within minutes I find a home for my extra second row seat.  Along with an invitation to meet a group ( Debbie, Genny, Beth, Elizabith, David)   at a local bar before the concert. 
Dressed proudly in my Celtic Strips I walk into the bar and spot the Rod friends quickly dressed in there strips and tartans all with that air of excitement.  I meet Debbie Anderson who wants my extra  ticket for her daughter Genny Moss.  “ I want to get her up close” . 
What a good mom passing her passion for Rod along to her daughter who has embraced the love of Rod and wears his likeness proudly on her thigh.
With our excitement growing we sit with the anticipation building
for that moment when Rod ever so smoothly enters the stage.  I’m on my feet now where I remain for the remainder of the evening as Rod takes us through his treasured works as only he can.  He talks to the audience he nods and waves, he is so generous to his fans.  We know he loves this!  From the first familiar song   
 to the very welcome inclusion of his recent works including Brighton Beach and Can’t Stop Me Now.   And on     
to the soulful emotional I Would Rather Go Blind  he had me mesmerized.   Including his very talented daughter Ruby in the show now singing her own music and joining him for what could not be a better duet for the two of them Forever Young.  Also spotlighting long standing members of his band in solos’ makes this my 51st show as memorable as my first.  
The evening was made even better at that moment when Hot Legs began and we all know it’s time for the very coveted footballs.  It’s amazing watching Rod effortlessly kick them to the highest seats and then singling out others and making a perfect launch right into their hands.  When he moves to my side of the stage my excitement is overwhelming when Rod looks at ME!  And tosses a ball right to me.  I catch it with ease.  There is nothing like this feeling, I have a Football signed by ROD STEWART!  And the shows not even over yet!

The morning after the show I wake up still filled with excitement and think  ROD’s in Detroit on Saturday that’s not far from here….

Marcy Braunstein

Palace Of Auburn Hills, Michigan . USA  26th October 2013 

 

A fan review by Marcy Braunstein

 

 

 

This was the sixth show of Rod’s 12-City North American Tour but he’s been touring all year across the pond.  After this show Rod returns to his residency in Vegas and then picks up the remaining six shows of the tour in December which is we will be.  We had very pricey front row seats like we had in Chicago but we were pleasantly surprised when we ...found  them to be almost center stage whereas we were off to the side two nights before.  Although we loved where they were located— they were horrible seats!  No, I mean the actual chairs we had to sit on---they were so close together and hard to sit on. (Or maybe we’re just getting old.) We don’t usually notice the actual chairs because for Rod we’re always standing but for Steve Winwood just about everybody sits. This is no disrespect to Winwood—he’s just that kind of performer.  While listening to him and seeing the simplicity of his presentation with a band of only five, it made me wish even more that I had had the opportunity to see Rod with the Faces live back in the day.  Steve Winwood is a good opener for Rod—he has a lot of loyal fans like the two guys sitting behind us who sang every word to every song.  And they sang Rod’s songs too.

During his almost two hour show, Rod apologized for this show being rescheduled from April and said he was going to make up for that by adding a couple of songs.  “It’s a Heartache” was a well-received add.  And he delighted me with “I’d Rather Go Blind” as he did in Chicago. But in Chicago he dedicated it to his long-time fans whereas here said the he and Ronnie Wood put it together in three trys one night around 10 back in 1970.  My reaction to it in Chicago was that it reminded me of when Rod said back then that it was four sets of fingers to one throat minus the brass accompaniment of today of course.  But here in Detroit—maybe because my vantage point was different—it brought tears to my eyes. I was mesmerized by his performance of this song and am one I won’t soon forget.

I love when there’s a “cock up” (as Rod puts it).  He started “Young Turks” over because he came in too soon at the beginning and he slapped himself and laughed and then in trying to be serious at the beginning of “Have I told you Lately” a girl in the third row yelled something and Rod had to stop and start over.  It makes Rod look as human as we all have “cock ups” in our lives.

Rod talked about how Detroit brought back some very naughty memories of when he was there in his younger years.  I would love to hear some of those stories—sure, he told some of them in his autobiography but I’d love to hear the ones he had to leave out.  He said he was a very naughty boy!  He also said he wished those in Detroit all the best with their economic situation and assured them that he thought it would recover soon. And then he thanked everyone for coming out to see him.   He said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press leading up to the show that he was hoping to go to the Motown History Museum with his daughter Ruby while he was in town—I hope they got a chance to do that. 



His third add to the show was “Stay With Me” which he did right after “Hot Legs” and he kicked soccer balls out during both songs.  What a good time that was. Rod has always interacted with his audience better than any other artist I’ve seen.  But I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that he is even more engaged with the audience if that’s possible.  He said recently that he thinks the experience at Caesars with the stage being so close to the audience has honed his ability to bring the audience closer to him—and I think he meant it not only physically but also  figuratively.  Those who have been to the Vegas shows would agree—it’s an intimate experience with Rod no matter where you’re sitting. I’ve always said, you haven’t really seen Rod unless he sees you and I think he knows that about his fans.

When Ruby (Stewart) first came out she asked if her father was treating us well to which she got a roaring response.  Then she said “I taught him everything he knows” which showed she has indeed inherited her father’s keen sense of humor.  She did a tremendous job singing the new song she wrote.  She pranced across the stage and took control of it with confidence and belted out those notes like…well, like her father.  Her voice is so soulful and has a raspy tone that I hadn’t noticed before.  She is a true professional.  It’s so touching to see her sing “Forever Young” with her father.  With the high-heeled boots she was wearing, she appeared taller than Rod and it was neat to see Rod look up at her.

Rod looked and sounded absolutely wonderful.  He hit every note without exception—and as Penny says “he’s gotten better with age.”  It would be hard to decide which show was better—Chicago or Detroit—both were packed with so much energy, were so well received and were over too soon.  Rod is not only a famous singer, songwriter and storyteller but he is also a famously smart businessman.  He has pulled together a band of singers and musicians that make the show above and beyond all others.  And I hope they all know what they add to the show. He highlights and acknowledges every one of them.  He gives each of them the opportunity to shine with their particular talents and I would be remiss not to mention them.  I’m sure that’s why he included almost all of them on his new album “Time”.  Many artists select a different group of musicians for recording purposes but Rod recognizes what he has in his band.

The two songs he sings from the new album are breathtaking to say the least. The lyrics of “Brighton Beach” are comparable to “You’re in My Heart” and should be a Number One hit in the states as the album is in the UK. Before he sang “Can’t Stop Me Now” he explained it was about his early days trying to get a record deal and how record companies told him they couldn’t because of his “my hair, my nose and my clothes”.  Then he laughed and said “Fuck them”. (Please excuse the vernacular-I’m simply quoting Rod.)  And the crowd went wild.  Actually that was a very appropriate statement for that time and even for now as I think I would easily drop the F-bomb in response to some of the critics and the cynics who get paid to write reviews. It’s so good that Rod stopped listening to them years ago.

Fan Review

Robin Morrill

 

Toronto !6/12.2013

 

 

 

hello :) just wanted to share my amazing night with you,and what a night. saturday i arrived at my dads, was snowing so much. i was getting really worried if Rod was going to make it sunday dec. 15th  at the a.c.c in toronto, ont, .Rod was is montreal for his concert, i heard on the news all flight was cancelled. i almost died. i counldnt sleep at all that night ,lol, i was so worried, he had already cancelled the may concert. i just wanted Rod to be safe.next day my sister finally showed, i was worried about her to. she drove from port colburg in the snow. i ask my sis how can we find out if hes in toronto., my  sis find the set list, i was so happy Yahoo !!!! he's here and safe.so off we went to the concert. i was so happy to be there, now all i need was to here that voice. there it is !!!!!! i ran so fast up those stairs. yes there he is !!! he looked so fine.the lady's were so pretty. the one woman she could sing amazing. the sacks player ,well let me tell you and Rod just made me melt. the people all singing with Rod was amazing.all the balloons ,and snowing falling that was pretty cool.it was great to here some of his older songs,he sang acouple of the new ones. they had a great beat. i will never forget any of his concerts, that anyone would. ,Rod was pretty good at kicking those balls, WOW !! can he kick, almost  hit his sound guys. do you think im sexy ended the night, great show.  guess what ? i counldnt sleep after the concert either.lol. Rod has a voice like no other.now he 's off to spend christmas with his family. i hope  that Rod and his Family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. to all of you as well. till the next concert Cheers !!!!!!

NEXT RSFC EVENT

Mallorca Party

16th - 19th October

2017

SPAIN

 

NEXT RS APPEARANCE

May 25th 2017,

Celebrate '67 Live

SSE Hydro Glasgow,

 

             

 

 

 

 

      

 

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