March 2018


  Rod Stewart demonstrates feel-good benefits of concert-going

Concert review

Rod Stewart

Canadian Tire Centre

Reviewed Friday

A recent study suggests that experiencing live music is good for you and may even prolong your life.


In a big, splashy, singalong show that also carved out time for hand-holding, the rock legend hit all the buttons identified in the study by O2, the U.K. entertainment company, and Goldsmith University associate lecturer Patrick Fagan.

For starters, the researchers found that attending live music fostered a 25 per cent increase in feeling close to others, simply by sitting shoulder to shoulder and sharing a collective experience with like-minded people who have all bought tickets and sat in traffic to get to the gig.

On Friday, our efforts were directed at a 73-year-old, but apparently ageless Londoner with spiky hair and a trademark rasp in his voice, one of the best-selling artists of all time.

Clad in a series of shiny, Vegas-worthy suits, Sir Rod was chatty and relaxed, his stage presence buttressed by a fantastic band that included two drummers, an incredible sax player, three female backing singers, three female multi-instrumentalists, two guitarists, a keyboardist and a bass player. Gender balanced, yes, although we couldn’t help but notice the female half of the team expended far more energy than the males because they had to sing, dance and/or play multiple instruments while wearing short skirts and heels.

Secondly, the study indicated that going to concerts leads to a 25 per cent spike in feelings of self-worth. On Friday, this occurred every time Stewart spoke to the crowd, which he did a lot, and every time we realized we knew the lyrics and no one would judge us if we raised our voices to sing, which also happened a lot in an outpouring that allowed many youthful indiscretions to be unabashedly relived.

The set list constituted a career-spanning soundtrack that showcased the ’80s hits in the first half, including Infatuation, Young Turks, Some Guys Have All The Luck, Baby Jane and Forever Young. Stewart’s voice sounded a little weak at first, but soon warmed to a full-throated purr, certainly by the time he got to the slow-dance grinder, Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright) and its cringe-inducing lyrics about the loss of innocence, which now seem more creepy than romantic.

Instead of slowing things down with an intermission, the singer reconfigured the band for a terrific acoustic segment, diving in for unadorned versions of Cat Stevens’ The First Cut is the Deepest, People Get Ready, which he dedicated to the young people in the March for Our Lives movement, You’re In My Heart and a Van Morrison song he described as the most romantic in rock ‘n’ roll: Have I Told You Lately.

Highlights of the home stretch included the backup singers’ knockout Proud Mary, the old Faces tune Stay with Me, punctuated by Stewart kicking soccer balls into the crowd, and a rousing take on the mandolin-driven nugget Maggie May.

The study’s third stated benefit of concert-going was a 75-per-cent boost in mental stimulation. Stewart’s show was full of stimulation of all sorts, with a lifetime of video images rolling through a multi-screen backdrop, a net of balloons dropping on the crowd in the exhilarating set-closer Do Ya Think I’m Sexy and plenty of jaw-dropping musical talent within the band.

It was Stewart’s first appearance in Ottawa in more than a decade: enough time for him to release two albums and father another child, he told us. The veteran entertainer was lively and energetic, showing no sign that he was ready for the pasture calling some of his contemporaries, including Elton John and Paul Simon. Without the baggage of a farewell show that everyone feels they have to attend, there was a sense that we were simply catching up with an old friend who’s still in great shape despite years of partying.

Going to concerts every two weeks or so can add years to your life, the study concluded. After seeing Stewart’s show, I’d also describe it as an antidote to feeling old and maybe even a fountain of youth. 

Bring on the next one. 



Rod   Stewart   and   His   Crowd   Are   Forever  Y  oung

“I’m sweating for you tonight!” shouted a moistened Rod Stewart to his Canadian Tire Centre audience. For many, it was an extra good Good Friday seeing the legendary Brit rocker back in Ottawa after a near ten year absence. Heck, some of them would certainly have forked over the green if they’d bottle that Eau de Stéwart and hawked it at concessions.

You see, even at 73, Rod the Mod still has the remarkable power to raise women out of their seats with a single glance from the seductive eyes resting underneath his signature shaggy thatch of feathered hair. Pushing 60 years in the biz, that’s a lot of gel but from the top of his highest hair spike to the bottom of his glistening silver shoes, this crowd couldn’t get enough of Stewart.

With his usual opening act Cyndi Lauper sitting out this leg of the tour, the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band bleated about the arena floor with a rousing “Scotland the Brave”. While not quite “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, the kilted pipers were a fine intro before the checkered curtain dropped to reveal a checkered stage, checkered keyboard, checkered drums and checkered mic stand. Checkers anyone? Oh yeah, there was also and a blasting band beating out the Bar-Kays “Soul Finger”. Stewart let the crowd take it in, giving them anticipation before finally appearing to bring them “Infatuation”.

In a year where many rolling stones in the music biz have chosen to stop gathering moss, Stewart didn’t show any signs that he’s ready to toss in the towel just yet. His jacket, maybe. The rocker’s mighty swivel remains, as do the dance moves that whisked him about the stage during a cavalcade of hits. Oh yes, there were jazz hands and even a wee strip tease as Rod playful peeled back some drenched layers eliciting shrieks from a few quivering gals in the front row.

“That is an unbelievably friendly welcome,” Stewart said flashing a smile as glitzy as his twinkling footwear.


Though Stewart had a fantastic array of backing vocalists with him, it was evident early on that the crowd would do just fine even if they weren’t bedecked in golden fringe dresses. After “Young Turks”, the Canadian Tire Centre chorus got their first spotlight with the “ooo’s” in “Some Guys Have All the Luck”. It wouldn't be the last.

Ever the performer, Rod went through a few wardrobe changes during which the band got their chance to shimmy. Jimmy Roberts on sax and The Rodettes vocals could have made for a show on their own. Ditto the Riverdance like fiddling and tap performance during new song “Love Is” when the women returned with plaid skirts and Celtic flair.

Stewart was plenty interactive with the audience, talking about his travels, showing clips of his 2016 Buckingham Palace knighting, and sharing that he’d become a father to his eighth since the last time he was in Ottawa. There won’t be another, he assured, with a smattering of cheeky boos meeting his words when he announced that his “cue is firmly back in the rack”.

Moving on, 1988 chart topper “Forever Young” was pumped with some octane mid-tune with a triple percussionist breakdown before Rod and the band settled into an acoustic mini-set paying homage to triple Platinum 1993 live release “Unplugged…and Seated”.

“We’re going to have a sing song, aren’t we now?” Stewart asked before crooning a sombre “The First Cut is the Deepest” that featured some harp and a cover of “People Get Ready” dedicated to the March For Our Lives movement. Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately” capped off this set with the band firing up again solo with “Proud Mary”. After Rod reemerged to punt soccer balls out into the arena, reaching the 300 level with a few well-placed kicks. Somebody get that guy a RedBlacks jersey and pop him on the team next season. It’d sure make for more musical field goals!

“Maggie May” came out to play ahead of the encore but most in the crowd were waiting for just one question. As a bevy of balloons rained down from above, they got it:

“Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

You can guess how they answered.








Rod Stewart has rescheduled his concert at Rimrock Auto Arena for Oct. 26.

The change is due to a scheduling conflict, MetraPark announced in a Friday afternoon press release.

The show had originally been scheduled for April 14.

All previously purchased tickets will be honored for the new date. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are on sale now at and at the MetraPark box office. Prices range from $59.50 to $129.50, plus fees. The show is being presented by Live Nation.

The October show will be Stewart's first show in Montana.

Rod reveals Brazilian witch doctor cured him of stomach bug before record gig

Rod Stewart reveals Brazilian witch doctor cured him of explosive stomach bug before record gig....

An explosive tummy bug that threatened to KO Rod Stewart ­from the biggest gig in rock history was cured by a Brazilian witch doctor.

The star has revealed he was deep in the mire with 3.5 million fans raring to hear him at Copacabana Beach, Rio.
And desperate organisers of the 1994 gig called in the local witch doctor an hour before he was due on stage.

Sir Rod said: “I’d eaten some food and I had the runs. I was in a real bad state, they called a witch doctor. He gave me a jab and I was all right. Just about
The concert entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest rock audience. It was so big that Rod said he laughed at the way the sound was delayed for people watching ­further down the beach.

He recalled: “They had speakers every 200 yards. By the time I’d sung the last note of the song they were just listening and I was already in the car going home.”

Rod conducts his audience in a well-oiled revue at the Bell Centre

The musical menu was mostly focused on the post-1975, jet-set celebrity years, with pretty much no stone left unturned in that timeline.

Sir Rod Stewart didn’t narrowly miss the Top 10 list of richest British musical acts by challenging his concert audiences. He’s been doing, more or less, the same hit-heavy, crowd-pleasing  show for as long as anyone can remember.

And his fans still can’t get enough of it.

Just ask any of the 12,300 people who shouted out the choruses to just about every song in Stewart’s set list Tuesday night at the Bell Centre whether they would have preferred some deep-catalogue buried treasures?

In a contest for their hearts, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy would beat out Lady Day or True Blue any old time — at least judging by the sheer volume created by the lung power expended during the hour-and-three-quarter performance, which ended at 9:20 p.m.(perhaps a contender for a rock show record at the Bell Centre?).

If you have seen Stewart live, you pretty much know the drill: outfit changes, soccer balls kicked into the crowd, balloons filling the venue, band member showcases, amiable, self-deprecating banter with the audience, plenty of thematic visual aids on the screen and seemingly non-stop singalongs.

The participation factor threatened, at first, to become the show itself, given a worrisome absence of Stewart vocals at the outset of the concert, particularly during Infatuation and Young Turks. Whether it was the questionable sound (even muddier than usual for the always-dodgy Bell Centre) or actual voice problems, the Stewart pipes were virtually buried in the mix. The excessive arena-mandated pounding by drummer Dave Palmer didn’t help as it threatened to swallow everything in its path.

Things settled a bit as the singer eased into Having a Party, the celebratory gem by his idol Sam Cooke, elevated by a solo from Jimmy “Saxman” Roberts. And yet the insistent thwacking from time-keeper Palmer removed any possibility of hearing the swinging shuffle promised by the soul evergreen.

“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think,” Stewart, 73, had said while introducing the song. But as the evening progressed, he did his youthful best to ignore the passing of time, pacing the stage and giving a show-must-go-on, Vegas-makeover facsimile of the blues-rocker who took the world by storm and, quite frankly, changed lives with his first four albums, released between 1969 and 1972

As always with Stewart, the stature of those masterpieces was the elephant in the room. If you were a purist coming to somehow relive the thrilling shock of his visionary beginnings, you were going to be sorely disappointed: of that quartet of classic LPs, only one song, the inevitable Maggie May, was performed — as a singalong, naturally.

Otherwise, the musical menu was mostly focused on the post-1975, jet-set celebrity years, with pretty much no stone left unturned in that timeline: Some Guys Have All the Luck, Tonight’s the Night, Rhythm of My Heart (with cheers erupting as 2016 footage of the singer being knighted appeared on screen), You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim) and Stewart’s cover of Van Morrison’s Have I Told You Lately were among the deliriously-received moments.

If the tightly-paced set had nothing to do with deepening anyone’s musical appreciation of Stewart’s back catalogue (unsurprisingly, nothing played Tuesday night measured up to the original recordings), it was hard to fault on a showmanship level. Like a well-oiled revue, the event kept moving from the moment the Quigley Highlanders Pipes and Drums from Lochiel, Ont., provided pre-show bagpipe gravitas on the floor level, moving through the audience before the curtain rose.

As that checkered stage cover was discarded, a highly-polished momentum took hold, from the band’s opening blast of the Bar-Kays classic Soul Finger, before Stewart made his entrance, through a refreshing acoustic mini-set and individual spots highlighting the band members, mostly while Stewart was offstage changing (and how about Di Reed’s attack on Proud Mary?) to the soccer balls and balloons.

But as smooth and predictable as it all was, that’s not to say there weren’t a few pleasant surprises. Love Is, from Stewart’s most recent album, Another Country, is a tuneful, Celtic beauty, while a cover of the Muddy Waters classic Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (incongruously, with violins!), from the upcoming fall release Blood Red Roses, was a potent reminder of where the singer’s heart always finds a home.

“Whatever road you choose/ I’m right behind you, win or lose/ Forever young,” Sir Rod sang around the half-way mark, to an audience mostly made up of people who, let’s face it, are on the back nine of life.

And who among us doesn’t want to believe that as long as we have breath to sing along?

Set list:

  1. Soul Finger (band only)
  2. Infatuation
  3. Young Turks
  4. Some Guys Have All the Luck
  5. Tonight’s the Night
  6. Love Is
  7. Rhythm of My Heart
  8. Rollin’ and Tumblin’
  9. Forever Young
  10. Baby Jane
  11. Downtown Train
  12. The First Cut Is the Deepest
  13. People Get Ready
  14. You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)
  15. Have I Told You Lately
  16. Proud Mary (band only)
  17. Stay With Me
  18. Maggie May


19. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?

Sawbridgeworth primary school has unexpected visit from Sir Rod Stewart

Sawbridgeworth primary school had an unexpected visit from one of the best-selling musicians of all time after he responded to their letter.

Sir Rod Stewart, along with his wife Penny Lancaster and guitarist Jim Cregan, joined Year 2 pupils at Fawbert and Barnard Infants’ School for a very special assembly at the start of March.

The children sent the former Faces frontman a letter before Christmas as part of their music project called Beat Band Boogie.

The pupils wanted a real musician to answer their questions as part of the project which involved the likes of rewriting song lyrics and writing letters.Towards the end of last year it was looking unlikely that the star would show, yet things all changed in the New Year.

Head teacher Angela Euesden said: “His PR manager popped into the school in January and asked if this was this school that had been writing.

She said he was away but we will try and do something for you.”

Sir Rod, whose visit this month was a first for the Knight Street school, did a question and answer session with the children before listening to pupils sing him their own song

Ms Euesden added: “We had quite interesting questions from the children.

“The Year 2 children then sang him a song called Spotty Socks.



Youthful Rod Stewart still at the top of his game

Amid a show filled with hits, Rod Stewart lit into his hit, “Forever Young.”
The song was ever so appropriate for his show at the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 24.
Despite cranking out hits since the 1970s, either as a solo artist or as a member of the loveable Faces, Stewart is still in fine shape. And he would give the front men of today’s generation of bands a run for their money.
Yes, Rod the Mod took some well-needed breaks during the one hour and 40-minute set (letting the band solo in his absence while he changed out of what was surely a sweat-drenched wardrobe). And he did have to ask the crew to crank up the fans under the hot lights.
But Stewart still stalked the stage as he always has. And the microphone stand got a workout as he twirled it and swung it around.
And although his voice has always sounded as if he were about to give his last breath, Stewart’s distinctive rasp was still intact. He still could be smooth and suave on such songs as “Have I Told You Lately.” He could still be soulful on tracks like “People Get Ready.” And he proved he still could be that raucous Scottish lad of old on the classic “Stay With Me” from his days with the Faces.
Although Stewart began as a rocker with a bluesy swagger—except a foray into his upcoming album “Blood Red Roses” where he covered the Muddy Waters track “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”—he focused the evening on his soulful pop, such as “Some Guys Have All the Luck,” and his insistent folkish days full of violins and mandolins, such as the classic track “Maggie May” and “Reason to Believe.” And for the fans that sat in the sold-out Mohegan, it was clear from their response, that Stewart gave the people exactly what they want.
The most rousing moment of the evening was Stewart’s tribute to the men and women serving in the military. “Rhythm of My Heart,” with its Celtic flair, got the heart stirring.
The March 24 show at the Mohegan Sun Arena proved that Rod Stewart truly is one of the greatest singers of the rock and roll era. He may have been imitated over the years. But he truly has never been surpassed. He is an individual talent who knows how to give his audience a blood good show.
I give Rod Stewart at the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 24 four out of four stars.

Rod Stewart kicks it up at Mohegan Sun 

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- This is the year many aging singers have decided to pack it in and call it quits.

Nobody told Rod Stewart.

When the 73-year-old rocker wasn't strutting across the stage singing one of his Top 10 hits, he was kicking soccer balls up to the second tier of the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night.

Stewart delivered an engaging, well-received and nearly two-hour show before a full house at the Connecticut casino.

With a nod to his Scottish heritage, Stewart commissioned the Mystic Highland Pipe Band to played a short set before his 12-piece band ushered him onstage to the sounds of The Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger."

Stewart kicked off his set with an energetic performance of "Young Turks" followed by "Infatuation."

Stewart was in a chatty mood throughout the night whether he was joking about playing before a lackluster audience in Moscow or reflecting on his love of Muddy Waters before delivering a high-octane version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'."

He offered a few dedications for some of the 19 songs he sang. 

Stewart dedicated "Rhythm of My Heart" to those who died in battle during World War II. And his performance of "People Get Ready" was sang in tribute to students who took part in the "March for Our Lives"  against gun violence earlier in the day.

The centerpiece of the concert was a five-song acoustic set, which began with Cat Steven's "The First Cut is the Deepest" and closed with Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately." Stewart's band ably backed him on acoustic guitar, harp and violin.

His backup singers performed "Proud Mary" before Stewart closed the night by digging back to his Faces days for "Stay With Me" followed by his signature hit "Maggie May."

He returned to Mohegan Sun stage for an encore, a performance of his No. 1 hit from 1978, "D'Ya Think i'm Sexy."

Rod Stewart jokingly teases friend Elton John over retirement

Sir Rod Stewart has teased his friend Sir Elton John over his retirement tour.

The 'Maggie May' hitmaker sent an email to lovingly mock his long-time pal - who announced in January he'll be turning his back on live performances after a final tour of 300-plus concerts over three years.

Rod, 73, insists if he ever decides to call time on his career he won't use his retirement to try and create interest.

Asked about Elton's retirement, Rod said: "I did email her and said, 'What? Again, dear?' I didn't hear anything back.

"I have never spoken about retirement. If I do retire, I won't make an announcement, I'll just fade away. I don't think it's a big deal, 'I'm going to retire.' It stinks of selling tickets."

But Cyndi Lauper, who is to embark on a joint US tour with Rod in June, thought it sounded like a good ploy.

In a joint appearance on 'Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen', she said: "That's not a bad idea. We could say, 'For the last time, we're retiring.' Then one more time. 'Well, maybe the second to last time.' "

However, Rod replied: "It's dishonest. It's not rock 'n' roll."

Earlier this month, Elton, 70, had an issue with a fan who put his hands on his piano and kept trying to take a photo of him after he invited a group of audience members to join him on stage as he performed his hit 'Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting' at a Las Vegas show.

Elton left the stage after becoming frustrated with this "disruptive" reveler and Rod completely understands why his pal got annoyed.

The 'Maggie May' hitmaker - who often invites fans to join him on stage during his concerts - said: "I sort of understand it. I don't mind it, I love people coming up on stage, it's a laugh but I can see why he got p***ed off with it.

"I've been up on stage and had people coming up and nearly knock my teeth out, take my trousers off, I love it."

Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper Talk Touring, Losing Grammys & Witch Doctors with Andy Cohen:

Two of the most iconic names in pop -- Cyndi Lauper and Rod Stewart -- dropped by What What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Wednesday (March 21) to talk about their upcoming co-headlining tour, Lauper's recent memorable performance alongside Kesha at the Grammy Awards and, of course, witch doctors.

The singers discussed some of their most memorable moments from past tours, including a show to which Lauper needed a police escort and a five million-person crowd that evidently made Stewart feel a little uneasy. "Before the show, an hour, I’d eaten some food and I had the runs," Stewart detailed. "I was in a real bad state and they called a witch doctor. He gave me a jab and I was all right... just about.”

After host Cohen opened up the floor for audience questions, a viewer asked Lauper about her performance alongside Kesha at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. "Just being supportive and being there for her was important," Lauper answered. "Time is up and that is why I went to support a fellow artist who is female, going through this."

Lauper also discussed her Grammy nomination-to-win ratio. Of the 15 categories the "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" singer has earned Grammy noms for, she's only won two, losing to fellow female icons Tina TurnerBarbra Streisand and Bette Midler. "I'm always nominated... but I'm the maid of honor," Lauper said.

Lauper and Stewart's North American Tour kicks off this June. Watch their amusing interview with Cohen below.

Rod Stewart to replace Aretha Franklin at Jazz Fest

NEW ORLEANS — Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, will not be performing April 28 at Jazz Fest.

Instead, Rod Stewart will take her place.

Franklin told festival organizers that her doctors have advised her against performing.

Other headliners at the two-weekend event include Sting, Jimmy Buffett, Beck, Jack White, David Byrne, Lionel Richie, Anita Baker, and Bonnie Raitt.

Click here for more information and to buy Jazz Fest tickets.

Sir Rod and Penny at Cheltenham Festival Races

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster have been spotted among the famous faces heading to the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday.

After the glamour of Ladies Day, day three did not disappoint with a whole host of celebs arriving at a rather damp Prestbury Park


First up enjoying a family day at the races was legendary singer Rod Stewart.

The Maggie May hitmaker was sure to be noticed in the large crowds dressed in an eye popping plaid jacket and dotty tie combo.

73-year-old Rod teamed his quirky look with a pair of smart chinos and brogues and a stylist red trilby hat.

Rod Stewart has finished a new album called Blood red Roses

Rod Stewart has been gearing up for his summer tour with Cyndi Lauper, but he's also been in the studio. Today (March 6), he revealed that he's completed work on a new album called Blood Red Roses, although it has yet to be determined when it will be released. His most recent album was 2015's Another Country.

He broke the news while he and Lauper were speaking with Kyle Meredith of Louisville's WFPK, who asked if either of them had any material coming out. "My album's finished," Stewart said. "We're not sure when it's coming out. It's called Blood Red Roses. It's absolutely fantastic. ... Even I say it meself" He added that there are 12 songs on the album, 11 of which he wrote.

Pressed for more details by Lauper, he said that "we don't know whether we're going to bring it out in May or June or September. There's a big discussion going on. ... It they bring it out in May and we're on tour in June, I will be [performing songs from it on tour], otherwise I won't. No, probably not. You know how difficult it is to try and convince people to listen to brand new songs when you've got so many songs that they want to hear. We'll see how it goes."


In discussing both his and Lauper's famously outlandish outfits, Stewart, who was knighted in 2016, said that he has one thing in common with Queen Elizabeth II: "We've both had the same haircut for 50 years."

This will be the second consecutive year that he and Lauper are touring together. They'll begin with a standalone show at the Hollywood Bowl on June 25. A month later, they'll kick it off proper at the Hard Rock Event Center in Hollywood, Fla., and conclude on Sept. 1 at the White River Amphitheater in Seattle. Check out all the dates here.



for details.





The Marquee, Cork, Ireland

JUNE 20,21

Home Park Stadium, Plymouth


Cinch Stadium, Northants


Seat Unique Riverside, Durham


Badminton Estate, Worcester Park, Bristol


Sewell Group Craven Park, Hull


Edinburgh Castle

JULY 6,7










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