Rod and the Railroad Rug
A review from Atlantic City 27/08/2016. By Debbie Mckenna
Well, I have to say that Rod’s show at the Etess Arena in Atlantic City on August 27th was one for the ages in my book. Words can’t really describe it but I am going to try anyway so here we go! It was just a few months ago that my husband bound down the stairs with the words I wait for all year….”He’s coming!” He doesn’t have to say anything else. We all know what he means! Rod is coming to town and tickets are going on sale. It’s time to call the girls and count the change in my “Rod can”. I wait all year for Rod to come to the Philadelphia/New Jersey area. This year I also have something exciting for him too. More on that to come….. My husband tells me there is a presale for the tickets and a single floor ticket in front of the stage will come to $275.00 plus fees. Holy Smoke! We are not independently (or any kind of) wealthy so I have to save all year for this, but that change can does not have that in it! No matter…I have a week to make it happen and I will. Can’t stop me now. Lol
Of course, nothing is ever easy. My husband is at the ready on his laptop at work when the presale starts. Bang…he’s into the site at the second the tickets come up and scores tickets in the FRONT row….or so he thinks. It’s not until the next day that he shows me the seats and lo and behold he was looking at the venue map upside downand scored two tickets in the BACK row for $660.00. What a jackass (I say that lovingly)! He called Ticketmaster and the venue and neither one would let us exchange our tickets. They could only recommend putting our tickets on Stub Hub and buying two new ones. Do I look like Donald Trump? Looks like we’ll just have to get in and improvise. No worries….we are good at that.
I said earlier I had exciting news for Rod himself. About a year ago, my girlfriend and I were cleaning out a relative’s old house when we came across a do-it-yourself hook rug still in the box with a train motif.
After recently reading Rod’s story in Model Railroader magazine I knew he loved trains so I came up with the idea to make the train rug for Rod and get it to him somehow! My family and friends made fun of me or months as I held onto the rug waiting for the chance. That time had arrived.
The night of the show my friend held the rug over her forearm like she was holding a shawl and they never even questioned it as we walked inside. The regular Trump coworkers were on strike outside so we think that helped us. Security was poor the entire night. That helped us too (but annoyed many others). After briefly looking at our seats, we grabbed our drinks and took off. Rod is here and I’m getting him his rug!
Again due to poor security we made it all the way to the front of the stage. That never happens! As Rod worked his way through the beginning of the show (Having a Party, Some Guys, Tonight’s the Night) we jostled for position and searched out anyone that could help us get the rug up on the stage. Most everyone looked at us like we were crazy. Who brings a rug to a concert? Most have heard of throwing underwear and flowers but a rug? The Security crew would not help us so we tried the photo peeps.Nothing. As a matter of fact, we started getting pushed back and told to leave the area. Well if I’m leaving, now’s the time to do everything myself. With one drunken,adrenaline-fueled heave I threw that damn rug as hard as I
could……..and it made it to the stage on the first try! I am still in shock.
Rod reached down and picked it up and said, “What a lovely mat”. I could immediately tell it certainly caught his fancy. From that point forward, he took it with him as he moved around on the stage. He said it was his mat and nobody else could stand on it but him. He was clearly amused. He stood on it, rubbed his butt on it, laid on it and the best moment was when he brought it up to the front of the stage and sat down on it right in front of us. He then proceeded to sing Downtown Train and I swore he was looking right at me. It was a moment I will never forget. Then it got even better, as he rolled up the rug and took it offstage with him…my rug. Well now, it’s HIS rug. One can only hope he enjoys it for years to come. That is certainly how I will choose to remember it.
I’ve now seen Rod on over 30 occasions and he never ceases to amaze me. On this night he was in excellent voice and the band was insane. He unfurled I’d Rather Go Blind which is my husband’s favorite Rod tune. My husband is still awaiting a Faces reunion in the States and was excited when I told him Rod was talking about that on this night as well as dedicating Can’t Stop Me Now to his Dad.The only thing hotter than Rod was the temperature inside the arena which was off the charts HOT! I was drenched like I was swimming in my clothes which is not a good look for me, but is a good look for Rod. The pictures I have sent along with my story will bear that out!
Rod even joked at the end of the night that at least he won’t have to play this shithole again. Lol His was indeed the last performance at the Etess Arena at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City which closed at the end of August.
It was truly another incredible night from the world’s greatest performer. I can only hope that a little piece of me now exists in his world
These photos were taken from the only video we have which was uploaded to you tube by Karen Chande, You can watch the video here by clicking the linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Jhh-W93QOg
Review from Gilford,New Hampshire. 1/09/2016
By Joanna Sacco
Well, it all started back in April. Someone posted on FB that Rod would be playing in Gilford, NH on September 1st. Since I live in NH my reactions were “NO WAY!”, “How did I not know this?”, and then “Where the heck is Gilford??” I joined the ONELIVE “fan club” for $30 and was all set for the pre-sale at 10:00 on the announced day. I was able to log in right at 10:00 only to see that row 15 was what was being offered. I rejected those seats only to be offered row 12! Pre-sale???? Fan club?? Finally row 7 came up so I reluctantly bought my tickets (but I wasn’t as happy as I ought to have been).
Fast forward to the end of August. I’d been checking all the ticket sites hoping to score better tickets but third party prices for this show were ridiculous. However, the week before the show the venue posted on FB that they had just released some “good” seats ¬that morning so I began to check every day. Luck was with me two days before the show when I went on the venue’s website and saw FRONT ROW seats available for face value. My hand was shaking so bad but I was able to get two tickets in row 1!! To say I was happy is a huge understatement!!
The day before the show “Rod mode” took over. I couldn’t think about or do anything that didn’t involve Rod. (My poor husband just rolls his eyes and stands aside.) Hotel reservations were made, directions to the venue were printed, my sign was ready, my outfit was ironed and plans with friends were finalized. I was more than excited! The only thing I still had left to do was find someone to buy my 7th row tickets. A posting on FB resulted in three offers to buy them, but all three offers were rescinded. So I decided to post the tickets on Craig’s list and got lucky - I was able to sell my row 7 tickets for what I paid for them to someone who was VERY excited to be going to their very first Rod concert. (See my note at the end!)
September 1st had FINALLY arrived!! It was a beautiful day for a concert. My friends, Paula and Cathy, arrived and off we went for our 2 hour drive. Arriving at the venue we were excited to meet up with Marcy, Dave, Nancy Jean, Jeannie, Mike, Theresa and Nina. Then it was on to our seats. The front row was actually pretty close to the stage, although security made it clear that we had to stay in front of our seats. My only issues were that the stage was over 5.5 ft tall (I’m only 5’1/2”) and that my seat was directly behind a 6’ cameraman standing on a platform. Oh well, Rod would be out in a few minutes - I could deal! Then all of a sudden……out came the band ……. and then there was our Rod and he looked absolutely amazing!!!!
I can’t accurately describe how great the next (almost) two hours were. Rod had so much energy and his voice was in top form. He was all over the stage and interacted so much with the audience and the crowd LOVED him. At the beginning of the show he announced that he was feeling good and that he hoped it was ok if he sang for 2 hours. The crowd roared their approval! (Alas, we only got 1 hour 45 minutes.) He played around with the band members, encouraged them to take center stage several times, and acknowledged them throughout the show. He really seemed to be having as good a time as we were……and we were having a great time!!
Some of the night’s highlights for me were....
Rod giving me a thumbs-up after I had given him one for doing an incredible job on one of his songs. (Sorry, I can’t remember which one.)
A couple sitting in the front row arrived to their seats after the show started. Rod looked at them and then tapped his watch. Then he made a drinking motion at them as if he was asking if they were late because they were drinking. It was hilarious!
We were sitting next to Marcy and Dave. Some of you may know that they had given Rod a plaque (I think it was a plaque) honoring Rod’s knighthood. Well, Rod saw them right away and turned to them and mouthed Thank you and that he loved his gift. So sweet! Maybe that is why Rod threw a soccer ball directly to Dave at the end of the show!!
As you can see from the picture of the set list, most of what he sang were his hits. But one of the funniest moments of the night was when he introduced “Can’t Stop Me Now”. He said something like “this is one of my new songs and most of you won’t know it, but please applaud loudly when I’m done”. Also, before he started “It’s A Heartache” Rod was telling the crowd that the next song was written by Bonnie ??? and he kept fumbling for her last name. Well you all know he dropped the f-bomb a few times on that one!!
My second favorite memory of the night was when Rod finally acknowledged my sign. I held it up all through the show and he didn’t read it until near the end. But it was worth the wait because he blew me a kiss!!
But my absolute favorite memory of the night happened an hour after the show was over. Five of us decided to stop by a local restaurant for something to eat and drink after the show. We were seated at a table near two staff members from the venue. One of them was an older woman who was working up front but on the other side of the venue. I had noticed Rod motioning to her at the end of the show, so I asked what that was about. She told me that there was a young woman in a wheel chair sitting on her side of the venue. During one of the last songs of the show, Rod motioned for the security woman to come up to the stage and then gave her his hat. He told her to make sure the young woman in the wheel chair got it. No wonder we all love Rod!!
This was Rod’s last show in the States for a while. He’d been in Las Vegas for several weeks and then had done three other shows. I was afraid he might be tired and would be tempted to just go through the motions. How wrong I was. It was an incredible show and an incredible night!! Oh, did I mention how GOOD he looked and how GREAT he sounded? LOL!!
P.S. Remember those 7th row tickets I sold on Craig’s List? Here’s the email I got from the woman that bought them from me. “JOANNE!!! OMG!!! I loved the concert. I spent some of it crying. Thank u very much. The best I’ve ever been to!!!”……. Another satisfied customer
Review of Vegas Shows Aug. 20 & 21,
By Karen Chande