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 link

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 Atlantic City, Trump Taj Mahal, Aug. 27, 2016
By Karen Chande
Good evening my friends and welcome to my review of Rod's show at the Trump Taj Mahal, the last musical performance there before it is torn down in October.
As I walked into the Mark Etess Arena at the Trump Taj Mahal, I'm thinking I would see the glorious checkerboard curtain but alas there is no curtain.  The musical instruments are set up and ready to go with soft colored lighting on them.  There are signs early on of an enthusiastic crowd, several different groups with large Scotland flags, many Celtic supporters.
As the arena fills to max, the music begins signaling the start of the show.  Band members come out to take their place on the curtain-less stage, and the new backup singer Caissie is back as we recall at the last Vegas show she had been ill and missing.  The backup singers introduce Rod as he enters wearing leopard print jacket and black pants to Having A Party, and then Some Guys Have All The Luck.  He welcomes the enthusiastic crowd saying Greetings my friends, greetings. Welcome, hello!   Is everybody here whose supposed to be here?  He pulls out his hanky and continues, asking, Does everybody want to be here?  He says it's Saturday night and this is the last musical event in this old Taj Mahal.  This is it, what you get after this is Miss America.  He wipes his brow, puts his hanky back in his pocket and says  so let's rock the place tonight, let's have a real party.  He is so full of energy saying let's enjoy ourselves, we must, we must.  He says I give you this as Tonight's The Night begins.  Happy fans in the audience are reflected on screen near the end of the song, some of them pointing to themselves.
Next Rod says he recorded this song not too long ago but it was actually made famous by Bonnie Raitt called It's A Heartache.  After the song, he comments about needing to cool this place down, the air conditioning is not working, and says hot is good though.  He continues on to say here's one from 1972 you may "re-collect" this one, then corrects himself, saying "recollect", and that "re-collect" is when you go and get something, "recollect" is when you remember something, then tells himself to shut up as he walks away from the microphone and the audience laughs as You Wear It Well begins. 
Afterward, Rod  takes off his jacket and thanks everyone for coming out tonight, saying it will be worth our while and that we are really, really in the mood tonight!  He says here's a song he always dedicates to his dear old Dad, who's long since gone, he died in 1990, he was a good Scotsman from Edinburgh, this is a song about when he started out in show business and no one wanted to sign up Mr. Rod Stewart in those days because they didn't like the shape of his nose, his hair, his clothes or his voice.  His Dad said keep at it son and he guesses he did and that's why we're all here, as everyone cheers and applauds.  He looks up at the screen at the back saying, "thanks, Dad!"  He says to keep our eye on the big screen to see him as an 18-year old and then asks "are you ready?  are you ready?" as Can't Stop Me Now begins.  During the point in the song when he sings, "thanks for the helping hand", Rod turns to the screen at the back and says, "my Dad" pointing up to the picture of his Dad. 
Afterward, he says a lady in the audience says it's her 60th birthday and she wants a kiss.  He picks up a rug that had been given to him with a train design on it, holding it open, saying it's an unusual gift, puts it back down on the floor saying he's going to stand on it, which he does.  He claps about the rug, saying he's dedicating this next one to our war veterans, our fallen veterans, our soldiers who are still on the front line tonight as we are enjoying ourselves here, enjoying our freedom, he continues on, full of energy, arms up in the air, "enjoying the Taj Mahal for the last night!"  He says here's a song by Mark Jordon, an anti-war song written about the Vietnam war but it covers all wars,  let's do this one.  He says thank you for the mat, smiling and pointing at it several times, as Rhythm of My Heart begins.
After the song, Rod points down at the rug saying that's his carpet, holds out his arms and tells band members to stay away from it as the audience laughs and Forever Young begins. Rod leaves as band members continue with solos on violins and drums.  When Rod returns, the song finishes with audience members reflected on the big screen singing out "Forever  Young!".  Rod brings Matt O'Connor and Dave Palmer down to take a bow, then acknowledges Annie and J'Anna on the violins.    He then says let's keep the fast ones going, then looks down at the rug, saying that's my mat, don't touch it, my mat, proudly and waves to the mat, pointing to himself and the mat as Young Turks begins.  After the song, Rod says he's thoroughly enjoying himself tonight as he picks the rug up off the floor and places it closer to the edge of the stage where he sits down on it with his legs over the edge of the stage as Downtown Train begins.  At the designated point in the song, he gets up, picks up the rug, rolls it up and takes it with him as he heads over to the backup singers for a bit and then backstage as Jimmy continues with the saxophone solo.
When he returns in blue jacket and pants, the chairs are brought out and he says ladies and gentlemen we're going to do some acoustics songs now, and tells us please be seated, that we've been standing up for 45 minutes, please take this moment to rest, saying they are seated, and he suggests we do, too.  He asks any requests?  A man in audience calls out "Maggie! Maggie!"  Rod says we do try to please.  After checking that the girls are ready he asks the crowd if we are prepared as You're In My Heart begins.  The next song is First Cut Is The Deepest, with audience reflection on the big screen as they sing along to the song.  Afterward, Rod says many, many years ago he was in a band called Faces.  Many, many years ago some of us weren't even thought of in those early 70s. He says they were a great bunch of boys, there are only three of them left -  him, Ronnie Wood and Kenny Jones, the drummer and that they will  make an effort to tour.  He says the next song is one of Ronnie Lane's finest compositions as Ooh La La begins.  J'Anna and Annie twirl around with their violins and near the end of the song, band members seated during the acoustic set get up to dance, and a woman holding a Scotland flag is pictured up on the big screen up against the barrier.
After the song, Rod says a lady in the audience is celebrating her 60th birthday and can we bring her up guys, she wants a kiss, then no, she's gone home, she missed her big chance.  Then he mentions it's Bridget's birthday as Bridget gets up out of the chair excitedly waving to the crowd.  Rod says he also wants to welcome this evening Conrad Korsch, our fabulous bass player, his mother and father are here tonight, good evening Mr. & Mrs. Korsch.  Conrad waves to his parents.  Rod says he would like to dedicate this next one to the woman who couldn't make it up to the stage, then spots her in the audience and jokes saying she looks more like 24 than 60 and they need to check her identification, lol!  He tells the guys to bring her up, quick, quick, quick!  He gets up out of his chair as the lady comes up on the stage, saying quick darling.  She brings him flowers as he gives her a hug and she kisses his cheek.  She sits down in his chair and he asks her if she is married.  She says she is and he says bless you darling.  She kisses him again, hands him the flowers and thanks him so much telling him about so many of his shows she's seen.  He says thank you darling and says he has to announce that she is sitting in his chair, lol!  She gets up and he tells her she can sit in the back for the last song, which is Have I Told You Lately as Rod holds onto the flowers during the song.  As all this unfolds, I am thinking how wonderful Rod is to do this, still on a cloud myself after having just the week before had my own amazing birthday experience with him in Vegas.  He just spreads happiness wherever he goes!
After the song is finished, the lady gets up from the steps in the back with one last thanks to Rod. The chairs are removed from the acoustic set as Di, the ladies the band take over with Young Hearts.  When Rod returns, he says the next song is very, very special as I'd Rather Go Blind begins.  Next Rod says and now ladies and gentlemen, may I present.... and several people call out "Maggie!" as Maggie May begins.  All during the show I'd been trying to find the perfect time to thank Rod for my birthday picture with him in Vegas and finally did during this song when he came over to my side of the stage and the folks in front of me were sitting, leaving an open space to hold up my sign.  He saluted and put his hand to his heart.  Bless you Rod!
Next was Hot Legs as Rod kicks the footballs out into the crowd starting from the left side, then walking across the stage, throwing a few to the people in the center and continuing with the right side, making sure some people up front get one as well as in the back.
After the song, Rod tells the crowd they were glad to be playing the last musical performance in this sh*t hole, LOL! which brings cheers and applause from the crowd.  He said he's played here half a dozen times over the years.  He takes off his cowboy hat and raises it in the air to say so with this one we'll say goodnight to the Taj Mahal, God bless you whatever you may become. He says they're going to have Miss America here and asks whose coming here to support Miss America, which there are some cheers and whistles from the crowd. He puts his cowboy hat back on and says goodnight ladies and gentlemen, and away we go as Do You Think I'm Sexy begins.  The crowd are on their feet singing and dancing along to the song as balloons cascade down over the audience.  Afterward, Rod and band exit from the stage.  They were not able to play dead this time because there was no curtain, lol!  After the show, some of us were able to say hello to Conrad who had come out with his parents.
I now pass the torch to all those next going to see the greatest showman ever and a well deserved Sir Rod!  See you next year!

Review of Vegas Shows Aug. 20 & 21, 2016

By Karen Chande

August 20
In March when the dates were announced for the next Vegas shows, it was a no-brainer which ones I would attend as I was so excited to see that the Saturday of the final weekend fell on my birthday.  The excitement was twofold as not only was Vegas my favorite place to see Rod, but two years ago I was headed on a four-hour drive to Jones Beach, NY to see him on my birthday when my car died on the way and I never made it to the show.  On this run, I had also gotten a ticket to the Aug. 17 show which wound up being cancelled because Rod had a sinus infection and was under doctors order to rest his vocals.  It was encouraging to read that the shows would continue on Saturday, the 20th.  Thankfully, Rod was well enough to perform that night as I'd had a hope and plan.  I'd upgraded my seat to front row and had a poster made to see if I could get a birthday picture with him.
On show night, there was nothing quite like it to take a seat in front row center and it was fun to have friends come up and sit beside me for awhile to chat and other friends who happened to also be sitting right beside or near me.  There was a new white curtain now to replace the one that had been there for so long with the back of Rod's head and "Some Guys Have All The Luck" written on it.  When the curtain rose, as many of us already knew, the checkerboard pattern was everywhere, the floor, the drums faces, the keyboard and even Rod's microphone stand.  There was a new back-up singer in Lucy's spot as the band began with Soul Finger and then the ladies introduced "Sir Rod Stewart!" as he came out to Having A Party.  During this song, I held up a sign to let him know I was spending my birthday with him.  He blew me a kiss, bowed and blew a second kiss.  Some Guys Have All the Luck was next, and then Rod welcomed the crowd saying it was the 127th show at Caesar's.  He said we would be here for 90 minutes and they want us out there spending our money so let's not waste anymore time, let's do it.  The next song was Tonight's The Night.  I'd made a poster saying "A Knight On The Town" with "Knight" in the colors of the British flag and a picture of said album cover the song was from that I held up at the end when the audience is reflected on the big screen.  I made sure Rod saw it as well from the stage and he mouthed, "that's me!"  I like the way this song now ends, rather than the abrupt ending after the audience sings, it now continues to sound just as it does on the record. 
To introduce the next song, Rod says 127 shows and he never gets tired of singing this one, then says he never gets tired of singing any of them, and the song is You Wear It Well.  Next was Rhythm of My Heart and after that, Rod mentioned about how he had to cancel the show on Wednesday, for those of us who are here when he was not there Wednesday, he was on antibiotics for his bronchitis and was sweating "me bollocks" and the doctor said he would be sweating a lot tonight but that he's here and that's great.  The crowd applauded, someone saying they were glad he was here (and believe me, so was I!!).  He then introduced the next song about his father who died in 1990, he was a Scotsman from Edinburgh and his support of Rod during the bad times, especially in the music business when the record companies didn't like his hair, his nose or his clothes, then he said come to think of it, they didn't like his voice either, but it all turned out nicely in the end.  He says to look up on the big screen and we'd see a 19-year old Rod Stewart as Can't Stop Me Now begins.  Next, Rod holds up his beverage to wish us a Merry Christmas if he doesn't see us before then and says "And may you stay Forever Young" as the song begins.  Rod leaves for costume change as the violin and drumming solos continue.  Rod then returns to acknowledge Dave Palmer and Matt O'Connor on the drums, having them come down to take a bow, then acknowledges J'Anna and with a little hesitation on Annie's name he says the antibiotics are making his mind go.  Next he says here's an old Motown one for us and it's This Old Heart Of Mine.
Now, it's time for Downtown Train and this is the song I was best thinking to show Rod my sign as he comes down to sit on the steps.  But alas, he sits down on the steps to my right, while I am more to the left.  He then gets up and comes down the steps  to shake hands with audience members.  I heard him say that he was going "over there" and he left the area he was in and walked right past me to shake hands with audience members now to my left.  From what I heard afterward as I didn't see what was going on behind me is that there was a man in the audience who was acting strange, like he was on drugs and took off his shirt, and that's when Rod went to the other side to get away from him.  Apparently, the man followed Rod to the other side.  In order to again get away from him, Rod came back towards the center, right where I was standing and I then showed him my sign.  I'll never forget the unbelievable joy I felt when he motioned to me to come up!  I handed my camera to a friend, dropped the sign on the floor and carefully climbed over the red velvet rope to head up the steps.  Rod then pointed down at the sign I'd left on the floor to say bring it up.  It was handed to me by friends and as I climbed up the steps where Rod was now sitting, he held onto it and looked at it.  At last, my dream come true as I sat down beside him, we held the sign together, I put my arm around him and looked out to the audience, a sea of cameras pointing at us, so unbelievable to be sitting right there beside him, I couldn't help but to give him a quick kiss as thanks!  Soon, other fans started joining us onstage, including friends who had come to see Rod all the way from Australia, who gave him a kangaroo holding the Aussie flag, and Jill who came over with her cane to join in.  I felt happy that others had been able to enjoy the fun, too.  We ladies were well-behaved as we sang with him and at the designated point in the song, Rod was able to get up the way he's done before by laying back and bringing his legs up over us to continue the song, holding the kangaroo as he walked over to the backup singers, handed the kangaroo to Di, and fluffed the top of each of their heads before leaving the stage  as Jimmy continued with the saxophone solo. 
When Rod returned, he mentioned about Jill who had come over to join in with her cane and he wanted her to come up on the stage so her husband Mike could take a picture of her with him.  Rod is so absolutely wonderful to his fans!  He mentioned about the cowboy hats Mike makes for him and Mike was able to give him a new one with Sir Rod on it.  Jill got a wonderful picture with Rod and a kiss from him!
It was then time for the acoustic set, starting with You're In My Heart.  A soccer ball design cap appeared on the stage which Cassie, the new back-up singer held up in the air and placed on her head.  I later learned this was from Vicky!  We all held up our Celtic flags during the song.  Next was First Cut Is The Deepest, Ooh La La and Have I Told You Lately.  After the acoustic set, the chairs were removed as Di and the ladies took over with  the upbeat Young Hearts.  When Rod returned wearing black pants and a black shirt, Maggie May begins.  Hot Legs is next as Rod kicks out footballs to the crowd.  When the song finished, the curtain came down, then up again as Rod and the band members lay on the floor pretending to be dead.  The curtain came down and up again as Do You Think I'm Sexy began.  During the song, Rod waved two women to come up on the stage.  They came up holding a large $100 bill that said, "In Rod We Trust" with his picture on it.  Clever idea!  It's always fun to see what creative things the fans come up with!    
August 21
The show opened a little differently tonight as Rod likes to trick us sometimes by entering the stage from the opposite side as he did tonight entering from the Section 6 side after being introduced by the ladies, of which they were one short tonight as the new backup singer was missing.  After Having A Party was Some Guys Have All The Luck, and as he headed in the section I was in, I had the ladies next to me hold up a sign with me that I'd made saying "Congrats Sir Rod" with British flags and the medal on it so we could all congratulate him.   After the song, Rod welcomed the crowd, by first making note of all the Celtic supporters he saw standing in Section 2.  He asked if everyone was here who was supposed to be here, to which the crowd applauded, then said is there anyone who is here who shouldn't be here, to which the crowd said, "Nooo!", and then he asked if everyone has had a drink, to which the crowd cheered.  He said he couldn't believe this was a Sunday night crowd, that usually they are asleep, but we are standing, and he made mention that this was the last show and told us do not sit down as Tonight's The Night began.
After that, Rod said for those who hadn't seen him before, we were one short on the back-up singers.   Cassie, who was taking over for Lucy, was sick.  He asked if there were any Brits in the audience to which there was much cheering  and said the next song was from 1972 as You Wear It Well begins.  Next, Rod told the crowd he won't be here again till next year, saying it's always such a great pleasure playing here, it's a great theater with great seats even in the back, good views, great acoustics.  Then he said he was dedicating this next one to his father Bob Stewart, he died in 1990, he was a Scotsman from Edinburgh, in the early days of his career he was a huge failure, the record companies didn't like his hair, his nose (some in the audience said, "I love your nose!") or his clothes, they didn't even like his voice but he managed to get through, thanks to his dad.  He said to keep our eyes on the screen, we'd be seeing an 18-year old Rod Stewart, then says that his children are here tonight so he has to watch his language, Aiden, and for a second forgets Alastair's name as everyone laughs.  Then Can't Stop Me Now begins.  When he came to my side and was in front of me smiling and playing with his microphone, I tried to thank him for last night but he said he couldn't hear, pointing to the earpieces.  After the show, I had the thought he might not be able to hear but he can read and I will take care of this in Atlantic City!
Next, Rod asks how it's sounding down here and how it's sounding up there as the crowd cheers and applauds.  He says the next song is one he dedicates every night to our fallen soldiers, not just our fallen soldiers but those who are still serving as we are enjoying ourselves, that the song was written by Mark Jordan, he wrote this about the Vietnam War but it's really about every war, it's an anti-war song, that war is the worst word in the dictionary.  Then as Rhythm of My Heart begins, he shouts, "Cheer up!"  The next song was Forever Young, and as Rod left for a costume change, Chuck was so funny getting up from behind the keyboard and doing a little jig as the ladies were doing down on the stage floor.  Rod returns with very nicely fluffed hair, tight black pants and white shirt to finish off the song, loving when the audience joins in at the end singing out "Forever Young!"   He then gives recognition to Dave Palmer and Matt O'Connor on drums, then to J'Anna and Annie on violins.  He said what should we do next, and then says it's sad this is the last night, and again mentions we're one person short on the back-up singers, but are we in a good mood, "Yes!"  He said the next one was an old Motown song as This Old Heart of Mine begins.
Rod then asks what's the next song, as Downtown Train begins.  This time, he walks over to the Section 6 side to start singing in front of the audience there and after a few words of the song, he stops and says the "F" word that he forgot the words, so funny!!  He walks back to center where the teleprompter is and the song starts over, with cheers from the crowd as he eventually heads out into the audience from Section 2.  I am thinking, whew! so glad last night happened the way it did down the front steps because the Downtown Train is taking a different route tonight !!  I love that Rod goes out into the crowd for audience members to have an up close and personal with him as he shakes hands.  He acquired a leopard print scarf which he tucked into his pants when he returned to the stage.  He then exited as Jimmy continued with the saxophone.
When Rod returns for the acoustic set, he sits down in the chair and says he said a bad word earlier, his two sons are in the audience, that he said a foul word, Daddy got carried away and he doesn't want to hear them saying that.  Rod next said we're one chair short, the three chairs were still up there even though there were only two backup singers, and that they were going to do an unusual thing and have an audience member come up to sit in the chair.  Vicky came up to sit in the chair as Rod jovially says  don't mess about, you have to behave yourself, don't try to sing, don't fart or do anything like that, just enjoy the evening. Rod says this next song was Celtic as You're In My Heart begins.  Vicky did a great job sitting in the middle chair between Bridget and Di, swaying along to the music with them!  Next, Rod said he wanted someone to come up who wasn't wearing a Celtic shirt and he asked the lady, Pam, with the white shorts to come up.  There was some confusion as Cara came up and Rod says not you darling, you're wearing a Celtic shirt, and Pam sat down in the chair.  Before First Cut starts, Rod tells the crowd he is now a knight of the empire and proudly says, "Sir Roderick David Stewart", then says "Nothing's changed", lol !  Bless him!   As Pam gets out of the chair, Rod tells the crowd that it is her 50th birthday.  Great fun spending our birthdays with Rod!  Next Rod calls a lady in a white dress  to come up and sit in the chair, introducing the next song written by his friend Ronnie Lane who is now up there as Ooh La La begins.  It was fun at the end of the song as they all got up out of the chairs to dance and sing along to the song.  All the ladies did a fantastic job sitting in as the backup singer!  Rod then said he thinks he'll now be the girl in the middle as he takes the seat himself between Di and Bridget for Have I Told You Lately.  It was funny how Di was showing him how he's suppose to cross his legs! 
After the acoustic set, Di and the ladies took over with Young Hearts.  When Rod returns afterward, he introduces the next song, saying it's very important a young artist like himself - to which the audience laughs - pay tribute to where he got his inspiration from.  He says he mostly listened to black singers like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Muddy Waters.  He asks if we've seen a film called Cadillac Records and says it's one of the best rock 'n roll films ever made.  He says this next song was originally recorded by Muddy Waters, it's been recorded by Eric Clapton, the Animals and a few other and that his version is a thousand times better than theirs, which bring laughter from the crowd.  He says "Muddy Waters, Rollin' and Tumblin'."  This is a crowd favorite as not only is it a great song but Rod really gets into it!  Maggie May is next and then Hot Legs for the football disbursement to the audience.  Afterward, as last night, the curtain comes down and then back up as the audience pretends to be dead, and comes down again and back up for Do You Think I'm Sexy.  Rod acquires several Celtic scarves, one hanging from his pants and another around his neck.  He gets down on the floor to sign something for someone over in Section 2 during the song.   This last show was fantastic as we all stood along the stage for most of the show and no one telling us to sit down.  This was my 11th trip to Vegas to see Rod and the best one ever!  Thank you so much to Rod for making it also my best birthday ever!!

He’s RODTASTIC!    Rod Stewart-The Colosseum at Caesars Palace-Las Vegas Aug 6th -7th 2016


Review by Jeffrie Fulmer Thomas


Hot, hot, hot it was in Las Vegas for this summer weekend event, so it’s fitting to say that Rod Stewart was even hotter than hot!  If you still haven’t made it to Vegas for this fabulous show, I encourage you to get down there now; the only thing you will regret is that you didn’t go sooner!  If you want to get up-close and personal with Rod, this is the venue to do it in. It’s as if you can reach out and touch him, and actually some of you can! So stop contemplating it and just do it!

That said, there have been some significant changes to the visuals of the set since the March/April run of shows.  The first thing you notice is the curtain; it’s quite dramatic; gives the illusion of being pooled and billowing on the floor of the stage.  The bright pink color is gone and now reflects an iridescent white.  It plays very nicely with the black/white checkerboard pattern that has been added to some of the instruments and the entire floor is covered in this pattern.  It’s really cool, gives a feel of action, and a real touch of cohesiveness to the set. Personally, I loved it.  The bands attire seamlessly meshed with the new décor, as did Rod himself.  Just about everything will play off the black/white monochromatic tone, so it leaves Rod’s wardrobe wide open for an array of color assortment.  It’s always a surprise as to what he will decide to wear, and Sat night he went with the gold jacket, to the black/white leopard print jacket, then on to his “fancy pants” of solid black with silver detail.  Love those pants!  Sunday night he wore a black/white zebra print jacket for the acoustic set and it was quite striking.  Add some new black studded slip-ons with white/black dot socks and you get a really tight feel added to the color scheme of the set.  Staying with tradition, he dons his cowboy hat for the grand finale. He brings everyone in close on stage so your eye doesn’t wander and you’ll find that you stay focused on him.  He’s now bringing Julia down, front and forward, for the acoustic set and it’s mesmerizing to watch her play.

Rod appeared to be in a great mood.  He was quite witty, and extremely engaging with the audience.  Part of the show is not only the music, but the charm and character that Rod exudes.  The fabulous thing about Rod Stewart is that he can command the stage and carry a show by himself.  That’s really quite rare for a rock star that’s had such a successful entertainment career and is still having quite a go of it!  When you’re live with him singing “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”, in that moment, you just “get it” because you know “he’s got it”. In addition to his voice, I would say one of his greatest assets is his uncanny ability to connect with people, all people, young and old, and that enhancing quality is part of what makes this show such a joy to see.  He now makes a point to come out of the curtain to respond to the audience for the encore.  It’s as though he is saying, “yes, I hear you and yes, you can have more”. There really is warmth in that and the audience responds accordingly to his action.

Saturday night he really is in rare form.  He says he likes a Saturday night audience, but a Sunday night audience, well, not so much.  He asks how many will be coming back for the Sunday night show? He gets a good response and says, he was thinking about not coming himself. But we know he’ll be back, he has to now, right?! And back he was, singing and shaking like a guy half his age.  He’s added some lovely family photos to the screen and eliminated the videos. Wasn’t sure if he was going to take a walk thru the audience, but he did near the close of the show on Saturday, but did not on Sunday.  The girls looked adorable in their black booties, white shirts and red tartan plaid skirts. The guys in their black/white check jackets mesh so well, you can see and feel that this was well thought out and it looks great!  The set list is the set list, the show is called “The Hits”, and the set list follows suit appropriately so.  However, it’s always a treat when Rod injects a bit of novelty from the past as he did with Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller Saturday night and Rollin’ & Tumblin’ Sunday night.  Rod announces to the audience that the greatest honor has been bestowed upon him; he has received knighthood from the Queen.  He goes on to tell a bit about the process, and that it really is quite a big deal if you are British. (Not sure what took her so long, but glad to see she came to her senses).  And you are correct Sir Rod, not sure the American public quite gets it, but your fans do!

There was some fun stuff with Rod that began on Saturday night.  Vicky Marrow sat with me and my mom, so I knew we were in for some action! (Do I dare say that she is almost as famous as Rod at these shows?!) She’d been knitting away and completed two hats in the checkerboard pattern.  While Rod’s sitting and singing, she’s just beside herself and finally says, I’m going in, (did I tell you this girl is on a mission!). She kneels at the edge of the stage and with the perfect toss, is able to land the black/white hat directly at Rod’s feet.  What a shot! I ask her, Vicky how did you do that, she replies, I’ve had a lot of practice!!  When Rod finishes the song, he asks, who threw me this hat? We scream “Vicky” and he says, come up here please.  She makes her way upstage and the rest is history.  It really was her finest hour and I’m sure she will have more of the story to tell!

Sunday was my 60th birthday so we wanted to get Rod’s attention and see if there would be a call out.  So when Rod sings “Forever Young”, the three of us stand up with the creative signs Vicki had made announcing my birthday and BINGO, we get Rod’s attention.  He stops, looks, reads, and acknowledges us as he makes his way on down the stage. On the way back, he stops, says something to my mom, and then he says, “I’ll take care of it”. YIKES! What will that mean??  All of sudden this intense, good fear comes over me. Nervous and excited, but what will he say to me? He loves to adlib and says whatever comes to mind….  Later I realize that this is a 30 second moment, so he has to be harmless, right? A few minutes later he sings “Downtown Train” and walks right up to the edge of the stage and sits on the top step. Was this what he meant? Should I go sit by him? I wanted to seize the opportunity so badly, yet at the same time, you don’t want to interfere with the show. So I wait. It’s the strangest feeling when he summons you up, you want to go but your feet don’t want to take you. 

Now the night before, Rod told a little story about Don and Julia and all I could think about was, if he says something like that to me, I will turn 50 shades of red and die a thousand times. It’s really not being up there with Rod that’s nerve shattering, it’s the 4000 other people watching that gets to me.  So I decided that if he did call me up I would take a gift for him, something to distract him.  And yes, he calls me up and I immediately start showing him the gift of which he finds quite engaging. It all goes very quickly, so when I get back to my seat, I look and I’ve still got the gift in my hand! Had I been the recipient, I would have said, “Hey, come back here with that!”, but not Sir Rod, he’s such a gracious gentleman.

So what is it about this rock star that makes me gush and forget what to say? No one else has that effect on me. Maybe it’s that cool British accent of his, or his beatific smile. Okay, maybe it’s that cute shake of the hips! Whatever it is, it all makes for a RODTASTIC show!  And did I say that the man still doesn’t have any wrinkles in his face.  It’s incredible; he really is ageless and timeless. 

So I’ll never know what he might have said…because I traded my dream of a “Bye, Bye Birdie” moment with Rod for something else. But listen Rod, I’ll be back another day to collect on that Yankee dime!

Jeffrie    Houston, TX 

A Pre - gig review from Kilmarnock 17/06/2016

By H.C for the RSFC...

The day finally arrived and after hearing all the reports about security being so horrible and hearing / reading other negative stuff on Facebook I was feeling a little anxious about going to Kilmarnock gig. My daughter Elaine was coming with me this time as Amanda my other daughter who always goes was busy as she has been organising a big day through the Ardrossan Castle Heritage Society which was a free event for everyone. As this would be Elaines first Rod gig I wanted to make sure she would have a great time and get to meet some of my Rod friends. My friends Karen and Frank were travelling up from Manchester and we were meeting them at the train station and making sure they get to the bed/ breakfast ok. Elaine has met them before so that didnt need any introductions. Next we get the bus to Kilmarnock which takes about an hour... boring I hate the bus ! We ask the bus driver to let us off as near to the football ground as possible ( you would think because I live near this area I would know where it is but no I dont have a clue ). Bus driver gives us a shout as we get near and she tells us there is a pub accross the road, she must have know we were in need of a drink !! We have one drink and then leave to head on down to the Bellfield Tavern where the RSFC meet up is.This is a long walk and by the time we get there my poor feet are klling me. Its just after 2pm when we arrive and the place is busy and I spot a few folk I know. We make our way to the bar and get a drink and then someone shouts me I look round and it is Geraldine who was in plaster the last time I saw her, needles to say so was I but thats a different story ! Geraldine introduces me to her husband lovely guy and I have a recolection of him playing air guitar and myself on drums a little later in the afternoon ! Move over David Palmer. Then there is Karen McDonald and June Armour who want to talk to me and boy if anyone can talk for Scotland the prize must go to June.By this time I need another drink and some fresh air as the place is filling up and its hot ! I look round for Elaine and see her still at the bar chatting to Karen and Frank and a few other people so I know I need not worry about her as she has already made herself comfy in the hands of my friends. At this point the bar is so full and we decide to make our way nearer to the door, on the way I hear a voice saying ' Oh its oor wee Helen, dae ye want a voddy hen, by jeez its busy in here, dae ye like ma banner, Louise Cotton made it and its gone up oan the stage tae oor Sir Rod,' no need for me to guess who this is ! yes it is Elizabeth Klaes and the Glesca Crew in full force. Any way we finally get to the door and more people are arriving, at this point I stop and have a good look round the pub and I see a lot of faces I recognise from different Fanclubs/ Facebook groups and I think to myself ' How lovely is this, if only it could be like this all the time, all the Rod fan   clubs/groups coming together for the love of one man Sir Rod Stewart. At this point the bar is so busy and we are nearly out the door so we decide to go to the lounge next door as we are waiting for my good friends Alison Graham and Ian Roberts who are travelling up here with Fiona Rouse and our very own RSFC fan club Patron
Mary Cady. I am at this point a bit worried that it might be too busy for them to get through the door so I get Elaine to text Ian and tell him where we are, just at that point in strides Michael and Heather Ashburner who tell us they have just spotted Ian,Ali, Fiona and Mary going into the pub via the back entrance so its get the drinks gathered up and off we go again back through to the bar. Ali and Mary are sitting in the corner and we spot Ian and Fiona standing so over we go and say Hello , how good it is too see them my day is made now as this is the first I have seen them for a few weeks. We chat, take photos and the Danny McDonald who is the tribute for the day starts belting out MAGGIE, and thats it !!  Flags out, everyone singing, standing on the seats, the bar staff joining in and everyone taking photos
and videos, everyone having a real good time just brought a tear to my eyes it did... 'Ah if only' and I say this with expectations and hope in my heart that one day in the near future all  Sir Rod Stewart Fan Clubs and Facebook groups could do this on a larger scale as after all we are all fans of the greatest artist of all Sir Rod Stewart.


                    And we'll all go together to pick some of that   '  Wild Mountain Thyme'



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