Written and Photographed by Eric Sperrazza

Singing along to the Faces song, “Stay with Me,” along with a packed Etess Arena in Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Hotel, I could not help but think of my wife’s parents slow dancing to “You’re in My Heart” at weddings. Or her whole family was doing barbeque sing-alongs to “Maggie May” around a patio table in the summers. Surfing a wave of nostalgia, I had this epiphany. I had a lot of fond memories with Rod Stewart as the soundtrack and enjoyed more of his discography than I had ever given credence to.

I have known my wife since Elementary School. We have been the best friends since Junior High and dated off and on from High School until 2005, when we finally got married before our friends and family. During that entire time of knowing my Mother-in-law, I have mercilessly teased her about her fandom for Stewart. I had nothing personal against him, mind you. His songs were omnipresent growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, both on radio & MTV (Back when they played music on television, Kids.). I just thought it was silly that this woman I had always known to be kind, sensible, and not nearly as verbose as people in my big New York family would have some semblance of adoration for this artist who I saw as looking like Paul Stanley without the makeup but wearing Bowie’s Labyrinthwig. And with that, my adolescent self had difficulty reconciling his braggadocious spit takes on his sexual conquests. It was easy for me to dismiss him as a result. My mom played more of The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac, which I always considered my childhood music staples that could take me to more manageable and safer places in my mind when heard today.


With that, you can imagine the ribbing I was anticipating from my in-laws when they heard I was going to the Hard Rock Hotel to review Stewart’s The Hits tour stop on August 19th. However, it was an opportunity to reciprocate the many years of dealing with my adolescent shenanigans and earn “Best Son-in-Law, ever” status (Editing Note: I am the only Son-in-Law in the family.), so I extended the invite to come along for the show.

As the curtain rose and Stewart’s band took the stage, the night started with a cover of Robert Palmer‘s “Addicted to Love.” In proper form for Sir Rod, many onstage were young female musicians. However, before your eyeroll reading that observation, please note that is where any outdated misogyny ended; these fresh-faced artists were doing everything from playing the harp or violin to synchronized dance numbers. Simply eye-candy, they were not. It allowed Stewart to remain on brand while paying it forward to a new generation of talent.


I was continually gobsmacked by the sheer energy this legendary musician of 77 years of age emanated. Going through early songs like the Faces hit “Oooh La Lato” and more modern Billboard chart-toppers like “Forever Young” and “Young Turks,” Stewart moved, danced, sang, and even ran from corner to corner & everywhere in between on stage. He ensured that everyone in the sold-out arena got due and proper facetime for their admission.

During the acoustic chapter of his show, “Rod the Mod” broke out and dusted off gems like “Tonight’s The Night” and the Van Morrison cover, “Have I Told You Lately;” an excellent callback to the sensational Rod Stewart: Unplugged performance and subsequent album, recorded live.


Stewart and friends finished the night with “Hot Legs” and the aforementioned classic, “Stay with Me,” where I found myself still lost in all the memories this show kicked up in a flurry of my frontal lobe. I looked over at my wife and her mother. Too busy clapping and taking pictures, she could not feel the weight of my stare, but rest assured she deserved the smile and wink I had in the chamber.

What started as a tongue-in-cheek night out with someone I have known for longer than I HAVEN’T in my life became an eye-opening experience. I was thoroughly entertained. I knew and enjoyed more songs than I had ever realized and have since added more Stewart to my library. I was blown away by Stewart’s expert showmanship. Moreover, there is no line distinguishing my life’s memories with my family versus times with my wife’s. I have had such great moments growing up around these people. My in-laws display the blueprint of how a successful partnership works; two people working 100% of their bandwidth for the success and leisure of the unit. These are all great things to have music rise to the top of my thoughts and feelings, and I had this show to reconcile that I was hyper-focused in the moment.

 Stewart finished the night with the quintessential kicks of Manchester United soccer balls into the crowd as the lights went up; everyone fighting their way back into the casino had a smile (that is how you should leave every show.

             Da Ya Think Rod Stewart is sexy?

     Hershey concert shows rockers aging like fine wine

Sir Rod Stewart took the stage Saturday night at the Hersheypark Stadium, as one of several notable concerts in our area. But of all of them, Stewart’s tenure in the music industry is possibly the longest, as the 77 year old began singing with bands in his late teens.

And after a solid five decades making hits, Stewart is certainly aware of his age. He told Forbes that this current tour may be the last time he sings many of his hits, as he didn’t necessarily want to be 80 years old and playing the songs that made him a sex symbol in his youth.

But the good news is that if this is indeed his last tour, Stewart is going out on top. His performance in Hershey was genuine and exciting, something the crowd could treasure and he could look back on fondly – if, indeed, it’s the last time he performs this type of show in America.

It wasn't long before the sound of bagpipes filled the air, as Rod Stewart’s backing band made their way to the stage. The bagpipes were pre-recorded, but they were one of the few instruments that didn’t make an appearance, as the sharply-dressed instrumentalists would spend the night brandishing everything from drums and guitar, to saxophones and violins, and even banjos, harps and marching band bass drums.


Stewart opened up with a cover of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love,” with a handful of women multi-instrumentalists and backup singers mimicking Palmer’s classic music video. The women would be highlighted throughout the show, between them providing the fiddle solos in “You Wear It Well,” the Tina Turner vocal parts of “It Takes Two,” tap dancing interludes, and even full renditions of Blondie’s “Call Me” and Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff.”

Stewart himself strode out onto the stage in a shimmering suit and his trademark spiky hair, a look that is successful only on him and certain anime characters. You might say he, ahem, wears it well, as he grapevine’d his way across the stage singing “You Wear It Well.” And he’s a bit older now than he was when he sang “Ooh La La” with the band Faces, but his rendition of it here feels more right with every passing moment.

Because Stewart’s distinctive raspy voice and rock star struts do betray his age. But in nearly every way, that only adds to the charm. His years of experience are only enhancing the show, bringing color and depth to a performance without detracting from the quality.


He isn't shying away from anything: he still threw off his jacket, swung around the mic stand and took a power stance to sing “Forever Young.” He’s still donning a cowboy hat for his cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” And he’s still shimmying during “Some Guys Have All The Luck” while egging the audience on to provide the woo-woo-woos.

Stewart’s show also kicked off with an energy that kept moving from song to song, with only a few breaks for costume changes to let him catch his breath, and a few brief interactions with the audience.


I've just been told there's a funny picture, will you [expletive] take that down please?” Stewart asked cheerfully as a photo of his Studio 54 days was projected onto the giant screen behind him. He then added it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself, especially when your outfit has “one tit hanging out.”

“I didn’t know!” he said. “I was just an innocent little rock singer.”


Admittedly, Stewart's rendtion of “Young Turks” was pitched down so deeply that the song was nearly unrecognizable to me until it reached the chorus. The song also featured an abrupt digression for the backup singers to do a brief segment of “America” from “West Side Story,” which seemed rather random.

But a similar shift in the key of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” was far less dramatic and very suitable for the occasion, and a slow, synth-heavy intro into the song “Maggie May” was a welcome exercise.

The most obvious comparison to make is to Elton John, who also performed earlier this year in Hershey. The two musicians have had a long history of friendship, rivalry and even occasional feud. But both are such expert performers that their present-day vocal limitations are just another thread of their work, adding texture and creativity where there was once pure youth-fueled high notes. (We can’t all age like Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire, who somehow still hits them with ease.)


Stewart did acknowledge his own limitations at some points, thanking the audience for their assistance on “Tonight’s the Night” – a song he introduced by saying “a lot of babies were conceived to this one!” – and apologizing for a spot of trouble on Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.”

“You know, when you’re a singer, like I pretend to be, and you get something stuck in your throat?” he said. He noted then he’d had the same issue singing before the royal family of the United Kingdom, and yet “[Queen Elizabeth II] knighted me anyway.”

Toward the end of the night, Stewart invited everyone to “give their bottoms a rest” and sit, for slower renditions of songs like “Rhythm of My Heart” (which included a shout-out to Ukraine, complete with Stewart saluting the beleaguered nation’s flag), “You’re In My Heart” (which included a shout-out to Stewart’s beloved Celtic football club), and “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You.”


The show closed with Hot Legs,” which, if you ask me, doesn’t compare to the pop music gold we’d been getting all night, It’s fine, you know? It’s fine. But thankfully, Stewart quickly returning for an encore, wrapping up with Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” before, in his own words, heading off to the pub.

Whether or not this was Stewart’s last rock concert to ever come to Hershey, he’s certainly earned that

                 Rod Stewart at PNC

AUGUST 20, 2022

Last night at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., the ultimate showman put on a show that was more Las Vegas than the old rock and roll shows he performed in the past. Born Roderick David Stewart in London, England, he is known for his raspy singing voice.


Stewart is among the best-selling music artist of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide. With his playful and marlaceous personality, Stewart is a huge fan favorite. Fronted by five beautiful female guitarists, it was this song that went somewhat retro. Rod Stewart has many songs in his repertoire, however, this evening he played seven songs that were not his. He did play many fan favorites such as :”You wear It Well’ “Ooh La LA”, an excellent  “Some Guys Have All the Luck”, “Maggie May”, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”, “Rhythm of My Heart” and “Hot Legs”. One of the outside songs that the band performed, “Call Me”, a Blondie cover was well done by the female lead and two female backing singers. This song resonated into the New Jersey night; powerful and recondite.
 With a huge band of singers, dancers, violinists, drummers and guitarists, Stewart at times seemed tired up on stage. While singing and dancing he was good, when leaving the stage many times for costume changes and breaks he seemed weary on his feet. In the several times I have seen him in concert, Rod Stewart  never really pushes his voice when he sings; he does just enough to satisfy the audience. Where Stewart excels is in the performance; always big, always a showman. Since 1980, I have been seeing concerts here, first the N.J. Art Center, then other name changes and now the PNC , with the exception of Bob Seager and Santana, I have never seen a larger crowd at this venue. Strong voice or not, Rod Stewart is a fan favorite across many generations. The concert made for a wonderful evening as for most of the night the people stood and danced and sung along with him.


Storms can’t stop Rod Stewart from rocking in his final ‘rock’ tour at SPAC

For two consecutive years, the Covid pandemic has postponed the highly anticipated dual bill of Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick and Rod Stewart at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. When the pair finally took the stage on a breeze-less, 90-plus-degree evening on Friday, the 10,000-person audience was primed.


Even thunderstorms rolling through the lawn late in the show didn’t deter the energized crowd, many of whom stood dancing in the rain as Stewart played “Hot Legs” while booting soccer balls into the seats under the roof of the SPAC amphitheater.

Just as the stage crew finished a 20-minute set changeover, the house lights dimmed and the sound of bagpipes came blaring over the speakers. With white spotlights moving slowly side to side, shining through a fog across the stage, Stewart’s band started playing the intro to the Robert Palmer classic “Addicted To Love.” Out marched six women dressed in matching white blouses and glittering black shorts to the front of the stage with various instruments in hand. The staged intro replicated Palmer’s memorable MTV video with the women’s visual appearance, but here all were talented singers and masters of the instruments they carried: violin, fiddle, guitar, bass guitar.

Out strolled Sir Rod Stewart to a thunderous ovation, taking his place front and center leading everyone to sing along. Talk about a grand entrance. Few artists come to mind that can make such an immediate impact, being so totally in control right off the bat.


Stewart was commanding as he danced and strolled about the stage from one side to the other, tapping into his deep reservoir of hits, “You Wear It Well,” “Ooh La La” with an impressive video montage of vintage photos from his days with The Faces, his band from the early 70s. With swirling vari-lights moving about the stage, a massive video wall behind him and a curved arc of monitors overhead, the computerized graphics and animation displayed was stunning. The impact at times looked like a presentation of a Hollywood movie opening or a Las Vegas marquee. Stewart’s name and key words to song lyrics were displayed artistically in the monitors as he moved from song to song.


He gave a thankful nod to American Blues Masters Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf  -- Chess Records blues artists he admired as well as his deep appreciation of R&B music, again including a Sam Cooke classic in his set, “Havin’ A Party.” He stepped back to watch several of his group of backup musicians step dancing, all while playing the violin and fiddle, while another held a marching band sized bass drum with the logo of his Celtic Football Team, beating to the intro of  Motown favorite “It Takes Two.” The timing and song placement of songs within this show were well prepared, the choreography well rehearsed. They performed a powerful performance of “Forever Young” with a fully engaged audience singing along. An added surprise to the set was the rarely performed “The Killing of Georgie Pts. 1 & 2.”


After a Rod costume change, the tempo dropped with an acoustic set led off with a song he called one of his favorites, “People Get Ready,” the Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions cover he recorded years earlier with old friend Jeff Beck. There was a funny moment when he stopped harpist Julia Thornton’s intro to “Tonight’s The Night.” She looked over suddenly very surprised. He said that he hadn’t quite finished talking about the song they were about to do.


Never one in his career to shy away from a good song, no matter who wrote it, they covered “The First Cut Is the Deepest” (Cat Stevens), “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” (Creedence Clearwater Revival), “Rhythm of My Heart” (Marc Jordan) and “Have I Told You Lately,” (Van Morrison) which were all faithful to the originals. Among his best known songs, Maggie May,” “Young Turks,” and “Do You Think I’m Sexy?” which had the audience up on their feet bopping along and singing.


“Call Me,” (the Blondie cover) sung by the all-female backup singers gave Stewart another opportunity for a breather and a second wardrobe change.


As he returned to perform Donna Summer’s dance hit “Hot Stuff,” Mother Nature arrived suddenly with high winds and a flash thunderstorm forcing thousands on the lawn to seek shelter. But even this deluge didn’t dampen the spirit of those who came to see Stewart on what is reportedly his last “rock” tour. Many chose to stand in the rain and dance along to “Hot Legs.” Stewart meanwhile was kicking soccer balls into the crowd under the cover of the amphitheater while video screens featured members of his family and of his Celtic Football Team in uniform along with highlights from some of their games.


It seemed fitting that the encore was “Stay With Me,” one of his harder rocking hits recorded with the Faces in 1971. After watching the energy he put forth, it’s hard to imagine this might be his last rock tour, but he is 77 years-old. His loyal fans were treated to a great show which was well worth the wait and one that will leave lasting memories.


Rod Stewart brings his feel-good hits back to SPAC


Rod Stewart made his return to the Saratoga Performing Center stage on Friday for a night filled with feel-good hits.


The 77 year old star who is on tour with support from rock group Cheap Trick, delivered a fun Summer concert to the SPAC crowd that braved a bit of a  heat wave to come out and see the show.


Sporting his signature hair-do and shimmery attire, Stewart took the stage surrounded by five female bandmates wearing sexy outfits for the start of the show. He came out singing a cover of '80s hit "Addicted To Love" then went into his 1972 tune "You Wear It Well" followed by Faces track "Ooh La La".


The double Rock Hall of Famer - inducted both as a solo artist and as a member of the band Faces - played a variety of hits on Friday from his diverse career, including disco, soft rock, and pop tunes that had concrtgoers singing along.


Fans were happy to hear Stewart's rendition of "Some Guys Have All The Luck" as well as his most widely-known numbers like "Forever Young", "Maggie May," "Young Turks" and the ever popular "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"


Storms started brewing around the oudoor venue around the time when Stewart and his fellow musicians were playing some love songs such as "You're In My Heart" and "Have I Told You Lately" during an acoustic portion of the set.


Returning to the full band, Stewart and the gang closed out with Donna Summer's disco hit "Hot Stuff" followed by his own 1977 single "Hot Legs".


For an encore, Stewart performed "Stay With Me" from his early '70s Faces repertoire.


Beckoned back on stage once more, Stewart said he'd let folks listen in on a rehearsal for a tune they haven't played in ages - the upbeat "Tonight I'm Yours", which was the title track from his 11th studio album released in 1981.


Rains cleared just in time for attendees to leave the amphitheater with smiles on their faces and a fun Rod Stewart show to relive in their minds.


Since his music career started in the 1960's, Stewart has shown the world that he's an entertainer, and this weekend proved to the SPAC crowd that he's got what it takes.

Rod Stewart’s Cleveland Show at Blossom Veers Into Ridiculousness

How many times did Rod Stewart’s Tuesday night concert at Blossom Music Center veer into sheer inanity?

Let’s see. There were the needless interludes in “Young Turks,” which included a drum breakdown and a detour into “America” from “West Side Story.”

There were the insanely obvious graphics of a downpour that played on screens behind him when he covered Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” And then there was the ultimate sin: buffing out the rough edges of “Maggie May” and turning it into a sickeningly slick singalong.

Those weren’t the only examples, but they all cheapened other truly moving moments throughout the nearly 110-minute show.
Let me be perfectly clear: none of this is about Sir Rod’s ability. He moves amazingly well and his trademark raspy voice is still intact at 77 years old. He didn't lack for energy either, as he literally bounced in his seat during an acoustic set.
Also, he’s a ham and always has been. It’s been a part of the package since the beginning.
No, this was about choices; the same kind Stewart has made in the past 40-plus years that often make it difficult to take him seriously as a musician. After all, he had such a promising first decade — first with the Jeff Beck Group, then the Faces and his early solo albums.

In that sense, the show perfectly encapsulated his career. Backed by a dozen rotating musicians — including six heavily-featured female backup dancers/singers/musicians — the show featured a healthy heap of his 50-plus-year musical journey (though he thankfully eschewed his detours into the Great American Songbook). He performed hard rock, fogey rock, folk, adult contemporary and syrupy ballads.

This led to a half great, half infuriating concert.

For every piece of dreck like “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”, there was a soulful take on Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind,” which proved that he can perform R&B covers in his sleep. For every “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright),” there was a take on The Impressions’ “People Get Ready,” complete with images of Black civil rights leaders behind him.

Fortunately, the show mostly ended strong. The four-song acoustic set, aside from “Tonight’s the Night” showed Stewart needed little more than spare instrumentation to entertain a crowd.

After that came perhaps the two hardest rocking songs in his catalog - “Hot Legs” and the Faces’ “Stay with Me.” During the former, as members of his band soloed, Stewart snapped his left hand, moving his arm up and down like a greaser.

That and the many soccer balls he kicked into the crowd during the tune (one of several tributes to his beloved Celtic team) showed that he could include a little stupidity into his act, and do it with a wink.

Too bad he took it too far during the rest of the show.


So, this past Friday evening, I had just witnessed a blistering set by Cheap Trick, and I was watching the stage get changed over for Rod Stewart’s headlining appearance. That’s when I noticed that the front row was mostly occupied by young supermodel quality blonde ladies with rather long legs and large breasts, who weren’t even alive when Stewart last had a top ten hit. I don’t want to say that they were placed there by the tour, but it was curious considering that most of the rest of the joint looked fat and old.

Then, the show started with a cover of the Robert Palmer smash, “Addicted to Love,” and on the stage, surrounding Rod Stewart were five even better-looking young supermodel quality blonde ladies with rather long legs and large breasts who weren’t even alive when Stewart last had a top ten hit. At first, I thought they were just for show, acting out the video for “Addicted to Love.” As the show continued, it became clear that they were more than scenery.

Three of the hottest ones were backup singers who also did everything from drum banging to Irish river-dancing, while one was a fiddle player and the other was a keyboardist/harpist/percussionist. They were joined by a hot brunette fiddle/mandolin player and a regular band who wore matching white jackets and black trousers. They were all top-notch and filled the place with an undeniable tight as balls show, one of the best backing bands I’ve ever seen.

But really, from the moment Sir Rod grabbed the microphone, it could have been the Chuck E. Cheese band for all the capacity crowd knew. He may be closing in on 80, but holy shit. Rod still has all the moxy, the vocal chops, and the pure FUCK energy he has had since to 60s. I don’t even think Jagger could move like that anymore. It was a feel-good set from a man who knew exactly how to feed off of and feed a crowd. Hell. There were a couple of times during the set where I was choked up, particularly during “Maggie May.,” and I was not alone.

He covered all the various phases of his career. Early stuff like “I’d Rather Go Blind,” “You Wear it Well,” and The Faces’ “Ooh La La” sat comfortably alongside mid-period sleazed-out cocaine anthems like “Infatuation,” “Young Turks,” and of course, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.” The heart of the show came during a sit-down “unplugged” portion where he did absolutely perfect renditions of war-horses like “Reason To Believe” and “Have I Told You Lately.” Stewart ended the show with a knockdown drag-out version of “Hot Legs,” where Rod kicked soccer balls into the back of the pavilion. It was an effortless display of vitality, which permeated the entire performance and left us all with the euphoric feeling you get when you witness a beautiful force of nature in action.

'Maggie May' saves Rod Stewart concert in St. Paul

July 09, 2022 - 12:26 AM

"I think you'll like this next one," Rod Stewart told the faithful Friday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. "It'll be the last time you hear this."

Indeed, after a career stretching seven decades, the veteran Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is in the midst of his last North American trek in which he'll play a catalog of his hits. He's not retiring, but the 77-year-old promises future tours will be devoted to the Great American Songbook.


The number he was introducing for the last time on Friday was his breakthrough 1971 solo hit, "Maggie May." A sad song about a young man hurt by his older seducer, it's been transformed into a karaoke classic and something of a drinking song. On Friday, Sir Rod began at a slow tempo, pausing between phrases to emphasize the pain of youthful romance. As his band joined in, he picked up the pace, belting the lyrics like a heartfelt, heartbroken, confused school boy. Because he's Rod Stewart perpetual bon vivant, he danced a bit, led a clap along, swayed his hips and announced, "Here comes the mandolin." Never one to sit still even during a ballad, he kicked his legs, waltzed with the mic stand, shook his booty and, in the end, kept repeating "Maggie, I wish I'd never seen your face." A young heart scarred for life.

And the crowd responded like it was the last time they he'd ever see that face, with its prominent beak and rooster hair, deliver one of rock's all-time classics.

"Maggie May" turned around what had been a here-to-fore disappointing concert. The show had been too busy and too garish, as if staged by Baz Luhrmann. "Forever Young" became forever long thanks to an unnecessary "River Dance"-like tap dance and fiddle-and-drum segment in the middle. Later on, "Young Turks" got hijacked by the refrain of "America" from "West Side Story."

More importantly, early in the concert, Stewart's raspy voice seemed to be fading away, as if dulled by sandpaper. On the Motown duet, "It Takes Two," his vocal partner obliterated him. On the Sam Cooke classic "Having a Party," Stewart missed his opening cue to start singing not once but twice. It felt like this concert was going to be the same kind of letdown that his last St. Paul gig, in 2018, was.

It was time to get the Baz out on Friday, to jettison the glitzy Vegas-y backup singers and let Stewart truly focus on singing instead of merely playing the Rock Star, a role he's always performed at Oscar level.

On "I'd Rather Go Blind," the Etta James chestnut, Stewart fell to his knees, finding his inner bluesman and undying determination. He underscored his skills as a soulful balladeer on a five-song sit-down acoustic set, featuring an inspiring "People Get Ready" (with images of Martin Luther King on the backdrop) and the romantic trio of "Tonight's the Night," "You're in My Heart" and "Have I Told You Lately."

Before the latter tune, Stewart talked about meeting its songwriter, Van Morrison, for the first time recently at a benefit concert in London. The cantankerous Morrison has a reputation for being standoffish, but Stewart said the Irishman knocked on his dressing room door, wouldn't stop talking and thanked Stewart for being "able to build a swimming pool" with royalties from his hit recording.


While Stewart likes a good joke, he can turn serious, as he demonstrated dedicating "Rhythm of My Heart" to people in Ukraine and briefly discussing the situation there. But, he also likes to rock. And he sent the crowd home with the rollicking "Hot Legs" (during which he tossed and kicked soccer balls to fans) and the rambunctious, care-free rocker "Stay with Me."

The memories of Stewart's 110-minute farewell-to-the-hits concert in St. Paul will stay with those 8,500 fans for a long time.

Opening the evening was Cheap Trick, the Rock Hall of Famers who have turned into something of a family band. Original members singer Robin Zander and guitarist Rick Nielsen have been joined by their sons Robin Taylor Zander on guitar and Dax Nielsen on drums; Tom Petersson is the longtime bassist. As a quintet, the band sounded noisier than ever, delivering a trippy treatment of the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" and winning renditions of their own hits "I Want You To Want Me" and "Surrender."



Jon Bream on Twitter: "It's Maggie May, part 1 of 3, by ⁦@rodstewart⁩ ⁦@XcelEnergyCtr⁩ in St Paul pic.twitter.com/3uPfCx4qTs / Twitter"

It's Maggie May, part 1 of 3, by ⁦@rodstewart⁩ ⁦@XcelEnergyCtr⁩ in St Paul pic.twitter.com/3uPfCx4qTs

Jon Bream on Twitter: "It's People Get Ready by ⁦@rodstewart⁩ ⁦@XcelEnergyCtr⁩ in St Paul pic.twitter.com/QSjK8lGorH / Twitter"

It's People Get Ready by ⁦@rodstewart⁩ ⁦@XcelEnergyCtr⁩ in St Paul pic.twitter.com/QSjK8lGorH

Jon Bream on Twitter: "It's Tonight's the Night by ⁦@rodstewart⁩ ⁦@XcelEnergyCtr⁩ in St Paul pic.twitter.com/NWxgwlTmVb / Twitter"

It's Tonight's the Night by ⁦@rodstewart⁩ ⁦@XcelEnergyCtr⁩ in St Paul pic.twitter.com/NWxgwlTmVb

Rod Stewart's energy, flashy band make up for spotty vocals at Summerfest in Milwaukee

Finally, for the first time since 2019, Summerfest had something for the boomers Thursday night on its largest stage, the American Family Insurance Amphitheater.

Unfortunately it was Rod Stewart

The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s vocals were thin and strained when he last played Milwaukee 10 years ago — and they were even more inconsistent Thursday. 

But Stewart is blessed with a strong arsenal of original classics and signature covers that can withstand some shoddy vocals — and at 77 he remains an incredibly engaging and energized physical performer.

And Stewart, and a crowd that filled up to 75 percent of the amphitheater, were most blessed Thursday by a dynamic 11-piece band that fired on all cylinders despite being down a member, Adrianna Thurber, who Stewart explained Thursday was out with the flu.

So even though Stewart's shaky voice suggested his luck had run out for "Some Guys Have All The Luck," and briefly suggested he should ponder retirement like Tina Turner for their collaboration "It Takes Two," both songs were blessed by a blustery sax solo from Jimmy Roberts.


"Forever Young" also had a flashy tap dance routine with two of his backing singers, followed by a Celtic fiddle jam, while "Young Turks" briefly touched on "America" from "West Side Story" (offered at no extra cost, Stewart quipped Thursday), and culminated with a thundering percussion jam with a sprinkle of harp from Julia Thornton. 

It's a testament to the band's strength that there wasn't a mass exodus for beers and bathrooms when Stewart left the stage for a wardrobe change and breather during covers of Blondie's "Call Me" and Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff." The band frequently overpowered Stewart's voice, even during a more stripped-back, five-song portion of the show. But that was welcome Thursday, as when Stewart, his voice strained for the Cat Stevens-penned "The First Cut Is The Deepest," let thousands of sweet, impassioned voices take lead.

Nevertheless, when Stewart suggested he was "working hard” Thursday, he meant it. Fixated on even the smallest details, Stewart made his backing singers bring up their chairs and mic stands twice from where the roadies originally stationed them, in order to be closer to the audience, and he called for a fan blowing air in the front to be shut off during a cover of Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately" so that he and the band didn't look like the Bee Gees. 


Throughout the hour-and-fifty-three-minute set Stewart was jogging in place, throwing up jazz hands, twirling a mic stand around his body, even sprinting across the stage — culminating with Stewart throwing, kicking and headed soccer balls into the crowd for "Hot Legs."

He also turned "Rhythm of My Heart" into a tribute to Ukraine, with the embattled country's flag and a picture of president Volodymyr Zelenskyy appearing on the big screen (and Stewart spitting out a bitter "(Expletive) Putin"). And a cover of the Impressions' "People Get Ready" doubled as a tribute to the Civil Rights movement and leaders Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and John Lewis. 


And yes, Stewart did have some nice vocal moments Thursday — even stopping himself when he was dissatisfied with his climactic note during "Lately" to do it again with very impressive results.

And there were portions of "Maggie May" and a cover of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" where Stewart, finally still at the mic, the band finally quiet, delivered some rich, raspy vocals.

Before perfoming "May," Stewart suggested this would be the last time the fans at Summerfest would hear the song. Last month, he said in an interview with Forbes that he may retire hits like that one from his live shows after the current tour ends in 2023.

If that is indeed the case, Stewart, and of course that great band, gave that classic one last glowing rendition in Milwaukee. 


Rod Stewart’s set list

1. "Addicted To Love"

2. "You Wear It Well"

3. "Some Guys Have All The Luck"

4. "Having A Party"

5. "It Takes Two"

6. "Forever Young"

7. "The First Cut Is The Deepest"

8. "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?"

9. "Maggie May"

10. "I'd Rather Go Blind"

11. "Young Turks"

12. "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"

13. "Rhythm Of My Heart"

14. "Call Me"

15. "The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)"

16. "People Get Ready"

17. "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)"

18. "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)"

19. "Have I Told You Lately"

20. "Hot Stuff"

21. "Hot Legs"


22. "Stay With Me"


Rod Stewart kicks off final ‘rock’ tour with rousing set at Fort Worth’s Dickies Arena



Rod Stewart kicked off his 24-date North American Tour Friday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. Stewart played a hits-laden 23-song set, including the show opener, a cover of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love,” with his band mates and backup singers helping recreate Palmer’s iconic video for the song. BROOKS BURRIS Special to the Star-Telegram


If this really was the beginning of the end for Rod Stewart as a rock and roll star, it was a pleasure to witness. Stewart kicked off his 24-date North American Tour on Friday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth sounding not at all like he’s ready to give up on up rock and roll. He told Forbes a month ago that this tour, which will hit the United Kingdom in the fall and return to North America in 2023, is likely to be the last time he’ll perform most of the rock and roll classics he’s best-known for over his six-decade career.

“I want to move on and just do the classics and the swing stuff, but I don’t want to be singing ‘Hot Legs’ when I’m 80,” Stewart said, referring to his ”Great American Songbook” collection and a forthcoming album he’s recorded which he describes as rock and roll-styled swing tunes. “I’m not retiring, but this will be the last time we do these songs in America. I just want to make a clean sweep.” Stewart, 77, is one of those singers (and songwriters) who has been ubiquitous on the radio since his 1971 album “Every Picture Tells a Story.” He has been part of the soundtrack for young Baby Boomers and Generation X, and has written and performed a bunch of songs that Millennials know but aren’t sure of the title or singer. He crammed in many of those, some he wrote, some he didn’t write but made his own, and some, like the opener, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” he performed as a tribute.


Stewart, along with his six, multi-talented female band members and backup singers, recreated Palmer’s iconic video for the song. “Thank you for coming out tonight and spending your money,” he said early in the one hour, 45-minute show. “I know gasoline is very expensive, money is scarce. God bless you, it’s going to be worth your while, trust me.”

Of course it was. The man has too many good songs in his arsenal if his voice remains strong and he chooses to sing them. Despite Friday being the tour opener (although he technically played a full, but slightly different set two weeks ago in California) his voice was gravelly smooth and the six-piece band, including two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, a keyboardist and and saxophonist, was tight. The six female back-up singers routinely danced in choreographed movements, took turns playing a plethora of instruments including the fiddle, violin, harp, and mandolin, and proved to be the show’s secret weapon.



A few times Stewart seemed to be providing perhaps a little bit more stage direction than usual and once he had to call back his band when he momentarily forgot the setlist. “So we’re a little bit nervous but so far I think we’ve done pretty well and so have you,” he quipped early on. “Forever Young” segued into a Celtic hoedown romp featuring violin and fiddle before Stewart returned to the stage to reprise “Forever Young.” It was a nice variation and a nod to Stewart’s heritage.



His introduction to a late addition to the set, which he told the crowd the band rehearsed that afternoon, seemed a bit odd. It was a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” He introduced it as if it was a country song, not one of the most seminal rock songs ever recorded by a group from Northern California. He dedicated “Rhythm of My Heart” to Ukraine in its fight for freedom against Russia with an image of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukraine flag filling up the screens behind and on either side of the stage.


Stewart still moves around the stage well, if not as fast paced as in his younger days. But he’s still kicking (and throwing) soccer balls into the audience and we’d all be so lucky to look as good as he does nearing 80. Mick Jagger may still be the most manic touring rock and roll singer alive but Stewart’s boyish looks, famously spiky hair and svelte figure give Jagger a run for his money. The 23-song set included several stage breaks for Stewart with two cover songs sung by one of his six multi-talented background singers/musicians/dancers. Both of them, Blondie’s “Call Me” and Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” sounded great and allowed Stewart to not only catch his breath, but also change his outfit three times.



Most importantly, though, Stewart’s voice is still strong in all of its raspy glory. The set included a five-song acoustic portion toward the end of the show in which Stewart and his band all sat on chairs at the front of the stage. He introduced the first of those songs “The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)“ from 1976 by explaining how gratifying the feedback he has received from listeners over the years who were struggling with their sexuality. The background helped add poignancy to the lyrics. He tried, in jest perhaps, to take credit for asking crowds to sing along for the first time back when he was in the band Faces. It never worked, he said. But Friday in Fort Worth, it was working. The crowd of about 12,500 sang along loudly and proudly to most songs, especially when prompted on hits such as “Maggie May,” “People Get Ready,” “You’re in My Heart,” and “Tonight’s the Night.”


Couples were swaying and hugging along to his cover of Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately” and dancing and singing along to the shows closers: “Hot Stuff” sung by the backup singers, and “Hot Legs” and “Stay with Me,” arguably Stewart’s most iconic rock songs, along with “Maggie May.”


Neither version highlighted the swagger and raunch of the originals, which were sexed-up 1970s classic rock at its best. That’s probably another sign of why Stewart is looking down the road with classics like those in the rear view mirror. But, in fact, his version of “Maggie May,” a song beloved worldwide and played in the middle of the set, received the type of treatment only a tune that helped change Stewart’s life deserved. Alone at the front of the stage, Stewart, arms outstretched, softly sung the opening lyrics to “Maggie May” with an ethereal keyboard drone helping build the suspense before the entire band kicked into a classic rendition of the tune. It was a magical moment that only rock and roll can provide. Let’s hope Stewart gets it all out of his system by the end of 2023, for his sake.



1. Addicted to Love (Robert Palmer cover)

2. You Wear It Well

3. Ooh La La

4. Some Guys Have All the Luck

5. Having a Party (Sam Cooke cover)

6. It Takes Two (Marvin Gaye/Kim Weston cover)

7. Forever Young

8. The First Cut Is the Deepest (Cat Stevens cover)

9. Have You Ever Seen the Rain? (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)

10. Maggie May

11. I’d Rather Go Blind (Etta James)

12. Young Turks (with snippet of West Side Story’s America)

13. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?

14. Rhythm of My Heart (Marc Jordan cover)

15. Call Me (Blondie cover)

16. The Killing of Georgie (Part I and II)

17. People Get Ready (The Impressions cover)

18. You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)

19. Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)

20. Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison cover)

21. Hot Stuff (Donna Summer cover)

22. Hot Legs

23. Stay With Me










  BIG Weekend

Park Inn


March 31

April 1,2


for details.





Roche Estate, Hunter Valley

April 1 2023


Bowral NSW, Centennial Wines

April 2 2023


Forsyth Barr Stadium

Dunedin, NZ

April 5 2023


Mission Estate

Napier, NZ

April 8 2023


Spark Arena

Auckland, NZ

April 9 2023









Print | Sitemap
© Rod Stewart Fan Club