To be here in Vegas on these two nights, May 2nd & 3rd and experience what I did, one cannot fathom, and I have Irene Kinsella-Bynum to thank. We had never met before and only knew each other briefly through the group but we decided to go for it. So I from PA and she from KS met in Vegas and had a great time.
We arrived a day early to enjoy Vegas and catch up. To anyone's surprise it was Rod Rod Rod...How long we been a fan, when we became fan etc. it was great to speak to someone 24/7 about Rod and get each other, without the look "like really".
He opened up Friday night with "Infatuation" which brought us to our feet. Was pure delight to hear that performed again. We pretty much stayed on our feet until the sit-down session. Rod was in awesome mood, smiling, joking, and laughing at himself. The interaction was something to cherish up close rather than from afar, as usually is the case for me.
Ruby came out and did her song "Just One More Day" and "Forever Young" with her dad. She sounded great and crowd received her well.
Then time came for the sit-down section and when Rod got to "Reason To Believe" the show had a little shake-up. It was Irene's birthday today and she had prepared a personal message for Rod, and the moment was now to let him read it.
Rod tried with no luck to start the song as he forgot the lines which he mentioned. He smiled, chuckle and looked away, when the song finished he stopped everything to read it out loud " first concert 36 years ago today on my 16th birthday" as the crowd in unison went "aweee", Rod said to Irene "awe bless your heart. I take it you've heard these songs before? We will have a surprise, one we haven't played in 36 years." Irene thanked him with a big smile and went back to her seat, taking her special moments with her making it her best birthday ever. Then he carried on where he left off. It was funny to see someone catch him off guard.
He did other long time favorites "I Don't Want To Talk About It" and added to the set a stunning version of "My Heart Can't Tell You No".
Saturday night me and Irene were front row off to the side. Couldn't get better than this!
When Rod first came out he looked at me (I wasn't sure but Irene said yes) and raised imaginary cup up asking if I was drinking, and I did same motion back.
Crowd was wilder than night before, he said for us to come and take all the pics we want, come up on stage... Well it only took one person to go up on stage, not from our group I don't think, and me and Irene thought this is our chance. Before you knew it a crowd of us rushed the stage, Rod wasn't too happy, think we freaked him a little and he wanted us off the stage so he could sing. He was not happy at this moment. Irene would have to wait another time to give him her championship scarf, which later she finally did and he wore it off and on. We had our few seconds on stage not exactly how me and Irene wished it to be but we had it. So, after we all got off stage Rod recovered and said "well I asked for it didn't I?" And chuckled.
He changed up the set tonight, played "Handbags and Gladrags" for all the Brits up in the balconies. He joked how he isn't sure how they always end up in balconies and not down in front.
The 2nd night also came to a quick end, as he kicked out his soccer balls. I thought this is my last chance, I really hoped for a ball. It was almost finished and Rod stood in front of me and with the help of Irene and myself determined he tapped a ball to me as I pleaded, the ball bounced off the light setup and went back towards him. I thought oh no... Well I motioned him to put it right to me in the ledge and he did. I thought I would cry, instead I was screaming like a little kid from excitement. I did call up to him at end and he looked at me and I said thank for the ball and he winked and gave me a thumbs up.
Rod's voice was in great shape, still can melt those hearts, full of energy, his humor always amusing.
After the show a few of us met at the Cypress and we rehashed the show. Then Di Reed came by and said "Hi Celtics". We chatted, then she invited us all next door back to Gordon Ramsey's to meet the rest of band. So me and Irene were like we could not pass this up. So we went, and even though they were enjoying their evening, unwinding, waiting to eat they were very friendly and cordial. We met Lucy, Conrad (was his birthday) Di, Katja, and J'Anna and had pictures taken with them. Me and Irene did not stay long in fear of wearing out our welcome, so we thanked them for everything and left to go back to hotel. What a way to end the night.
So, to sum it up, I met a lot of fans/new friends, Sonja Schenk, William Deans, Terrie Harbour, Valerie James, Ann Martineau, Mary Barnes, Ruth Hannuschka, Jan Elizabeth, Maggie Bernie, Jan Elizabeth (crazy fun) Mike Gregor, Connie Meadors, Joy Deltempo, Julie Rock and Lucky Jackson, and of course-Irene Bynum. I hope to meet many more, 43 years all rolled into 1 night, a signed ball, some moments, met some of the band.
Hoping I don't have things "out of order" as was a lot to consume. Wish I could have recorded everything he said for you all. I want to also thank William Deans for my lovely Glasgow You'll Never Walk Alone scarf and Irene Bynum for my Time throw.
This weekend was "The Best Days of My Life"!
Having A Party
Tonight's The Night
Some Guy's Have All The Luck
You Wear It Well
Rhythm Of My Heart
Just One More Day -Ruby Stewart
Forever Young -With Ruby Stewart
First Cut Is The Deepest
Reason To Believe
Have I Told You Lately
I Don't Want To Talk About it
Sweet Little Rock And Roller
Have You Ever Seen The Rain
My Heart Can't Tell You No
Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Review by Debi Groves
Photographs by Debi Groves