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March 25, 2018

Marcy’s Night on the Town in Toronto!

Our roving reporter Marcy Braunstein gives us her thoughts on the start of the canadian tour.

posted by Mike Walton

It was opening night of the Canadian tour at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto where Rod has played several times. It appeared to be filled to a capacity of close to 17,000. This was the first of 11 dates in Canada. There was that opening night sense of excitement and no wonder since Rod’s Management, Arnold Stiefel and Lotus Donovan, were in the audience and bagpipers entertained us a half hour before the show.
Rod loves Canada. He said in a recent interview “Without sounding trife it’s always a lovely country to come to because architecturally it’s beautiful. And it’s always clean. I can’t think of one city in Canada that suffers like New York and London does of atrocious rubbish all over the streets”. He also admitted to having a date with a manicurist in Toronto and said, “She was quite lovely but it was many years ago.” Rod mentioned during the show that he is actually staying in Toronto for several days and will travel to many of the shows from there.

Toronto is indeed a beautiful city. Lake Ontario and its Harbour area is really nice where we stayed and of course the Yorkville area where Rod usually stays is quaint and very trendy. Sadly, this is the only show in Canada we are attending because the dates are all so close to Easter. We came up the day before from Pittsburgh leaving a snowstorm of 10 inches for a chilly but sunny Toronto.
Rod opened the show with three fast tunes “Young Turks”, “Infatuation” and “Having a Party”. After which Rod said he’s not as young as he used to be wiping his forehead with a handkerchief. But it looked to me like he was moving and dancing and singing just like he did some 20 years ago.

It wouldn’t be a true Rod Stewart concert without several “cock ups” and the dropping of the occasion F-bomb. Because we all know the songs so well we noticed that during Infatuation he started a verse too soon but quickly recovered. When he introduced “You Wear It Well” he said it was a song from 1975 when indeed it was 1972. Rest assured I held up my “Lost in You Since ‘72” sign anyway. And then when he introduced Julia (during the sit-down) and said “and on the harp the lovely Julia Roberts-did I say Julia F@&king Roberts?----I mean Julia Thornton”. There were lots of laughs.

When Rod came out for the sit down in that beautiful blue suit he mentioned the color reminded him of the Glasgow Rangers. And he asked a little girl in the front row if she liked his suit to which she replied she liked his shoes. So in only Rod’s fashion, he proceeds to untie his shoes and throws them to her one by one. This exposed his shocking yellow socks and he moved around during the rest of the set in them. I believe the pair of shoes were made by Daniel Marra and the little girl was thrilled to have them. Also, during the sit-down, Rod did “People Get Ready” which was a welcomed surprise and his voice was really strong on it.

Rod announced with pride that he wanted to give back to and recognize those who influenced him with a song and I was immediately flooded with thoughts of a host of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Muddy Waters tunes he could do. He selected probably the only Muddy Waters song I don’t care for which was “Rolling and Tumbling”. He has done it at other shows and I’m not sure why he picks that song. It just doesn’t seem to be a good song for him to cover. Anyhow he had already done Sam Cooke’s “Having a Party” so I was a happy camper.

Our seats were directly in front of Bridget, Becca and Dee and I was able to pay particular attention to their choreography. Without a doubt, those ladies work hard and truly add to the excitement of the show. And they do all that while singing. I always like the Irish tap-dancing by Becca. And I hadn’t noticed before that Julia plays the banjo during “Love Is.”

It’s funny how no matter how many shows you’ve been to, there are always small details you miss. For instance, I hadn’t noticed the old TVs up on the screens showing famous movie scenes about love before during “Have I Told You Lately”. I watched a few videos on-line today of this concert that were recorded from a distance and since the entire stage was shown it gave me a much different perspective that you don’t see when you are up front. The screens were very impressive. But I think I’ll keep my front row seats.

The big breaking news of the night was when a visual came up on the screen announcing that his new album “Blood Red Roses” will be released in September while we had heard and hoped for a May date. But I guess it doesn’t make sense to try to promote a new album while on tour.

Rod seemed to kick-out fewer balls than usual during “Stay With Me” and there appeared to be even fewer balloons than usual dropped during DYTIS unless it was the positioning of them but no balloons reached the front couple of rows or even the stage.

It was a great night in Toronto for a Rod concert! We love Rod. We love Toronto. And we love our special friends we meet up with there! We sure wish we could go to more of the Canadian shows! But Rod will have to wait till Vegas in June to see us again in the audience.

Photos By Marcy Braunstein
Blood Red Roses Photo By Ruth Hammaker
Montage By Tommy Kevitt

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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