On August 11, I was so very privileged to attend the ROD STEWART concert, in Dallas, Texas.
By way of credentials to be your reporter for the show, this was the eighteenth (18th) time that I have seen our talented knight live. When I lived in Houston, I saw him three times as ROD STEWART AND THE FACES. I've also seen him in Las Vegas, once, front row and center. The rest of his shows have been in Dallas.
I own every one of his studio recordings and his live recordings, as well. Plus, of course, him with Jeff Beck and all of the FACES recordings with Rod. I've easily 20 plus t shirts with his visage on them, all bought at his concerts. Plus a bunch of caps that say ROD STEWART on them, all bought at his concerts.
Allow me to suggest that my role in reviewing the concert is NOT as a news person or music critic. It's Rod. I'm a fan. I will assume that many of y'all, dear readers, especially those residing in Great Britain have seen our hero before. You've an idea already about WHAT'S WHAT. If I impart a sense of what it was like to have been there, my job is well done.
Yes, I live in Texas, in Dallas, and it was 104° on my way over to the venue, the VERIZON Theatre in a suburb of our fair city aptly named GRAND PRAIRIE. It holds 7,000 folks. And by the time Sir Rod hit that stage, Friday eve, VERIZON Theatre was full to the rafters with very excited fans. After having acquired three of his t shirts and a cap and a program, as well as a tote, in which to carry it all, on my way in from the foyer, I was also oh so ready to see Rod.
Of course, Cyndi Lauper was also on the bill and she is a very real treasure, in every sense of the word. Athough I adore Cyndi, as well, suffice to say that she sang all of her hits, which to be honest, I'd forgotten how many she's had....
Cyndi, received the very earned standing ovation and departed. Crews scrambled to make the stage ready for Rod. A black and white striped curtain descended and remained down for 15 minutes or more.
An initial word about Rod's live band.
J'Anna Jacoby is bona fide princess. I'm sure that many of y'all, dear readers know the years that she has accompanied our Rod on his travels. Yet, what a lovely girl. Always with that gorgeous smile on her face, whether happily shaking her maracas, OOPS, I mean shaking THE maracas, playing a fiddle or mandolin or singing back up. And Friday night was no exception. Is she a doll? YES! And those spangly dresses and short skirts: gold lame' with gold fringe and school girl ensemble in black and red check, for Friday nignt. Well the mind wanders. Mine does.
I'm a guitar player, myself, and to see Rod's stage guitarists always is an inspiration. Don Kirkpatrick and Emerson Swinford on guitars and Conrad Kitsch on bass. I mean WOW. These guys are GOOD. And they've nailed Rod's vibe. Totally. Of course these guys have also been with Rod for years. I've seen them with him multiple times. I'm sure that being up there, rocking out, alongside Rod is a dream gig for them. It would be for me. And their rockabilly costumes, well, were perfect. Black and white checked dinner jackets, on a Friday night. Just perfect.
The other girls singing backup, well were just songbirds, hitting every note, making Rod sound even better than he otherwise would. And matching costumes in black and then gold, on a Friday night. WOW!
By the way, the stage was covered in that same checked pattern, I mentioned earlier, including Rod's mike stand, and other details. Lovely.
Finally to the actual performance by the man, himself.
ROD'S PERFORMANCE WAS EVERYTHING I COULD EVER HAVE EXPECTED, NAY, HOPED FOR, AND EVEN MORE.
I was seated not far from the stage and Rod's UNMITIGATED JOY in performing shone brightly through. We can only guess at our hero's motivation for continuing to woo and to perform for his fans, yet I'm compelled to suggest that he loves what he does and maybe he loves us.
I've read reviews that suggest that his voice is fading. Yeah, I've seen a couple of YouTube videos where he may have backed away from a high note, BUT NOT FRIDAY NIGHT, IN DALLAS, TEXAS. That strong voice approached and then striked every note in every song, just as on his recordings, and I DO NOT exaggerate. He was the master, the singer of songs, the confident entertainer, the charmer. He was the happy minstrel of yore. And we were so very charmed and so very entertained.
There were costume changes. A gold dinner jacket, then a light gray (grey, to y'all, I guess) suit, and then all black shirt and jeans. There were signed soccer (OOPS, football, to y'all) balls, galore. I got my hands on two of them, yet they were wrestled away by a bigger man than I, both times. I'm happy to say, though, I've already got one from my trip to see him in Las Vegas.
His ecstatic visage never altered, being the very Rod Stewart whom we've loved and admired through the years. He sang every song with the care of a loving parent, caressing a child. Even the loud ones.
He danced. He smirked. He wiggled. He joked. He cajoled. And he laughed. Did he laugh!
I've provided some photos from the evening, which I hope will also convey the absolute magic of the evening. For it was truly magical. I didn't stop grinning ear to ear the entire evening. It was that great.
I'll not be detailed about what he sang. No song listing. Suffice to say, that if you love a particular Rod song, he sang it. Unless your favorite song is DO YA THINK I'M SEXY, because he didn't do that one. He did sing a duet with pretty Cyndi Lauper, who for that one, returned to the stage.
In encouraging friends to go see Rod, through the years, I've always said, that even if you are not a big fan of his music, his concerts are one big party, so go anyway. It has always been true, maybe even more so on Friday night. ONE BIG PARTY!
In order to "beat the rush" for the exits, at the end of the show, I happily departed the venue, just as the initial guitar part started on MAGGIE MAY. Yes, I've heard him do that live, many times. I also know that marching into the massive parking lot along with 7,000 other people, slowly to exit in our cars (one exit road), and to head out into the night time Texas heat is, well discretion is the better part of valor, and in this case, being a ROD STEWART FAN.
As I always shall be so very proud to be.
Respectfully submitted, your SMILER friend,
Review By Dan Pritchett
Photos By Dan Pritchett
Montage By Tommy Kevitt