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July 9, 2017

The First Critic's review of Rod's US Tour....

Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper throw a Saturday night party at Tampa's Amalie Arena By Jay Cridlin

posted by Mike Walton

Tilting and whirling, a sinful grin etched across his rakish face, Rod Stewart leaned into the crowd at Tampa’s Amalie Arena and promised them a party.

When you’re Rod Stewart, every day might as well be Saturday. All night, the evening's master of ceremonies danced, flirted and wiggled his tight-panted booty with the panache of a man half his age.

His body? Yeah, the fans still want it, and they definitely let him know. And Stewart, 72, is totally okay with that.

Saturday’s show kicked off an epic long weekend of concerts at Amalie Arena, including Paul McCartney on Monday and Roger Waters on Tuesday. Stewart may not have the critical adulation of the former or the gravitas of the latter, but he’d be a hell of a lot more fun than either at a party.

Start with the crew he rolled in with, a killer band a dozen strong styled mostly in chic retro suits atop a checkered sock-hoppy stage. There were percussionists, a saxophonist, even a harpist and string section, who donned cheeky schoolgirl skirts for You Wear It Well. There were backing singers so game to match Stewart’s lively chops that he had them sing Tina Turner’s Mountain High, Valley Low without him.

But otherwise, the spotlight was all Sir Rod’s. His shirt unbuttoned to the bellybutton, his bird’s-nest coif and mullet dancing in the breeze, Stewart was dancing and flirting with every audience member within sniffing distance from the get-go, with nary an ounce of shame about it.

His hits came early and often: Infatuation, Some Guys Have All the Luck, Tonight’s the Night, Forever Young, Young Turks, Tom Waits’ Downtown Train (“This is a song that Tom tells me put a roof over his new house and built him a swimming pool because I recorded it”). On a stirring Maggie May, Stewart shimmied and twirled with his mic stand; on a drunkenly woozy Stay With Me, he punted an arsenal of soccer balls throughout the arena. He changed outfits at least three times, going through more sparkles and satin than a costume shop at Mardi Gras.

Reproduced with thanks to Jay Cridlin
To read the full review go to
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© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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