Not an easy gig to review this one, everything seemed to try and spoil the night but somehow didn't..I remember back in 2007 [I think, off the top of my head] talking to Rod after he played a concert at Manchester City's ground, it had been a horrible night the rain never let up, it affected the sound, the crowd , the atmosphere in fact it is probably the only Rod concert I didn't enjoy one bit ..Rod told me he thought the weather might have pulled the crowd together but it didn't work and he was never doing an outdoor stadium in the UK again, as you know he obviously had a change of heart as he must surely hold the record for the artist who has played the most football stadiums in the UK!
Anyway back to Shrewsbury, We got to the stadium with plenty of time to spare and went to park the car.....miss a big chunk of boring story....an hour and a half later I am parked up and ready to go,
Next was the security checks, very reassuring to see after recent events, we got a full frisk, but couldn't way up why the line next to me was just walking in, the lady behind me asks why they are not checking this line 'Oh they are going to the box office to collect tickets' replies the steward 'But how do you know they are safe' asks the lady 'Erm maybe we should be checking everybody' the stewards now realise ...oh well hopefully none of the people in that queue were terrorists!
Had a few pints from the excellent catering facilities that were on site [10 out of 10 to Shrewsbury Town here] and then had a wander around the hospitality area and had a look at all the signed football shirts and photos of past and present shrewsbury players ...then I got a warning of what was to come..a giant montage of ex Manchester City [Remember the rain!] goalkeeper Joe Hart ..football fans among you will know he is a bit of a legend at Shrewsbury who he played for before City.
I then had a walk down to my seats and caught the end of the mexican bands set, spotted a few familiar faces in the crowd who were getting ready for the The Sisterhood who played their usual short and intimate set, they are a good choice for a support act and always go down well with the Rod crowd...The rain was just starting while Ruby sang...'let's hope it goes off' she said [As if that is ever going to happen]
Soon the stadium was full with 20,000 fans packed in ...and the rain started to come down heavier..
Rod told the crowd to not let the weather spoil it ..'I might go arse over tit.. but we are British' he shouted to loud cheers..and amazingly it didn't spoil it, the crowd were really up for the concert and even though we were all wrapped up, piss wet through and cold it was a great night.
Nothing really to report setlist wise, Rod opened with Having a party to an explosion of fireworks , then went through the old hits This old heart, Forever Young , Rhythm of My heart, Downtown Train, First cut is the Deepest, Have I told you lately,etc plus a couple of the new ones Love Is and Can't Stop me now, on which Rod had to start again as he was singing the wrong words,He sang Maggie May in the first section of songs, that was a surprise, Then the rain got heavier and heavier, 'I don't know why I bothered doing my hair' Rod told the crowd.
Two of the stars of the night were the Shrewsbury Town brush managers who much to Rod's amusement spent as much time as he did on the stage trying to keep the puddles to a minimum ..these guys had it off to a tee and should apply for Britain's got talent next year...without them the show might have got cut short early on, but Rod promised it wouldn't, Rod was given an umbrella as he came to the front of the stage but even that couldn't prevent the band having to move a few steps back after nearly every song to stop the instruments getting soaked, by the time it was time for the fast songs Baby Jane, and Sexy , Rod admitted defeat and told our two brush heroes 'You're wasting your time mate give up' and said 'The manager had told me to get back in defence and retreat to my own half as the opposition are too strong'
During the acoustic set Rod had done a blistering version of 'Ooh La La' that got the crowd back up on their feet after Rod had told them they could sit down, He had promised us a second Faces song but later dropped Stay with me and the kicking of any footballs into the crowd as he could hardly stand on his feet .
So the night ended with a longer than I have seen before version of Enjoy Yourself....but no lying on the floor..The brush guys were not that good!!
Well done Rod, The band, The crowd and The Shrewsbury Town brush managers for not letting the British weather ruin the night.
Review By Mike Walton
Photo By Ruth Hannuschka [A fantastic shot despite hindrance from the wind and rain.]