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FEATURE:

November 12, 2014

Vegas

Review of Vegas Shows Nov. 5, 8-9, 2014 By Karen Chande

posted by Mike Walton


The first show I attended on November 5 opened with This Old Heart Of Mine, followed by It's A Heartache. Rod told us that he had a touch of bronchitis and apologized if he needed to cough during the show. Having A Party was next and after that Rod introduced the next song as a romantic song, then said “no, actually it's a shagging song”, which of course, was Tonight's The Night! He asked for a bottle of water at a certain point early in the show saying he didn't usually drink water at this time.


This Wednesday crowd was seated during the show and at one point Rod called the crowd an "intelligent" crowd, which I take to jokingly mean not one of the more on their feet enthusiastic crowds. I was happy when the next song he introduced was from his latest album and his father's support getting into show business and that of course was, "Can't Stop Me Now". I wanted to stand but since everyone was sitting, would kind of sit up on the chair in such a way as to be sort of half sitting half standing. What a great song where everyone should be on their feet! Next up was the introduction to "Rhythm of My Heart" the song he dedicates to the troops and he wanted us to pay attention to the important message at the end. When the backup singers did their part in the song, Rod would have to turn back to cough, poor guy, even with a little hesitation when it was his turn. The message at the end was the Wounded Warriors Project.


He pointed out to us with his bronchitis and coughing that he was not contagious and if we wanted to kiss him, we wouldn't catch it! I was surprised the women didn't storm the stage to do so after that remark! Next song up was Forever Young, by himself and Ruby was not here tonight.

He went off to change during the drum solo, coughing along the way. When he returned, now changed into his silver suit with fluffed hair, the local Las Vegas orchestra came out as the seats were set up for the acoustic set which included three songs. Rod acknowledged David Palmer, asking him to come down and take a bow. Rod tells us there is no miming here, this is a live show and that is what you are paying to hear. First Cut Is The Deepest was first followed by Ooh La La which he introduced saying that Ronnie Lane, now deceased had written. During this song was the delightful inclusion of J'Anna Jacoby and one of the violinists in the orchestra getting up out of their seats and doing a little jig.



The next song was Have I Told You Lately. I was surprised that after that song, Rod did not go out into the audience as usual for Sweet Little Rock & Roller but instead introduced the ladies taking over for Proud Mary. Knowing the general lineup of the show having seen it so many times, it seemed this show was taking a "fast forward", perhaps because Rod was not feeling well. The ladies did a great job as always with this song and several in the audience stood to shake their booty which always makes the ladies happy to see the interaction and enthusiasm. Rod came out after that in black pants and black shirt for You're In My Heart, and then Hot Legs kicking the balls out into the crowd, starting on one side, then the other and back again to the first side he started with.


When Maggie May began, the audience sat back down. I don't recall ever seeing a Vegas crowd that would be sitting by this time in the show and during that song, especially since they’d been standing right before it for Hot Legs, trying to catch the balls. In fact, this is the point where usually the guards come down to keep the eager fans at bay from jumping up on stage. Rod started the song and after a short bit into it had the band stop playing. He told the crowd to get up and stand, had we just come from a funeral? (LOL!) At that point everyone got on their feet and the guards came down to the front as they usually do. When Rod wandered over to the side of the stage in section 2, he engaged the audience on that side and motioned one lucky lady to come up on the stage and someone took her picture with him. For the finale Do You Think I'm Sexy, now the crowd is into it like they should have been right from the start. The last thing Rod said before he left the stage was to enjoy ourselves and that he was going to go home and cough.


I was worried these next couple of days in between if he would get better or worse, remembering what happened in London last year where the second concert had been postponed. I even went over Nov. 7 and checked at the box office and was told they hadn't heard anything and that was a good sign. On show day of Nov. 8, all was a go. As I arrived at my seat with no one yet around, I happened to notice a small perfectly shaped square piece of paper on the arm rest and as I looked around, saw several more on the floor. I picked up the one on my arm rest, held it up on my finger tip and said to myself, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"!!! I had heard that song before in Vegas last year and the year before and recognized the pieces of paper as the snow that comes down during the song. I was so excited as I love that live performance and also excited to see if I'd guessed it right. I then looked on the shiny white stage surface and noticed several more of these little paper pieces which further convinced me I knew this was a song on the set list tonight, some evidence of a little afternoon test on the snow, lol!


When the show started, Having A Party had moved up to being the opening song, a good up beat opening song. This Old Heart was cut entirely from the set list. After this was It's A Heartache. When Rod welcomed the crowd, he again mentioned having the bronchitis. When the audience moaned, he told them, "No, the good news is, I'm here!" to which we applauded. He again mentioned not being contagious if we wanted to come up and kiss him. Lol, and again I'm surprised no one took the opportunity to do

so! He mentioned it's Saturday night and asked had we had a drink, to which the audience applauded. The show continued with Tonight's The Night and the song written in 1972, "You Wear It Well". I was happy to again hear the introduction to "Can't Stop Me Now".


He introduced Rhythm Of My Heart, dedicating it to the troops and again saying to pay attention to the message at the end. After the song was finished and the moving Wounded Warriors message was shown, he said if that didn't bring a tear to your eye, you'd have a heart of stone. People I talked to who had not been at the Wednesday show said they could notice Rod was not feeling well but to me I thought his health seemed better than Wednesday, not as much coughing. When Forever Young started, it was him alone again, and no Ruby. He went off for the change of clothes into the silver suit and came back with fluffed up hair as the chairs were being set up for the acoustic set. The local orchestra came out again and Rod mentioned a new song to be played tonight. First Cut Is The Deepest was started and next up was Ooh La La which has the adorable jig in it with J'Anna and the violinist in the orchestra.


At this point, knowing we usually get just 3 songs in the acoustic set and knowing most of the times Have I Told You Lately was one of them, I started thinking I was wrong on my earlier guess about the Christmas song. After Ooh La La, Rod gave recognition as he had at the Wednesday show to J'Anna and the local violinist. Next he asked if anyone was here from the UK and there were lots of cheers and applauding which I added too, ha ha, why not, I am applauding for all my British friends who were not there! He said this next song is one they love, and it was of course, I Don't Want To Talk About It.



After the song finished, Rod mentions having been to the stores and seeing the decorations - yes, here it comes!! - and it might be a little early but what the heck, we are doing a Christmas song tonight!! Yes, I was right!!



At this show after the song had finished, Sweet Little Rock N Roller started for a bit with everyone still onstage but then he starts down the steps as a few band members followed between sections 4 & 5 down the aisle as the sweepers strategically used that time to clean off the "snow" with everyone off the stage as Rod takes the show into the audience. People stopped him to have a quick picture taken with him and he shook hands as he went along down the aisle and across the back over to the side on section 2. Once the song finished when they were back up onstage, Rod then introduced the ladies to take over with Proud Mary. He left for the final change of clothes for the black pants and shirt and another hair fluff up. Next up was You're In My Heart and after that the funny videos on the screen. A little change this night was that Stay With Me was performed as he kicked the soccer balls out to the audience. One lady on the side I was on was having trouble getting the ball he intended for her so he motioned her to come forward to the stage so he could place it in her hands. At another point in the show when he was on that side, a lady ran forward reaching her hand out to him and he bent over to shake her hand as she approached the stage. After Stay With Me, Maggie May started. This song has some open time for Rod to interact with fans and on the other side in section 2, he was seen signing his book that someone had reached out to give him with a marker. He also shook hands with people over there. Once the curtain came down, it was up quickly again and Do You Think I'm Sexy starts.



The show on November 9 opened again with “Having A Party”, followed by “It’s A Heartache”. When Rod welcomed the audience he said Sunday crowds were usually a bit quiet, but we were a good crowd tonight. He also mentioned again that he’s had bronchitis for the past couple of weeks and hasn’t been able to shake the bloody thing. He said it makes you short of breath and need to cough and to excuse him if he missed a couple of words in the songs. He joked around, saying the show was over and turned to leave, then turned back saying he was just kidding, “Rod never cancels,” to which the audience applauded. The show continued on with Tonight’s The Night and You Wear It Well. As he introduced Can’t Stop Me Now, he said this was the song about how he got turned down from the record companies and “I showed them!” (we all laughed and applauded) and how his father was the person who stood by him. He said playing the newer songs is always hard and that the British fans like this song. At that point I said to myself, “Now wait a minute, Mr. Stewart, your die-hard fans around the world also love this song as well as the whole album it’s from, and some of them are right here under your nose tonight, darling!” Lol! He asked us to look up on the screen and we would see a 19 year old Rod Stewart. And the wonderful upbeat Can’t Stop Me Now begins.

Then he introduced Rhythm Of My Heart as the song he always dedicates to the troops of long ago as well as the present who are fighting ISIS while we are here tonight enjoying ourselves. He salutes them and the song begins. While Kimmi was singing, Rod turned back asking Don to hand him a bottle of water, took a sip and then got back to the mic in time for his part in the song. After the song finished and the ladies took their bows, Rod went over to pick up his jacket saying, “I’ll just put me jacket back on,” telling us he had left it on the stage once and it had gotten stolen. Then Forever Young begins. Once the band finished up, Rod comes back out with his silver suit on, showing it off to the audience, who applauded. When Forever Young finished, he gave David Palmer recognition and also the ladies in the leopard skins stood together and bowed. Rod also told the crowd about how Jimmy Roberts was in the band long ago and had left to go work in a factory making sausages, got tired of that and decided to come back and “join Rod’s band again”. The chairs were brought out for the acoustic set and he introduced the Magnificent Seven in the Vegas orchestra who are called that for obvious reasons. The set was the same as the night before with First Cut Is The Deepest, and when he introduced Ooh La La, mentioning Ronnie Lane no longer with us and asked if there were any Faces fans in the audience and they were not ruling out a reunion tour. Here is a short clip of the adorable jig in the song, at a better angle than I had the first night.



Rod also mentioned at this show this is all live music, no miming. I Don’t Want To Talk About It was next followed by Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. After that, the ladies in the local orchestra stood to leave and Rod thanked them saying, “See you after the show in my dressing room!” then adds, “Just kidding, I’m a married man!” Next was Sweet Little Rock & Roller, where Rod again took the show out into the audience leaving the stage between sections 4 and 5.

I have found when sitting up near the front of the stage it is best to watch the screen onstage to get a better view of what is going on out in the audience. The most touching moment for me at this show was when I saw Rod kneel down beside a handicapped woman in a wheel chair, put his arm around her as someone took their picture. Once Rod and band reached the stage and the song finished, the ladies took over with Proud Mary, a good song to keep the high energy going.


Rod came back after the song, now in the blue multi-shade paisley jacket over the black shirt. There seemed to be some confusion as Rod was looking around on the stage and then said someone in the band decided to go home. He told us to talk amongst ourselves, but it got quickly sorted as the band all got in place and “You’re In My Heart” began.


Next up, Rod shows the funny videos on the big screen. The newscaster was shown - who has now, by the way, moved from Detroit to San Diego – Lol! – and I just about cracked up when Rod says as she is slowly drawing the diagram to keep watching, it takes her awhile, “just like me these days” OMG, Rod, so funny!! The soccer balls were kicked out to Stay With Me. It’s fun to watch this at close range to the stage as Rod

eyes the audience for where to kick the ball next. He intended a man several people down from me to get one and it bounced over, yes, brushing my finger tips and the woman next to me got it. But as Rod often does when the intended person didn’t get the ball, he tries again. Rather than just handing the man the ball, he placed the ball on the stage floor right in front of the man, looks up at the man and then gives the ball a little kick so that it lands right into the man’s hands. A little bit of footie skills taking place right before my very eyes! After this song ends, Maggie May begins.



There were two scarves at the front of the stage and during Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, Rod picked them up and tucked them into his belt.

This was my last show, and I was grateful to Rod for giving it his all despite not feeling well. See you next “Time”, Rod!


© 2019 SMILER Magazine



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