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November 30, 2014

A Great Fan!

My Big Weekend in Vegas Review for SMILER By Barbra Holland

posted by Mike Walton

My big weekend event started off with a “Rod Stewart Tribute concert” performed by Rick Larrimore, a well known singer from the northeast of the United States. After a 2 hr drive to see Rick and 5 hrs of sleep, I was off to the airport to enjoy my big weekend celebration for Rods birthday.
My first show was Wednesday November 19 which was great as usual. I had my favorite section 2, 2nd row. I was in this seat when Rod had signed his autobiography book for me at the May 10, 2014 show.

The fans were really ready for Rod this night. He was in a good mood and very energetic. The opening song was “Having a Party”. Some of the songs that Rod sang were “Can’t Stop Me Now”, Sweat Little Rock n Roller”, “First Cut is the Deepest”, “Hot Legs” and of course “Maggie May” one of my favorites.
During the show Rod received a green and white pillow which he loved. He carried that pillow around with him and then he put it on the stage and lied his head on it.
Rod then decided to take a stroll through the arena while his band played “Sweet Little Rock n Roller”. Rod was just getting over being sick but he sounded great.
When Rod sang “Maggie May” the crowd went wild. The curtain came down and when it went up again he sang the last song “Do You think I am Sexy”.

The band were all in a line across the stage, at that point balloons started falling from the ceiling. I grabbed a balloon and with a marker I wrote Happy Birthday to Rod. I pushed the balloon on the stage to Dee and she picked it up and showed it off. That was my way to wish Rod a Happy Birthday.

Mike Scully came up with an idea of having a 6ft soccer ball signed by the fans for Rods birthday. Mike said he would try to get this idea approved by Rods management company, they approved his idea. We had a table set up and raffled off Rod memorabilia such as T-shirts, Cd’s, Rod Stewart posters, 3 signed soccer balls, a Rod Stewart autobiography book, and a tapestry. The raffle ticket would give the fan a chance to sign the ball and write a message for Rods birthday. Mike’s wife Jill would be one of the ball rollers with 2 other lucky winners that Rod himself will be picking on Saturday November 22, at 6:30 before the show. Mike and Jill did a great job in organizing this event, the event raised $3,500 dollars for the “Wound Warriors” fund... Mike you did a great job.

The November 22 show started at 7:30 as scheduled and the crowd was energized. A lot of fans were in Celtic shirts and one had a “Wound Warriors” flag, Rod ask all the fans in Celtic shirts to come up on stage and show the audience the “Wound Warriors” flag. There were a lot of British fans along with USA fans which made a great night.
Rod made a comment that Saturday nights crowds were full of energy. 'Well it is a Saturday night' he said. Ruby sang her great song called “Just One More Day”. As she was singing, she walked through the audience. Rod came and met Ruby on stage and they sang “Forever Young” They sounded great together.

As the show went on, Dee handed me a maraca to shake, I felt like part of the band. I was very happy that she has recognized me from previous shows. I met her later and she told me that I was a great fan. I was very pleased to hear that especially by one of the members of Rods band. Rod wore a gold and black jacket that looked good on him. Later he changed into silver outfit, which matched the girls dresses. This night was my night because Rod came over to me kneed down to sign autobiography book for me, I was very happy.

As I was on my way to the Nov. 23, 2014 concert I spotted Rod's son Sean playing a game of poker. I was wondering if he was winning.
As the show was about to start. The fans were all ready and excited for this event. Mike, Susana, Manny and Jean were all up in the front on one side and Mike, Jill, Gilles, Terrie and myself were on the other side. And the UK fans and fans in Celtic shirts were all in there seats waiting for Rod to appear. Rod opened with were “Having a Party' and he was right. This night was a party that all of us fans will treasure forever. My camera broke just after the 2nd song Rod saw the disappointment on my face and he made a face at me like whats wrong?

Rod did “Rhythm of My Heart” and the crowd went wild, because this was the night for the charity event for the “Wounded Warriors”. Rod had a few girls come up on stage with a “Wounded Warriors” flag. We all had our Celtic shirts on, the theater looked green and white. It was great to see so many supporters.

Rod was ready to take his stroll in the audience with the band playing “Sweat Little Rock n Roller”. It was now time for “Hot Legs” and we all knew what was going to happens at this point. Rod went to the right and start kicking soccer balls then he went to the left side kicking balls all the way to the 3rd level. He was fantastic, you could watch his face as he was kicking the balls out and see the joy in his eyes. Rod then sang “Stay With Me” and at that moment it was the clue for Jill to leave and meet Leslie and Sue (which were the two raffle winners) so they could get ready to roll the big soccer ball to Rod. They would be rolling the big soccer ball out after “Maggie May”.

Rod sang “Maggie May” and then the curtain came down. Then back by popular demand Rod Stewart doing “Do You Think I'm Sexy”. As the song started to play the girls started to roll the ball onto the stage towards Rod. Rod seemed To be happy about the event taking place. At this time he was down by the right side of the stage, I asked him to sign his autobiography book for me, he came to me kneeling down by me and signed his book and then Terris’s picture. I was so happy a very special friend Gillles was next to me and let me use his camera and now has a signed book. I kept the special marker, I will treasure it forever. This group has brought so many nice people with the same interests together, that share the same way of thinking and caring for others. I am proud to be long to it.

The show was about to end and Rod said, he would buy anyone in a Celtic shirt a drink at “Gordon Ramsey Pub”. Many of the fans gathered at Gordon's to have diner and drinks. About ½ hour went by and we were all talking about the show and to our surprise who walked in but Rod Stewart to have dinner. The band members and Sean joined him. He was in the back of the restaurant, I went to say hi, I waved to him he waved back, then I went back to my table. Rod was there for about 2hours. Everybody was respectful to Rod and it paid off. Just to sit in the same restaurant with him was a dream come true for me. When I walked to the bar, I could see his blonde hair and red sweater. This memory is in my head forever. I will never forget even if my camera failed me. Rod made my day. It was about 11:15, I was at the end of the bar, Mike heard the security saying Rod will be leaving in 5 minutes. I asked my friend Gilles if I can use his camera. He gave it to me, I was on the way to Rod. I was determined to shake his hand and get a picture. Rod Stewart was walking my way, I had a clear path to him, he shook my hand. And I thanked him for signing his book for me, This was the best time of my life.

words and photo's from Barbra Holland

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