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July 21, 2015

A Night On The Town with back!!

Toledo Ohio 18th July and Mt. Pleasant Michigan 19th July Reviews

posted by Mike Walton

Two nights with Rod: One with a "virus" and the other with the "f_cking sun" in his eyes!

At the Saturday, July 18th show at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, Rod apologized for a "virus" he has been dealing with for the past 10 days. He said he wasn't contagious and the ladies could still come up and kiss him. Which of course wasn't possible because although it was an intimate venue with every one of the 5600 seats filled, the stage was high and a good distance from the front row where we were seated. If it would have been Vegas, we all would have gone home sick. Other than Rod wiping his nose a few times and an occasional slip-up on a high note, you wouldn't have known he canceled a show two nights before in Alabama under doctors orders. But without a doubt he looked and sounded great.

A band out of Nashville and now in LA called the Runaway Saints opened the show with 4 songs. I wasn't familiar with them but their one song, "We Got Love" was a very catchy tune and one you could imagine Rod singing. The lead singer, Johnny Gates, said his mother is a Huge Rod fan and she was there tonight and he knows she wasn't there to see them. They were a great prelude to Rod mentioning his name a couple of times to outrageous screams from the audience.

The set list was pretty much the same as you've seen with two exceptions: he sang "Young Turks" early on and surprised us with what he said was the first time he sung it, if at all--"In A Broken Dream". The crowd loved "Love Is" which I hope is a sign that "Another Country" will sell better than "Time" did in the U.S. which I still don't understand. He kicked the soccer balls during "Stay With Me" foregoing "Hot Legs".

It was like the old days with several pieces of sexy undies thrown up on stage and one pair made its way to the tip of Conrad's guitar----he didn't miss a chord acting as though they belonged there. Something I've never seen at any concert before was off to the one side of the stage were two gentlemen seated with the one holding two Paris Hilton-like small dogs. When introducing "Sweet Little Rock and Roller" he said we would see a very pretty but very straight version of him when he was 19. During the first curtain drop Lucy found herself outside of the round-shaped curtain and while laughing uncontrollably had to crawl up under it to get in. At the end of the show during DYTIS, when the local string section joined them on stage, Rod was poked with one of the violins and grabbed his crotch right in front of us. It was quite enjoyable, I must admit. I love those "cock-ups"--no pun intended.

The next night in Mount Pleasant, Michigan was at the Roaring Eagle Casino but the only thing that resembled a casino show was that they held to the 90 minute limit. The set list was trimmed leaving "Love Is", "Broken Dream" and "Young Turks" out. John Waite opened and other than a few technical issues was fantastic. A special treat was when he did "Missing You" which Rod covered on his rock classics CD. Don Kirkpatrick used to play in his band and you could see Don watching some of his set from the sideline. It was an outdoor venue which I haven't been to one in years. It was the perfect night for it---warm but not hot. The sky was blue and when Rod (and most of the band) came out in sunglasses, it reminded me of the opener of the Cigarettes and Alcohol Tour. Rod said the "f_cking sun" was in his eyes and wished the sun would go down so he could take his sunglasses off. I can't remember exactly what else was said but more than a couple F-bombs were dropped before the night was over. Once the sun did go down and the sunglasses were off, Rod said he was cold and put his jacket back on. Two nights on the town with Rod was worth the trip. And we have three more shows to go!

Review by Marcy Braunstein
Photos by Marcy Braunstein
Montage by Tommy Kevitt

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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