Date: 14 November 2016
Location: Odyssey (SSE Belfast), Belfast
The team: Margaret Clements (mum – aged 69), Joanne Clements (daughter – aged 48) and Paula Clements (daughter – aged 45)
Reason:For mum’s 70th birthday celebrations. We wanted a weekend away and couldn’t decide where to go. We have family who live in Belfast, so mum is used to travelling there and knows about the sights of the city and a friend of hers had got tickets to see Rod Stewart and mentioned that he was doing a gig in Belfast. Unfortunately, they were all sold out via the normal ticket outlets, but we did manage to secure three floor seated tickets from Viagogo for a handsome price!
Our weekend started on Saturday when we flew from East Midlands (as we live in Chesterfield, Derbyshire)to Belfast George Best airport. We stayed at the Europa Hotel and during the weekend we took in the sights: the Titanic experience, City Hall, various restaurants, The Crown bar, Victoria Square and even found time to fit in a celebration lunch with the relatives. The day of the gig (Mon 14 Nov 2016) arrived and we were all very excited.
Back at the hotel we got dressed in our finest ‘handbags and gladrags’ and myself, Jo and ‘Maggie May’ made our way to the venue. We had amazing seats (row 4) and the atmosphere was electric. We had requested a ‘shout out’ from Rod, but unfortunately that never happened.
We thought his daughter, Ruby Stewart and her band The Sisterhood were very good and a fitting warm up to the main act.
Then it was time for Rod. Accompanied by an excellent backing band and superb dancers, it was a great show. The saxophonist Jimmy Roberts was particularly good and did some excellent solos, as did the drummer – who showcased his talents! The dancers/singers/percussionists were also first class, which made for a truly excellent show.
To be so close to the stage was such a bonus and worth every penny it felt very intimate and Rod put on a great show, we all enjoyed it very much.
We flew home the next day (full of it) and ended the birthday celebrations with a surprise get together with a few of mums friends and family.
Notes:Rod is rarely shy to show how much he loves Celtic football club, and has been seen in the crowd in tears on some of the club's better European nights in recent times.But he decided to use highlights from Celtic's 5-1 thrashing of Rangers back in September on the big screen during 'You’re in my Heart'
The clip drew cheers from some of the crowd but also drew just as many boos from Rangers supporters in attendance!
Rod also dedicated 'You’re in my Heart' to Celtic superfan Jay Beatty after the first night in Belfast he later met the 12 year old along with his mum and dad, Ainé and Martin ..Watch out for our exclusive pictures from the meeting in the next issue of SMILER magazine out early in the New Year.
Review By Team Clements
Montage By Tommy Kevitt