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February 12, 2015

Something special for Rod

Review of Vegas Shows, Feb. 6, 7 & 10, 2015 By Karen Chande

posted by Mike Walton



Review of Vegas Shows, Feb. 6, 7 & 10, 2015

Feb. 6, 2015

The show tonight was Rod's 100th show at Caesar's Palace. When I realized the first of my three shows on this run was this special milestone for Rod, I wanted to do something special for him so I made a sign wishing him a Happy 100th Las Vegas show made in the shape of the Las Vegas sign. The show opened with Having A Party as Rod entered in the silver jacket, white shirt and black pants. Next song up was It's A Heartache. I found the perfect moment to show him my sign early on when he was heading over to the side I was on while not singing. He gave a nice reaction thanking me and bowing and coming up closer to look at it. After the song finished, Rod welcomed everyone, saying tonight was special because it was his 100th show and he would play longer tonight and do some extra songs. He told the audience to feel free to come down to take some pictures and that he was sure security wouldn't be too tough tonight. You Wear It Well was next and then Tonight's The Night. Can't Stop Me Now was introduced as the song about his father's support of his career. He introduced I'm Losing You, saying the fans in Britain know this song well because it was from the Faces days before he became solo. Then he also mentioned that audiences in America knew it, too. Afterward, Rod catches his breath, saying this isn't easy when you get older but he still loves it. (He joked at one point during the show saying it was his 100th birthday!) Rhythm of My Heart was introduced as the song he dedicates at every show to the troops who are fighting on the front lines for us and that there would be a special message at the end of the song, which was the Wounded Warriors Project.

A single chair was brought out as Rod introduced his daughter Ruby, to sing a song she had written for him. After Rod left the stage, Ruby said hello to the crowd and mentioned that she was a bit under the weather with an infection, but we would get through this together. She gave a heartfelt touching performance, first from the seated position on the chair, then got up to walk over to each side of the stage. Once she finished, the audience stood on it's feet to give her a warm response to the song. Rod came out and hugged her and together they began Forever Young. Ruby then left and the chairs were brought out for the acoustic set - First Cut, then Ooh La La, which had a new move in it where Rod gets up from his chair in the middle of the song, turns around and does a bum wiggle. After Ooh La La, Rod tells the audience that there is no miming here, it is all live music, unlike what some people in this town do, and that's what you pay to hear. Have I Told You Lately finished off the acoustic set. As the ladies in the local orchestra were leaving, Rod joked with them saying he would see them later in the bar. Rod introduced the next song saying he was going to sing in the Sam Cooke style, noting how he has always loved Sam Cooke. Suddenly show girls dressed in fancy feathers of pink and orange took over the stage with big head dresses on. Rod said he did not know this was going to happen. The screen behind lit up with "100" and fireworks for his 100th show. The ladies did a great job twisting the night away with Rod to his song. When the song was finished, he thanked the ladies for that surprise. He then headed out into the audience for Sweet Little Rock & Roller. When I turned around it was then that I noticed a sign lit up in the back above the top level section saying, "RODS 100". A nice touch to his special night! Once he came back onstage, the backup singers took over with Proud Mary. Change of clothes after that brought Rod back in black pants and a yellow flowered shirt. Rod mentioned that he didn't know those ladies were going to come out during Twisting The Night Away and he joked about one of them looking like Bruce Jenner, lol! Next song up was You're In My Heart. After that was Stay With Me for the football kick off. Then Rod said he was only allowed to be up there a certain amount of time because they want us out there gambling, so he said goodbye as Maggie May started. During a point near the end of Maggie May he came down the steps a bit on the side I was on and was engaged in a small conversation with a man from the audience and the guard held people back from flooding him. The curtain came down after Maggie May and then quickly up again for the finale of "Do You Think I'm Sexy" with the Magnificent Seven orchestra included in the lineup. At one point in the song when he was on my side, he knelt down and posed for pictures for people, then giving a thumbs up to check that they got it okay. I got several nice pictures of him posing for these other people, lol!!

February 7

Tonight's show opened to a warm audience response with the song Having A Party, then It's A Heartache. When Rod welcomed everyone, he said it was going to be a good night, he could feel the love! He said last night was the 100th show so tonight is "one hundred and one" so make it something to remember, enjoy ourselves, it's Saturday night! Next song up he said was from way back when we were all younger, You Wear It Well and then Tonight's The Night. After that was what he was calling a new number off of his last album which he said was amazing (yes, it was Rod!). This song he wrote about when he was a teenager about 18 trying to break into the business and the rejection he got because of his nose, his hair and his clothes. They weren't concerned about his voice, didn't give a "F" about his voice - which brings much laughter from the audience! But there was one person who stood behind him and that was his dear old dad who we'd see up on the screens and a very cute 19 year old Rod Stewart. Then Can't Stop Me Now begins. Oh how I wish the audience would get up on their feet during this wonderful upbeat song and wonder what Rod and the band think to see a seated audience!

After the song as Rod wipes his brow with a handkerchief, someone in the audience yelled out, "I love you, Rod!" to which he responded back, "I love you, too, darling" then said his wife was in the audience so he had to be careful, lol! The next song he introduced saying it was an old Temptations song he did with the Faces on one of his albums that he hadn't sung in 20 years and they'd done it at the last couple of shows and people liked it so they decided to keep it. I'm Losing You begins. Afterward he says "Now I'll take me jacket off," which he placed on the stage steps. Next up Rod says is the song he always dedicates to veteran soldiers, those who have fallen, those who are serving tonight while we are enjoying ourselves in this theater, and how he always felt a great debt to those guys who died for our freedom all over the world and who are still fighting and how we must take care of our veterans. He says to watch the screen at the end and let it sink in, it's very important. And then Rhythm of My Heart begins. Afterward, Rod says he will now take his jacket away because he'd left it there a year ago and someone nicked it. He introduced his daughter Ruby who would now come out to sing for us. Ruby came out, sat in the chair at center stage and told us how her dad had recently had a birthday in early January, he is 70 but it's a secret he didn't want her to tell us (lol!) and how he'd had a big party at his house. Since this was an important birthday, she didn't know what she could get him so decided to write him a song. She then sang her song, "Giving Me Mine" as the night before, getting up to walk to each side of the stage and down the center steps. Afterward, Rod returns with fluffed hair, white shirt with black polka dots and black pants as they begin Forever Young. I was sitting at side stage and during the drum/band solo part of the song, took some pics of the band members near me and to my pleasant surprise the wonderful Jimmy Roberts tossed me his drum stick when he was finished!

Rod and Ruby returned to finish the song and then it was time for the acoustic set. After Ruby left, Rod tells the audience she is wonderful now but she wasn't always that way, she was a little s**t growing up, wouldn't get out of bed for school and he couldn't do anything right. He then points out that we have a pregnant lady in the front row and got up out of his chair to come over to the edge of the stage and asked her how far along she was. He tells the audience she's five months then tells the lady that her baby is going to be a Rod Stewart fan! He says once they're in the womb they hear the songs and they remember, that it happened with his children, that his wife was here and she could vouch for him on that. He asked if we were ready for some slow songs of love in vain and broken hearts and First Cut Is The Deepest begins. After that Rod says he was in a band called Faces long ago and unfortunately they lost another member of the band, Ian McLagan the organ player died a few weeks ago and they lost Ronnie Lane the bass player 20 years ago so there are only three of them left but he swears they will have a reunion, keep the faith. This next song was one of Ronnie's finest, "Ooh La La". After the song was over, Rod said he wanted his wife to come down, he had a little surprise for her and that she doesn't come to the show often. Penny came down to the front and Rod handed her a small wrapped gift, they kissed and hugged. As he climbed back up the steps, he said it was a Starbucks card and that he only did that because he wanted to make sure she was still here and hadn't gone over to see Donny and Marie, lol!! He said, "Thank you for staying, darling." It gave the audience a good laugh and even the band had a good chuckle. Next song up was Have I Told You Lately. During the part of the song after he sings "have I told you lately that I love you", he blows a big kiss in the air as a response to yet another person in the audience shouting out, "I love you, Rod!" After the song finishes, he gives recognition to the orchestra. Next up is Twisting The Night Away, in the Sam Cooke style of performance as last night minus the show girls. Then Rod goes out into the audience between sections 4 & 5 to shake hands and give hugs to lucky audience members. After returning to the stage, it's time for the backup singers to take over with Proud Mary. Rod returns afterward in the black pants and yellow flowered shirt of last night to sing You're in My Heart. Great audience response to the song especially during the audience singing part with audience members showing up on the screen. Rod then shows the funny videos on the screen and then Stay With Me is performed while he kicks the footballs out into the audience. Of special note which I thought was so very sweet was to see Rod bring one of the balls over to the pregnant lady in the front row and give her one! After Stay With Me was the always popular Maggie May and then afterward the curtain comes down and quickly back up for Do You Think I'm Sexy. Someone had put a copy of Rod's book and a pen on top of it on the stage floor and Rod obligingly came over to pick it up and sign it. After that people were scrambling to find things to get him to sign. Tonight was my own special little milestone of my 25th Rod Vegas concert so I held up a sign to let him know. I think I caught him in a rushed moment but he did say thank you, blew a kiss and bowed. (Thank you, Rod!)

February 10

On this evening before the show, I had unexpected pleasure of meeting Penny. What a sweet down-to-earth lady she is! Rod opened the show tonight with Having A Party and the crowd was up on their feet dancing. After It's A Heartache, Rod told the crowd this is show number "one hundred and two" and that it was a good crowd for a Wednesday night. We all called out trying to tell him, "It's Tuesday!" but he didn't hear us. The next song he said was from 1972, You Wear It Well and then Tonight's The Night. The next song was introduced as his rejection when he was first starting out in the business and they didn't want to sign him. The wonderful upbeat Can't Stop Me Now begins. Afterward, Rod again mentions the good crowd reaction for a Wednesday and we again tried to tell him it's Tuesday, lol! He said they would be playing 19 songs tonight, then said now he would "take me jacket off" as he tosses it onto the stage steps. The next song he says was on Every Picture Tells A Story, something he and Ronnie cooked up, an old Temptations song they knocked out over a drink and said to see what we thought of it. I'm Losing You begins. Our man must be getting tired by the time this song is finished because at this same point in the 100th show when Rod said it isn't easy when you get older, he now blew out his breath and said, "Ambulance!" which brings some laughter from the audience.

Next up Rod says is his dedication to our wonderful veterans wherever they are tonight, especially for him having been a war baby born after the Second World War and the great debt he feels he owes to those who died on the beaches of Normandy and how we really must look after our Vets, saying he thinks we'd agree with him to which the audience applauded. He mentions about the videos at the end for the guys we're talking about and "The Rhythm of My Heart" begins. It was touching to hear the audience applauding during the Wounded Warriors Project video at the end and Rod said if that doesn't touch you, you have a heart of ice and that it gets to him every night he sees it. Next Rod says at no expense to our ticket his gorgeous daughter Ruby was going to come out to sing for us and to give her a warm Vegas British welcome. Ruby said hello to the crowd and said isn't her Dad so cool, and it's like bring your daughter to work day 3 days a week. She mentioned how she wrote this song for her father's 70th birthday and he liked it so much he told her why don't you sing that in Vegas. She then started her song "Giving Me Mine", first in the chair, then getting up to walk to each side. I was touched to get a wave from her as she came along the side I was on as she walked by. Sitting so close to the stage, I tend to not look up at the back screen but this night did happen to look up and catch pictures being shown of Ruby and Rod together at different times in the past which was a perfect accompaniment to this song. Once Ruby walked down the steps at center stage, she acknowledge someone in the audience and I turned to see that standing among the seated crowd, it was Penny who had signaled to Ruby and Ruby acknowledging her back as she was singing, "thank you for giving me my life." Very touching! After the song was over, the audience stood to applaud Ruby.

Rod returned and together they began Forever Young, then went off together for the drum/band solo. When they came back, Rod had the band stop playing so he could show off his gold suit, (so funny!) then the band continued to finish off the song. Ruby left afterward telling us to have a good night and while the chairs were being arranged for the acoustic set, Rod said how he was touched that she wrote that brand new song about her dad. As Rod sits down in the chair, he tells us to sit down, then says, "Oh you are sitting down". Then he said for us to welcome the Magnificent Seven they never let us down, the girls on the strings, give them a big round of applause. He then says that he made a little mistake earlier and called tonight Wednesday night then called himself a "silly old sod" saying it's a Tuesday night, so we're a Tuesday night crowd...then he says "no you're not, you're a Saturday night crowd!" which brought applause from the audience. He said it all comes down to the drink and that there's more money spent in the bar on Friday and Saturdays than there is on Tuesday and Wednesdays.

Then he introduces the next few songs of broken hearts that have loved in vain and First Cut Is The Deepest begins. He mentioned again before Ooh La La about the two members of the Faces who are no longer with us and dedicated the song to those two who are now on the roof. After that is Have I Told You Lately to finish off the acoustic set. He said the Magnificent Seven would be back later to do what they do best. After the chairs were removed, Rod did the Sam Cooke style of Twisting The Night away, saying, "He's my man!" After the song was over, Rod lifted the bottoms of his pants to show off his leopard print socks and said he wondered what his dad would say if he saw him now! He then came out into the crowd for Sweet Little Rock & Roller. An audience member held her copy of his book to sign and he stopped to do so while making his rounds. Afterward was time for the backup singers to take over with Proud Mary. Rod returned after that in black pants and black shirt for You're In My Heart and then Stay With Me as he kicked the footballs out into the crowd. Then Maggie May started and someone gave him a Celtic scarf which he draped around J'Anna as she happily played the violin with it wrapped around her neck. The crowd was on their feet to sing along and then all too soon the curtain comes down and quickly back up again for Do You Think I'm Sexy with the Magnificent Seven back to do what they do best. This was my last show, one I added later to the first two I had gotten tickets for originally and I'm certainly glad I did! It included the bonuses of having met Penny, getting a wave from Ruby and another fantastic show with an above average weekday crowd. Bye, Rod! See you next "Time"!
Review by Karen Chande
Photos by Karen Chande



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