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FEATURE:

December 10, 2016

'Dressed up and ready to entertain...' Manchester

Manchester Arena Review 8/12/16 By Gerard Rafferty

posted by Mike Walton



Note to self before Manchester show....'For God's sake try and enjoy yourself... stop pontificating about song choice and omissions. Rods on stage ( still ) singing....You've been a fan approaching 40 years....enjoy'.

I have been ( like all us proper fans) extremely critical of late....the glitz,vegas esque style show,the lazy song selection,the videos etc etc. So I changed my mindset and decided when havin a party opened the show ( as it inevitably would and did) I would cast my mind back to when I first saw Rod perform it on the unplugged and seated show and remembered how much I loved it.

During Some Guys I would remember the Camouflage tour when I travelled the East Coast of America watching him and what a wonderful time and experience I had in the summer of 84....Baby Jane would transport me back to the Summer of 83...Rod number one in the charts...like or loathe Body Wishes ( I love it) what a great tour....remember Ibrox.
Sexy was difficult but let's be honest it was at the time the fastest selling in the history of Warner Brothers and as Rod had plagerised it,all royalties were donated to UNICEF...so some good came from it....and hate it as we fans do,it did help mouldy Rods iconic status ( be it more Hollywood moulding as opposed to musically). Georgie/joking/Every picture/losing you/Reason to believe/Young Turks/Every Beat/Gasoline etc..that I feel should always be included in the show,I would listen to in the car on the way home.

Anyway...take my advice....Manchester was outstanding!
,Ladies and Gentlemen Sir Ro...'
Before he was fully introduced Rod bounded on stage to rapturous applause from a completely packed Manchester arena....from the off the crowd were on their feet as Rod belted out ...guess what...'Havin a party' and guess what...it was fantastic....straight into a welcomed addition of 'This old heart, then 'Some guys'....you couldn't hear yourself think.

Those first three songs were all hits this next one isn't Rod joked...Before an elongated fiddle introduced as 'love is' complete with River Dance dancing,fiddle and graphics.

The acoustic set was incredibly good.I can forgive Julia Thornton cheesy French lyrics as she attempted to replicate Britt Ekland's voice over on Tonight's the night complete with telephone by her outstanding harp intro on first cut.
Ohh la la ,for me,was the highlight of the acoustic set,with Rod 'tipping the hat' to Ronnie Lain, which was well received by the audience with a deafening roar,replicated by a deafening sing along.....the cheesy Christmas song complete with little Christmas tree on stage and Roadie sprinkling fake show from a ladder above Rods head...did however showcase Rods voice as he sang it superbly.

Jimmy Roberts outstanding as ever got plenty of centre stage profile and Matt O'Connell got more stage presence accompanying Dave Palmer on Forever Young and beyond.
A plug for the autobiography, a swipe at 'artists' who mime and a sincere thanks for the Knighthood just went further to endearing Rod to the 18000 strong crowd who sang all night.

No real surprises on the set list....unfortunately,
...and a poor ending with no real encore...Not sure why this is happening..my positive theory is that he is trying ( unsuccessfully) to replicate the end of the old Faces show with then band singing..."we'll meet again"
Anyway outstanding show...helped by a hugely enthusiastic and energetic Rod,a packed arena with a hugely responsive crowd and perhaps my new Rod gig mindset.Brilliant!

Review By Gerard Rafferty
Photos and Montage By Tommy Kevitt


© 2019 SMILER Magazine



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