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August 27, 2014

A Batty Good Time in Atlantic City

Review By Karen Chande

posted by Mike Walton

Right from the beginning of the show, it was clear that an unexpected guest had made it’s way into the venue free of charge and had the best seat in the house. I imagined it to be a bird that perhaps wandered into the venue from the seashore. Rod opened the show with Infatuation in the yellow jacket and pants, white shirt and orange tie performing without a hitch as the creature flew around him and the band members onstage. Much to my pleasant surprise when Rod came over to the side of the stage I was on during this very first song, he pointed to me in the Celtic shirt while I excitely waved my arms so happy to see him again. I would have been happy enough with that for the rest of the evening but there was more to come.

Next up I was happy to hear Some Guys Have All the Luck as this one had been omitted at the Washington, D.C. show. When Rod welcomed everyone he said “We’re in Atlantic City, it’s Saturday night and there’s a bat on the stage, what could be better!” He was handling the situation in his usual jovial way. The bat kept swooping around the stage and even the backup singers had to do an occasional dodging while dancing as it swooped around. Next up was Having A Party. As I was dancing around I realized most of the whole place was also on their feet and as we sailed through the remaining songs up to the sit-down acoustic set, I never sat down and no one asked me to. The only downer for me here was it had been announced prior to the show that photography and video recording was strictly prohibited. (I am sure that is the venues policy, not Rod’s. I am so glad in Vegas he has made it loud and clear that we are allowed to take pictures!) Nonetheless, so many people could be seen taking pictures with their phones but I happened to be “standing” right in front of the security man who was sitting in his chair facing me the whole time. I managed to sneak in a few pictures whenever he got up from his chair to go tend to something down the aisle. (This was quite unnerving for a die-hard photographer!) I took the opportunity to instead just dance and sing and enjoy the show. Much to my delight I was over the moon as I recognized the backdrop on the screen and Rod getting into a kneeling position that the Downtown Train had not been derailed in Atlantic City! This is one of my all-time favorite songs and I had even made a little sign saying “Downtown Train” to ask it to be performed but didn’t need to use it tonight!

After Forever Young as the men came out to arrange the chairs for the acoustic set, the bat was finally captured and the audience applauded. Rod was relieved saying it could be dangerous and in his jovial way said he was worried it might hit him in the face. The first song in the acoustic set was First Cut Is the Deepest, followed by the introduction to Reason To Believe where Rod told the story of how this was the A side and Maggie May was the B side and how if the DJ in Cleveland hadn’t turned the record over we wouldn’t be here tonight. He jokingly commented, “They had records in those days!” He introduced the final song in the acoustic set, Have I Told You Lately saying we were going to really love this next song and it was the most played song at weddings. I was very happy to hear a good strong audience singing along during this song. I always want to hear that for Rod like he gets from audiences outside of the U.S. After the acoustic set was Sweet Little Rock & Roller. Then Di and the ladies took over with Proud Mary while Rod went off to change clothes and freshen up. At the introduction of You’re In My Heart, Rod said he was dedicating this song to everyone who was wearing a Celtic shirt, had banners, flags, etc. (Awww…never actually heard him say that before!) He was very acknowledging to the Celtic support this night and I believe if it was physically possible probably would have called us up on the stage as he has sometimes done in Vegas. I held up my scarf and low and behold I suddenly showed up on the big screen during the middle of the song! I was so overjoyed and honored since this had been my third time up on the screen on this tour – in Albany, Washington, D.C. and now Atlantic
City. No one had captured that moment at the other two shows until tonight when my dear friends Marcy and Dave were prepared “just in case” and got a picture of it.

Next up was the funny videos on the screen before Hot Legs. Now when Rod shows the clip of the broadcaster drawling her little picture, he doesn’t say Detroit anymore but “somewhere in the U.S.” and points out the ABC logo on the screen. Hot Legs began and Rod kicks out those balls first on the opposite side I was on and some of them towards the middle almost reaching to the opposite side! When he came to my side, he threw me a ball which hit me right in the face and bounced off to some unknown place. He threw me another one which I caught this time and he goes, “Whew!” wiping his brow as if to say, “Thank God you caught it this time!” LOL, I am a poor catcher! By the time Maggie May started after that, I said to myself “The heck with it” and recorded the song, knowing Rod had once said he doesn’t care. I figured if security said anything to me it was late enough in the show that I wouldn’t care. Amazingly, they never said a thing during the whole show. During the encore Do You Think I’m Sexy I again pressed the record button at the point when Jimmy and Conrad had a solo. When Rod had wandered over to the side of the stage I was on prior to that, I was able to wave goodbye to him and blow him a kiss and get one blown back. It was a fantastic show, as always, and great that we were able to stand, sing and dance so much. If I had only one request it would have been to have something from “Time” as I love the songs he’s been singing from it, Can’t Stop Me Now, and/or Brighton Beach. But the Downtown Train pulled into the station tonight, so I can’t complain!

A most surprising ending to the whole evening was later when we were outside of the venue taking pictures of ourselves beside the lit up ad for the show with a nice picture of Rod on it, the great man himself walks right by us with a security team! It wasn’t the right “Time” to bother him for a picture with the “real deal” and we knew it, so for the most part (I did see a few people running after him) he was able to go off in peace and we stayed back in total disbelief that he had just walked by. Thank you, Rod, for another amazing show! See you in Vegas!

Review by By Karen Chande
Photo by By Karen Chande and David Jones

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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