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August 26, 2014

The last night on the town with Rod for awhile

Youngstown, Ohio 25/8/14 Review by Marcy Braunstein

posted by Mike Walton




Before I begin talking about the last show of the US Tour on a Night in the little town of Youngstown, Ohio, I must just say a few things about what happened the night before in Atlantic City. Unbelievably the show opened with a bat--yes a bat-flying around the stage. At first I thought it was a bird which wouldn't have been of as much concern but then Rod confirmed it was a "f**king bat". I always think of a bat getting in your hair. It flew around Rod and the band members for some time. I really felt for the female members of the band-they were trying really hard not to let it affect them and they did a really good job of it. Rod mentioned that Kimmie had a look of terror on her face and said he had never seen her look like that before. It was still flying around by the time for the sit down and Rod said "if that f**king bat hits me! I'm suing Trump". When Rod first sat down he jumped up right away pretending he had sat on the bat. Shortly thereafter the bat was caught. To the best of my knowledge, no law suit was filed. (I personally think it was irresponsible of the venue folks to allow that that thing to fly around for that long.)

That certainly spiced up what I was afraid was going to be an uneventful casino show. It appeared to be sold out but it's not a very large venue. A number of casino bozos came in late and a couple rows of them sat thru even "Sweet Little Rock and Roller" but that is to be expected. But in general the crowd was very responsive and more people stood than sat. Atlantic City is facing hard times-big casinos are closing at the end of the season-and booking a big name like Rod was a smart strategic move. Rooms at the Taj were sold out!

Rod surprised us on bended knee with "Downtown Train" and with "Reason to Believe" during which Chuck did a killer job on the harmonica. In introducing "Have I Told you Lately"
Rod said this is a favorite song at weddings and then he laughed and said "And I should know". I missed "I'd Rather Go Blind" but not Santana.

Even in the smaller venue Rod kicked soccer balls--didn't seem like he kicked the typical 40 or so but folks way in the back caught some. And so did I---Rod threw one right to me down front. The Celtic shirts were in force and Rod obliged them. Rod requested a fan because it was so hot up there there and once it was brought out, he went over and adjusted it so it was blowing directly on him--just a little logistical note.

He came out in the yellow jacket but wore an orange tie which I don't think I've seen before; then the silver and white and ended in all black with a big silver belt buckle and the cowboy hat. No sign of those red and black $600 new shoes.

One final note about Atlantic City is actually about hotel security. They brought Rod out of the arena right thru the main thoroughfare of the casino to the lobby. You could hear girls screaming and Rod put his head down and was trying to go unnoticed. I find it hard to believe that was the only way and the appropriate way for him to exit the building. He looked scared with the crowd. Dave said he would have intervened if needed. Having said that, I sure wish I would have been there earlier if they brought him in that way.

The show the following night in Youngstown, Ohio was first of all odd because it was added late in the tour and to a rather small town with a venue of only 5800 seats. Rod commented early on that it was a privilege to play in such an intimate setting and complimented the audience for singing louder than some of his 15,000 audiences. He was really pleased with the overwhelming response he received. He came out in a white jacket, changed to the gold suit and those new red shoes and finished in black pants and a yellow and white flowered shirt.

The show started with much anticipation because we were able to hear some of the sound check and we heard two songs being played that had not been heard earlier--- "Ooh La La and Baby Jane". We wished he would have played both but he only did "Ooh La La" during the sit down and acknowledged Ronnie Lane. That was a great addition to that part of the show.

He mentioned a Faces reunion after "Stay with Me" again and said to "Keep the Faith--it will happen". I will hold you to that Rod! I think a Faces reunion will be very interesting to say the least. Here are some thoughts: Will it be an actual tour? Will it be in the UK, in the US or both? Will folks other than Faces fans and long-time Rod fans attend? Will the set list be all Faces songs either though they had only one big hit? What will the dynamic be like without Ronnie Lane and the fact that they all may be sober on stage and of course a few years older? I can't wait to find out!

And lastly the show was probably the most exciting one for me because a Pre-Show Meet and Greet had been arranged for us and we had the opportunity to see and talk with Rod briefly before the show, had a photo taken and had him sign an item we brought. Rod Stewart is everything you think he is. You know sometimes you hear someone say to be careful in meeting your hero because you'll probably be disappointed. I'm here to tell you---that is not true when it comes to Rod Stewart! The best way to describe him--aside from being so talented etc,----is that he is a very nice man. Thank you Rod--thank you for who you are, for all that you do and for all you give to all of us. My nights on the town with Rod are done-for awhile--but the wonderful memories I have will be held close to my heart--until next time.

Review By Marcy Braunstein
photo's By Marcy Braunstein



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