As I entered the Mohegan Sun Casino I ran into Karen and she told me that some of the SMILER fan club would be meeting in “THE LANDSDOWNE IRISH PUB” before the show. The fan club had a table set aside. Some of the fans were there, Maureen, Karen, Nancy Jean, Mike & Jill, Barbara and I to name few.
The show started at 7:30pm with Carlos Santana and his band as the opening act. Carlos was wearing a very colorfull shirt and nice looking hat. The venue was not too large so the sound was great. His guitar playing was very good and it seems to be that the audience really enjoyed his music. At one point he was giving his guitar picks out to the people in the front row. The rhythm guitarist sang a solo. His guitar playing and singing was great.
Santana and his band played for 1 1/2 hours.
There was a 20 minute break before Rod came on stage.
During the break I ran into Rick Larrymore, who is a well known to many SMILER members as a Rod Stewart tribute singer here in the north east United States. He is a terrific performer, but Rod is still the Rod Stewart and Rod was in the house, his opening song was “Infatuation”, this song energized the audience. The next song was “Having a Party” everybody really started to sing and dance. When Rod and Carlos performed “I Rather Go Blind”, they were great together. During this song, Carlos did a guitar solo, he was fantastic. Than Rod sang “Forever Young” and everyone started to sing along. Rick Larrymore got my attention and told me I had to sing along with Rod and him.
The local orchestra of girl violinists joined Rod and the band, Rod ask the audience to sit down and enjoy the next three songs. The first song was “The First Cut is the Deepest”, next was “Reason to Believe” and then “Have I Told You Lately”. Rod said enough of this stuff; let’s move on to something faster. He played “Sweet Little Rock’n Roller”; I thought he would stroll into the audience, as he does in Las Vegas, but no such luck. Rod then left the stage to the girls to do “Proud Mary” which was done very well, the singing and dancing was great. They all have so much talent. I hope Rod pays them well Ha Ha.
When Rod came back his next song was “Your in My Heart”, many of his fans were wearing Celtic shirts like myself. We all stood up to show him our support and that we love him so much. He could see who his real diehard fans are. The “Hot Legs” song got everyone on their feet, because they were getting ready to catch the soccer balls that Rod was going to kick into the audience, which he always does. Everyone was very excited and jumping trying to get a ball. I heard people say lets offer her $100.00 for that ball. When the song “Maggie May” came on, this was the second to last song. This song is one of my favorite songs and it appears to be a favorite to a lot of other fans. The high point of this song is when Janna Jacoby does here violin solo. She plays the violin so well. The curtain came down for 20 seconds.
When the curtain when up again Rod started singing “Do You Think I’m Sexy”. Rod said to the audience “come on down here, don’t be shy”. Rod said come on, let me hear you sing this song, then he said let’s sing it one more time. Everyone was singing and the balloons started to dropping from the ceiling, the people were grabbing and holding on to them. I even have some in my own collection. As the curtain started to fall, I was sad that the show was over and I have to wait until the next show, to see my Rod Stewart.
As I was leaving the arena, I ran into other fan and we were talking about how great the show was. We also started to plan our next meeting at the next show. I also saw Rick Larrymore and told that he should see Rod’s last three shows in Las Vegas this November and could meet a lot Rod’s fans from the north east.
Review by Barbara Holland
Pictures by Barbara Holland