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FEATURE:

June 1, 2014

Rod's management is genius

A Night On The Town with Marcy Part 4

posted by Mike Walton



First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Saturday, May 31
By Marcy Braunstein

At the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY show on Saturday, May 31st, we decided to have something to eat while Santana was playing and came into the arena probably half way thru his set. It was amazing to see the party atmosphere and how engaged the audience was and then during Rod's show, I turned around several times to make the same assessment of the crowd. And since the ticket buying public is the final say---not the music critics--let me put to rest any discussion or debate that one act is better than the other on this US Tour. Let me also say that whomever in was in Rod's management that is responsible for this pairing is a genius. What an unbelievably energy-packed great show!

The highlight of the evening for me was when Rod brought out the original microphone stand used during "Stay With Me" back in the '70s. He said they pulled it out of storage for this tour and I'm not sure if this was the first show he used it or not but I don't remember seeing it before and I haven't heard him make reference to it before. He treated it like a relic--actually kissed it at one point and was twisting and throwing it around while singing just like the old days. How I wish I would have seen them live back then.

Rod was in a great mood--very playful and casual. When J'Anna was ready to do her solo, Rod got down on his hands and knees, took out his handkerchief and cleaned a spot on the stage for her to stand in the spotlight. When introducing Dave Palmer after his solo, he extended the list of his middle names to include not only Aloysius but Nathaniel and a few other names I can't remember.

During "You're in my Heart" Rod acknowledged that he saw us up on the screen with our flag when he was looking down at the screen in front of him. I didn't know he could see that. He threw a soccer ball directly to Dave and also Santana gave Dave a guitar pic. So we left the arena with a few relics of our own.

He came out in a yellow jacket and black pants and kept the jacket on longer than usual. He changed to the silver suit with the poked-dotted shirt and socks and finished up with the gorgeous blue pants and this time combined them with a purple shirt.

Before "Tonight's the Night" Rod said he thought many probably had sex while listening to this song in the late '70s. And in introducing "Rhythm of my Heart" while dedicating it to past and current veterans, he made a point of saying that it's a shame the way they are being treated nowadays and that it's just not in the US but also in Britain. Kim, Lucy and Di did an extraordinary job in singing at the end of it. Wow do they compliment Rod well.

A good Rod show always includes an odd drop of the F bomb and he did when he asked the audience to applaud after "Can't Stop Me Now". He said it's really hard to sing brand new songs when he knows the audience wants to hear the hits. The audience loves that song and applauds especially during "and along came Maggie May".

It's so hard to sit during "Reason to Believe" and First Cut" even though Rod and most of the band is sitting. Before "First Cut" he said the song was originally done by Cat Stevens and then more recently by Sheryl Crow but that the way he did it is the best---and of course he's right.

Rod's band continues to amaze me! From the moment they come out on stage, they give it their all...and then some. Singing, dancing and playing their instruments in the most professional manner appearing to be having so much fun. I know it's their job but like Rod they must love what they do. They must really get along off stage--there's no way they could do what they do if they didn't.

If this was our last show on the US Tour, I would be sad but would know that I just saw one of the great ones. Fortunately for us, it's not our last one. We will pick up the tour again in August in Chicago and will see the last four shows. Those who will see the shows throughout the summer are in for a great time!

Review By Marcy Braunstein
Pictures By Marcy Braunstein



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