A well rehearsed,stylised,choreographed performance delivered with perfect precision delighted the 25000 strong crowd at Stoke last night.
If you had a liking for Rod Stewart and went to the Britannia see him for the first time last night you would be euphoric. If you're a hardened fan who travels the shows you would be left with a "groundhog"day feeling.With a few exceptions it was (as I had anticipated) the same show as last year.....even his conversation with the crowd was the same.
Thankfully "This old Heart...." was shelved in favour of "Infatuation" for the opening. Again the critic and cynic" in me would argue that this was a song very much introduced for the American tour (much bigger hit in the U.S.) and simply transported across the pond for the 5 UK dates. That said it sounded fantastic and Don Kirkpatrick did a great job on the guitar solos....hard to believe that that song is now 30 years old....I remember buying it like it was only yesterday.
As I said earlier there were a few exceptions that separated the show from last year (only a few though)."Shake your Money Maker" went down well and again delivered superbly by the band, and conveyed to everyone that at 69 Rod still has a little left in the tank.
Rod introduced his old faces microphone and launched into "stay with me" which again was delivered superbly.
The only other variation from the previous shows was during "Rhythm of my Heart" where the introduction of an emotive violin complemented the picture on the screen of a little boy greeting his Father as he returned from war...sounded great.On the introduction of the song you could note the emotion in Rods voice and expression which added some sentiment to the song,and of-course the girls signings' at the end always goes down well.
I would have to note that Rod sounded fantastic,and enjoyed the response he received from the crowd who were magnificent...the sound was also great....so in summary....great sound,great crowd,great musicians,great voice,but for me far too predictable,rehearsed and stylised.
I appreciate the fact that its very difficult to choose song that will suit everyone but with such a back catalogue he should be "mixing it up" a little for the fans....think about how we felt when we all heard "Georgie" last year.
Unfortunately this "old raincoat" is letting you down.
Set list...infatuation,this old heart,tonight the night,you wear it well,can't stop me now,stay with me,rhythm of my heart,shake your money maker,forever young,first cut is the deepest,I do t wanna talk about it,Have I told you lately?,Brighton Beach,she makes me happy,sweet little rock n roller,proud Mary (band),your in my heart,hot legs,baby Jane,sailing,sexy.
Review by Gerrard Rafferty
Photograph and set list design by Laura Durber
Laura's review coming soon.