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August 21, 2014

Standing, Dancing and Singing Loud and Proud with Rod

Review from Washington, D.C. Verizon Center 19/8/14 By Ginni Foxx

posted by Mike Walton

Santana opened the concert at the Verizon Center to an eager and enthusiastic crowd. He is a very gifted and skilled guitarist. Though I recognized some of his songs, and stood and danced with the crowd, I had come to see Rod Stewart. Dressed in my Celtic shirt, Celtic flag and scarf in hand, I was ready for Rod, plain and simple. Nobody else would do.
The beautiful semi-transparent curtain Rod uses dropped when Carlos Santana closed his portion of the show to a standing ovation.

We could see the set being quickly changed to accommodate Rod and the stellar artists who perform with him all over the world. The music started, the curtain came up and there was the band, and then came Rod Stewart.
Rod was dressed in his famous yellow jacket always with a flower, black trousers, white shirt, black tie, yellow socks and black and white shoes and it was clear he was ready to “rock the house.”

He opened the concert with “Infatuation” which clearly describes my journey with Rod Stewart for over 30 years now – I have been and always will be “infatuated” with this talented man and his wonderful music. Everyone was on their feet – with the exception of the two “fans” in front of us, and the two “fans” behind us. Now what are the chances of having seats where you have two sets of people who do not “stand” for Rod Stewart? Yes, that was me. Right during Rod’s singing of “Infatuation” the tap on my shoulder came from behind asking me to sit down because they could not see. I kindly asked them if they were disabled and could not stand and they replied “no.” I then said, “I am extremely sorry but I have driven a very long way to be with Rod Stewart at this concert and I plan to stand, dance and sing ‘loud and proud.’” No further comment from the back peanut gallery.

The next song up was Sam Cooke’s “Having A Party,” and having a party is clearly what this wonderful audience had come to do. Everyone but a few were standing and anyone and everyone was singing along. You could feel the mood of the venue lighten with the participation of the audience and see the delight on Rod’s face at their participation.

Next came “You Wear It Well” and Bonnie Tyler’s “It’s A Heartache.” The memories of seeing this dynamic performer once again on stage singing these classic standards delighted this Rod fan and clearly so many, many others. Rod seemed to be at total ease as he worked his way from one song to another, crossing the stage with ease as well, so all were given the opportunity to see him.

Next came “Tonight’s The Night” and Faces “Stay With Me.” Rod made reference to a possible reunion with the Faces, stating he hoped they didn’t wait too long, hence I believe his contemplation of retiring in the next few years.
“Rhythm Of My Heart” was performed with a beautiful changing scenic background of photos as a tribute to the troops. It was truly touching particularly to a woman who had just visited Arlington Memorial Cemetery and the grave of her own father, himself serving in the Navy on a submarine.

Carlos Santana came on stage again to beautifully accompany Rod on “I’d Rather Go Blind” and the performance of both artists was perfect to say the least.
Rod left the stage for a much needed wardrobe change as the band continued to entertain the crowd with non-stop first class entertainment. Coming back on stage he was dressed in a silver suit, all now familiar black and white polka dot shirt and socks and his black and white shoes. He told the audience that it was time for them to have a seat as they were going to take a seat as well. Major electronics malfunction – neither electric guitar would work and both had to quickly exit the stage with Rod asking “you do have another one don’t you?” The audience roared.

With quite a bit of action in the background, Rod began his seated session with “Forever Young” with the accompaniment of a very loud and vocal audience and “we sang it well.” Rod approved so much that he actually applauded for us upon completion. Next up was “The First Cut Is The Deepest,” and “I Don’t Want To Talk About It,” and once again I was taken down memory lane by Rod. I saw him and heard him sing so flawlessly, and yet it also transported me mentally back to many years ago, when I heard these same wonderful songs, and I was in total awe of having the honor to see this same skilled man performing them for me again 20 years later. The last one in the set was “Have I Told You Lately” which was much appreciated by the delightful young lady and her husband sitting next to me, and we formed our own duo and we “sang it well.”

Back on his feet again Rod performed the TIME favorite “You Can’t Stop Me Now” as his background changed showing pictures of him at all stages of his life. It is truly one of my favorite songs and I sang along, knowing every word, and waited for “the tartan pride,” which I knew was coming and the famous “yeah.” After this song he paused and remarked that TIME had not done as well in the United States as it had done abroad, but he thanked the audience for letting him indulge in singing the song. He didn’t have to thank me – I wanted to thank him for not only a wonderful song but also for countless other wonderful songs on TIME which I listen to frequently.

“Sweet Little Rock And Roller” got almost the entire crowd on their feet and the classic kept them there, and once again singing loudly along. Rod still moved across the stage with ease and moved those “hot legs” and hips the same as he has always done to the delight of the crowd.
Time for another wardrobe change for Rod as he was soaking under the lights as he rocked the house and Di Reed and the other wonderful artists delighted the audience with “Proud Mary” and it was right on.

Rod came back out dressed all in black and belted out the much loved “You’re In My Heart” and once again we became his accompaniment, and we did it so well, we once again got applause from Mr. Stewart.
Everyone was still on their feet as Rod quickly eased into “Hot Legs” once again with the audience giving excellent backup and Rod kicking footballs into the audience starting on the right side of the stage (up in to the highest level of the venue), making his way to the center stage, never missing a beat, and then to the left side of the stage where he once again excelled in the sport he loves so much. No, I didn’t get a football – not even close, but it made no difference to me. I was singing along and just as happy as I could be.

My very favorite song, “Maggie May” came next and I had not been in my seat except when Rod asked us to sit. “Maggie May” was the very first song that I actually heard and saw Rod sing so many years ago here in the U.S. and I was literally stopped in my tracks by this man, and have been ever since.

The curtain came down as the audience was clapping and yelling for more – what a special, magical sound that was for me to hear for Rod. The curtain rose again and Rod was back for one last song, “Do You Think I’m Sexy.” complete with a magnificent balloon drop that continued throughout the entire song and even after it was over. The audience was having a ball with the song and the beautifully multi-colored balloons.

The curtain went down and the concert was over but not for me. It is a memory that I will carry with me for the rest of my life as a treasure, for my memory box, in my mind. Rod gave us his all and it was evident he felt relaxed and his voice was clear and strong. We are so very fortunate that he continues to entertain us year after year, and he clearly enjoys it.

In summary, I got to meet several of the Rodettes; beautiful women who I have had lengthy discussions with on the internet, who I felt I already knew. I also had the opportunity to meet Lucy Woodward and what a beautiful, precious dynamo she is – just lovely and so kind and full of enthusiasm. I walked out with “that Rod smile and glow on my face.” I had my “Rod Fix” for now. Any regrets – none whatsoever. Would I go again – why do you think I still have that “Rod smile” on my face? I am off to Vegas in October and November to see him again – three times. It is truly “a dream come true” for me and I am very blessed to have this dynamic performer in my life for so many years. “Never A Dull Moment” with Rod Stewart. We are all so fortunate to be able to share our lives with him. He is “special.”

Review By Ginni Foxx
Photos By Ginni Foxx

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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