A review in many partsÖ
A Concert Review
"What the hell am I supposed to do?"
As the day was going on I sort of dreaded going to see Rod
Stewart. It wasnít because I wasnít excited to see Mr. Stewart,
hell no. It was simply that around noon the weather was already hot
and steamy and I knew the pavilion at The Tweeter Center in suburban
Chicago would be sweltering. Then I got to the venue and sure, it
was hot, but there was a nice breeze blowing across the parking lot
so there was hope in the air that the show would be good, but also
7:30 rolls around and Iím escorted to the photo area where I
knew I probably wouldnít get a good shot because we were back by
the soundboard. Oh well, "Do what you can," I always say.
And then the time lingers, and lingers, and lingers.
Finally itís about 8:15 and this dude comes up to me. "Are
you from The Tribune? The Sun Times? Where are you from? Oh hell, I
just want to complain that the tickets say the show was supposed to
start at 7:30, I got here at 6:00, and the show hasnít started
yet." I retort, "I was told Rod was going on about 8. I
guess heís running a littleÖ" where I was rudely
interrupted by the dude pointing at his watch, "The show was
supposed to start at 7:30." "Hey, maybe heís making sure
everyone gets into the..." "My ticket says 7:30." And
after going back and forth with this guy who wouldnít listen to me
I just gave him this look and he finally went away. Thinking to
myself "Dude, what the hell are you complaining to me for? What
the hell am I supposed to do, run backstage and tell Rod to hurry up
because youíre an impatient prick? Me, Iím just disappointed
because we couldnít shoot pictures from the stage," and then,
low and behold the show intro starts with Rod on the video screens,
supposedly from backstage, signing some
soccer balls, ironing his shirt, sipping on some beverage, and
getting ready to start the show.
Then it was showtime.
From a saying Iím stealing for my own, it was hotter than a
horny toad in heat as the breeze disappeared and The Tweeter Center
turned into a sauna. But that didnít stop Rod Stewart from putting
on a show knowing that he may have lost a step or two, but even with
a new CD, "Human," out in the stores, well, Rod knew he could dabble a little with the new
stuff if he wanted to, hell, Iím not ever sure he did dabble with
any new stuff at this show, but it was the hits that the crowd was
mostly there for. And the crowd got a lot of them.
Opening with the trio of "Handbags & Gladrags,"
"The First Cut is the Deepest," and "Reason to
Believe," it was obvious Rod was going to stretch his set-list
far and wide to please his oldest to youngest fans. Me, I think Iím
kinda in the middle of that group, so as Rod went from songs like
"Infatuation" to covering the Facesí song "Stay
With Me," well, somehow I still remembered all of them, but
probably more importantly, so did everyone else as sing-a-longs were
most prevalent on as many songs that Rod would let the crowd join
in. And he let people join in a lot, especially on the classic
favorite of "Maggie May" towards the middle of the show,
"Forever Young" which gave the crowd a little sit-down
rest after "Rocks", and the sing-a-long and clap-a-long
"Hot Legs." And as much as crowd participation played a
role in keeping this show moving along, Rod Stewart utilized his
backing band to as much potential as possible.
And how did he use them? Well, there were many a time during the
2 Ĺ hour show where Rod would just disappear offstage leaving the
band to do some extended soloing (but who doesnít like a great
bass or sax solo?). Most of the times it seemed Rod did a costume
change because from his casual attire to denim outfit, well, Rod set
the tone with the clothes as much as possible, but other times it
just looked like Rod needed a breather, and who could blame him?
There he was, not the young whipper-snapper anymore, on a night
hotter than a witches armpit, still doing his best to bounce around,
spin around, kick soccer balls, and work the entire Tweeter stage so
that every person could have a good time. He also used the band a
little more towards the end of the show, letting the dudette back-up
singers do an appropriate-for-this-night cover of "Heat
Wave", but also letting the singers fill in a little more on
songs like "This Old Heart of Mine" and "Weíre
Haviní a Party" as Rodís voice started to give just a
little. But you know what Ė I didnít care, nor do I think did
any of the people in the crowd as everyone kept singing and dancing
and just having a good old time all the way through his encore of
"Tonight Iím Yours" which, for me, had too many
flashbacks coming in fast as freshman year of high school just came
This Dude is a Little Confused...
This was my first time seeing Rod Stewart and I must say I was not
disappointed, although some things confused me a little. First off
there was the soccer ball thing. Call me an uneducated reviewer, but
Iím guessing Rod is a huge soccer fan. I can only surmise this
from things like the video montage during "Youíre In My
Heart," where he also got a soccer ball lei from a fan, to the
kicking of soccer balls into the audience throughout the show
leading to worse scrambles than I think there were for Mark McGwireís
historic homerun ball. Another thing that confused me a little was
the John Deere work truck that was on stage. It didnít seem like a
stage prop, it almost seemed like it was left there by accident. It
just looked out of place.
And then there was the stage crasher.
I know Rod had no control of this dudette, but she needs to learn
a thing or two about actually getting to her favorite artist. This
dudette, she somehow climbed the ramp, got past the security dude
there, and was making her way towards Rod at the middle of the
stage. She was in slow motion, and in slow motion enough that a
security dude had time to come all the way across from the other
side of the stage to stop her before she even had a chance to get
close to Rod. It was one of those "I canít believe Iím
actually on stage" moments where she forgot her goal Ė to hug
Rod Stewart, and sadly, she never made it. Iím listening to Rod
singing "Weíre Haviní a Party" and this dudette was,
well, just swinginí, danciní to the music, of the Rod Stewart show,
just a little too much. Oh well.
The Dude on the Right's Rating...
So Iíll wrap up my portion of this review by saying that I
know Rod may have lost a step or two, but hell, the man still rocks.
He works to make every fan happy, from the old mamaís to the
little girls offering him a rose. A great performer, and you know I
like a great performer, but more importantly the folks that came to
see him just seemed to have a blast. Itís TWO "Watch Out For
Flying Soccer Balls" THUMBS UP for Rod Stewart from this
Dude. And now for some...
Random Thoughts and Quips from Stu GotzÖ
Letís face itÖ The Dude on the Right is good at writing
concert reviews as well as taking pictures. He has no problem fully,
and sometimes longwindedly but never pretentiously, explaining the
dynamics of a show. Me on the other hand, well Iím all about
instant gratification. My philosophy is "get to the point"
and "ínuff said." So with that in mindÖ
Aging Rockers and the Energizer Bunny: What do they have in
What is with rock and roll stars? Do they ever quit? The day of
Rodís show my dog got sick. The vet said I could come in at 7pm. I
asked the Doc if we could do it earlier because I was going to Rodís
show. "Rod Stewart? Isnít he dead?" was her comment
before telling me to come in right away. Is that what people really
think? Even the Comedy Central show "South Park" poked fun
at Rodís age by depicting him as a liver spotted old man in a
wheelchair pooping in his pants? Now I know Rod is getting up there,
but I certainly never thought he was dead.
Carded and Denied at the Leather Pants Store?
In getting ready for this concert I dug out an old Rod Stewart
record (a what you ask?) and a CD. I took a long hard look at the
cover art and pictures contained within. Based on this I fully
expected Rod to show up on stage in tight leather pants, with a sock
stuffed in strategically, and his shirt unbuttoned. Much to my
surprise Rod entered the stage in appropriately fitting black kakis
and his shirt tucked in with only the bottom two buttons buttoned.
Has Rod become modest in his older age? Wow! Hey Mick Jagger, if youíre
reading this please take notice.
I Hope He Was Just Trying to Dance Like the Rest of the CrowdÖ
Like I said, Rodís getting a little long in the tooth, but the
ole boy still gets up and goes. I think the reason he can put on a
better than 2 hour show is because his band and back-up singers help
out a lot on stage by taking the spotlight for a minute or two. This
allows Rod to have a sip of water and such. Anyway, during one of
the spotlight breaks, the male back-up singer was bouncing around on
stage. He was doing what I call the "white boy, aerobic,
two-step bounce and kick." You know what IĎm talking about,
donít you? Did you ever see Eddie Murphy in "Raw?"
Remember when he makes fun of how white people dance? Well thatís
what this male, back-up singer was doing, except he wasnít white.
Maybe he wasnít from this side of the pond, or maybe he was just
trying to dance like most of the dudes in the audience, but in any
case I think Eddie Murphy might have been disappointed in his
When it is all said and doneÖ
Call him an old man if you must, but I hope I can still rock and
kick the shit out of a soccer ball when I get to Rodís age. His
show isnít filled with pyrotechnics, lasers, or any other kind of
gimmicky crap. Itís all about the music these days, although it
seems at a little slower tempo from the original recordings.
Rod has aged well and still entertains his audience by performing
the songs they know by heart. For that I give Rod the ole BIG THUMB
UP and Iím Stu Gotz. 'Nuff said.
The Dude on the Right's
I liked Rod Stewart and so did Stu Gotz, and on this night
that was hotter than a pizza shop in summertime, well, we both were
duly impressed at Rod keeping things going even while saying things
to the crowd like "Please have a seat and rest your weary
bones." From the things I've heard before and after
seeing him live, well, he is just a great performer, even with, what
I think, was a lyric monitor (I caught a reflection of scrolling
words off of the the drummer's plastic bubble). I've seen the
best of them use one, and who really gives a shit as long as the
show was great, and Rod Stewart put on a great show. He may
have lost a step but his hair is still a mess! What more do
That's it for this one! I'm The Dude on the