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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Rod Stewart Proves He's Still the Consummate Showman

Posted By on Sat, Jul 29, 2017 at 9:51 AM

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When Rod Stewart performed at the Q in 2012, he had loads of energy for someone who had just entered his late 60s. Remarkably, when Stewart performed at Blossom last night, he displayed just as much energy. And he’s now just entered his early 70s.

A consummate showman, he regularly changed outfits and alternated between driving rock tunes and tender ballads, showing just how well his raspy voice has held up after all these years.

You can see a slideshow of photos from the concert here.

After letting his large backing band that included horns and strings kick the concert off with an old soul number, Stewart, decked out in a flashy silver suit and silver shoes, strutted onto the stage to “Infatuation,” one of his cheesier pop hits from the ’80s. Twirling the microphone stand like a samurai wields a sword, Stewart turned his back to the capacity crowd to shake his ass a bit. His energy wouldn't wane.

After delivering a rousing rendition of “Some Guys Have All the Luck,” a tune that benefited from some exuberant tambourine shakes, Stewart addressed the fans. “Good evening, my friends,” he said. “Welcome, welcome.” His warm greeting suggested the sheer joy he gets out of performing.

For “This Old Heart of Mine,” a cover of an Isley Brothers’ tune, he invited opener Cyndi Lauper back to the stage, and the two performed the track as a duet, effectively harmonizing and trading off lead vocals. A string arrangement gave the tune a real elegance.

Then, Stewart was back at it, ripping off his sport coat as the band dug into “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright),” a track that featured a particularly beefy organ riff. “Forever Young” concluded with a vigorous drum solo that led to an Irish fiddle segment. That combo made the song come off as an epic centerpiece for the show.

A high-pitched synth riff drove his hard-hitting rendition of “Young Turks” and while we still prefer Tom Waits’ rendition of “Downtown Train,” Stewart did the song justice, dropping to his knees to sing the first few lines of the somber ballad and then letting his sax player wail away at the song’s conclusion.

Toward the end of the 90-minute show, Stewart let the backing singers take on “Proud Mary” so he could slip into yet another sport coat. He finished the 20-song show with some of his more uptempo material, including “Maggie May,” “Stay With Me” and “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,” turning on the house lights so he could see the crowd sing along in unison.

Lauper opened with a 45-minute set that showed just how well her hits from yesteryear have held up. She effectively hiccupped her way through poppy tracks such as "Time After Time" and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and then concluded with a poignant rendition of the ballad “True Colors” that she performed without the accompaniment of her band.

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