stevie salas rips it up with Rod
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1988
By Steve Newton
The question was: can Rod Stewart still deliver after 20-some-odd years in the rock ‘n’ roll spotlight? And the answer is: the ladies sure seem to think so! After Saturday’s (August 20) wingding at the PNE, I’d have to agree with them.
The scheduled seven o’clock show didn’t get started until 45 minutes later, at which time the huge white curtains circling the stage were drawn back to the recorded sounds of “The Stripper”. Then the familiar boogie licks of “Hot Legs” careened off the stage and Rod the Mod–dressed in a bright yellow blazer, black slacks, and shiny black shoes–strutted casually onto an all-white stage that had “Out of Order” written across it in black (in case anyone forgot what to ask for at the record store the next day).
“We have many songs, old and new,” announced Stewart, “and we’ll try to play as many as we can. Here’s one from 1976.” Then he headed into the steamy ballad “Tonight’s the Night”, during which he drew hot-blooded cheers for doing up his shoelaces.
When he took off his jacket for the catchy “Some Guys Have All the Luck”, the crowd loosened up as well, and a couple of dozen (mostly female) fans headed toward the stage, only to be cut off by red-shirted security men. “Here’s another little song for the ladies, ” said Rod as he introduced “You’re in my Heart”; when a couple of women snuck up to the stage and reached for Rod they were chided by another party-pooping bouncer. Coming to their rescue, Rod slapped the big guy on the head and clasped the ladies’ hands. With that, about 100 others ran up, and there was no stopping them this time. Sex appeal: 1, bouncers: 0.
After a 20-minute break halfway through the show, Rod opened his second set with the surging rocker “Dynamite”–one of a number of fine tunes off his new album–and made it clear that he wasn’t one of those who wimp out with age. His bang-on band–two guitars, bass, keys, drums, and three-piece horn section–did everything right, and his lead player made Jeff Beck’s guitar work on “Infatuation” and “People Get Ready” look easy.
Rod strapped on an acoustic guitar for the old Faces tune “Mandolin Wind”, and asked the audience not to laugh while he played. His theme song, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?”, included a spectacular synthesized drum solo, which allowed Rod to change into the typical rock star garb of jeans and black leather jacket. “Everybody needs a little of this,” he said before “Passion”, and his roadies must have been sleeping when one woman climbed onstage and lay down with Stewart at centre stage. He took the female invasion with a lot of class (it was only one of several), and hugged and danced with the lady for a bit. Whatta guy!
Near the end of the show, Stewart pleased his long-time fans with old faves like “Reason to Believe” and “Maggie May”, and an encore of “Stay WIth Me”. During that tune he kicked a dozen soccer balls into the crowd, proving that he’s athletic, too! Some guys have all the luck.