Bob Seger hardly seems an 'old man' at Rogers Arena
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band walked onstage to John Fogerty's Old Man Down the Road. The tune had the nearly full Rogers Arena roaring.
If it was meant to be ironic, nicely done.
It'll be awhile before Seger is the old man. At 69, the Detroit rock & soul singer still projects with an ease vocalists 30 years his junior would be happy to have.
The 14-piece band fronted by ponytailed saxman Alto Reed is beyond seasoned. They groove any way they want and deliver a show both consummate and thoroughly entertaining.
Whether laying down the rousing opener Roll Me Away from 1972s The Distance or the cover of Otis Clay's Tryin' To Live My Life Without You that has been part of the Seger setlist since the late sixties, the group was right on.
Former Grand Funk Railroad drummer Don Brewer in particular was swinging hard. He must be happy being in a good group.
Seger knows how key the players are to his enduring success and lets them own tunes. Mainstreet from 1976's Night Moves wouldn't be anything without that saxophone riff. It defines the song as much as the sax hook in Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street did. Perhaps it's street songs from the seventies?
Fortunately, nobody Tom Cruise'd in their y-fronts for Old Time Rock and Roll. But they sure got up and shimmy-shaked themselves silly. And one of the back-up singers was killing it on a cowbell the size of her forearm.
The guy next to me thought that was awesome. He thought everything was awesome.
It was that kind of Saturday at the stadium.
For an artist who has made so much out of some painfully saccharine ballads -- sorry, but Like A Rock has always seemed so well suited for truck ads it could have been a commissioned jingle -- Seger and the Silver Bullet Band still load the performance with meat n' taters arena air punch makers. They downright burned on Willy Mitchell's Come to Poppa, Her Strut and the epic Ramblin' Gamblin' Man singalong.
Even the new Nashville-tinged material from last year's All The Roads didn't embarrass. Compared to so many of his peers, Seger comes across as still engaged in making music. Gypsy, his new Stevie Ray Vaughan dedication, was a highlight.
But, gotta say, Turn The Page may be one of my least favourite "road life" tunes of all time. I am in a minority there, I guess.
It always feels good to see a local band get to grace the opening slot and be introduced to a new crowd. Rich Hope and His Evil Doers did themselves proud warming up the crowd.
The band's blues rock may not quite be as clean as some would like, but it got heads nodding and feet tapping with some hoots and hollers when the quartet threw in a few verses of Golden Earring's Radar Love. While there was some "tsk-tsk'ing" about Hope's expletive-laced stage banter, the band proved a really good pairing.
Here's to seeing the band blasting all stylish again soon. They play the Rickshaw this month.Sderdeyn@tueprovince.com
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