Rod Stewart treated fans to a concert worthy of Caesars Palace on Monday, when the 68-year-old rocker brought his “Live the Life” tour to the Bryce Jordan Center. Former Steve Miller Band lead singer and now roots rocker Boz Scaggs opened the show.
Scaggs set a mellow tone with his set of 11 songs, kicking it off with the R&B-flavored hit “JoJo” before moving on to play a few songs from his new album “Memphis.” He ended his set with his two biggest hits, “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.” While Scaggs was just as vocally impressive as he was in the 1970s, the most exciting part of his time on stage was when his backup singer Monet Owens took the reigns by singing lead, getting everyone to their feet and bringing up the energy in the arena.
After a brief intermission, the cheers from the audience swelled with the announcement of Stewart’s entrance, and when the sparkling silver curtain surrounding the stage rose up, the crowd went with it. Everyone jumped to their feet as Stewart appeared on stage in all his mullet-haired, raspy-voiced glory, dressed to impress in a hot pink suit jacket and tie, coordinating perfectly with the flapper dresses of his backup singers.
Backed by a large digital screen flashing clips of performances by singers such as The Supremes and The Jackson 5, Stewart launched into the Isley Brothers hit “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You).” He then jumped into one of his classics, “Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright).” Stewart was ever the charming showman as he addressed the audience for the first time that night with a “Good evening ladies and gentleman, thank you for coming out this evening!”
In spite of his age, Stewart never failed to entertain, shaking his hips to every upbeat song such as the old Sam Cooke song “Having a Party” and Stewart’s own hits “Hot Legs,” “Forever Young” and “Can’t Stop Me Now,” a song from his newest album, “Time.”
The showman never failed to keep the mood light and fun, and it seemed clear that there was nowhere he felt more comfortable than on a stage in front of thousands of people. He talked to the crowd as if they were friends over for a dinner party, casually mentioning that he was “Just getting over a really rotten cold,” and once picking up a hat that someone threw onto the stage, keeping it on for a few minutes before tossing it to the side. Never missing an opportunity to showcase his love for his favorite sport, soccer, Stewart kicked a bunch of autographed soccer balls into the crowd while singing “You’re in My Heart.”
Stewart brought the concert to a close with one of his biggest hit songs, “Maggie May.” After the curtain dropped, he turned an encore performance into a dance party with his hit “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”
With his cheeky grin, saucy charm, and stronger than ever singing voice, Stewart brought a night of fun and classic hits to the Bryce Jordan Center, proving that good music and quality entertainment never get old.
Chloe Rabinowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.