Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rod Stewart at PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ 8-20-08

So, as a favor for my future mother-in-law, my fiancee and I tagged along with her and her boyfriend to Rod Stewart's concert at PNC last night.

First, a couple of things I never knew about Rod Stewart:

1. I never knew he was Scottish. I thought he was a full-blooded Englishman. But while he was born in North London, he was reared by a Scottish father and an English mother, making him something of a half-breed, his concerts seem to cater to his Scottish half, indicative of the bagpipers who came out before he took the stage and the Celtic Football Club head on his drummer's kick.

2. I had no idea that Rod Stewart had such a huge lesbian following. Walking in alongside a veritable army of mullet-headed, fanny-pack rockin', Dress Barn-jeans-hiked-up-to-their-tits-wearing ladies who served as quite a contrast to the oversexed middle-aged MILFs who made up about 85% of the crowd that night.

In any regard, I knew going into this concert that I'd have an ice cube's chance in hell that he would do any Faces or Jeff Beck Group material, so there were no surprises there. But at least he didn't dish out that Great American Songbook stuff, choosing to do a lean 1:45 of his best-known hits. So we got "Tonight's The Night". We got "Hot Legs". We got "Forever Young". We got "This Old Heart of Mine". We got his version of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train". We got "You Wear It Well" and "Maggie May". We got "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy", which, depending on if you are a fan of Rod's disco era, was actually pretty fuckin' kick-ass live. We got "The First Cut Is The Deepest". He even threw in a couple of noteworthy covers, including The Drifters' "On Broadway" (which didn't even come close to Neil Young's version off Freedom), CCR's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" and a thoughtful rendition of Cat Stevens' "Father and Son", flanked by a slideshow of old photos of Stewart and his dad along with Stewart's three sons.

It was also interesting to see the amount of women Rod has in his band. He had a chick on the lap steel guitar, a girl on violin and mandolin who Michele thought was one of the Corrs and three lovely back-up singers.

I'm glad to say that I had the chance to see Rod Stewart live, although I swore to myself I'd only go see him if he reunited with Jeff Beck and did strictly stuff off Beck-Ola and Truth, which will never happen, apparently.

And in an effort to detox myself from the whole scene beyond the music, which saw what had to have been the strangest array of people I ever saw at a concert in my entire life (if you ever wanted to know where lunch ladies and teacher aides go to let loose, they wait for Rod to hit the road!), I am providing you with a classic Faces performance I copped off You Tube of them doing "Stay With Me". Enjoy. -Ed.

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