All you had to do was close your eyes and simply listen to Paul Rodgers belt out hit after hit Tuesday evening at Artpark and think you were transformed into 1975. To hear Rodgers sing with the ease in which he did with his powerful soulful voice no one could ever guess his age if they didn’t have an idea. The sold out crowd roared in approval as Rodgers cited them following “Shooting Star” for being the loudest crowd so far to date on the tour.
Over the last ten years or so Bad Company has done only a handful of tours, mostly with another major draw as the headliner or co-headliner. After witnessing this show tonight I really cannot see how this band isn’t headlining all on their own. Joining Rodgers was his partner in crime guitarist Mick Ralphs and drummer Simon Kirke both of whom are founding members. Complimenting them were guitarist Howard Leese who has played with Heart and bassist Todd Ronning who has played with Rodgers solo band.
The band promptly took the stage to “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” and made everyone forget about the sweltering heat. A pair of title cuts in “Burnin” Sky” and “Running With The Pack” were up next.
As the band generally does “Gone, Gone, Gone” from Desolation Angels was dedicated to other original member, bassist Boz Burrell who passed away in 2006.
Released in 1982 and culled from Rough Diamonds, “Electricland” oddly enough seems more popular now than when it was originally released. The song seemed to be the centerpiece of the whole live set as Rodgers sat at the piano and banged it out.
The band went through their main set as “Movin On”, the aforementioned “Shooting Star” and “Can’t Get Enough” concluded the main set which lasted sixty minutes.
Returning to the stage with “Bad Company”, it appeared none of the patrons left like some usually do following the ending of the main set. “Rock Steady” closed out the show, or so everyone thought as the Rodgers, Kirke and Ralphs all appeared at the front of the stage. A moving version of “Seagull”, the bands sixth song played from their debut self-titled release featured Rodgers and Ralphs on acoustic guitars. A fitting way to end the show.
I have to go on record right now to say this show will not be topped this season at Artpark. When the season schedule was released, Bad Company was one of those shows you were definitely intrigued by. To have it turn out to be this high calibre of a show notwithstanding the torrid temperatures, no one could have predicted it. The performance was one for the ages. When looking back on this one years from now, most will fondly remember how hot the show was, not the atmospheric conditions.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy
Run With the Pack
Feel Like Makin’ Love
Gone, Gone, Gone
Ready For Love
Can’t Get Enough
Special thanks to Maria Hays for all her help