Saturday July 29, 2017
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
There is nothing like a crisp cool evening under the stars…with stars. Stars as in Sir Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper who brought their 2017 summer tour to the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center Saturday evening. What an affair it was. The near capacity crowd were treated to a timeless performance from the ageless wonder himself Rod Stewart. The 72-year old, Stewart gave a 100-minute performance that easily ranks as one of the best I’ve seen this summer.
A huge curtain hung which featured a black and white checkered pattern in shapes of squares. As the curtain was raised it revealed his band who warmed up with “Soul Finger” before Stewart made his grand entrance wearing his gold glittering jacket. “Infatuation” got the ball rolling on a night where Stewart played hit after hit. The stage floor, keyboards and drum kits were also decorated with the same black and white pattern which added to the charm of the stage to give it a classy look and feel.
Stewart brought Lauper out to perform The Isley Brothers “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)”. It was a song Stewart said was chosen by Lauper to perform. It was good to see the two stars perform a song together. Many artists have opportunities to do something like this but never do. We need more of this in the future.
As the set progressed, it was time for a small acoustic set which featured Stewart and his backup singers seated in chairs along with a harp player and standing bass player and a pair each of violinists and acoustic guitarists. “The First Cut Is The Deepest” was the first track performed followed by ”Ooh La La” one of two Faces songs on the evening. Stewart stated he would love to get the surviving members together for a tour in the near future. “The next one is a song” the jovial Stewart proclaimed as it drew a hearty laugh from the crowd, as they delved into the classic “You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)”.
The Faces best known song “Stay With Me” was next. This was probably the only time of the night where Stewart was amiss as during the song he kicked about a dozen soccer balls out to the crowd taking away from the enjoyment of the song. Perhaps he should have done this during the band only “Proud Mary”.
Fear not as Stewart ended with “Do You Think I’m Sexy” which had the crowd swinging and swaying as he strutted from one end of the stage to the other. The curtain came down signaling the end of the main set.
As the curtain quickly rose for the encore of what many critics claim to be his greatest song “Maggie May”, Stewart did not disappoint as this by far was the song of the night. His raspy voice was in top form as it was all night. Ending with “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think). The curtain lowered and just like that Stewart and his stellar band were gone.
Opening the night was Lauper who first appeared on stage in a red wig which she cast aside during her second song revealing a lighter shade of orange. Fans were courteous during the first half of her set which only the energetic “She Bop” was vaguely familiar. She saved the rest of her hits for later. By the time “Money Changes Everything” made its appearance the crowd came alive. Perhaps none more so than during her anthem “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”. The song had the crowd dancing and bopping throughout the venue. Her 50-minute set was a good mix of lesser known songs alongside her hits.
There are so many artists that never get to this point in their careers. Rod Stewart is an exception to the rule. I saw him three years ago and now into his 70s he hasn’t lost a step. He is in his sixth decade in the music business and like a fine wine just keeps on getting better with age.
Soul Finger (Band only)
Some Guys Have All The Luck
This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You) (Duet with Cyndi Lauper)
Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)
You Wear It Well
Rhythm Of My Heart
It’s A Heartache
The First Cut Is The Deepest
Ooh La La (Faces song)
You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)
Have I Told You Lately
Proud Mary (Band Only)
Stay With Me
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy
Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)
Funnel Of Love
I Drove All Night
The End Of The World
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough
You Don’t Know
Money Changes Everything
Time After Time
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Not My Father’s Son/True Colors