The title of Rod Stewart’s 1972 classic ‘Never A Dull Moment’ summarizes his 2012 show. I first saw Rod Stewart at his 1978 Sydney show and nearly every Aussie tour since and he has been never a dull moment every time.
Rod Stewart is that rare performer made up of equal parts rock star, musician and entertainer. He really, truly is a superstar in ever sense of the word.
At a Rod Stewart show you can’t help but feel the sense of timelessness from the hits that come one after the next after the next after the next. So few artists from any era can deliver such high quality in such a small space of time. Where Rod differs from his old sparring buddy Elton John is that Rod becomes one with the crowd while Elton plays to them.
You always learn something about Rod at a Rod gig. It is like catching up with an old mate you haven’t seen for a few years. For starters in the past year he had another kid (his 7th) and he became a Grandfather for the first time. His 17 year-old son Liam is playing Ice Hockey for Britain and everyone in the family owns a Celtic United jumper (apparently). We also saw the family photos on the big screen.
Before ‘You Wear It Well’ Rod told a story about writing the song with Ronnie Wood in Ronnie’s mother’s kitchen. That was news to me. The credits have always shown Martin Quittenden as Rod’s co-writer. (Martin also wrote ‘Maggie May’ and ‘Farewell’ with Rod). Can someone shed some light on that story for me, please.
Tom Waits earned a few nickels from last night’s show as well. Rod performed both ‘Downtown Train’ and ‘Tom Traubert’s Blues’, with his nod to ‘Waltzing Matilda’. ‘Downtown Train’ featured a complete surprise, an unexpected drum solo akin to that classic piece we heard all those years ago in Rod’s R&B/ Rock cover of ‘I Know I’m Losing You’. It may have been the most bizarre song ever to feature a full-tilt drum solo. Rod put his downtime to good use though. He used it to squeeze into a new pair of duds.
The recreation of the ‘Unplugged … And Seated’ set replaced the previous American Songbook section on this tour. Thank God Rod has wrapped his songbook songs into a St Vincent de Paul’s bag and dropped them off behind the supermarket only to have Paul McCartney yank them out in the middle of the night and put them to good use. Nice recycling Mr Stewart.
The touching moment of the unplugged set was the inclusion of The Faces Ronnie Lane song ‘Ooh La La’, originally sung by the late Ronnie Lane in The Faces, now living on as a tribute to Ronnie in a Rod Stewart song. Nice one!
Rod’s novelty moment – performing ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ with a backdrop of a Rolling Stone magazine from the 70s quoting Rod as saying. “I don’t want to be singing Do Ya Think I’m Sexy at 50 and become a parody of myself”. He is now 67 and it sounds just fine.
Rod Stewart performs again today at Hanging Rock at Woodend, just outside of Melbourne. His last Australian show on ‘The Hits’ tour is February 22 in Brisbane.
The setlist was:
Love Train (from Soulbook, 2009)
Tonight’s The Night (from A Night On The Town, 1976)
Having A Party (from Unplugged and Seated, 1993)
The First Cut Is The Deepest (from A Night On The Town, 1976)
Baby Jane (from Body Wishes, 1983)
Forever Young (from Out Of Order, 1988)
Downtown Train (from Storyteller, 1989)
Have I Told You Lately (from Vagabond Heart, 1991)
You Wear It Well (from Never A Dull Moment, 1972)
I Don’t Want To Talk About It (from Atlantic Crossing, 1975)
Ooh La La (from The Faces Ooh La La, 1973)
Tom Trauberts Blues (from Storyteller, 1989)
Sweet Little Rock and Roller (from Smiler, 1974)
Rhythm Of My Heart (from Vagabond Heart, 1991)
Twisting The Night Away (from Never A Dull Moment, 1972)
You’re In My Heart (from Footloose and Fancy Free, 1977)
Hot Legs (from Footloose and Fancy Free, 1977)
Maggie May (from Every Picture Tells A Story, 1971)
Sailing (from Atlantic Crossing, 1975)
Do You Think I’m Sexy (from Blondes Have More Fun, 1978)