READER REVIEW: Rod Stewart, Metro Radio Arena

Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart
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TIME is not up for Rod Stewart.

You could see this on ‘The Faces’ of the audience at The Metro Radio Arena even before Rod appeared on stage. The backdrop of screens ensured that you would not miss a moment.

If you did not know, it would be hard to guess who the packed Arena audience had come to see, the age range spanned across the decades.

Rod Stewart was back, but many feel he has never been away.

After a 30 minute warm up by Moya, whose voice reminded me very much of Emili Sande, a white curtain descended and the haunting sound of The Bonny Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond signalled his arrival.

The curtain rose to reveal a psychedelic stage with six smaller screens and one larger central screen.

The band were in place along with the backing singers and Rod, dressed in a cerise jacket, kicked off with This Old Heart of Mine while the backdrop showed footage of many classic groups such as the early Jackson Five.

This was followed by another favourite, You Wear it Well, where he was accompanied by fantastic violin playing.

Rod was relaxed with the audience and celebrated the fact that it was Friday night saying: “you can beat an egg, you can beat a carpet, but you can’t beat a Friday night.”

If you were worried that you might not hear too many of the songs which have kept him in the charts, you could relax, as he delivered classic after classic, Twisting the Night Away, Tonight’sthe Night and Sweet Little Rock and Roller.

River of My Heart was delivered to a backdrop of war footage and Rod sang duets with each of his backing singers.

His daughter Ruby was introduced and she showcased her own composition of Just One More Day and this was followed with a duet with her dad of Forever Young to the accompaniment of a huge bass drum and a backdrop of bagpipes.

The First Cut is the Deepest, I Don’t Want to Talk About It and Have I Told You Lately That I Love You were all met with wave after wave of happy people who wanted to be nowhere else on a Friday night but here.

Audience participation was all encompassing with everyone up on their feet. The man has not lost his charisma.

After giving the audience a healthy dose of his classics his new album Time was giving an airing and I wondered if the participation from the audience may lessen but no, as he launched into Brighton Beach they sang along just as loud.

This was followed by two more from this album, Can’t Stop Me Now and She Makes Me Happy – he certainly made all here happy.

He then returned to further classics I’d Rather Go Blind, Your in my Heart, and of course – Maggie May.

By the time Sailing came, all were on their feet swaying. How he managed to kick personally signed footballs, around 30 of them, while belting out Hot Legs belies his 68 years of age.

The curtain came down to Baby Jane and rose to hear the penultimate song of the night Do Ya Think I’m Sexy – yes is the answer to that, if the audience is to be believed.

The balloons came down to a rendition of Auld Lang Syne and he was gone.

Will he return? Is Time, the title of his latest album, a clue? A packed arena hope time is not called too soon on his wonderful career.