The irrepressible Rod The Mod returned to Dublin for a third sell out gig and the final night of the UK and Ireland tour. Suited and booted and the height of respectability nowadays, it’s a far cry from his hell-raising days with The Steampacket and The Faces, now the Great American Songbook has his stamp of approval. His Celtic connections though, prove a strong draw as well. Tonight was an unapologetic celebration of his full career – a two hour greatest hits. Rod spent most of the night dancing (badly) or holding his traditional pose – complete with mic stand across his body at an angle.
Entering the stage to the ‘The Stripper’, Stewart knows how to please an audience. From the opening track proper ‘Love Train’ it is clear that Rod’s voice lacks its former powers yet it still retains those famous rasping qualities. This weakness, coupled with the fact that the sound itself was subdued and poor for certain tracks (‘Having a Party’ and ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?’), didn’t stop the crowd loving every minute. The crowd sang heartily along to Van Morrison’s ‘Have I Told You Lately’, although Stewart himself seemed to stumble over a few of the lyrics.
It is the song selection that makes Rod Stewart a stayer – from Bonnie Tyler to Van Morrison and Elton John he knows what to pick and finally by the twelfth track we were into the rock ‘n’ roll that his wilder days soundtracked. The female backing vocalists left the stage and the band came down to the front as they tore through ‘Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller’. It was apparent after the interlude as he went through ‘Same Old Song’ and ‘A Rainy Night in Georgia’ (both from the latest Soulbook) that he lost the crowd as they trickled back from the bar. But perhaps realising the error he admitted “let’s move onto more familiar territory now” before ploughing on with the popular ‘Twisting the Night Away’. A wealth of classics followed including the popular singalong ‘You’re In My Heart’ plus rockers ‘Hot Legs’ and ‘Maggie May’ before the traditional encore anthem ‘Sailing’. Everyone left happy, even those a little worse for wear, all humming ‘Baby Jane’.
Photo via Flickr.