Sir Rod Stewart rolled into the Reno Events Center and presented an excellent show on Saturday night. When I say ‘rolled’, I mean it literally. As his 12 piece band warmed up the crowd with Soul Finger, he rolled onto the stage with a sheepish grin using a knee scooter and wearing a foot brace, explaining that he had injured himself playing football (soccer to us) with his young sons. This inconvenience did not deter him from delivering a splendid performance.
This tour is in conjunction with the release of his 30th solo album, Blood Red Roses. He and his band gave us almost two hours of nonstop hits which included one song from the new release, Rollin’, and Tumblin’, a tribute to Muddy Waters. Other notable high points were Forever Young, Maggie May, The First Cut Is The Deepest, and Da Ya Think I’m Sexy.
Despite his injury, Sir Rod was in great spirits, very engaging and having fun with the audience all night. After ‘Rhythm of My Heart’ which featured a video of him being knighted he explained to us yanks that even though the knighthood is presented by the royal family it is awarded by the British people by popular vote.
Late in the show he typically kicks signed footballs out into the audience, but he tossed them this evening. He owns The Celtic Football Club, a team back home in England. He was very intent on seeing who got each ball. At one point he made the band stop playing when he saw an audience member snatch a ball away from another person who had originally caught it. He admonished this person and made them give the ball back to its rightful owner. What a British gentleman!
The band was large and fantastic. Sir Rod had two drummers, a keyboardist, bass guitar, saxophone, two guitarists, three female backup singers, plus three more female performers who among them played violins, harp, mandolin, percussion, and one tap danced.
As they played Da Ya Think I’m Sexy at the end of the set three large nets full of balloons were released onto the crowd from the ceiling. The crowd was bouncing them around; the band was kicking them back into the audience and everybody was having a gas.
The checkered curtain dropped after this, rose again for Sailing, dropped and rose again for the final song, Sweet Rock and Roller, and then dropped for the final time. Sir Rod (I like the sound of that) was as comfortable, pleasant and engaging as you could hope for. With 57 years of experience on the stage, you would expect nothing less.