Rod Stewart Newcastle Arena 17 December 2022.

rod tix 22My search for Rob the Mod continues. Or, to put it another way, has Rod the Mod survived Las Vegas and returned to the UK intact? Rod Stewart is one of my heroes and always will be. As long as he is out there performing, and as long as I am able to go along and see him, I will do so. The guy is now 77 years young, and still touring as he always has done. It is in his blood. Since I first saw The Faces in those heady days of the early 70s, I have been a dedicated fan going to see him almost every tour. Sometimes along the way I questioned my allegiance particularly around the time of “Da Ya Think I’m sexy” and his American songbook era. But deep down I knew that, somewhere in Rod’s soul lay that mod that I first heard on the Jeff Beck album Truth in the late 60s. If you haven’t heard Truth, please do listen to it. Rod is simply fantastic on versions of classics such as “Shapes” and “Morning Dew”. Along with the first Small Faces album this was the prototype on which Page and Plant based Led Zeppelin.

rod3 22Every time I go to see Rod, I go in the hope that he will return to some of the old classic songs. And he never lets me down. Newcastle Arena is packed with 10,000 Rod Stewart fans on a cold winters evening. Christmas looms and everyone is out to have fun. The set list is a mix of old and new, as always. The show is clearly a paired down version of his recent Las Vegas run, complete with big stage set including screens, a first-class backing band suited and booted and great girl backing singers. The introductory music is the classic Depeche Mode track “Just Can’t Get Enough” (great choice) followed by “Scotland the Brave” (as usual Rod includes a lot of Scottish flags, and Celtic icons throughout the concert, displaying his allegiances to the joy of the Scottish contingent within the crowd).

rod 10Rod opens the show with an excellent cover of the late, great Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” complete with girls in black dresses and playing white guitars, emulating Palmer’s video. Classic! A great opener. Then the years roll back and Rod sings “You Wear It Well”. See, I told you, the mod is still in there! Another Faces classic follows: “Ooh La La”, you know the one that goes “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger” and was written by Ronnie Wood and the late, sadly missed looner Ronnie Lane. Memories of seeing the Ooh La La tour at Newcastle Odeon, surrounded by the Newcastle football team, flood back. A few more classics follow: an excellent cover of the Isley Brothers “This Old Heart of Mine”, “Forever Young” and Rod’s version of Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut Is the Deepest”. Now Rod looks great, sounds great and is as active as ever. The guy is simply 110% energy, dancing along while he sings those great tunes. The crowd loves it and sings along, hanging on to every word.

rod8Then what I’m waiting for comes, as I knew it would and always does. Rod sings “Maggie May” and explains it was about his first encounter with an older lady at a folk Festival in the early 1960s. And he can still do the song justice. “I’d Rather Go Blind” is dedicated to Christine McVie and her days in Chicken Shack, the lady sadly having recently passed. Too many of our heroes are leaving us. The first set ends with the girls singing Donna Summers’ “Hot Stuff” while Rod has a break and a costume change.

rod6An acoustic set follows with everyone taking a seat at the front of the stage, Rod in the centre. This includes “I Don’t Want to Talk about It”, “Tonight’s the Night” and “Have I Told You Lately”. Rod leaves the stage for another break and final costume change while the girls deliver an excellent version of “Lady Marmalade”…… “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?”. You know the one.

rod7We are on the home straight now. Rod do you really need to sing “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy”? Is it still appropriate today? I think not, but anyway he does sing the song opening with a typical late 70s picture of Rod “back in the day” on the screen. “Baby Jane” (still a favourite of mine) follows and the inevitable singalong “Sailing” closes the proceedings with the curtain dropping around Rod and his band. In a few moments the curtain rises and the years roll back once again for “Stay with Me”. Everyone sings along. And then it is over. Everyone finds out, happy and fully satisfied by a great performance.

rod4So, in conclusion, Rod the Mod remains intact and didn’t let me down. The guy is a powerhouse who just keeps on going. Till the next time. Thanks to Jan for the photography for the evening.

Setlist: Addicted to Love; You Wear It Well; Ooh La La; Hole in My Heart;  Some Guys Have All the Luck; This Old Heart of Mine; Forever Young; The First Cut Is the Deepest; Maggie May; I’d Rather Go Blind; Young Turks; Rhythm of My Heart; Hot Stuff (Backing Singers On Vocals).

Acoustic: People Get Ready; I Don’t Want to Talk About It; You’re in My Heart; Tonight’s the Night; Have I Told You Lately; Lady Marmalade (Backing Singers On Vocals).

Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?; Baby Jane; Sailing.

Encore: Stay With Me

6 responses to this post.

  1. I’m really pleased you continue to have great Times watching Rod but I’m afraid he lost me around the time he moved to Warner Brothers.
    Mind you, I still play The Jeff Beck Group, Faces and Mercury stuff a lot.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Bryan on December 27, 2022 at 10:17 am

    I once employed Chris Squire’s (Yes) sister Sherilyn. She told me of the times (before fame) she would walk to the Speakeasy, at The Marquee Club, with a very down & out Rod. Chris would have to sign him in because he was completely unknown to the door staff. Happy New Year All!!

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on December 27, 2022 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Bryan. Great story, thanks for sharing. I was listening to Truth yesterday. Rod’s voice is amazing. The combination of his voice and Jeff Beck’s guitar is simply unbelievable. Peter

      Reply

  3. That’s a fantastic set. I worried it would be all the awful American songbook stuff. I was there at the Mecca back in 1973 at that amazing, ‘John Peels favourite gig/Sunderland team on stage’ show and this sounds a very nice nod back to those good old days. Keep rocking Pete. Happy New Year.
    Cheers, Ron

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on January 2, 2023 at 12:25 pm

      Hi Ron I hope you are well. All the best for 2023. Yes Rod remains in good spirit and in good form and well worth seeing. The old ones are still the best in my eyes! Happy days Peter

      Reply

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