Review: Youthful Rod Stewart still at the top of his game

by MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

Amid a show filled with hits, Rod Stewart lit into his hit, “Forever Young.”
The song was ever so appropriate for his show at the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 24.
Despite cranking out hits since the 1970s, either as a solo artist or as a member of the loveable Faces, Stewart is still in fine shape. And he would give the front men of today’s generation of bands a run for their money.
Yes, Rod the Mod took some well-needed breaks during the one hour and 40-minute set (letting the band solo in his absence while he changed out of what was surely a sweat-drenched wardrobe). And he did have to ask the crew to crank up the fans under the hot lights.
But Stewart still stalked the stage as he always has. And the microphone stand got a workout as he twirled it and swung it around.
And although his voice has always sounded as if he were about to give his last breath, Stewart’s distinctive rasp was still intact. He still could be smooth and suave on such songs as “Have I Told You Lately.” He could still be soulful on tracks like “People Get Ready.” And he proved he still could be that raucous Scottish lad of old on the classic “Stay With Me” from his days with the Faces.
Although Stewart began as a rocker with a bluesy swagger—except a foray into his upcoming album “Blood Red Roses” where he covered the Muddy Waters track “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”—he focused the evening on his soulful pop, such as “Some Guys Have All the Luck,” and his insistent folkish days full of violins and mandolins, such as the classic track “Maggie May” and “Reason to Believe.” And for the fans that sat in the sold-out Mohegan, it was clear from their response, that Stewart gave the people exactly what they want.
The most rousing moment of the evening was Stewart’s tribute to the men and women serving in the military. “Rhythm of My Heart,” with its Celtic flair, got the heart stirring.
The March 24 show at the Mohegan Sun Arena proved that Rod Stewart truly is one of the greatest singers of the rock and roll era. He may have been imitated over the years. But he truly has never been surpassed. He is an individual talent who knows how to give his audience a blood good show.
I give Rod Stewart at the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 24 four out of four stars.

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