Bob Seger was on to something when he wrote "You can come back, baby / rock 'n' roll never forgets" because he and the Silver Bullet Band were greeted by a sold-out crowd last night at Gila River Arena in Glendale. Fans not only never forgot about Detroit's original badass but they also remembered about every word during the 21-song performance. Seger looked thrilled to be onstage during opener "Roll Me Away," as he was smiling from ear to ear.
What was probably the biggest surprise of the night was how well the 69-year-old Seger's voice has held up. His thick, rich tone filled the arena during tracks like "The Fire Down Below" and "Mainstreet." While his music has proven to be timeless it was obvious that times have changed for fans when I spotted the lady next to me using a Bic concert lighter smartphone app instead of the real deal.
Seger said "This song is about all the women and all the men that loved to watch 'em" before launching into "Her Strut," which didn't sound as much like the raunchy '70s strip club anthem in a live setting. He has also has ties in the Valley and spoke about how excited he was to play "The Fireman's Talkin'" which was written about his brother-in-law who lives in Glendale. Though Seger may not get as much credit as someone like Bob Dylan in the story telling department he really knew how to paint a visual picture through his lyrics that anyone could relate to.
The jammy "Travelin' Man/Beautiful Loser" was one of the many highlights throughout the night. One of the best stories Seger told during the show was when he sent his mom to Hawaii, and she called him and told him she'd heard one of his songs, but it wasn't him signing it because it was being played in an elevator as the crowd laughed. He also said this was my mother's favorite song I ever wrote before the ballad "We've Got Tonight."
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It was a great experience getting to see songs like "Turn the Page," which arguably has the most well-known saxophone lead in any rock song, though I'm sure Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" may have something to say about that. After a cover of John Hiatt's "Detroit Made" he returned to the stage for the first of two encores with "Against the Wind" and "Hollywood Nights."
"Night Moves" had couples in the crowd everywhere snuggling close before closer "Rock and Roll Never Forgets."
It's been rumored that is Seger's final tour, and if that is the case he did it gracefully.
Last Night: Bob Seger at Gila River Arena.
Personal Bias: When I was a kid my mother listened to Bob Seger and when I saw the album cover of Stranger In Town I was scared of him because of the fluffy beard he was sporting back in the day.
The Crowd: The average age was 50.
Random Notebook Dump: i would have loved to have heard "Still the Same."
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