by Sarah Jane Woodall
Vegas once had a reputation as the place where popular entertainers go to die ? the stereotype of the fat, faded star languishing in a leisure suit, warbling golden oldies in a lounge was sadly appropriate as little as ten years ago. The town has since gone through something of a rebirth, with currently popular acts making regular stops here ? though we still get our fair share of the classics. Rod Stewart is one of these regularly appearing classic rock idols ? but his show is about as far from the leisure suit/lounge shtick as you can get. Classic icon or no… his show is electrifying!
Admittedly, this writer was not a fan of Rod Stewart before seeing this show ? in fact, I would go so far as to say I despised his act, from what I?d seen on TV and heard on the radio. But seeing him live changed my opinion 180 degrees ? so much so that I am proud to now count myself among Rod?s biggest fans!
Stewart?s show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace has something lacking in other big Vegas headliner shows… and that something is energy. For a 67-year-old ? even for a thirty-seven-year-old ? he has an incredible amount of energy… and it?s infectious. Rather than standing sedately onstage, at a safe remove from the audience, singing his biggest hits on autopilot… Rod looks like he?s having a party, and truly engages with the crowd.
He dances back and forth across the ginormous stage, winking and waving at various audience members individually, joking with the band members and making endearingly self-deprecating jokes along the way. Unlike other Vegas headliners, he never once gives the impression of being bored or of his thoughts being elsewhere ? he is fully in the moment, and clearly having a blast. We should all love what we do as much as Rod Stewart apparently does!
Backing up Rod as he plows through his impressive catalog of hits is an amazing live band, with a smoking-hot brass section comprised of leggy blondes in red fringed mini-dresses, as well as a trio of smoldering backup singers in matching attire. The stage set is flashy, modern and hip… perfectly complementing the edgy, young-at-heart vibe Rod brings to his performances. The Colosseum itself is an amazing venue with one of the most incredible sound systems in the country, and Rod?s voice sounds every bit as raspily seductive as ever.
As if all of this weren?t enough, Rod takes it a step further by breaking the so-called ?fourth wall? between performer and audience ? over and over. I won?t give it away, but suffice it to say that Rod Stewart is a highly interactive performer ? to a literally jaw-dropping degree, for someone of his stature. Let me put it this way ? you might think you have crummy seats, but I assure you… you will likely get up close and personal with Rod Stewart at some point during the night. His down-to-earth attitude regarding fan interaction is astounding; to a degree I have never seen with another headliner of his caliber.
A particularly exciting number in this regard is ?Hot Legs,? toward the end of the show ? a real belter, during which Rod not only sings live, while dancing… but also kicks dozens of autographed soccer balls out into the audience ? even up into the second balcony. (Remember… this guy is 67 years old!)
Don?t mistake my enthusiasm for hyperbole ? Rod Stewart?s show is really that exciting. For a truly memorable night that will have you dancing in the aisles like a teenager… check it out!
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