Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rod Stewart. The Concert.

When I learned that Rod Stewart was playing in Perth on February 4th, 2012, I knew that was the real reason I was going to Australia, the real reason I was going to Western Australia. Everyone always asks, why Perth? Most of the people I have met who have been to Australia have only been to the eastern side of the country and said that Perth was too far away, yet they generally had a sense of regret in not going. Imagine the size of the United States, and New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, and LA were all along the eastern coast, but there was only San Diego on the west. That's kinda like what Perth is. So I figured, why not start on the west and make my way east. Everyone here think I'm absolutely nuts for wanting to take the train across the outback to go from west to east, but that's such a huge part of the continent....why miss it?? I digress, I DIGRESS! Back to Rod. The real reason I'm in Perth, Western Australia is to see Rod Stewart. There was no denying the fact that I was buying tickets to this concert. Sure, I stalled for a while in buying the tickets as they were so expensive, I wasn't sure if anyone would want to go with me, I wasn't sure where I'd actually be in February, and I wasn't really sure if Rod would still be kickin' it so many months ahead. But, with the eternal thanks and help from Chris and Beth for sponsoring my purchase with my Christmas and Birthday gift, I splurged on the best seats available (with ticket insurance, which I never get, but just in case).

Rod Stewart is one sexy beast.

This night, completely sober with Fun Bobby, may have been the highlight of my entire trip so far. That's hard to beat because I've had a lot of fun and a lot of good nights here. But man oh man does Rod put on a good show. I have to admit, I was a little nervous - how old is he? I kept thinking back to the Justin Timberlake concert with Jess in Boston a couple years ago and how he brought sexy back with those dance moves. Avoiding his ramen noodle hair and looking at his feet could make anyone fall in love with JT. But Rod brought sexy to a whole new level. Sure, U2 is a overly-elaborate concert held together with its classic tunes, I could watch Tina Turner in concert on TV any time it's on, and heck, I even had a great time at N*Sync (or is it 'Nsync? NsYnC*?) , my first ever concert that we were tricked into going - completely covered in bug spray as we thought we were going camping. But Rod Stewart, Perth, February 4th, 2012 was by far the best concert I have ever been to.

 I don't know about old fart Fun Bobby, but I think I was definitely one of the youngest people in the audience. I would even dare to say by even at least 15-20 years. These women were decked out in their leopard print outfits that probably haven't been worn since 1978 when he released his album Blondes Have More Fun (it's true, the Australian sun has turned my hair a funny brassy colour. needs.fixed.asap).

The concert was at nib Stadium which, besides musical concerts, is home to rugby matches. Our seats were on the grass, a bit far back but in the first row of our section. As we sat in anticipation for the start of the show, I commented on how awful a job it must've been to set up all the chairs in the grass, row after row. Two security guards looking quite solemn walked by and Fun Bobby remarked on how terrible a job it must be to be patrolling a Rod Stewart concert - how much trouble could there possibly be? Oh, women will be getting ROWDY over Rod Stewart, I replied. I even have an extra pair of panties in my bag to throw up on stage. (joke. but I did see some flying up on stage). We sat next to this British couple who had seen Rod in concert 30 years ago - I wasn't even alive! The woman got up immediately when the show started and was dancing wildly in the aisle - it was awesome.* But, despite how much fun she and some other people were having rockin out in their old people way, dancing was not allowed. Enter the security guards. Job necessary. Trouble was certainly brewing. One pretty-hippy-looking couple spent more time arguing with the officers about being allowed to dance than probably watching and enjoying the actual show. So the dancers had to keep moving about, always in someone's view, someone always complaining about their freedom of enjoyment, so much so that the husband of the couple next to us said to his wife, "the next time they tell you to move or stop, let me know and I will deal with it." so cute. 

*This will be Mum at the Neil Diamond concert this summer.

Rod came out to Love Train - and the crowd went wild. Decked out in a pink tuxedo, and I swear, Rod Stewart is the only one who could pull that off, he came out with a bang and didn't stop having fun for the entire time. I absolutely love his skinny little legs, his rowdy hair, his laughter ohmygoodness. I don't know where he found them, but the women in his band where gorgeous and could play the saxophone and trumpet and guitar in a little sparkly mini dress and high heels. The whole stage was just sexy. He took off his jacket shortly after, and was only wearing a white button down, skinny pink tie and skinny trousers. Then, half way through the song, an assistant came out and he changed his shoes on stage - to pink loafers. I was dying. I was just waiting for him to strip down to just the pink tie and pink loafers. He changed again to some colorful paisley shirt and at the end of the show he was wearing these fabulous silver trainers - I have to find a pair for myself! I don't know how he gets away with it, but he's the epitome of cool.

I think I had a smile on my face for the entire 2 hours. No wait, I'm pretty positive I did.*

* Think Mum's smile from seeing Neil Diamond at the NYC Thanksgiving Parade - it could not be beat. 

The best thing I liked about the concert, well, there were many, but I loved the fact that the entire ensemble seemed to be having so much fun on stage. The concert wasn't about Rod and touring for money or self-promotion. Everyone that was on stage at least had one solo act where they were showcased and excelled in singing or playing an instrument or dancing - everyone was included and everyone had their part. Rod was happy to go off around the stage dancing and shakin' his bacon while the others shined. Ok, maybe there was one guy who blended into the background ("that's racist") but he too got at least two shining moments of glory and boy did he beam. The two drummers were unbelievable and had a little duo where the lead drummer was going at it, surrounded by this glass orb, wearing a pink handkerchief in the jacket's pocket, and the other guy was just laughing and smiling while going back and forth with each other. It was like they couldn't even try to not be adorable. The background screen always seemed to matched the songs perfectly with lots of swirling colors. Rod joked with the crowds, kicked dozens of footballs (soccer balls) into the crowd, admitted when he missed a tune because he swallowed too much summer wind, showed personal photographs of his family, was not afraid to admit that he was avidly following the Scotland-England rugby game during the concert and keeping up with his favorite Celtics match (You're Celtic, United, but baby I've decided you're the best team I've ever seen) His grandson Alistar, who must've been about eight, or ten, I'm really really bad at guessing ages (but seriously, we were some of the youngest there) wearing a Celtic jersey, came on stage at one point and started dancing and then talked into the microphone - no bother.

The entire time, I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear You're In My Heart (if I ever got married or heck found someone who wanted to dance with me this would be part of my wedding) and Sailing. The show ended and although I was too high on a delirious euphoria to think about the fact that it hadn't been played, I consoled myself with the fact that I had it on my iPod to listen to later. But Then. The Encore. and guess what it was. SAILING! I could not have been more keenly captivated.  ohmygoodness.
It was a tremendous night. Everyone in the audience was elated, intoxicated with sexiness, savoring the songs, basking themselves in utter pleasure and exhilaration, singing, swaying, clapping, relishing. But, I really wish Dad was there with me. He would've really gotten a kick out of the concert as well and I can't claim any acknowledgement in my love for Rod without giving credit to my dad. Although I immediately think of Irish pub song CDs, Enya, and of course Garth Brook's The Thunder Rolls blaring appropriately in the truck in Texas, Rod Stewart was always right there in Dad's music collection. Was thinking about you Dad! although you were in Ri Ra at the time, not a bad second best :)

Love Train
Tonight's the Night
Some Guys Have all the Luck
First Cut is the Deepest
It's a Heartache
Baby Jane
Forever Young
Nothing but a heartache
Downtown Train
Have I Told you Lately
I Don't Wanna Talk about It
Oh La La - Wish I knew What I Know Now
Sweeter than Rock n Roll - I know that's not the right song title
Tina Turner's Rolling sung by a fantastic back up singer -> JESS: Tina Turner at a Rod Stewart concert = amazing.
Rhythm of My Heart
Twisting the Night Away
Maggie May
In Your Heart
Hot Legs
D'Ya Think I'm Sexy
unknown. too busy clapping and laughing and smiling.

I didn't get the $35 bear.

Although I have the really bad, far away, blurry iPhone photos to recapture the concert's memories, I received a gift that night: a Rod Stewart t-shirt. It was the coolest one of the lot and I got it :) I wouldn't dare spend that much over-priced amount on myself, for a t-shirt, but I wore it the next day around town with the biggest smile on my face, just knowing that everyone around me was incredibly jealous that I was at the concert last night and had the t-shirt to prove it.

I know I said that Rod Stewart may have been the reason that brought me to Perth, but in retrospect, if I had thought about it in a better manner, my sole purpose should have really been to follow the Rod Stewart concert tour around Australia. Seriously, what was I thinking?? 

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