Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper, Jon Stevens @ Entertainment Centre, Adelaide 21/3/2023

With secrecy and publicity surrounding his health, following the cancellation of his show in Melbourne last Saturday, Rod Stewart came to bless Adelaide fans playing his iconic classics and new hits to a capacity crowd.Opening the night was

Noiseworks’ Jon Stevens who entered to a welcoming applause. Jon kicked off with a collection of Noiseworks and INXS classics including, Reach Out, No Lies, Hot Chilli Woman and anthem, Never Tear Us Apart. The set concluded with Take Me Back, written in memory of a former girlfriend that had passed away. During the ballad, Jon asked audience members to turn on their torches for lost loved ones and when the song faded out, he thanked the crowd for arriving early and wished all a good night.

Special guest, Cyndi Lauper, followed entering the stage through prop door and straight in to Hole in my Heart. Cyndi looked right at home on stage wearing a matching black suit with colourful bows, embodying her trademark eccentric style. Lauper detailed, ‘I got nervous driving past all those churches here, having been thrown out of two catholic schools…’ before the beautiful tribute to her late mother, Good Enough. With her boots and socks removed on stage, Lauper reminisced saying, ‘when I was in cover bands, I was singing Sir Rod songs…” before moving into the opening verse of Sailing then transitioning into her ballad Sally’s Pigeons. Lauper also empowered speaking of women’s rights that, from a simple guitar riff, drifted into the worldwide hit Girls Want to Have Fun. To conclude the memorable set was the iconic True Colours song, a crowd favourite.

With anticipation built in the arena, Scottish bagpipes bellowed Scotland the Brave. As the pipes filled the room, female performers entered the stage one behind each other revealing Rod Stewart strolling in behind them. With loud applause, Sir Rod launched into Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love kicking off the show in superb style. For just over two hours Rod commanded the stage, defying his seventy eight years while delivering a masterful performance. His eight-piece band and three backup singers wonderfully created the foundation for the rock legend to shine, delivering all songs with professionalism, ease and grace. There were no signs of any throat infection to the audience, with Rod’s unique voice sounding polished and distinct in every song.

With the band in full swing, You Wear it Well was next followed by The Faces 1973 hit, Ooh La La, which was originally sung by Ronnie Wood. Cat Stevens’ The First Cut is the Deepest and Maggie May were also show stoppers.

Rod looked his stylist best, dressed in a black and gold suit coat with sparkly silver shoes. ‘Good evening my friends it’s been seven years since we’ve been here with two cancellations, by fuck we are here and will play songs across my entire career including The Faces and Jeff Beck’. Rod moved into the Sam Cooke’s Having a Party and Some Guys Have all the Luck.

Stewart commented, ‘I drink to your good health and thank you for spending your good money and hope you enjoy the show. In 1972 I first heard this song with my good friend Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones and heard Christine McVie sing this before Fleetwood Mac fame’ playing the Etta James cover, I’d Rather Go Blind. Young Turks followed with another drum and harp instrumental, which allowed Rod change costumes and reappear in a blue shirt and yellow jacket, symbolising support for Ukraine. With Stewart’s total dislike of war, he commented ‘there was no more important time for the world to unite’ and called out ‘stupid fucking Putin’. The screens on stage were filled with images of war-torn Ukraine and its people, with the final image of the Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to a loud applause. Rod dedicated Rhythm of my Heart to the Ukrainian people.

With another costume change Rod returned in a leopard patterned suit for the acoustic set with band and singers seated at the front all in a row. Rod commented, ‘this one is dedicated to Jeff Beck, one of the greatest guitar players and who gave Ronnie Wood and me our first break in America’ playing People Get Ready. Next was I Don’t Want to Talk About It, followed by Tonight’s the Night, then You’re in My Heart (the Final Acclaim) with a dedication to Rod’s favourite soccer team, Glasgow’s Celtic F.C. The seated set concluded with a Van Morrison cover and the beautiful ballad, Have I told you Lately.

Rod returned to the stage in a black suit and started throwing soccer balls into the front section while singing the hit Baby Jane. Stewart then announced, ‘this is the last one and then I’m going home’ moving in to Do you think I’m Sexy.

The encore was the iconic smash hit, Sailing to end wonderful night of nostalgic music and showmanship by the legendary Scottish star. Sir Rod Stewart waved to the audience and left the stage quickly to thunderous applause to end the evening.

Live Review By David Kerr

Rod Stewart ‘The Hits’ Australia tour continues across the eastern states during March and April. Check for more tour information.

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