Bob Seger Live--Still Rockin It On Tour in 2013
Like A Rock
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band: Rock and Roll Never Forgets Tour
My husband and I are big music fans. As high school sweethearts, we went to concerts at least monthly and we've seen a lot of great acts in our day. Now, almost thirty years out of high school, we realized there was still someone that we wanted to see: Bob Seger. And the Silver Bullet Band.
Bob Seger is one of those artists that we maybe didn't appreciate enough through the years, but we realize now just how many of his songs we really love, and how many of those songs have been part of the soundtrack of our lives.
"We've Got Tonight" was our prom theme, for example. "Living Inside My Heart" is in our wedding video. And "Roll Me Away" is one of my husband's favorite songs. Ever.
So when we had a chance to see Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band Live as part of the "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" tour, we jumped at the chance.
We caught the May 2nd show at The Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State's University Park campus, which just so happens to be my alma-mater. Upon entering the BJC, the ticket-taker said we looked "too young for this concert." We took it as a compliment, but it made us think about just how long Bob Seger and his music have been around---his hits began in 1970, when my husband and I were just toddlers. Thus, his music has been part of our lives for all of our lives!
The opening act for the show, starting right on time at 7:30 pm, was the Badlees, a PA band joining Seger for the Northeast leg of his tour. They opened with their hit "Angeline is Coming Home" (a crowd favorite) and also played "Fear of Falling", along with a few tunes from their new album. Lead singer Pete Palladino reminded the crowd that the Badlees were the first band ever to perform at The BJC, a cool, nostalgic fact for the mostly "Penn State" crowd.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Bob Seger's performance was simple in a hard-driving, straightforward, all-about-the music sort of way. The stage featured two humongous video screens, but no "videos" or effects, just live shots of the band. Lights enhanced the songs but never overpowered. Seger, accompanied by three outstanding background singers, the phenomenal Silver Bullet Band (some members with Seger since the late 60's!), and an amazing horn section, could treat his audience to something rarely seen anymore--a scaled-down but true collective effort of talented artists delivering something special and complete. It was all about the music. And it was all about the songs. Whether Seger was singing a kickin' rocker or a lonely ballad, the mood of the show remained upbeat and fun. Seeing Seger means having a great time.
Seger's set included a lengthy list of his hits including, " Rock and Roll Never Forgets", "Travelin' Man", "The Fire Down Below", "Main Street", "Beautiful Loser", "Old Time Rock and Roll" , "Night Moves", "Her Strut", "Tryin to Live My Life Without You", "We've Got Tonight", "Hollywood Nights", "Sunspot", "Roll Me Away", "Against the Wind", and of course, "Turn the Page." As an audience we marvelled at how much great material Bob Seger has to offer, we sang along to every tune, and we received a solid reminder as to why he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He played guitar, he played piano, and he even shared some new stuff- a few songs off his latest album promised this fall, including "California Stars", a beautiful tune, sure to be another hit.
Highlight of the Night
My personal favorite of the night was a surprise to me: "Like a Rock." I always liked the song, but hearing it live, in what I thought was Seger's most perfect performance of the night, made me appreciate the song as I never had before. Seger delivered the lyrics with real emotion--reminding us of the real meaning of the song, far beyond the Chevy ads it has become known for. We could truly feel what Seger meant as he sang about being eighteen, not having a care, when your walk had purpose and you were solid everywhere. When you still believed in your dreams, and you were charging from the gate. When you stood tall, high above it all. You could feel it in the audience as we all wondered with him, where did the years go, twenty, thirty, or even more? Through the song, though, we also saw Seger as he saw himself again, like a rock. As he recalled,late that night, he reminded us that no matter the years, we can still rock, whether we are forty-five, or even almost seventy years old.
With all Bob Seger offered in his live show, including two encores, it's hard to believe that the audience could be left wanting anything more. Problem is, he just has too many good songs! I had hoped to hear "Still the Same", "Ramblin, Gamblin Man" and two more of my favorites, "Accompany Me" and "Living Inside My Heart" (the lesser-known but beautiful song that I chose for my wedding video). I have no doubt, though, that Seger will keep rocking, so maybe next time.
Until then, I will look forward to "California Stars" due out in the fall, and I will keep listening to and loving his music. And I'll be recalling. The memories of my youth. And the memories of this great show.