Rock musicians dying is far from a new thing. In the late 60's and onward, drug and alcohol overdoses happened regularly. Jimmy, Janis & Jim. Bonham and Moon. I can go on and on and on. Musicians are still dying but now it's been by natural causes. Heart attack, cancer and the aging process. It happens to all of us in the sixty-plus range age, so why not them?
The year 2016 was one of the worst for the Classic Rock musicians. In the first few weeks, we lost David Bowie and Glenn Frey. I realized then that it was time to see those of that same era perform before it was too late. If not now, when, right?
This year I knocked Paul Simon, Jethro Tull, Yes and Jeff Lynne's ELO off my haven't seen list. Last night it was someone who had been on my must see list for years. Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band came to Rosemont!
Seger's "Travelin' Man" tour is announced as the final one in his long career. Where have we heard this before? It's one of those 'we'll see' things. Last night's date was rescheduled from a year ago, when Seger was forced to cancel a tour due to some urgent health issues involving his vertebrae. See, you really do have to catch them while you can because you never know.
One commonality in these classic rock final tours is you'll hear almost all the songs you loved and want to hear performed live. Seger's concert is no different. Twenty of Bob's greatest hits....but c'mon Bob, how can you do a live show without Katmandu? It's one of the greatest closing songs of all time and you aren't doing it? Really?
Let's start with the bad:
If you came to see the Seger of his, and your, youth and the "Live Bullet" album, you aren't going to get that. Bob's voice at age seventy-three isn't the same as it was in his youth. That's no different than seeing most other musicians in his age group. You have to accept that when you attend shows of musicians from that era. It also didn't help him that the sound mix was muddled and the vocals were hard to hear behind the music.
Next, while there seemed to be high energy from Bob and the band, it seemed forced. The pumping of the fists on every song looks like something he does at every show...and it's because he does. Maybe it's what he perceives as showmanship? Maybe he works himself into it because he's does the same songs night after night...year after year after year?
Now for the good things:
a.) Like I said earlier, he does a lot of songs you know and like. You can tell because the audience is singing along with them (please don't get me started on that again). I can only think of a few songs I would have liked to have heard and they're deep cuts.
b.) This version of the Silver Bullet Band is good. They cover up a lot of the softer vocals. If you like saxophone, there's a lot of that, ie, "Turn The Page."
c.) There's a nice mix of rockers and softer songs. It gave you chances to both stand up and sit down. The audience took advantage of that. It was a large crowd of seniors. We need our down time.
d.) I actually liked the softer songs the best. He mentioned that "We've Got Tonight" was his mother's favorite song. He followed that with the combo of "Travelin' Man/Beautiful Loser" like in the "Live Bullet" days. Those were my favorite songs in the show.
So to wrap this up, while I was a little disappointed, it wasn't the worst show I saw this year (that goes to Mike Love's version of the Beach Boys). Did I get my money's worth ($100)? Yes plus I got to check another legend off my must-see list.
Still, Bob...no Katmandu? Really?
Related Post: Homeward Bound-Paul Simon's Final Tour
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