–By Sean Derrick
Sunday night was a night of glitz and glamour filled with tons of substance as British crooner Rod Stewart stopped at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis during his 2018 North American Summer Tour.
Sir Stewart brought along veteran rocker Cyndi Lauper for a pairing that seems to fit magically. The pair even sang a duet together during Stewart’s set ( The Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston cover “It Takes Two”).
The pair also dedicated songs during each of their sets to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who passed away just three days before. Lauper performed a bit of Franklin’s “Respect” during her hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” while Stewart added the Isley Brothers’ “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” to his set, which he performed with Franklin 25 years ago.
Stewart also dedicated the Chuck Berry classic “Sweet Little Rock & Roller” to Berry, who had passed away since the last time Stewart was in town in 2014.
Later Stewart added The Impressions’ “People Get Ready” to his setlist, dedicating it to Franklin as well, adding “What a woman”.
But, through all the dedications the show certainly wasn’t drab by any means, even though Lauper had to tell the fans in the front rows to get up, asking “Are you old? You ain’t old as me”. The fact that she had to ask that was kind of embarrassing for Saint Louis, as her performance was spectacular in nearly every way.
At 65, an age most people are counting down the days to retirement, if they haven’t done so already, Lauper was festive and full of energy. She may not have as much bop in her steps like she did at 35, but she still gets around better than I do, and I am not even 50 yet, what with climbing on speakers, getting close to the fans by making her way through the seats, rolling around on the speakers and stage, and performing half the show after taking off her boots. (My feet hurt watching that, and I don’t have bunions like she claims to have.)
With her stylish purple and silver hair leading the way in her ever changing style her voice stood out above all else. Strong as ever her voice was pitch perfect throughout the set, highlighted by “Time After Time”, “True Colors” and even “The Goonies R Good Enough”.
She didn’t have to punctuate much for her 1983 hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, which was updated with “Girls Just Want to Have Fun-damental Rights” from the 2017 Womens Rights March last year.
Lauper was simply stunning the entire set with her bright spunky spirit and powerful vocals.
For Stewart, following that was a tall order, but he took the challenge and rose to the occasion.
Starting 10 minutes early (catching us photographers off guard) Stewart came out strong with “Infatuation” and “Some Guys Have All the Luck”.
Stewart “allowed” his band to take off their silver jackets due to the high humidity after the opener, while he and his backup singers did several outfit changes.
Stewart’s voice was strong throughout the night, showing no fatigue or injury to a case of strep throat that had cancelled a couple shows earlier in the week.
He introduced a brand new song in “Didn’t I” for the crowd, which is from his forthcoming album BLOOD RED ROSES, dropping September 28, his 30th studio album.
Stewart is known for letting his band take center stage, whether it is Emerson Swinford crafting a lead guitar sols with a cut bluesy edge on “People Get Ready” to a David Palmer drum solo in the middle of “Forever Young”, and even taking a breather while one of his backup singers performed a smashing cover of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits”. Stewart loves to spread the spotlight around.
Stewart ended the show with his usual ritual of kicking out a couple dozen soccer balls (Stewart is an rabid soccer fan), getting some good distance for being 73, and ended with his classic “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Sailing”.
This is certainly a show not worth missing.
Be sure to check out the compete photo gallery after the setlists below.
Rod Stewart Setlist:
Some Guys Have All the Luck (The Persuaders cover)
This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You) (The Isley Brothers cover)
Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)
It Takes Two (Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston cover, with Cyndi Lauper)
Sweet Little Rock & Roller (Chuck Berry cover)
Rhythm of My Heart (Marc Jordan cover)
Downtown Train (Tom Waits cover)
You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)
The First Cut is the Deepest (Cat Steven’s cover)
People Get Ready (The Impressions cover)
Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison cover)
Nutbush City Limits (Ike & Tina Turner cover)
Stay With Me (Faces song)
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?
Sailing (Sutherland Brothers cover)
Cyndi Lauper Setlist:
I Drove All Night
All Through the Night (Jules Shear cover)
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough
Money Changes Everything (The Brains cover)
Time After Time
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Robert Hazard cover)