Friday, July 15, 2022 Rod Stewart returned to Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana. The last time Rod was in Indy, he toured with Cindy Lauper in 2018. That show was very much a concert that played out very much like a music album from start to finish with Cindy even appearing on stage with Rod as he took a knee and kissed her hand.
The 2022 version of the Rod Stewart concert was much more focused on Rod. With an older audience this time that mostly preferred to remain seated. Don’t get me wrong, I met several people that night who have been to many Rod Stewart concerts and who were absolutely in heaven. But, I also overheard several people saying they thought Cheap Trick was an odd choice to tour with Rod Stewart. Indeed, it did seem like there was not a huge overlap of fans as most people sat calmly as Cheap Trick rocked most of their best songs.
Cheap Trick opened with Hello There, but seemed to get in the groove at some point before Ain’t That a Shame, when Robin Zander’s mic volume seemed to be elevated and more clear. The highlight for me was Dream Police, a song they played outstandingly well, which sounded very much like the record. I remember Dream Police was on a required listening CD for homework for my History of Rock and Roll class in college. Part of me hoped they would play Mighty Wings from the original Top Gun with all the attention focused on the Top Gun sequel still in theaters. But, they weren’t able to play that one and put on the best show possible.
When the legendary Rod Stewart came on stage, he brought “next-level” energy! Rod had a lot of energy and sang a bunch of his great songs as well as favorite covers. He surrounded himself with beautiful talented blond musicians who performed a few songs, such as Hot Stuff while Rod was behind the curtain making wardrobe changes. The way Rod Stewart paced the concert with covers, his hits, and the acoustic portion, it felt like a big show, big entertainment for people who enjoy the passion and love that comes out in Rod’s music and his performances. Unfortunately there seemed to be a technical issue that did not allow Rod to give the audience an encore so after Hot Legs, he tapped the microphone and it was dead and he rather quickly jetted off stage, unable to perform the planned encore, Stay With Me. Lights came on and the show was over and many people were bummed. Overall though, it was a fulfilling concert with many smiles and happily married couples. If you missed Rod this summer, he will have a residency in Las Vegas this Fall where he will be giving “The Hits” concert. Rod Stewart checks the boxes for what makes live music fun.