Gig review: Rod Stewart, Falkirk

Rod Stewart: Matey and relaxed. Picture: Michael Gillen
Rod Stewart: Matey and relaxed. Picture: Michael Gillen
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On thw same night Twitter users appeared disgruntled by the finale of Eric Clapton’s show in Glasgow, another heritage rock star of many decades’ standing couldn’t speak highly enough of the crowd who had descended on Falkirk from across the country.

Rod Stewart - Falkirk Stadium

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“I’m absolutely speechless, it really has been a tremendous night,” declared Rod Stewart as his show neared its finale, “I won’t forget this one.” The applause from his fans was gushing and heartfelt, and clearly not of the opinion that their hero can do any wrong.

There’s a reason why Stewart continues to draw such crowds and part of it’s surely the laid-back vitality of the man – he’s matey and relaxed, even though his set is tightly-controlled and wary of even the slightest deviation from expectations. It was a show for people who know exactly what they want to experience and hard to count as anything but a success on those terms.

Still, it seemed a shame that some elements remained stuck in the past, particularly for those micro-skirted female performers alongside him.

Yet on the year’s longest night he and his band delivered an unreconstructed repertoire to envy, from barroom rockers like Stay With Me and covers of Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Proud Mary (the latter sung in Tina Turner style by his backing vocalists) to misty-eyed croons including You Wear It Well, Have I Told You Lately, Maggie May and Sailing.

Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? has for many years seemed a ludicrous proposition, but in kitsch, firework-strewn context as a finale it seemed to define the unlikely appeal of its composer.

Seen on 21.06.14