Say what you will about Rod Stewart, he's still a tireless performer, capable of putting on a classic rock show. Last night at the Capital Centre, wearing a hot pink jacket, T-shirt and tight leopard-skin pants, he cavorted for more than 90 minutes, singing some 20 songs, and only occasionally did the pace flag.
From the opener, "Tonight I'm Yours," to the raucous encore, "Tear It Up," it was obvious that Stewart would gloss over the disco songs that ballooned his net worth and deflated his rock reputation a few years ago. In fact, three of the first songs he performed were exhilarating Chuck Berry rave-ups. Moments later he launched a steamrolling "Rock Me," a blues dating back to his days with Jeff Beck.
It was during those moments that Stewart's formidable seven-piece band first got a chance to flex its muscles. Saxophonist Joe Zavala barreled through those songs like a freight train. Guitarist Joe Cregan, bassist Jay Davis and drummer Tony Brock also helped to bring new energy to Stewart's early '70s recordings, especially "Maggie," "Gasoline Alley" and "I'm Losing You," which segued into a crowd-pleasing "Layla."
As limited as his vocal range is, Stewart's a master at phrasing a rock lyric. There were few lapses in an exceptional rock performance.