MANSFIELD — Rod Stewart may be 77, but he still has enough swagger and sex appeal to make baby boomers and even younger viewers swoon, as many fans have done throughout his nearly two-hour performance at the Xfinity Center on Friday night.
“I love you Rod!” and similar proclamations were shouted out frequently, and Stewart seemed to soak up all the love, holding a hand to his heart and interacting with fans near the stage.
The British singer, who was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a solo artist in 1994 and as a member of his former band, Faces, in 2012), kicked off his 23-song set with the Robert Palmer hit “Addicted to Love”, with its female backing vocalists and musicians channeling the models in the popular music video circa 1986.
The back of the stage was covered from the floor to the rafters with large screens that displayed images ranging from civil rights protest marches to Celtic Football Club photos and videos to photographs of Stewart over the years, adding to the spectacle of the carefully crafted performance.
Feeding off the energy of the crowd, the knight rocker spent most of the evening smiling and laughing while delivering an entertaining show that dug deep into his catalog of hits, as well as a number of covers. .
Although her signature raspy voice didn’t project the power she once had, Stewart still sounded great with her unique vocal prowess that is hers and hers. His talented backing vocalists helped with some of the high notes, and Stewart took full advantage of the audience, who were more than willing to join him in crowd pleasers like his 1976 hit “Tonight’s the Night” and his 1977 hit ” Hot Legs,” during which he tossed a dozen autographed soccer balls into the audience.
Stewart’s footballing skills are clearly still solid, and although he hasn’t moved with the fluidity with which he once did, he has danced, jumped, shaken his rear end impressively and twirled his foot mic like a baton at various times during the show.
It seemed that the approximately 15,000 fans in attendance knew most of the lyrics to the majority of the songs, as they sang many feel-good hits including “You’re in My Heart”, “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy”. ?” and “Maggie May”, which started out as a ballad before picking up the tempo a verse in the song.
Fans were also energized by Stewart’s unique rendition of “Young Turks” from his 1981 album “Tonight I’m Yours,” in which his backing vocalists inserted a playful rendition of “America” from “West Side Story” (which gave Stewart time to make one of several outfit changes – one of which included a bright yellow silk suit).
Among the covers he performed were Sam Cooke’s 1962 “Having a Party,” the gospel influenced “People Get Ready,” a 1965 single from The Impressions, and Marvin Gaye’s 1965 hit “It Takes Two” – a song Stewart recorded with Tina Turner. 25 years later. Partnering with Stewart on the duet on Friday night was backup vocalist Becca Kotte, whose stellar contribution had audience members on their feet and loudly applauding.
Stewart was accompanied on stage by 13 musicians and backing vocalists who not only wowed the crowd with impressive solos on instruments ranging from harp to mandolin, but seemed to be having a hell of a good time on stage and often encouraged the audience to join in. cheerfulness.
While the beatiest songs received the most enthusiastic responses, the crowd also responded with approval to Stewart’s emotional delivery of ballads, including “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, written by Cat Stevens, and the number Van Morrison’s romantic “Have I told you lately that I love you?”
A grateful Stewart thanked the audience for spending their hard-earned cash to attend his concert and shared how lucky he was to have such a long and successful career. Based on the crowd’s reaction to his performance, they thought their money was well spent.
Stewart’s opener was Cheap Trick, which wowed earlycomers with a 13-song set that included many of the rock band’s hits, including “Dream Police”, “Surrender” and “I Want You to Want Me”.