First of all, let me say it is good to be back. At the end of March I went on vacation for a week and I have been experiencing some severe post vacation depression. I admit it, I have the same number of reasons to be depressed as Rosie O'Donnell does to think she is attractive. Not one. Throw in the mix the anniversary dates for the deaths of at least half dozen musicians I liked and it made it worse. Listening to weeks of Type O Negative and Alice In Chains/Mad Season will lift you out of depression like fried chocolate pies will make you lose weight. I needed a good concert to bring me out of the funk and I was thinking Bob Seger just might do it.
To start the evening off I had a Robert Plant flashback and was in fear I would not make the show. I left work from Jackson, TN a few minutes early and planned on getting to the arena and do some prime people watching but as I approached Nashville the interstate was on lockdown. I still have no idea what happened but I became a part of a parking lot and then the anxiety set in. My wife will tell you, if you want to set me on edge, make me late for something. I am sure there are some professional terms for what I experience. I personally just don't understand being late and it drives me nuts. Finally traffic picks up to a snail's pace and I am less than a mile from an exit so I take it and I now publicly apologize to all Middle TN motorists. If you were being tailgated and screamed at by a black car driven by someone who looks like Powder, I meant you no harm.
I make it to my seat as the opening band is about to play their last song. It is a cover of CCR's Fortunate Son. Based on that, I liked them/him, whoever they were. Finally the moment I have been waiting 30 years for, to see Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band live. Their reputation is one that will be hard to live up to, especially now that they all qualify for the senior discount at Shoney's but previous reviews had me very optimistic. The lights go dark and the stage fills up and I mean fills up. There were almost as many band members on stage as there were kids in my 8th grade graduation class. Bob kicked things off with Roll Me Away and I have to say he sounded good. Bob may be looking old these days, I think he is 65 so it is excusable, but he has kept his voice and he still can work a crowd. After Roll Me Away it just became hit after hit after hit. When you have a career that spans 40 years it has to be difficult to choose a set list but it was very well rounded and he pulled out some unexpected stuff for this tour to keep it fresh. The Against The Wind album was heavily represented, and that is a good thing, as it is a masterpiece and I have very fond childhood memories from that album (actually it was a neighbor's 8 track). One of the surprising highlights was Old Time Rock and Roll. That song is one of the most played out songs on classic rock radio but hearing it live with the crowd participation gave it new life to me, at least for a night and it even got a little booty shake from me. The chill bump of the night was Turn The Page. It is hard to believe that song is 40 years old. The flawless performance of it was only part of the moment. The crowd singing along was so loud they almost drowned out Bob and to hear thousands of people singing that song is chill bump worthy. I have heard Metallica and Jamey Johnson perform Turn The Page live, and both were good, but Bob showed us last night why that was his song. At the end of set we got a little surprise as Kid Rock came out and joined Bob for Real Mean Bottle. Kid Rock's respect for Bob Seger is real and watching them on stage together was like watching two old friends just hanging out and having a good time. It was contagious.
Like all bands, except Ozzy, Bob and the band leave the stage to build up for not one, but two encores. The crowd definitely showed a lot of love at this time. I think everyone knows that Bob probably doesn't have a lot of touring left in him and this might be the last time we see him. He performed the longest set list of any arena act I have seen, except Springsteen, in a long time. The setlist, as well as some photos and video I took, are below. The setlist is top notch(except for no You'll Accompany Me). The video quality isn't as good as it should have been. I somehow changed the settings and it didn't record in HD but it is still decent quality.
Roll Me Away
Tryin' To Live My Life Without You
Fire Down Below
Old Time Rock and Roll
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
C'est La Vie (You Never Can Tell)
Good For Me
Nutbush City Limits
Come To Poppa
Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight
We've Got Tonight
Turn The Page
Real Mean Bottle (with Kid Rock)
Against The Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets