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Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Casual Critic — Rod Stewart's Live at Royal Albert Hall

Far from a die-hard fan of Rod Stewart, I nonetheless thought his Live at Royal Albert Hall would be more than a little fun. Yet, even for the first half of the concert in which Stewart was performing the way most fans would expect, it seems his best days have passed him by.

Stewart covers some of the classics he's known for, such as "You Wear It Well," "Some Guys Have All the Luck," "Rhythm of My Heart," and "Hot Legs." All are songs that would halt my station surfing, but the performance was from an old guy singing the songs that made him famous a long time ago. He brought Jeff Beck out for a couple songs, which triggered several guest performances, including a rather hot woman playing bagpipes. Completely unexplained, this was apparently about Rod proving he could still get a hot woman to do things.

The strangest moment cames when he trotted out Amy Bell for a duet of "I Don't Want to Talk About It." He announced her as though she were his personal discovery, which she may very well be, but who the hell cares? At the risk of sounding completely out of touch, I've never heard of the woman. She sang well enough, but it wasn't like she came out and made some incredible impression.

Of course, the concert was done in support of Stewart's American Songbook albums. So, halfway through the show, he transforms into his Songbook outfit and tries to fall into the smooth, aging-gracefully performer. I like "You Can't Take That Away From Me," but after that all of the songs sounded the same to me.

If you're really, really into Stewart — both old and new — you may like Live at Royal Albert Hall. Otherwise, leave it for the true fan.

1 comment:

  1. Just in reponse to your "who the hell cares" comment about Amy Bell. I found your bog as I was looking to see what became of her. My wife was impressed enough to find out if she had any progress with her recording career. I know that Rod Stewart may have stretched the truth in "finding her" but she was honest enough in her debut's performance.

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