The only farewells that Rod Stewart has said on Wednesday night in Madrid have been for others, because, while this 2023 others died or sealed their retirement, at 78 this still sexy and frizzy dandy has confirmed here that he has a lot of gunpowder left inside as if to say goodbye to the stage or to life.
“It’s going to be two hours… two hours!”has underlined and warned the public at the start of his concert in the Spanish capital, the first stop on a tour that will also pass this month through the Murcia bullring on the 20th, the Starlite festival in Marbella (Málaga) on the 21st and the Concert Music Festival of Chiclana (Cádiz) on 22.
Seven years after his last visit to Madrid in an intimate concert at the Teatro Real in the presence of the Kings, this time he has stopped at the Wizink Center and in a format more conducive to his uninhibited style in front of nearly 12,000 people, almost full capacity when the track is covered with chairs (although their occupants have barely used them).
His friendliness, his rockstar attitude (more than that of a former sexual icon, although he also played with her tonight) and, above all, a magnificent mixed band of twelve very versatile members that they have brought to the stage have played in his favor. violins, a harp, a small brass section and at times even triple percussion to cover a repertoire that could stand alone.
Because since his beginnings in the early 60s in various bands and after the takeoff of his solo career with “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down” (1969), Roderick David Stewart (London, 1945) has added more from about thirty albums to the most recent, “The Tears of Hercules” (2021).
None of this work has appeared on tonight’s list of songs, made up rather of a mixture of great personal successes and above all others covered by that peculiar throat White and torn, she knew how to combine rock, blues, new wave, folk and soul music like few others, and in general she still holds her own well.
“I will never retire! I was sent to Earth to be a singer and that is what I will continue to do as long as God allows it,” he proclaimed a few weeks ago when some misinterpreted statements and the configuration of this “tour” as a review of his career led to to speculate on his possible farewell in the wake of fellow contemporaries such as Elton John.
Genius and figure, a few minutes after 9:30 p.m. he has shown it by jumping on stage as if time did not pass at the same speed for him, with that hair still bleached and frizzy that earned him the nickname “Rod The Mod “, zebra print jacket and shirt open to the chest exposing a pearl necklace.
He has done it like Robert Palmer, escorted by the female section of his band with a provocative attitude and the instruments around their necks, which for this has begun to the rhythm of “Addicted To Love”, after which their companions have taken over. men to play “You Wear It Well”.
Returning to the entire formation since then, Stewart has revisited past times such as his initial stage with Faces (“Ooh La La”) or more recent ones such as the version of “It Takes Two” that he created with his partner in the early 90s. friend Tina Turner, for whom she has had a memory in one night with more obituaries dedicated to Christine McVie and Jeff Beck.
Even more than “Forever Young” played shortly before, one of the first great moments has been lived with his revision of the Crazy Horse classic “I Don’t Want To Talk About It”, in complicity with an audience that has not asked him accounts for not reaching the treble in “The First Cut Is The Deepest”, borrowed from Cat Stevens, nor for some somewhat clumsy choreographic outbursts that have evidenced his proximity to 8 decades of age more than his splendid appearance.
There was no lack of the essential “Maggie May” halfway through. “From 1971!”, he has recalled given the timeless value of this cut that perhaps has been somewhat watered down in its first part when played in a more folk format, with some Celtic airs that he has resorted to several times in a evening in which he has boasted of his Scottish origins, as well as his passion for Celtic.
In front of the synthesizers of “Young Turks” who have taken the concert to the incipient and dancing 80sintimacy has allowed her to capture some of the most beautiful moments, such as when in the final stretch she has performed a “Have I Told You Lately” that has eclipsed even her wardrobe, with each change more brilliant and extravagant.
Dressed in fact in a suit with the colors of the Ukrainian flag, he has sung “Rhythm of My Heart” by Marc Jordan about images of the destruction caused by the Russian invasion of that country. Bowing before a final image of President Vladimir Zelenski, the man who refused a million dollars to sing at the World Cup in Qatar has underlined the last verses with the audience on their feet: “The rhythm of my heart, I have my eyes on you” .
At the auction, after the promised two hours, not even the essential “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (in which, paradoxically, he almost received a ball on his genitals), nor what was his second great worldwide hit, “Sailing”, thus ratifying once again its half-century of validity… and what remains.