Ribfest kicked off its 28th event on Friday night with one of rock’s greatest voices! Rodgers played solo with his band for this gig. Rodgers is #55 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time! He has influenced many singers including John Waite, Lou Gramm and John Mellencamp called him “the best rock singer ever”! Local Sarasota songstress Twinkle claims he defined her style.
Starting out in the 60’s with the British band Free, they had an international hit with “All Right Now”. Next in the 70’s came Bad Company, the first band signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label. The hits just kept coming, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, “Shooting Star” and more. Paul left in 1982 to spend time with his family. His friend Jimmy Page and Paul started The Firm in 1984 and had radio hits with “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “Radioactive”. Paul went solo and continued to record and tour. He toured with Queen, (one of Freddie’s fav singers) and had a reunion with Bad Company. Recently, he toured with Bad Company in 2016 on a double bill with Joe Walsh.
At Ribfest, he took to the piano for the opening number of “Bad Company” and played array of Bad Company hits. Rodgers signature moves with the mic stand and moving around the stage are pure rock show. The Firm’s “Radioactive” a gem rarely played live was greeted with screams from diehard Firm fans. Free’s “Mr. Big” was on the setlist and the band encored with “Can’t Get Enough” and “All Right Now” At 67, Paul Rodgers is still “The Voice” as his fans call him. A great way to start off Ribfest! All monies go to children’s charities in Tampa Bay!
Check out the video of Paul and two rock icons Robert Plant and Sarasota resident Brian Johnson jamming earlier this year!
photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography