Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Rod Stewart and Cheap Trick Team Up for A Night of Big Hits at Amalie Arena
Rod Stewart came back to Tampa’s Amalie Arena and brought Cheap Trick along for the ride of his North American tour. The tour had been postponed since 2020, as many have been that are back on the road this summer. Tampa was the last stop on this leg of the tour. Sir Rod has said this will be his last tour playing his rock catalog. He wants to get a big band and go on tour with his Great American Songbook albums, the first of which was released in 2002. As one of the best-selling artists of all-time with 250 million albums sold around the world, Sir Rod at 78, can do whatever he wants!
Cheap Trick has been called America’s best and most famous garage band! Opening with the first hit of many hits of the evening was “Dream Police”! Next up was “Stop this Game” with Robin Zander’s killer vocals and guitarist Rick Nielsen’s guitar pick throwing antics. Tom Petersson gave an incredible bass solo with the 12-string bass he invented. Daxx Nielsen on drums keeps the beat and Robin Taylor Zander on guitar and vocals. The number one rock ballad “The Flame” is still on fire with the voice of Robin Zander. Another hit for Trick, “I Want You To Want Me” is a sing-along for the sold-out show! “Surrender” makes it a family affair for Zander bringing out his daughter Sailor to sing backing vocals. Both Robin & Robin Taylor wore Tampa sports teams jerseys with the elder Zander in Lightning at the team’s arena and Robin Taylor in vintage Tampa Devil Rays. They closed their 14-song set with “Clock Strikes Ten” and “Goodnight”. The hometown crowd loves having Cheap Trick in town!
Rod Stewart opened with the late Robert Palmer’s hit “Addicted to Love”. Palmer and Stewart were good friends and wanted to pay tribute to him. It came complete with a female band ala Palmer’s famous MTV video. The 1972 international hit “You Wear It Well” showcased the band for Rod that includes violin, saxophone and harp. Rod is surrounded by blonde dancer/singers. As the show progressed the audience got in the act singing along with Rod. The light-hearted “Some Guys Have All the Luck” and “Forever Young” was a favorite. The graphics were excellent with photos of Rod in different phases of his career & fashion. A cover of CCR’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” had Rod don a cowboy hat. One of rock’s biggest classics “Maggie May” had the arena out of their seats!
Rod switches gears with a beautiful ballad of the Etta James song, “I’d Rather Go Blind”. The pace picks up with “Young Turks” and the wild and fun, “Do You Think I’m Sexy?”. There’s a break in the action while Rod does a costume change, of which there were several. The band and the blondes perform a great cover of Blondie’s “Call Me” that gets the crowd up dancing. Rod re-appears in looking dapper in a leopard print suit. Everyone sits down for an acoustic set that includes “Reason to Believe”, “People Get Ready” is a tribute to the civil rights of the 60’s. “Tonight’s the Night” and “Have I told You Lately”. The acoustic set is one of the best parts of the show! For the encore, “Stay with Me” and “Hot Legs” close out a great show! Hopefully Rod will keep some of these tunes on his next tour. Some are classics songs that belong in The Great American Songbook!
Vicky Sullivan Photos