Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart Plays It Small and Hits it Big at the Seminole Tampa Hard Rock Casino

Rod Stewart

Sir Rod Stewart came to Tampa to entertain in one of the smallest venues he has played in many, many years. The Tampa Hard Rock Event Center seats 1,500 people in a small, intimate setting. Rod has played arenas and stadiums for years, as one of the most popular singers in the world. Despite the size of the venue, Rod put on the same big quality show I have seen him perform for 20,000 people!

I have been a Rod Stewart fan since I was 12 years old riding the school bus home and heard “Maggie May” on the radio. Everyone owned Rod’s 1971 album, “Every Picture Tells a Story”, it’s a classic iconic rock record.  Rod then moved on with “The Faces” and a huge solo career! He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 by his friend, guitarist Jeff Beck. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t excited to see Rod In this intimate setting.

Rod Stewart opened the show with the cover of Sam Cooke’s, “Having a Party”, and the energy level in the room was electric. The audience was totally stoked for this show! He moved right into the rocker, “Infatuation”, and everyone was up out of their seats including wrestler/singer Chris Jericho who was spotted up front and later Tampa resident Hulk Hogan was escorted past me to the front stage. Rod saw him and said “I heard you were going to be here” with a laugh. “Some Guys Have All the Luck” was on the setlist. Rod has a great band that Includes two violinists, a saxophonist and a harpist as well as three female singers who perform with the band when Rod leaves the stage.

Rod Stewart

There were some emotional moments in the show. Rod did a tribute to late Christine McVie, who he heard sing “I’d Rather Go Blind” when he was 19, the first time he heard the song, and his version has a melancholy sound. Costume change and Rod comes out wearing a yellow jacket and blue shirt, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. “Rhythm of My Heart” is dedicated to the people of Ukraine with the images of the war on the screen behind Rod. Sitting down for an acoustic session, Rod performs the Curtis Mayfield written “People Get Ready” with a nod to his friend Jeff Beck, who he recorded it with in 1985. Beautifully done with images of the 60’s on the screen of the civil rights movement.

Rod surprised with a deep cut of “The Killing of Georgie (Part I and Il), from the 1976 album, “A Night on the Town.” Of course, “Maggie May” made her appearance at the show with everyone singing along! The romantic tune, “Have I told Ya Lately” had a couple slow dancing in the aisle.  The band and singers performed rousing covers of “I’m Every Woman” and “Lady Marmalade” during costume changes.

For the encore, Rod came out in black sequined jacket to sing and dance to that classic worldwide 1978 disco hit, “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” At 78, Rod the Mod has still got it! Classy, charming, energetic and he still has that great, raspy voice!

Rod is headed down under to Australia on tour with Cyndi Lauper and he has a residency in Vegas at the Caesars Coliseum with various dates through the year. Check out his website for info HERE. 

Vicky Sullivan Photos

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