Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
July 10, 2012
Can’t Get Enough | Honey Child | Ready for Love | Mr. Big | Feel Like Makin’ Love | Run with the Pack | Satisfaction Guaranteed | Seagull | Burnin’ Sky | Bad Company | Movin’ On | With Our Love | Shooting Star | Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy
Walk in My Shadow | All Right Now
A Paul Rodgers solo concert is like seeing three bands in one. The talented vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist co-founded the bands Free, Bad Company and The Firm. On this night, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rodgers trotted out songs from each band coaxing the crowd to sing-a-long with his massive back catalog of hits.
The show began with “Can’t Get Enough” from Bad Company’s debut album of the same name. From the opening verse, “Well, I take whatever I want” it was clear that Rodgers is one of few when it comes to his era of rock vocalists whose voice is actually stronger, now, than at any time in the past. Seeing that Rodgers has been dubbed The Voice for over thirty years, this is an amazing accomplishment and a testament to Rodgers dedication and passion for his craft. Backstage, after the show, smoking was banned and Rodgers sipped hot tea and honey, while wearing a scarf in order to protect his voice and ensure the next night’s performance would be as amazing as this evening’s was.
The set list for the show killed, as hit after hit poured off the stage and cascaded over the audience, each entity sending energy back and forth, building the sense of togetherness that can only happen at a rock concert. “Honey Child” got people dancing while “Ready for Love” received a huge ovation from the crowd. The next song, however, was for the Rodgers faithful. Free’s “Mr. Big” was performed and while Free was never as big in America as they were in Europe, those in the know appreciated seeing this song back in the set list.
Next up were a trifecta of two Bad Co classics and a song by The Firm. Rodgers’ longtime lead guitarist Howard Leese started the first of the three classics with a mandolin solo. After his instrumental section, the opening chords of “Feel Like Makin’ Love” were greeted with a loud cheer. Rodgers proved his prowess as a vocalist as the song was power packed from beginning to end. The title track to Run with the Pack was next followed by The Firm hit single “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” The latter tune was another highlight of the set, as the entire band built the song from the mellow intro to the bombastic ending.
“Seagull” is an album track for Bad Co’s debut album. The song is one of Rodgers’ most poignant lyrical moments. He took the stage solo, with only an acoustic guitar, and mesmerized the crowd with the tune. Later in the song, Leese joined him for an acoustic guitar solo, followed by the band sneaking in, towards the end, and building the song to a gigantic conclusion. This new version of the classic tune is truly amazing and one hopes if Rodgers does another live album that this version will make the final cut.
Thunder shook the building as “Burnin’ Sky” was up next. If one closed their eyes, they would swear they were listening to the album, as the sounds, from the vocals, to the guitar, to the bass line, were crystal clear and performed perfectly. This is one of Bad Co’s most underrated songs, so finding it in the set list was a real treat. Next up was the song “Bad Company” which was also performed flawlessly, as Rodgers opened the tune on a grand piano. The band built to the tune to a huge crescendo, leaving the crowd in awe.
After the Bad Co classic “Movin’ On” Rodgers played a new tune, titled “With Our Love” and dedicated the song by saying, “This one goes out to the horses.” All proceeds for the song go to the charities The Racehorse Sanctuary, Rocking Horse Children’s Charity and Seraphim 12 Foundation. You can check out the new tune and purchase the song here: http://www.paulrodgers.com/checkout/merch.asp. The song has a true classic Bad Co sound and was well received by the crowd.
The main set ended with two of Rodgers’ most beloved songs, the first, “Shooting Star,” was one of the best performed songs of the evening. The crowd sang along with Rodgers directing the way, unexpectedly, the band and Paul switched gears and went into “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy,” and, once again, changed gears towards the end of the song and segued into the Beatles classic “Ticket to Ride.”
After a short break, the band returned to the stage and performed two songs from Free, the first, the bluesy rocker, “Walk in My Shadow” was the surprise tune of the night. Leese jammed out the song and Rodgers wailed on the vocals. This tune was the first song Rodgers’ ever wrote, back when he was seventeen years old. A few years down the road and the tune is still as strong and tasty as ever.
The evening ended with Free’s most popular song, “All Right Now.” There is just something about this song that gets people on their feet. The tribal beat, the killer guitar riff, the fun lyrics and the amazing guitar solo make this song as close to rock and roll perfection as one can get. Rodgers and company left the stage truly leaving the crowd wanting more.
After witnessing such an amazing musical performance one is left to wonder why in the hell this man is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Paul Rodgers is a class act, an intense performer and a true musician who gives 110% every time he takes the stage. Tonight in Tulsa was no exception. It was an amazing night of music from an amazing musician.
Be sure to keep your eye on www.paulrodgers.com for all of the latest news and tour dates.