On Sunday night, Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper played to a good-sized crowd at the Xcel Energy Center. The show had originally been scheduled for the summer but had been postponed as Stewart came down with strep throat. There were a few younger people in the audience, but the average attendee was grey haired, and a few walkers were spotted. Fortunately neither of the 2 performers needed the assistance of a walker.
Cyndi Lauper opened the show. Lauper was her usually off beat self and kept the crowd entertained. At one point she mentioned she had friends from Brainerd at the show and referred to her son, who played hockey when he was younger. Not sure if her son played hockey at Brainerd, but Lauper wouldn’t strike me as a resident of Brainerd. She sang for around an hour including hits “She Bop”, “Time After Time”, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and closed with “True Colors”. She sounded great and didn’t seem to have any loss in her vocal abilities. “When you were mine” her cover of the Prince tune (she recorded it back in 1983) was rather well done.
Our photographer ran into a small hiccup for Rod Stewart’s set. Usually the photographers are escorted into the venue at the start of the set and get to shoot a couple of song. Somehow Stewart started early and by the time they got to the soundboard, he only had time for a few shots. Such is the exciting life of a concert photographer ?
At 73 Rod Stewart is no spring chicken and the production of the show smartly allowed for that. There were some wardrobe changes when he left the change for new threads (and a bit of oxygen?). Stewart’s band was large with 2 drummers and a third drummer/percussionist, several backing vocalists, horns, an occasional banjo and several guitarists and bassists. The people on stage were constantly changing, allowing Rod to exit the stage a few times during the performance. He frequently let the crowd sing the song and it seemed everyone knew the lyrics and were happy to oblige. He may not be able to hit all the high notes anymore, but the crowd didn’t mind at all.
A semi acoustic set was probably when his voice was the strongest. Through the show he was chatty sharing jokes and stories with fans. He also did a few covers including an Ike & Tina Turner tune. All in all, a very entertaining evening for those with the right expectations. Both performers (and their voices) have matured, comparing them to their heyday will only set one up for disappointment. Shows like this are about nostalgia, enjoy them for what they are.