A 14-piece Silver Bullet Band accompanies the legendary Bob Seger on this make-up date of his farewell tour.
Opener: The Record Company
These guys only got a half hour, but they made the most of it. Their singer and lead guitar player, Chris Vos, brought the riffs and the energy throughout the five-song set. Chris told the crowd repeatedly how much he appreciated Bob for giving them the opportunity to play in front of a crowd of thousands, keeping what he called and the rock n’ roll tradition of big names giving smaller bands like his a shot. Chris also mentioned how graciously Mr. Seger had introduced himself to the band and told them that if they needed anything at all to let him know. Chris recalled being a life-long Seger fan, and that seemed very genuine.
More importantly, they kicked ass and I will gladly go see them when they come back to town. The highlight of their set was their closer, which featured Chris doing some fierce electric harmonica playing while continuing to melt faces with his guitar. Bravo, openers! And bravo to Team Seger for selecting them for this leg of the tour.
Headliner: Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
After suffering from back problems for most of 2018 (and postponing dozens of shows because of it), Bob Seger is back on the road this year. This damn-near-sellout was the 8th stop on his Roll Me Away farewell tour, and his first Idaho appearance. As his band walked out onto the darkened stage, Tom Petty’s “American Dream Plan B” bellowed out- a very nice touch, if you ask me. The crowd was geeked from the start to see the legend, and even at his advanced age (73) Bob brought the goods. His voice is not quite what it once was, but he sang with passion and didn’t hold back the way many aging rock stars do. Most importantly, he played my three favorites of his: “Turn the Page”, “You’ll Accomp’ny Me”, and “Night Moves”.
Although for much of the evening he sang while letting his gigantic band (14 humans!) do the musical labor, he did casually strum an acoustic guitar on a few numbers (“Mainstreet”, “Shame on the Moon”, which they played on this tour for the first time in 28 years, “Like A Rock”, “In Your Time”, and “Night Moves”). While his playing was very, very minimal, it was good to see the man enjoying the heck out of himself and playing the hits for the people.
Yes, we were in the nosebleeds… here is a cheat pic from the video screen…
In an effort to keep this short and sweet (and save myself research), I will simply say that his lead guitar player was incredible: I saw Chris Stapleton, Dave Mustaine, Mike Cooley, and Mike McCready last year – no slouches there – and this dude was bringing it about as hard as they did. His bass player was given a shout-out as he has been with Bob since 1969 – that’s 50 years, folks. And his sax player, who stole the show several times including, of course, “Turn the Page”, has been with him since 1971. As Dave Niehaus would say, My Oh My. Add four more horns, three backup singers of the female persuasion, another guitarist, two pianists, and a drummer, and you have quite a wall of sound.
Highlights of the night included the songs with Bob pounding the keys. Unlike his passive and mellow guitar playing, he got after it on the piano on three songs. First, “Turn the Page”, which is one of the finest songs I have ever heard, period. Next up, “We’ve Got Tonight”, which he dedicated to his late mother. It was her favorite song of his, and he has played it at every show since she passed away in 1989. Finally, he tickled the ol’ ivories on a stunning and heartfelt cover of Dylan’s “Forever Young”, which he played in tribute to some recently lost musicians: his buddy and fellow Michigander Glenn Frey, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, Aretha Franklin, and Prince, among others. Their pictures appeared on the video board while he played the song, slowly and steadily.
It was truly a beautiful moment and one I will not soon forget.
Ah, the encore… after a short break (complete with his logo on the giant video board), he and his band came out and gave us “In Your Time”, “Hollywood Nights”, and “Night Moves”. What a night; Mom (who came down from Seattle in part to see the show with me) had a blast, as did I. After speaking with a few folks who were also there, it’s unanimous: Bob brought it and put on a great show, not phoning it in at all. Farewell to you, Bob – and thanks again, sir.
Busload of Faith
Still the Same
The Fire Down Below
Old Time Rock & Roll
The Fire Inside
Shame on the Moon
Roll Me Away
Come to Poppa (Willie Mitchell cover)
Like A Rock
You’ll Accomp’ny Me
We’ve Got Tonight
Turn the Page
Forever Young (Bob Dylan cover)
Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
In Your Time
Spotify set playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/user/1217400912/playlist/0umnDyTytB8TYAGIGrIzaj?si=zvbbeyNuSmWG5mhYugWJfQ