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Rod Stewart - IFEMA Palace, Madrid, 14/12/2023

  by Philamonjaro

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Rod Stewart - IFEMA Palace, Madrid, 14/12/2023


Philamonjaro watches and photographs Rod Stewart play an age-defying and visually stunning set at the IFEMA Palace in Madrid.

The house light faded up as the sound system filled the hall with the patriotic bagpipe and drum anthem ‘Scotland The Brave’. The ensemble took position then the house exploded with stage lights, sequins, a mirrored drum riser and three jumbo screens. The band wore Vegas-casual style wardrobes with the six men in black slacks, loose skinny ties and white dinner jackets while their female counterparts donned short sequin dresses in heels. At the centre of this visual glitter-bomb there was Sir Rod Stewart. Somehow, still…. forever young. At least to the fans at the show. Sporting his signature spiky ‘doo, he launched into his 1984 high-energy single ‘Infatuation’. The synthpop sound dated the song but with six decades to his career but that is inevitable for anyone of his endurance. Keeping the momentum, next was The O'Jays’’ Love Train’. A nod to Stewart’s early R&B influences and a welcoming invitation to join in the love and joy on stage. And what is needed throughout the world. Something humanity can use more of these days. Then he brought it down to the more melancholy lament with ‘It’s A Heartache before segueing Into Sam Cooke’s fun-loving, bouncy-twist ‘Having A Party’. Cover songs were predominant but arguably more accepted for this raspy rock-crooner. The hour, forty minute concert was a jukebox of his hits and favourites framed in spectacle stagecraft. was the fluidity of his ensemble, who switched instruments from acoustic to electric, violin to vocals, guitar to mandolin. The arrangements were faithful to the recordings while riding the high energy of the live stage. Overall it was an entertaining night. While ‘I Don't Want to Talk About It’, and Etta James’ ‘I'd Rather Go Blind’ held the test of time, ‘Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?’ did not so much, was more of a self-parody of his youthful seductive prowess. Stewart dedicated ‘You're in My Heart’ to his beloved Celtic soccer club with big screen images of his team as well as wore a hat and scarf of the teams’ colours. And all these years it wasn’t about his romantic love interest? Honouring Stewart’s lost colleagues, the jumbo screen flashed an image of Christine McVie and again with Tina Turner. Another reminder of that receding generation. Rod exited the stage twice for a wardrobe change and break while the back-up singers entertained by singing first The Pointer Sisters’ ‘I’m So Excited’ then ‘Lady Marmalade’ popularized by LaBelle. It is not what I would expect from his concert. When Mick takes a break we get Keef. That equal scenario would be Woody covering for Rod. But that won’t happen. Musical highpoints varied for fans. But without doubt, ‘Maggie May’ and ‘Stay With Me’ were runaway favorites. The fans’ response raised the roof. The show ended on a calming note closing with ‘Sailing’ from his 1975 ‘Atlantic Crossing’ album. Then there was a charming rendition of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’. A perfect holiday topper. Yes, his voice has less range. Yet with the ensemble of back up singers, Stewart had the needed talent delivering supplementary vocals at the right moments. During ‘Stay with Me’, Rod nearly spoke a few lyrics. But his gravely timber gave cover for an aged voice. The age topic seems to be never far away as our 20th century music heroes are retiring and passing away. And they are no longer at their peak popularity, performance or relevance. Yet still he had the goods. Those in the venue by default revelled in nostalgia and the loyalest one may embrace more recent and departing direction from his rock and roll past. In the end, this night’s repertoire is a sort of time-travel to favoured memories. And in all, present company included, are fondly grateful for an evening with Rod Stewart. According to Ste’wart’s website, fans can look forward to a new release of ‘Swing Fever’ that he has collaborated with the ever-talented Jools Holland. It is currently available for pre-order. Sidenote, Stewart appeared on Jools Holland’s New Years Eve celebration broadcast. Add in his world tour that includes a Las Vegas residencyhis, this man is as active as one can be at the spry age of 78. Set List: Infatuation Love Train (The O’Jays cover) It's a Heartache Having a Party (Sam Cooke cover) Forever Young The First Cut Is the Deepest I Don't Want to Talk About It Young Turks Maggie May I'd Rather Go Blind I'm So Excited You're in My Heart Have I Told You Lately Lady Marmalade Some Guys Have All the Luck It Takes Two Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? Stay With Me Sailing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas PHotos by Philamonjaro www,philamonjaro.com

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Rod Stewart - IFEMA Palace, Madrid, 14/12/2023

Rod Stewart - IFEMA Palace, Madrid, 14/12/2023

Rod Stewart - IFEMA Palace, Madrid, 14/12/2023

Rod Stewart - IFEMA Palace, Madrid, 14/12/2023

Rod Stewart - IFEMA Palace, Madrid, 14/12/2023

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