This weekend the legend that is Rod Stewart played Birmingham Barclaycard arena. Mr. Red had booked tickets for this about ten months ago and it seemed forever away at the time of booking but it was well worth the wait.
It was crazy busy alongside the canal and after trying to get a table in a number of local restaurants we gave up and decided to eat at the venue, with lots of food choices ranging from pies and fish & chips to burgers we plumped for chicken wraps from Theos. Two wraps and a wine came to under £18.00 so not cheap but not prohibitively pricey either and they were nice wraps with really fast service. With a bank of vending machines selling soft drinks and bars including a westons cider bar nobody seemed to wait too long for food or drinks.
We didn’t even have to queue to get into the arena as the door staff were keeping everyone moving in the right direction, and with plenty of staff around to point us in the right direction we were very impressed with our reception. Although it took longer to get out and we had an hour wait to exit the car park, so next time we will probably get the train in. It’s worth mentioning that the Barclaycard arena has a smoking terrace and I used the toilets which as well as being very clean when I arrived had ample cubicle’s in the ladies.
The show was due to start at 7.30 and sure enough it started right on time, the first act being Sisterhood who were an all girl duo fronted by Rods daughter Ruby. Playing a mix of country inspired tunes they were very good but obviously everyone wanted Sir Rod Stewart and Sisterhood probably didn’t get the attention or recognition they deserved as lots of people were still arriving throughout their set with all the inevitable disruption that latecomers bring to everyone around them.
But when he did come on stage around 8.15 he was pretty awesome. With more energy than some people twenty or thirty years his junior. An amazing backdrop behind him and the band, which was predominantly illuminated and changing throughout and the obligatory large screens. The big screens were necessary as we had not managed to secure great seats and Rod Stewart was little more than a dot in the distance, annoyingly Barclaycard arena released some seats right up by the stage only a night or two before but there was no way I’d have taken a chance on being able to get tickets the week of this show.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and all that. Anyway the show was pretty perfect, a very talented saxophonist , Rod sang all the big songs from Maggie May, We are sailing, If ya think im sexy, The first cut is the deepest, Handbags and Gladrags and even a Christmas song with a man standing on ladders right behind him, sprinkling snow.(which was funnier than it sounds) He took a moment to say hello to someone who had travelled from Canada and was waving a banner that said just that, He even messed up the lyrics on one song and I feel bad for pointing this out, but he laughed and said “30 years! how did I get the words wrong after 30 years” and picked up right from where he’d gone wrong, charming and human.
The words ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ are easily overused but no doubt about it Sir Rod Stewart is both. An old school entertainer rather than just someone who can sing I certainly felt we had gotten value for money on our tickets. I’m sure the people who left with a signed football felt they had, as RS had kicked signed footballs into the crowd for the full length of his rendition of Stay with me. When Mr. Red and I got married we had our first dance to a Rod Stewart song (It had to be you, for anyone interested ) and I know it wasn’t my very first album but my Rod Stewart album that I bought sometime in the mid late 70s was amongst one of my first ever albums, so it was lovely to see him live. I wonder how many of today’s acts will still be filling arenas in 40 years? The show finished at 10pm so very nearly two hours of Rod Stewart on stage and I had loved every minute, he had encouraged us to sing along with him, he had made me laugh and he has given Mr Red and I another load of fabulous memories.
Sir Rod may I say You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul.Thank you for an amazing night.