by MIKE CHAIKEN
When it comes to music, you can’t get more American than Bob Seger.
Seger’s iconic music pays homage to regular working folks who are just trying to make ends meet, have a good time, find love, and live a good comfortable life.
When someone talks about “meat and potatoes” rock and roll, Seger’s music should come immediately to mind.
And when Seger took to the stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Sept. 9, you were reminded how much good music the man has written in his career. Forget about the big hits, like “Night Moves” or “Old Time Rock and Roll,” the deeper tracks, which still strike an emotion chord, showed the power of his music. Songs such as “Like a Rock,” “We’ve Got Tonight” (which he dedicated to his mother), “Beautiful Loser,” “Rambling Gambling Man” still hit you right in the gut.
Seger, however, is more than just a great songwriter. He is a great performer.
Before he broke through in the charts, he made his name grinding it out on the road with Detroit, Mich. serving as his base of operations. And on stage, he is still at home.
Let us state emphatically, Seger’s voice is still as strong as ever. The voices of some artists fade as time goes on. But Seger still has power behind his voice and he can still hit the high notes his songs require. There seemed to be no indication that the band had to transpose the songs to a lower key for him. This made the show even more exciting. We weren’t watching a has-been, we were watching a great artist here and now.
The Silver Bullet Band also is just as tight as ever, ensuring the power of the music still carries that punch. Two of the highlights were the transcendant sax solos by long-time Silver Bullet member Alto Reed on “Mainstreet” and “Turn the Page.”
Seger is clearly still having fun on stage. He doesn’t engage in a lot of banter. But with his fist pumping and big old grin, you can tell he still loves making music.
Seger doesn’t have any new music coming out. But for the fans, the old tracks are key. And Seger mixed the set list up by pulling out tracks that haven’t been played live in years, such as “Her Strut” from “Against the Wind.
Guitarist Nancy Wilson is best known for her years in Heart with her sister Ann Wilson. But that group is on ice for the moment and she is touring with her new conglomeration, Roadcase Royale.
For the opening slot at the Bob Seger show, Wilson and crew were smart to grab some well-known Heart tracks for their setlist. The audience—in a classic rock mood– lit up when Roadcase Royale played such tracks as “These Dreams,” “Even It Up,” and “What About Love.”
Roadcase Royale is about more than Wilson. And one of the highlights of the evening is when they jumped into the Heart classic, “Crazy on You.” Wilson was fabulous on the classical guitar-influenced intro. But the band’s singer Liv Warfield absolutely killed it in the vocals. She gave the track a good kick in the pants and really pumped up the audience in preparation for Seger.
Besides the cover versions, however, Roadcase Royale also had some great original tunes. The first single, “Get Loud” is an audience rouser. And “Not Giving Up” also fit in nicely with the Heart tunes.
The sold out crowd at the Mohegan Sun Arena clearly got their money’s worth with headliner and opener at the Bob Seger/ Roadcase Royale show.
I give the evening four out of four stars.
That old time rock and roll isn’t something you’re likely to forget.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN