SEGER ROCKS DETROIT!
The Seger File
March 23, 2007

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Latest News and Updates

 
Detroit - Joe Louis - 3/13/07
Set List
Previews
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DetNews Gallery: Seger at Joe Louis Arena
Fans On Tour
 
Detroit - Cobo - 3/15/07
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Fans On Tour
 
Detroit - Cobo - 3/17/07
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Auburn Hills, 12/20/06

Set List
Reviews
Photos -- DetNews
Photos -- Free Press
Video -- Channel 2
First-hand Fan Reports
 
Auburn Hills, 12/22/06
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First-hand Fan Reports
 
Auburn Hills, 12/28/06
Set List
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Auburn Hills, 12/30/06
Set List
Reviews
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First-hand Fan Report

The Media Blitz

 
Gary Graff Interviews Seger
Audio from December 8
(An excellent interview, definitely worth hearing)
 
The Detroit News: SegerNation
Ramblin' again
 
A sampling of other articles, all at Seger Nation:
Seger's songs reflect Detroit
Longtime manager Punch Andrews
16 songs Seger can't do without
Stories behind 'Face the Promise'
Seger's discography
Travelin' man goes on tour
Fans rock the Hall on Seger's behalf
A long climb to the top
Seger at Pontiac Stadium
Interactive map of Seger's Michigan Fans stories on video
Photo galleries
Audio clips of Seger songs
 
The Detroit News
Bob Seger: The Interview
Photo Galleries
Backing Up Bob
The Silver Bullet Band
 
The Flint Journal
Frost warms to the road
 
The Monroe Evening News
Frost on road with Seger
 
The Oakland Press
Looking Back
 
The Ann Arbor News
More Seger Memories
 
WCSX Seger Blog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seger makes tour finale memorable
Doug Pullen
The Flint Journal
March 19, 2007

DETROIT -- "Soooo lonnng!!!" Bob Seger bellowed at the conclusion of his Saturday show at Cobo Arena.

It was the last performance of Seger's triumphant "Face the Promise" comeback tour, and, possibly, the last concert he'll ever give.

If it was Seger's last show (and I don't think it was), the iconic Michigan rocker went out the way he wanted - on a very high note.

He brought his buddy Kid Rock out for a rousing version of "Real Mean Bottle," dusted off a few songs and turned what could have been a very emotional night into a workman-like two-hour and 15-minute blowout of a performance.

The 61-year-old Seger told The Journal last week that Saturday's show "could be it," his last concert ever, though the chances are 50-50 he'll return at some point, possibly as early as June for a six-city tour of Canada and the upper Midwest.

Longtime keyboardist and Flint native Craig Frost admitted he didn't know what the boss would do, but welcomed a break from a tour that was supposed to last six weeks but turned into a 41/2-month victory lap.

"I'm a little burned out," Frost, the former Grand Funk Railroad keyboardist, confessed at an after-show party next door at Joe Louis Arena. The party was attended by more than 400 people, including Kid Rock, flanked by bodyguards, and former bandmate Uncle Kracker, who got the pre-show party started (on St. Patrick's Day, no less) with a pumped-up half-hour set.

The real party was on stage, where a large camera crew recorded Seger's every fist pump, nicotine wail and toothy smile as a full house of nearly 13,000 faithful cheered on their local hero. Seger responded with the kind of driving celebration of his legacy and his rock, blues and soul roots on which he built his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reputation over the past 40 years.

It was a pretty straightforward performance. He never acknowledged that it was St. Patty's Day, wearing his customary black T-shirt and blue jeans (though many in the crowd sported green). He didn't offer any updates on the Michigan State-North Carolina basketball game (MSU lost).

In fact, his only sports reference was to his beloved Detroit Pistons, whose 38-5 start last season inspired the new song "Simplicity," one of the few weak links in the chain Saturday night. But he did dedicate "Old Time Rock & Roll" to his daughter's piano teacher, dedicated the rarely performed "Good for Me" to his wife of 19 years, Nita, and dusted off "Still the Same" in tribute to his loyal fans.

Looking a good 15 pounds lighter than he did at The Palace in December - in all, Seger played 10 shows in Michigan on this tour, seven in metro Detroit - and with his gray hair freshly trimmed, Seger offered up his standard show in the first half.

New songs "Wreck This Heart," "Face the Promise" and "Wait For Me" have gotten better and better live. They held their own with time-honored chestnuts like "Turn the Page" (on which the crowd turned into a 13,000-voice choir). The dynamic "Travelin' Man"/"Beautiful Loser" medley, was a high point and a throwback to "Live Bullet," the breakthrough concert album recorded at Cobo 32 years ago and the reason he was back here for the last two shows of the tour.

He mixed things up more in the second, more rewarding, half. There were rowdier than normal versions of "Horizontal Bop" (complete with Alto Reed's grin-inspiring sax theatrics) and "Katmandu," another "Live Bullet" staple revived for this tour. The real treat for hardcore fans was a punchy, horn-driven update of "Nutbush City Limits," the Ike and Tina Turner song that opened "Live Bullet."

The second set's country-tinged midsection was replaced by a pounding "The Fire Down Below," and "Good for Me," a forgotten gem from "Against the Wind" that put a winded Seger back behind the piano, buttressed by the soulful harmonies of backup singers Laura Creamer, Shaun Murphy and Barb Payton.

The Silver Bullet Band, numbering up to 14 members on some songs, was very much a well-oiled machine, with particularly strong contributions from the four-man Motor City Horns, whose role has grown over the tour, the steady pounding presence of Grand Funk drummer Don Brewer (like Frost a Flint native) and guitarist Mark Chatfield, whose piercing solos were particularly sharp Saturday.

Almont resident Joe Dogan said it was worth the $360 he paid an online ticket broker so he and his wife, Maryann, could see what could go down as Seger's last concert.

"I don't think he could've done it any better," Dogan said, "plus, I'll get to see it on DVD."

Seger summed it up best after a raucous version of "Old Time Rock & Roll."

"This is the way to end the tour right here," he said, shooting his fists into the air.

It was.

-- Doug Pullen, The Flint Journa
Cobo Hall -- 3/17/07
Fans On Tour
Andrew Sharp

WOW!!!! I decided to take the plunge one last time, one last hurrrah, for the sake of Bob and the Band and a lifetime of irreplaceable memories, and this concert was mindblowingly the best show I have ever seen anywhere anytime.

This was the best of the five I saw, and the others were probably the best I had ever seen to that point. I would put Vegas at number two, followed by Toronto, Palace # 2 and Chicago, although of the last three I really don't know which was better. Each was a special show in their own way. Anyway, I braved an ill timed snowstorm, and luckily got off the ground from Montreal  for the cause, and the cause was with me all the way. I made it!!!!  And Oh Boy! was COBO special, this was the one, and you always know that there is ONE out there, and this was it. What a send-off, what a way to say goodbye.

You could just feel LIVE BULLET oozing out of that building, the history. It was like being in some great historic American institution, a shrine to a simpler time of the greatest rock 'n' roll, and at times, as I walked around the inside I thought to myself it seemed more like an old, old school or even a prison with all that concrete, emptiness, and even wire fences in places.

It just had that old feel of when rock' n' roll really was, innocent, raw and pure, and genuine, just like Seger, and just like this last final triumph of his. I was cracking up because, instead of maybe some nice concession stands that you might find at one of the newer, larger stadiums, like say the Palace, or some great new hockey arena, for the most part, the beer was being sold out of plastic recycle style tubs and cardboard boxes from the middle of the floors in the hall way, and then I thought to myself, man, I really have arrived!!!! The MECCA COBO.

This was the best set list I had come across of the five shows I saw, expanded to 26 songs, and tweaked just about as right as you could get, 2 hours and 20 minutes of as pure rock and roll energy as you will ever see. Out, was Night Moves in the first encore, but in, and dedicated to all of us diehard fans was Still the Same, the first time I had heard that live since 1980 and it was great, an old friend.

Out, was The Answers in the Question, but in its place, and dedicated to his wife and all the band's husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, was the song Good For Me from the Against the Wind album. If I had had to pick one more song for Bob to play I would never have even thought of or picked that one, not because it isn't a good song, just not a great one, and there are so many others to choose from. BUT, when Bob started singing,  I realized that something pretty unique was happening, I sat back with complete admiration and thought, MY God, I  was completely entranced and blown away. This might have been the greatest vocal performance I have ever heard BOB Seger do, anywhere.

It was unbelievable, his voice was so strong, so clear, so honest, so much conviction, emotion and just downright genuine. You could feel it in your bones. The chills down your spine. It was then that I realized how special this guy, and his music really are, this one said it all.

And then there was Nutbush. Well, my, my has there ever been a better Seger song for a live audience than this one; if there is I haven't come across it. This song and performance was legendary. It just tore the roof off COBO, no wrecking ball required now; the place is ready to crumble after that one. This was one for the ages and we need the DVD to remind us of it over and over again. BOB And PUNCH I hope you are listening  - THE DVD, Please. The Police may be starting their world tour soon, but then there are the Po-lice; I know who I would rather look out for.

As for the "new" stuff, now not quite so new, it was better than ever, and now can fully claim its space as a full and legitimate partner with the repertoire. Wreck this Heart just steamrolled, and The Promise, well, delivered. It was pretty hard to say what the highlights were, because everything was, the piano trilogy from We've Got Tonight, Travellin' Man, Beautiful Loser were huge as usual.

And what a sight it was to see Bob and Rock go at it in Bottle, like Ali-Frazier just whaling away at each other, with Bob trying to avert the spotlight away from him toward Rock, but to no avail, as Bob more than held his own - as high energy as it gets. And then there was The Fire Down Below, one of those great, great intense Seger songs. No doubt Bob and the band got better as the tour wore on, more confidence and authority, and Bob's voice was as strong as I have heard it. If nothing else happens, Bob can know that he went out on top, in peak form.

It's funny but each show can feel like a blur, they are so intense, there is just so much going on, it is almost impossible to absorb everything, hard as you may try to, you just kind of get lost in it all, and maybe that is the way it is supposed to be.

So there it is, COBO, the great Bob Seger and his brilliant, tight Silver Bullet band have come and gone and it is shocking to think that this is probably it, all those years, all the richness of his songs, all those unstoppable performances, they are now history. We have the memories to live with and a world of thanks and gratitude toward this truly unique and special artist. We have been blessed and lucky to have had Bob for so long, and probably for this last time. Now all we need, is the DVD, just so we can travel back every now and then, to remind us just what it was like, what a treat it was. Thanks to all and to you Scott for this great site,  for making so much of this possible  and bringing it to us everyday.


Bob Seger Closes Tour With Cobo Blowout

Julie Jacobson-Hines
Oakland Press

DETROIT -- One fan's homemade sign said it all at Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band's St. Patrick's Day concert: "We all come home eventually."

Indeed, a crowd of about 12,000 crammed into Cobo Hall to witness the end of Seger's "Face the Promise" tour on Saturday. Included were family members and friends of Seger and his band members. The emotion was evident as the crowd sang along, danced and occasionally grew misty-eyed as the band flawlessly played old favorites amidst its newer ones.

Seger thanked his wife and children for being patient through his 50-city tour, and he dedicated "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" to his daughter's piano teacher, who beamed from the front row.

John and Gayle Szymek of Pontiac held a homemade sign: "Thanks for 40 years of Rock 'N Roll." As a teenager, John Szymek said he did some stage set-up for Seger when the rocker was just starting out. He recalled Seger playing a Waterford Township bowling alley before hitting the big time.

In addition to guitars, drums, keyboards and Alto Reed's saxophone, the band had the Motor City Horns and three female backup vocalists, for a full sound. Seger, who looked lean and energetic for his 61 years, played for 2 1 /2 hours, including short breaks.

Kid Rock joined in for a song near the end of the set, and the crowd roared a welcome for him, too. Dressed in a beige fedora, trademark sunglasses, St. Patrick's T-shirt and leather jacket, he sounded at home with Seger, who was dressed simply in black T-shirt and black jeans.

More gray hair receding hairlines were apparent in this crowd than at most rock concerts, but it showed the aging baby boomers don't want to let go of their early rock roots, or Seger -- their hometown hero.

-- Julie Jacobson-Hines, Oakland Press

More Seger Shows Coming After All?
WCSX Music News
Gary Graff
March 19, 2007

Bob Seger is apparently revising his thoughts about playing more live shows. After telling the Insider that he didn't plan on hitting the road again this year, in more recent conversations he's talked about playing a handful of shows around the upper Midwest and in Canada, mostly likely in late June and early July. Seger and the Silver Bullet Band have been asked to appear at the annual motorcycle festival in Sturgis, South Dakota. A decision about the additional dates may be made before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Seger and company brought this portion of the "Face the Promise" tour -- 50 shows played to more than 600,000 fans -- to a fine conclusion Saturday (March 17th) at Cobo Arena, adding a couple of rarities to the set list -- the only tour performance of "Good For Me" from 1980's chart-topping "Against The Wind" album and "Still The Same," which replaced "Night Moves" in the encore. As he did on Thursday (March 15th), Kid Rock also appeared to recreate his duet with Seger on "Real Mean Bottle," a Vince Gill song that appears on the "Face the Promise" album.

The band and crew celebrated the end of the tour after Thursday's show with a private party in the Olympia Room of the nearby Joe Louis Arena. The entourage dined on pizza, sandwiches and wraps, while Seger and manager Ed "Punch" Andrews made short speeches thanking everyone for their efforts. The Silver Bullet Band members were also presented with platinum album plaques for "Face The Promise" before Saturday's show -- even though none of the touring band members appear on the album.

The entourage was also given pins that read "Cobo Hall: Return Of The Bullet," causing one of the musicians to remark "sounds like a good album title." Both Cobo shows were taped and filmed for a possible release, but no details have yet been announced.

-- Gary Graff


PR Newswire
March 19, 2007

The City of Detroit proved yet again that it is home to the greatest rock and roll audiences in the world when Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band ended their 50-city tour Saturday, March 17. In front of a lively sold out crowd, Seger enjoyed a return to both his hometown and Cobo Arena. "It was another historic performance at the legendary Cobo Arena," said Bill Lee, Olympia Entertainment's Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

"Live Bullet," the album largely responsible for making Seger a nationally known rock star, was recorded on September 4 & 5, 1975 at Cobo Arena. In honor of the famous recording and Seger's illustrious career, Olympia Entertainment, the facility management company for Cobo Arena, renamed the star dressing room the "Live Bullet" room. Olympia Entertainment officials were on hand Saturday night to present Seger with gifts and a plaque to commemorate the momentous occasion.


Cobo Arena -- 3/17/07
Seger, Cobo star together one last time
Tom Gromak
The Detroit News
March 18, 2006

Two aging rock-and-roll veterans got one last chance to bask in the glow of the spotlight and the roar of nearly 17,000 loving fans Saturday night: Cobo Arena and Bob Seger capped off a tour that may also mark the end of a career that spans a generation.

Neither has offered any solid clues about the future. As the region ponders the expansion of its convention center, will Cobo - the site of so many music spectacles - fall under the wrecking ball? And will Seger, 61, retire from the business that made him one of America's blue-collar heroes?

"This was his best concert, but I know it could be his last," said Kelly Martines, of Warren, who, with her long-time friend Susan Adam of Davison, attended two shows at the Palace and two at Cobo to take in as much Seger as they could. "I hope it's not the last, but, you know, you cling to anything."

Seger himself said little to tip his hand. He closed the show by dedicating "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" to "the best crew we ever had," then offered a simple "Thank you. So long" to a crowd that would have stayed and sung back-up until morning had the band played on.

Whatever the future holds, Seger seemed to be taking in every moment of this show. As he stood atop thrusts at the sides of the stage, he shielded his eyes with his hands to get a better view of the fans standing and cheering. Backstage, he bumped fists with bandmate Alto Reed, and pumped his fist to the rhythmic clapping and stamping of a crowd eager for a second encore.

"This was excellente. Totally the best," said Adam, who recalled having seen Seger with Martines when the pair were teens. "It's amazing."

Mt. Clemens native Uncle Kracker opened the show on time at 8 p.m. and wrapped up around 8:30. Seger took the stage soon after, playing a 14-song first set that included "Old Time Rock and Roll", dedicated to his son's piano teacher, Miss Susan. He finished the first set in a duet with Kid Rock on "Real Mean Bottle."

After an 8-minute intermission - as he promised - Seger was back with "Simplicity," a driving rocker he wrote for the Detroit Pistons' 2005-06 run.

Special for the Cobo show, he played "Good for Me," an album track from "Against the Wind" that he dedicated to his wife and the spouses and girlfriends and boyfriends of the members of his Silver Bullet Band. He finished the second set with a rousing and energetically extended rendition of "Katmandu" shortly before 11 p.m., and was called back to the stage twice for two-song encores.

Seger thanked the crowd, but Dennis Bokash, 50, of Atlanta, Ga., wanted no thanks.

"Thank you, Bob Seger," he shouted as he high-fived those around him. Then, at the conclusion of the show, Bokash stood at the bottom of section B5 and shook the hand of every fan that walked by, thanking them, too, just for being there.

Bokash said he also attended Seger concerts in his youth while living in Rockwood, including three of four shows on the 1984 tour. When the final Cobo show came up, he bought six tickets and brought his hometown friends. "I wanted us to see this. It's just a huge part of our lives," he said.

"When I was a kid, they used to bring me along," said Bokash's friend Dana Phipps, 46, of Carleton. "It's just a wonderful thing. It was awesome."

-- Tom Gromak, The Detroit News


Seger wows a home crowd
Brian McCollum
Detroit Free Press
March 17, 2007

It was the perfect storm of Bob Seger excitement: a historic venue, a giddy hometown crowd and one bang-up tour finale.

Lighting up Cobo Arena on Saturday for the 10th Michigan concert of his 50-city run, Seger and his Silver Bullet Band delivered a high-energy show for a capacity crowd of about 12,000 -- a lively St. Patrick's Day audience generously dotted with green.

Seger and company were in loose spirits, but the honed performance was particularly tight as they whipped up a set list heavy on old favorites at Cobo, nostalgic home to the Detroit rocker's concerts in the '70s and '80s.

"Now this is the way to end the tour, right here!" Seger shouted early in the night after an adrenalized "Old-Time Rock and Roll."

-- Brian McCollum, The Detroit Free Press


Cobo Arena -- 3/17/2007

Roll Me Away
Trying to Live My Life Without You
Wreck This Heart
Main Street
Old Time Rock and Roll
Wait for Me
Face the Promise
Sunspot Baby
Betty Lou
We've Got Tonight
Turn the Page
Travelin' Man
Beautiful Loser
Real Mean Bottle
Intermission
Simplicity
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Cest La Vie
Nutbush City Limits
Good For Me
Fire Down Below
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
First encore
Still the Same
Hollywood Nights
Second Encore
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
Seger Thanks Band, Crew At Tour Ending Party
Gary Graff
Oakland Press
March 15, 2007
 
Bob Seger hosted an end-of-tour party for his Silver Bullet Band and road crew following Thursday night's (March 15th) show at Cobo Arena. The entourage were shuttled to the Olympia Room at nearby Joe Louis Arena, where Seger and company played Tuesday night; there they dined on Little Caesar's Pizza, wraps and sandwiches. Seger and manager Ed "Punch" Andrews made brief speeches thanking everyone for their work on the four-and-a-half month "Face the Promise" tour, which was Seger's first since 1996. The trek concludes Saturday (March 17th) with a final, sold-out show at Cobo Arena that's being recorded for a possible future release. Kid Rock joined the group for "Real Man Bottle," his duet with Seger on the "Face the Promise" album, at Thursday's show, marking the third time the two have performed it during the tour.
 
-- Gary Graff, Oakland Press

Seger talks about his summer plans
Brian McCollum
Detroit Free Press
March 15, 2007
With his 50-city run closing Saturday night at Cobo Arena, the tour road is ending for Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band.

But is it the end of the road for Seger?

The Michigan icon, who will turn 62 in May, says he's not sure where it goes from here. A desire for more family time could push him back out of the public eye, he says -- just as it did in the decade leading up to this latest flurry of activity.

Still, with a handful of potential summer dates in the wings -- and demands from promoters for more -- Seger isn't putting a firm cap on anything just yet. And he's got enough to keep his hands full this week, with Cobo shows tonight and Saturday that will include a goosed-up set list, film and audio crews taping for possible releases, and scheduled appearances by fellow Detroit stars Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock.

Seger talked with the Free Press on Wednesday, a day after the Joe Louis Arena performance that commenced his tour-closing homecoming week.

ON HIS SUMMER PLANS: "We got these really big offers in Calgary and Milwaukee, and we had talked about a Canadian summer tour anyway. We only played Toronto (on the winter tour). It was a matter of the routing, because of the nature of the way we play -- only Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. That's the optimum for us, which means you can only play so many dates, and there were a bunch of places we missed. So I floated the idea awhile back: What about a little swing through Canada?

"We might build something around that. The Milwaukee Summerfest, Minnesota -- probably Minneapolis. For some strange reason, it works, because it happens to coincide with Grand Funk's tour (featuring Seger drummer Don Brewer). But the downside would be Donnie has to play 10 straight gigs! (Laughs) So I have to weigh that.

"But it's not just Brewer. It's everybody -- crew, sound, lights. I'd say it's 50-50 at best, maybe 40-60. But at this point I'm inclined to hold the dates."

ON POSSIBLE SHOWS WITH FRIEND KID ROCK: "He firmly believes he's going to be on tour in June. But he's still finishing his new record. So he's only talking about (scattered) dates, not a full-on, full-fledged tour. But if we can get us both going at the same time, sure.

"It certainly would be a thrill to do that. I'd love to do a couple of dates with him, anywhere."

ON PREPARING FOR COBO, SITE OF 1975's "LIVE BULLET" RECORDINGS: On Tuesday, "we did a 2-hour, 40-minute sound check … and that was just for 'Nutbush'! By the time I played last night, in the middle of the show -- sometimes I talk to myself up there -- I said, 'Oh man, I don't know about doing Canada!' (Laughs)

"I've got to get some distance from this. Six dates (this summer) -- fine, that's no skin off anybody's back. I've got to decide in the next three weeks."

ON RETURNING TO COBO AFTER 24 YEARS, AND THE ARENA'S ASSETS: "That was my idea. When we did that (recent news feature on) 'CBS Sunday Morning,' we walked in there. And I said, 'Geez, it would be fun to play here again.'

"No. 1 is the sound quality there. When a building sounds good, it's really fun to do. There are a lot of arenas that don't sound great. I'd say 50 percent of them are set up for sports events, not concerts. Rupp Arena in Kentucky, Joe Louis Arena -- you get a big, boomy thing, and it's difficult for a singer.

"Then you get a building like Omaha, or Phoenix, or Cobo. The echo isn't as bad. It knocks down on the 500 Bobs I have to hear at those other places. I can just hear the one Bob. I mean, I had to wear earplugs at Joe Louis last night."

ON HIS MEMORIES OF THE "LIVE BULLET" NIGHTS 32 YEARS AGO: "It was really great. It was the first time, basically -- or close to the first time -- we'd ever headlined anywhere. So it was thrilling to be able to play everything we knew. We'd been playing (as opener for) other people, and playing for just 45 minutes, so to be able to try stuff and stretch stuff was really nice.

"God, we were just so strong then. We'd played so many nights. We were road dogs -- five, six nights a week. So we were ready for it, because it such an exciting opportunity. After 11, 12 years of not headlining, playing small venues, here we were. We were on."

-- Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press


Seger aims to make tour finale special
Doug Pullen
Flint Journal
March 16, 2007
How best to wind down a comeback tour that has exceeded your expectations, played to nearly 900,000 fans and ends in your own backyard?
 
If you're Bob Seger, you invite acolyte Kid Rock to join you, hire a film and recording crew to capture every note and freshen the set list so fans who've seen you before will get something special -- even if it is the last show and you could just mail it in if you wanted.
 
"I'd hate to do the same show, so we're trying to toss something together that just might be special," Seger said, referring to Saturday's tour finale at Cobo Arena, the last of three tour-ending sold-out shows in the Motor City (the others were Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena and Thursday at Cobo).
 
Tossed in the mix, he hopes, is a special appearance from Bob Ritchie, aka Kid Rock, who joined him onstage last December at The Palace to perform "Real Mean Bottle," the Vince Gill song on which they dueted on Seger's 2006 comeback album, "Face the Promise."
 
"I'm pretty sure Bob's gonna sing with us," Seger said Wednesday from his Oakland County home. "You never know until soundcheck. That's when Bob lets us know, 'I'll be there.' He's finishing his album and he just did the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (induction ceremony)."
 
Seger says he's not really sad going into the tour sendoff, even though it could be his last concert ever.
 
"I think I'll feel some emotion Saturday night, for sure," Seger conceded, "but at this point I'm still in worker bee mode. We've got to clean up a few songs, like 'Nutbush' and some other stuff that may or may not work. It all depends on how quickly it goes together."
 
"Nutbush" is "Nutbush City Limits," the very song with which he opened his 1976 live album, "Live Bullet," which was recorded the year before at Cobo.
 
It transformed Seger from a regionally popular artist to a national treasure.
 
It's one of a handful of songs that Seger and his well-oiled Silver Bullet Band could pump out Saturday, what should be an exciting conclusion to a 50-city tour that averaged more than 17,000 fans a show and grossed more than $1 million per night, a figure that could have been much higher had he charged the kind of prices that stars of his considerable stature get away with these days.
 
But that's not Seger's way.
 
He may be rich many times over, but he's not far removed from his blue-collar roots.
 
Remember, the guy was once an autoworker.
 
And he hasn't forgotten the importance of hard work.
 
Even though he wanted to finish the tour elsewhere, wife Nita, manager Ed "Punch" Andrews and others in his camp convinced him to end it back home, especially if he decides not to tour anymore.
 
So, Seger said, "because we came back," he and the band -- which includes Flint natives Craig Frost on keyboards and Don Brewer on drums -- have been punching the clock a little longer trying to get "Nutbush," with which they opened Tuesday's show, and other songs, including "Good for Me" from "Against the Wind," into shape.
 
They spent nearly three hours working up songs at the soundcheck that preceded Tuesday's sold-out show at the Joe, and Seger planned to spend two more hours of rehearsal before Thursday night's concert.
 
"It took about six hours (total) to get 'Nutbush' right up, get it right and get it locked in," he explained.
 
Seger last played Cobo 30 years ago. It's "kind of a full circle thing," he said, but he's not sure if it'll be the end of touring for him.
 
"We'll finish there and that's it, and it could be it and it might not be it," he said. "I don't want to say either way. There's a pretty good chance that's it. It's 50-50. It might be the last gig I do Saturday night."
 
But, he noted, there is an offer to do a short Canadian tour in late June and July. Seger said he'll make a decision within three weeks.
 
"We missed most of Canada. All we did was Toronto. We didn't go to Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver, so we could put a couple of Midwestern dates in there, maybe Minneapolis and Milwaukee, to work up to it."
 
There are complications. Brewer, whose muscular drumming has been an integral part of the band's new power, has a string of dates with Grand Funk.
 
"If we do it, he has to play 10 straight nights. Poor guy," Seger said, breaking out into his grainy, disarming laugh.
 
If it's the end, Seger will have gone out on a high note. Not only has his tour been a commercial success, but Seger said he's enjoyed just about every minute of it.
 
"When we started, I told Punch I'd do 22 shows, I've done (49) with one more to go, 50 total. Oh my goodness. It's just beyond my expectations. It's been a great tour."
Seger still is writing songs (he wants to learn how to use ProTools in his studio near Clarkston) and probably won't make a final decision on his touring future until October.
 
He worked steadily on "Face the Promise," which has gone platinum, and the tour for the better part of the last three years. He wants to go home -- to stay.
 
He's used a private jet to fly home to wife Nita and kids Cole and Samantha after gigs. But Seger said it's not the same as being "in the swing of famly life."
 
"I'll be really glad to get back to my family," he said. "Sunday can't come fast enough for me."
 
--Doug Pullen, Flint Journal

Seger's Cobo stop a high note
Brian McCollum
Detroit Free Press
March 15, 2007
It's the place that gave Detroit Rock City its name.

When Bob Seger takes the Cobo Arena stage for shows tonight and Saturday, he won't just be stepping up for the final shows of his blockbuster national tour, he'll be stepping back into history -- and providing another touchstone moment for what just might be the most storied venue in the city's rich rock legacy.

As every red-blooded Motor City rock fan knows, Cobo and Seger have been tight for a long time. The old arena on Detroit's riverfront was the site of recordings for his 1976 breakthrough album, "Live Bullet," and through the early 1980s was the Michigan star's regular concert home, where he played 30-plus shows.

"This is kind of a perfect circle," Seger said Wednesday. "If this ends up being the last show I play in Detroit, there's a real great symmetry there."

For the 61-year-old hometown icon, playing Cobo is a poetic cap on a national run that has been extraordinary from the start. Since launching the tour in Grand Rapids in November, his first in more than a decade, Seger has enjoyed a one-of-a-kind comeback, grabbing glowing reviews and capacity crowds that have put him atop the box-office charts.

Along with Tuesday night's show at Joe Louis Arena and four at the Palace of Auburn Hills in December, the local dates have served as a dose of warm rock-and-roll fellowship for Seger's home state.

It may only get more magical: While Seger declines to commit to an answer -- he's still mulling summer dates -- he said the Cobo shows may very well be the final hometown performances of his career.

"Saturday night could be it," he said. "I have to be careful. It can be disingenuous to say that now and then not mean it later. But it really could be it. I'm really tired, I'm getting older, and I don't know how much longer I can do this."

For fans piling into Cobo for a night with Seger, where he'll play selected material from "Live Bullet," this week is a chance to bring clarity to long-hazy memories. They were the stuff of '70s teenage dreams: The eager mobs of long-haired teens piled beneath the familiar marquee, waiting for doors to open. The vast, ubiquitous cloud of smoke hanging overhead. Floors so sticky your shoes adhered.

With its relatively small capacity of 12,000, notoriously steep seating that makes every seat feel close, and above-average acoustics, Cobo became Detroit's go-to rock destination for bands and fans.

"It was an electric atmosphere, the best place to see a show," said Guy Seguin, 50, of Fowlerville. "When I heard that Seger was playing Cobo again, I knew I had to get tickets."

Saturday won't be Seguin's first notable night at the venue: He was there in 1975 when the J. Geils Band recorded its live album "Blow Your Face Out." It was one of many concert records to which Cobo and its zealous crowds have played host, including work by Seger, the Tragically Hip and Kiss, which later used the arena as the lyrical setting for its anthem "Detroit Rock City."

Having cut their teeth at the Grande Ballroom and other clubs in the 1960s, Detroit's rock audiences migrated into larger venues such as Cobo as the touring industry grew. With them came a definably Detroit spirit -- a little mayhem to go with the musical love -- that helped the city earn a reputation as one of the country's rock-and-roll meccas.

Classic rocker Eddie Money fondly recalled the scene in a 2003 Free Press interview.

"It's always been an amazing place. I've been dodging beer bottles up there for years," he said. "It was like a mosh pit before there was such a thing. People lighting cherry bombs, getting wild in the bathrooms. It was like being in the rock-and-roll den of iniquity -- sweaty, messy, and so alive."

With the rise of the Palace and Joe Louis Arena, Cobo found its place usurped in the 1980s, and today is home to just a handful of annual shows. Short on modern amenities but big on character, the venue still elicits reverent talk from those in the business.

"Musicians out on the road are well aware of Cobo's history," said Dave Clark of concert promotion company Live Nation. "I get comments all the time about how cool it is -- or would be -- to play in such a historic venue."

When it comes to Seger's special relationship with Cobo, perhaps few are better positioned to see it than Al Sobotka. As the building operations manager for Olympia Entertainment, which operates the arena, he has been in the trenches since the early 1970s. Few events get him as excited as Seger's run this week, he said.

"Fans always get geeked up for Seger at Cobo," said Sobotka, who drives the Zamboni at Red Wings games. "It's special for him to play here. ... This is like the Stanley Cup finals of rock and roll."

-- Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press


Photo: Velvet S. McNeil, Detroit News

Seger's high-energy night moves rock The Joe
Susan Whitall
The Detroit News
March 14, 3007
Bob Seger hasn't laid off thousands of people. He didn't move his headquarters to Texas, and he hasn't torn down any buildings. So it was possible, watching him, almost lean after a rock 'n' roll aerobic workout for the past four months, to believe Detroit was on top of the world again.

Maybe that's why the feeling inside Joe Louis Arena Tuesday night was so giddy. It felt like any year when Detroit was triumphant, not battered, the kind of city where homegrown rock stars played the downtown arenas every other week.

Seeing Seger at his top form, with the Silver Bullet Band members honed over the weeks into the best shape of their careers, is to be reminded of a time in Detroit when the jobs were plentiful and the bosses were paying, and bands like Seger's felt it their professional duty to not only play their butts off, but to have so much fun onstage that it spread like a happy contagion through the assembled.

Seger bounced around happily, communing with the near-capacity crowd of 14,600 as if it were a bunch of teenagers at the Hideout Starting off with "Nutbush City Limits" is a great move, propelling the show into high gear from the start.

His voice is deeper and burnished, which delays song recognition a bit, as those high notes are gone. It's most noticeable in songs like "Old Time Rock and Roll," but he mustered a high note or two - relatively speaking - for "Katmandu."

Seger has said he doesn't want to tour without the same band and backup, and you can see why. The Motor City Horns are tight and add immeasurably to songs like "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight," bringing out the soul that has always been integral to Seger's sound, but could often be overshadowed in the arenas by flailing guitars.

His three backup singers - Shaun Murphy, Laura Creamer and Barbara Payton - are a huge part of the show; even with the considerable firepower of the Silver Bullet Band all around them, that feminine wall of sound wailing behind Seger on "Face the Promise" packs a potent punch.

Craig Frost's piano work is a reminder of how rock piano is severely underrated; he rocks as hard as the rest of the band, and it adds to that huge Silver Bullet Band sound.

Longtime Seger fans might feel a flashback or two when they see his slimmed-down 2007 self busting a few moves you'll recognize from his "Beautiful Loser" days.

 

Bob Seger Rocks Joe Louis In Home Town Return
Gary Graff
The Oakland Press

DETROIT -- The adage that you can't go home again does not apply in any way, shape or form to Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band in the Motor City.

As Tuesday's show at Joe Louis Arena proved, Seger and company can indeed come home, again and again and again...And nobody minds at all.

Kicking off the closing run of his ''Face the Promise'' tour, Seger had 16,500 home town devotees, a sold-out crowd already buoyed by a sun-filled spring day, on their feet from start to finish, singing along loudly to rockers such as ''Sunspot Baby,'' ''Ramblin' Gamblin' Man'' and ''Horizontal Bop'' as well as ballads like ''We've Got Tonight'' and ''Turn the Page.''

Seger's Detroit area partisans had already seen four shows in December at the Palace of Auburn Hills, so Tuesday he and the Silver Bullets brought surprises both significant and subtle. The biggest was the show-starting rendition of Ike & Tina Turner's ''Nutbush City Limits,'' a soul scorcher with horns pumping and precision stop-time breaks sharpening the dynamics. Followed by ''Tryin' to Live My Life Without You,'' it rooted the show in a sturdy R&B groove, while ''Roll Me Away,'' which had opened previous concert, proved a potent starting point for the show's second half.

Other changes were not quite as obvious but still effective -- noticeably the expanded use of the four-member Motor City Horns section in the bridge between ''Travelin' Man'' and ''Beautiful Loser.'' Seger also added ''Fire Down Below'' to the set, along with Vince Gill's ''Real Mean Bottle'' -- although Kid Rock was not on hand to re-create their duet from the ''Face the Promise'' album.

Forty-seven shows into the tour, the Silver Bullet ensemble was still on upward curve -- confident and swinging but still tight as Red Wings shootout and anchored by Don Brewer's muscular drumming. Guitarist Mark Chatfield and saxophonist Alto Reed laced solos throughout the show, while Craig Frost's piano playing gave most of the numbers an extra layer of coloring.

And Seger looked even more fit than he did at the Palace, leaner and more animated, offering anecdotal kernels before many of the songs and clearly having a ball. Given the 10-year hiatus prior to this tour, it's hard to say when we can expect to see him again. But as things wind down with shows Thursday and Saturday at Cobo Arena -- both of which are being taped for a possible live release -- Seger is certainly leaving fans hoping it won't be very long.
Fans On Tour -- Joe Louis Arena
March 13, 2007
Paul Dunn

Hey Scott,  just wanted to touch base with you about the show at the Joe last night. First of all I have the flu and don't know that it was wise to go - but it was definetly worth it! When we walked up the first thing we noticed (I went with my son and my brother) was the two Kid Rock trucks parked out front. Made me think that Kid Rock was going to be there - also Ken Calvert (dj on WCSX in Detroit) said on the air on the way across the border that Kid would be appearing - he didn't. On this night however, he was not needed. Uncle Kracker opened and did a great job warming up the audience - he even segued into Alice Cooper's "Be My Love" at one point - repeating the lyric "Told her that I came from Deeetroit City" several times. Kracker told the crowd that "he was probably the happiest mother #$^&*! in the whole building!" and he thanked Bob and the band for the opportunity to open.

Then Bob came on and to my joy he didn't come on with "Roll Me Away" as he had during the whole tour. Not this night. Seger came on to an incredible version of "Nutbush City Limits". As he approached the "Quiet..." part of the song I wondered what would he say there - hate to be anti climatic but I really believe he just sang the words to the studio version - I know he sang "you can hear the corn grow". The song segued into Trying To Live My Life Without You. From here Seger pretty much stuck with the set list but he was in excellent voice, great spirits and seemed to be having a ball. The crowd ate up Old Time Rock N Roll - Turn the Page was a gigantic sing along.  Although I didn't agree that the first Palace show I was at on Dec 20 was a subdued crowd - last night at the Joe they were pumped up and loud!

Seger opened the second set with Roll Me Away in place of Simplicity which was omitted. He did play two songs that I didn't see him do at the Palace show (other then Nutbush) - Fire Down Below and Katmandu. I loved the show and I bought myself another Seger shirt. What the hell, we have been derpived for so long I might as well spoil myself. I saw him twice and came away with four shirts and a hat. The night was incredible with the only draw back being how incredibly sick I am right now - but I wasn't going to miss it for anything.


Setlist
Joe Louis Arena
March 13, 2007
Nutbush City Limits
Tryin' to Live My Life Without You
Wreck This Heart
Mainstreet
Old Time Rock & Roll
Wait for Me
Face the Promise
Sunspot Baby  
Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight
We've Got Tonight
Turn the Page
Travelin' Man
Beautiful Loser
Intermission
Roll Me Away
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
C'est La Vie
Real Mean Bottle 
Answer's In the Question
The Fire Down Below
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore #1
Night Moves
Hollywood Nights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
 
Thanks to Kyle Daniel and Paul Dunn
Cobo Hall
March 15, 2007
Roll Me Away
Tryin' to Live My Life Without You
Wreck This Heart
Mainstreet
Old Time Rock & Roll
Wait for Me
Face the Promise
Sunspot Baby  
Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight
We've Got Tonight
Turn the Page
Travelin' Man
Beautiful Loser
Real Mean Bottle
Intermission
Simplicity
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
C'est La Vie
Nutbush
Answer's In the Question
The Fire Down Below
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore #1
Night Moves
Hollywood Nights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
 
Thanks to Kyle Daniel

Will Seger keep rockin'?
Susan Whitall
The Detroit News
March 13
 
Hit tour could keep Detroit legend up on the stage

 

Will he or won't he?

As Bob Seger prepares to close out his resoundingly successful, 47-date "Face the Promise" tour with a home stand of three downtown Detroit shows, starting with tonight's sold-out show at Joe Louis Arena, the question lingers: Is this it?

Will the 61-year-old rocker pack it up after Saturday night's gig at Cobo Center and retreat for another 10 years into the leafy quiet of Oakland County to watch his kids grow up, go to Pistons games and record in his Clarkston hideaway?

While Seger has said he wants at least the summer off, already he's hedging a bit on that.

"There's a chance we might do some dates June 28-July 14, the upper Midwest and Canada, up to Vancouver," Seger said by phone Monday. "But it's so hard to get everybody back for just two or three weeks, and I only want to do it with this band and this crew."

Many longtime Seger associates are clearly surprised but pleased at how well the tour went.

"This band sounds better than we did 10 years ago," said Silver Bullet Band keyboard player Craig Frost. "Bob has definitely got more energy "

Seger credits the band as well.

"I have a lot of help," he said. "The band was really, really good and everybody's been really committed."

Still, the rocker is a bit wistful when contemplating the future. "I'm going to be 62 in May," Seger said. "I still enjoy doing it, but by the same token, I've done everything I wanted to do. I came back, and I think we did a real good job and it was really fun."

"A good job" is putting it lightly. Seger's average number of tickets sold -- 17,600 per city -- was higher than any other act in the last few months, according to Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the industry trade magazine Pollstar.

Although Seger's shows grossed more than $1 million in each city, he is not the top-grossing act, but that's only because he kept ticket prices reasonable, with an average price of $65. In comparison, the average ticket price for Rod Stewart is $85 and for The Who, $92.

Latest CD goes platinum

As for his CD, "Face the Promise," which was released last September, it easily went platinum, selling 755,901 copies as of last week, according to Soundscan.

"Face the Promise" has outsold new releases by The Who, Prince, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Stewart. Out of this pool of veteran artists, Seger is third in total sales; only the Beatles and Bob Dylan have outsold him.

His seasoned but sturdy voice, gray hair and glasses, not to mention his nightly uniform of black T-shirt and jeans, were noted favorably in concert reviews across the country. Maybe it's because authenticity is rare in the glamour-crazed music business these days, and Seger is authentic -- to the core.

As Frost says: "Bob dances the way he wants, he does his thing. He's not trying to be cool. Most of the audience just loves that; he's like the guy next door. I've taken the time to watch the audience on this tour, and they're all watching Bob, with grins on their faces."

Seger undertook touring with the discipline of a Marine. On the advice of doctors, after each show he didn't hang around and socialize, but left for home or his hotel, to drink water and go to bed.

For all the dates in the East or Midwest, he flew home in a private jet so he could spend the night with his family; wife Nita, son Cole, 14, and Samantha, 11.

"I only had really one bad gig in Seattle where I had a head cold; I caught it from my daughter," he said. "Everything is so tightly packed, you can't afford to get sick."

Seger didn't even go to the backstage party after his December shows at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

"Oh, God, it's like being in jail," he said. "You've got to watch everything you do. They want to have a party, for instance, Thursday night because the crew is leaving Friday night. I said, 'Yeah, you can have a party but I can't go!'"

In part because of the long hours of rest he needs between gigs, and because he misses his family, Seger is hesitant to commit himself to another tour.

"I'm basically telling everyone, give me till October, let me thaw out, because I've literally been working for about two and a half years straight."

The band, Seger admits, feels a little sad that the tour is ending.

Frost, a Silver Bullet Band veteran of 18 years, figures he'll enjoy himself for about a week, at home in northern Ohio before he gets bored.

Seger admits he's surprised that touring was so much fun.

"It got long, and it got tiring but it never turned into what you call drudgery. Because the show was always so good, and we'd slip new songs in and out and make it fresh."

Detroit shows will be special

Did he enjoy hearing the roar from the crowd each night?

"Well, yeaaah," Seger said, thinking about it. "It depends on where you are. One night there was this one gal right up front who just kept screaming, and I'm trying to remember the lyrics to the song!" He laughs.

Seger and the band are in for a three-hour rehearsal today, because they'll be working on new material to freshen up the show for the historic downtown Detroit dates.

Because Cobo was the site of his career-changing "Live Bullet," recorded in September 1975, Seger added to the shows this week "Nutbush City Limits," which was a smash hit off the album thanks to the sweaty energy thrown off by the crowd, the band and Seger that night. The band is also working up the ballad "Good for Me" from the album "Against the Wind."

Kid Rock will be joining Seger for the Thursday and Saturday shows at Cobo, to duet on "Real Mean Bottle," and both those shows will be filmed.

"I wanted Rock for all three nights," said Seger, but Kid Rock was to attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Monday for Ahmet Ertegun.

Years before his shows at Cobo with the Silver Bullet Band, Seger used to perform there on Danny Thomas' ALSAC charity revue shows. Reminding him of those shows sets off a blast of irresistible, raspy laughter as he remembered the reception given a few of the non-musical celebrities appearing.

"I remember (TV home improvement pitchman) Mr. Belvedere getting horrendously booed," said Seger. "I felt so bad for him. 'Oh, don'tboo Mr. Belvedere!' A charity crowd, no less!"

If the rocker does decide to ease into retirement again, of course he doesn't have to make any excuses for it.

"That's his prerogative," said Geoff Mayfield, Billboard director of charts. "Before that 10-year period he took off, you would see a lot of very busy years with a lot of tours. I don't think anyone would ever accuse this guy of being lazy. I would think he could continue. And never say never, with any successful entertainer."

Frost agrees. "I would have normally said no, he won't do another one, but Bob had such a good time doing this one."

"There's no question with Seger, I'm sure there's plenty of money being floated his way to continue touring, if he wants to do it," said Pollstar's Bongiovanni.

"I guess he showed his kids what he could do!"

-- Susan Whitall, The Detroit News


Seger will close tour in Detroit
Brian McCollum
Detroit Free Press
March 13, 2007

Rocker may return to stage this summer

It's been one of the pleasant surprises of Bob Seger's career: a sell-out tour that has reaped stellar reviews.

This week, four months after launching his national run in Grand Rapids, the Michigan icon is headed back home for a tour-ending trio of dates in downtown Detroit -- his first performances inside the city limits in two decades. Like his four-show stand at the Palace of Auburn Hills in December, all three hometown shows are at or near capacity.

Concertgoers will see a 61-year-old Seger still confident, say sources close to the rocker. Any uncertainty he had early on -- and there was plenty, he said at the time -- has dissipated: His voice has held up, the dates have gone smoothly, and the 50-show tour has been parked atop the national box-office charts. Fans also can expect a set list that's been tweaked since the Palace.

As for the remainder of Seger's 2007 docket? As he told the Free Press in December, promoters are clamoring to get him back onstage this summer -- and it's a good bet he'll play at least a handful of scattered dates when the weather warms up, say insiders.

Opening the shows this week will be fellow Detroit star Uncle Kracker, who is prepping for the release of his fourth album, "Happy Hour," due from Atlantic Records this spring.


Freep Opens Its Vault

 
Its vault of past Seger stories, that is. When the tour started last November, the Detroit News reposted its Seger archive at SegerNation (and they've added to it since then). Today, the Detroit Free Press opened its archives to mark the tour's end.
 
So here's your homework. The links below will take you to the Free Press site. See if you can get everything read before tomorrow night's concert!

The Free Press Seger Links:
 
03/14/04: A definitive oral history of Seger's early years
You already know the ending: Bob Seger becomes a multi-platinum star, a music icon headed to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
 
Bob Seger tour kicks off today
After weeks of rehearsals, months of anticipation and 10 years of waiting, the big day has arrived for Bob Seger and his fans. The Detroit rock icon will kick off his first tour in a decade with a concert tonight at Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena, first in a seven-week string of dates that will bring him back for four hometown shows at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
 
Seger's tour kickoff is a welcome return
GRAND RAPIDS -- It's not always simple finding the magic in rock and roll these days. Sometimes you have to look hard, digging through a swamp of soundalike newcomers, fashionable phonies and retread oldies acts.
 
Fan reaction
Here's what some attendees had to say about Bob Seger's show Wednesday at Van Andel Arena
 
05/04/86: Magazine profile
Against the wind
 
01/09/77: Interview
Ann Arbor's Bob Seger: Behind the rock façade beats the heart of a nice, normal guy
 
10/31/03: Interview
'I'm just trying to keep things simple'
 
03/08/96: Profile
Detroit never forgets: Motor City welcomes Bob Seger back to the stage after nearly a decade
 
10/31/03: Profile
Originally published October 31, 2003
 
09/06/75: Concert review (Cobo Arena)
Seger is always heavy in Detroit
 
02/26/87: Concert review (Joe Louis Arena)
Hometown fans warm quickly to Bob Seger
 
03/11/96: Concert review (Palace of Auburn Hills)
Originally published March 11, 1996
 
08/29/86: Concert review (Pine Knob Music Theatre)
Seger's storm electrifies home crowd
 
03/28/83: Concert review (Cobo Arena)
Bob Seger at home: No need for pretension
 
11/14/76: Album review: 'Night Moves'
Their roots are the same; their sound is different
 
05/25/78: Concert review (Cobo Hall)
Seger blasts crowd to Motor City limits
 
12/10/82: Album review: "The Distance"
Sound judgment
 
01/30/69: Album review: "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
Bob Seger System has national release
 
04/03/86: Album review: "Like a Rock"
Bob Seger finally releases new album
 
08/26/91: Album review: "The Fire Inside"
Seger still on fire
 
09/12/06: Album notes: "Face the Promise"
Seger, track by track
 
09/10/06: Album review: "Face the Promise"
New Seger album is worth the wait: 'Face the Promise' is earnest, raw
 
03/15/04: Fans share their Seger stories
Seger fans never forget: Readers share warm memories of the artist who enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight
 
03/14/04: Defining moments
Seger's journey through stardom
 
03/16/04: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards
Seger's stage: Detroit's leading man of blue-collar music is at ease on his black-tie night
 
03/12/04: Lead up to Hall of Fame award
Seger's night moves many fans: Kid Rock honored to introduce legend to Hall of Fame Monday
 
11/21/03: Hall of Fame nomination
Seger gets Hall of Fame invite -- finally
 
03/14/04: Congratulations on Hall of Fame induction
Michigan notables offer congratulations
 
09/10/06: Profile
Bob Seger: He's back, upbeat and ready to roll

March 12, 2007


Joe, Cobo, Cobo

The earth stops three more times on the amazing 2006-07 Seger tour. When reviews and news of the shows come in, this is where I'll post them. For now, content yourself with these shots of Bob and the band and a preview piece from the Grand Rapids Press, below.

The photo in the center comes via Karen Z., a Seger fan from way back in the pre-Seger File days when we all posted on the AOL message boards. The photos on either end are from Kurt O'Neill, fresh from the Lexington show. Click on the photos for full size images
--March 10, 2007
Bob Seger ready for 'big exhale'
John Sinkevics
The Grand Rapids Press
March 11, 2007
 
DETROIT -- As his first U.S. tour in a decade wraps up this week with a series of Detroit concerts, Bob Seger sounds like a guy content with the world and thrilled he still has the power to rock the house with his blue-collar anthems at age 61.

Even so, the Michigan native resisted the idea of concluding this much-publicized tour with another "hometown" stint. After all, he kicked things off in his home state last November with sold-out shows in Grand Rapids and Saginaw, then played four rousing concerts at the Palace of Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit.

"That was really my management, my wife and a bunch of other people," Seger said of the idea of coming back to play Detroit's Joe Louis Arena and Cobo Hall to wind up the 49-date tour. "I kind of wanted to finish in Vegas. But they said, 'If you never come back, it won't feel right,' and they convinced me.

"It's against really what I wanted. We have to get up so high to do Detroit and Michigan. You have to be up there mentally."

But Seger also insisted he and the Silver Bullet Band are prepared to raise the bar yet again as his five-month tour comes to a close.

"I think they (band members) are playing better on this tour than any other tour," he said by phone from his home outside Detroit, enjoying a day off before a concert in Omaha. "Songs that I was tired of, like 'Old Time Rock and Roll,' sound better than they ever have."

Fans and concert promoters seem to agree: Based on box-office grosses, the Seger tour consistently has ranked among the top 5 tours in the country since November, racking up numerous sellouts.

Reviews have been almost universally favorable, with The Denver Post proclaiming Seger, in his signature black T-shirt and jeans, had delivered "powerful, completely unpretentious rock 'n' roll," and The Dallas Morning News crowing he "performed with all the energy, excitement and joie de vivre of a kid during a candy-store shopping spree."

But does he still feel like a kid after five months of touring? You bet.

"It's really been very cool and easier than I thought," Seger said. "Everybody's real dedicated. It must be maturity."

he mature Seger said he only felt tired after the first Grand Rapids show and after a high-altitude Denver concert in February. To help matters, Seger hasn't played shows on consecutive nights and has worked to take care of himself, babying his voice in particular.

"Not a problem, but a lot of upkeep. You have to follow strict rules ... when you're 61," he said, with a chuckle. "Tons of water, and I sleep with a vaporizer. I use throat lozenges."

A cigarette smoker, Seger conceded he still smokes but also does plenty of warm-ups before shows to keep his voice in singing shape. And "I do absolutely no talking after the gig," he said.

So, does this bode well for future tours? Or is Seger ready to hang it up now that he has gotten a long-anticipated studio album, "Face the Promise," and long-anticipated concert tour out of his system?

"I don't want to make the final decision (right now) on whether I'm done, although I probably am at my age," he offered. "I'm just going to wait until October and let the dust settle. I really need a break, and that will let me clear my head."

After Saturday's final Cobo Hall show -- which will be taped and filmed, sort of reprising Seger's 1976 "Live Bullet" album -- the father of two plans to unleash "a big exhale," relax and take his kids to Florida.

But he'll do so with fond, satisfying memories of a tour that some thought might never happen.

"I don't think we've had a complacent audience yet. It's really been amazing," Seger said. "It's really been a great experience. It really has. I couldn't be more pleased."


Four Tickets to Paradise

A lot of people felt lucky to see one of Seger's Detroit shows. Seger fan Shellie Altman made it her mission to see all four -- as well as nine other shows on the first leg of the tour. Which one was the best? Check out her First-Hand Fan report below.

Meanwhile, Seger fan Jack Cunningham sent me some great shots from the 12/22 show. I've been falling behind in posting photos, because of the time involved, so from now on I'll post them all in one place. Check out photos from Jack and some from Lisa Regal at the Segerfile's Flickr page.

January 5, 2007


Seger Leaves the Palace Rockin'

The four Palace shows are over, and according to reports, Number 4 was either the best (Gary Graff, The Oakland Press) or subdued (Brian McCollum, The Detroit Free Press). The critics may disagree (and what fun would it be if they didn't?) but the fans I've heard from have nothing but raves. Check out the reports from Bill Cook and Bob Maren below.

Speaking of disagreements, an earlier post in the Freep says Seger played "The Long Goodbye" on Saturday night. Nobody else references it though, so I'm guessing he didn't. Let me know if you know differently.

That's about it for the Seger Rocks Detroit section of the Seger File. As the second leg of the tour begins, the reviews, etc. will all be back on SegerLive.

January 1, 2007
Auburn Hills #1, 2, 4 & 4
First-hand Fan Report:
December 30, 2006
Shellie Altman

Well, 2006 is over and so is my 10-city tour with Bob and the Band.  13 shows total on this tour and I am exhausted!  But oh what a great time I had!

First, let me begin with saying that I was reading some of the fan reviews of the 4th Detroit show and I have to agree with them.  The 4th show was the best show in Detroit.  Since I saw all 4 shows, I guess I can say that.  But it is only my personal opinion.  The 1st Detroit show on December 22nd was, in my opinion, very low-key.  Almost tennative?  Until Kid Rock hit the stage.  Then the crowd came alive and all hell broke loose.  But this was a BOB SEGER show.  Not a Kid Rock show.  So I was a little confused by this attitude, especially in Detroit.  I was expecting a little more from the Detroit crowd.  Actually, Chicago put that 1st Detroit crowd to shame.

The 2nd show in Detroit on the 22nd was better.  The crowd was there to support Bob and his music and it showed.  But the crowd still lacked a certain "life" of it's own.

The 3rd show on the 28th, was downright dull.  I'm talking about the crowd not Bob.  Of course, I did have the worst seat I've ever had in my life at  this show, but tried not to let that bother me.  Lisa & I were in the last row in the second tier, so Bob was but a tiny dot on the stage, but we could watch and hear the crowd.  Wasn't much to see or hear.  Our section was pretty much dead.  Once again, I was very let down by this reaction.  I just don't understand it.

But my faith was restored on December 30th!  Here was the DETROIT crowd I had been expecting!  They earned the title of "the greatest rock-n-roll audience in the world!"  Loud?  Oh yeah!  Sang every word of every song?  Oh yeah!  Lost Seger a few times during this performance.  The crowd was just so loud!  And I love that!

I find it outragously ironic that I've been to 13 shows on this tour...9 of which I was on the floor and pretty close to the stage.  Pretty good odds huh?  But the last 2 shows I attend I end up with a rotton seat and a fairly good seat but not on the floor and they end up taping those 2 shows!  I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, cause hey, let's face it... I saw 13 Bob Seger shows, it doesn't get any better than that.  Even I have to laugh at this unexpected twist of fate.

You know that I am getting all my notes together to complete my journal of this adventure, but I thought I'd give you my ratings of my favorite shows that I saw.

#1   show - Grand Rapids Michigan on November 8th
#2   show - Chicago
#3   show - Indianapolis
#4   show - Detroit (4th show)
#5   show - Atlanta
#6   show - Louisville
#7   show - Nashville
#8   show - Milwaukee (only show that was NOT sold out)
#9   show - Cleveland
#10 show - Detroit (2nd show)
#11 show - Detroit (3rd show)
#12 show - Detroit (1st show)
#13 show - Saginaw Michigan

I am very surprised that the Michigan shows were my most disappointing shows, with the exception of the 4th Detroit show.  I would have thought that they would be the best and most exciting, but they were not.  Don't get me wrong here.  I am only talking about the crowd and the excitement level.  Bob and the boys did a wonderful, outstanding job every night. 


Auburn Hills #4

First-hand Fan Report:
December 30, 2006
Bill Cook

We just got home.  Sat in the 4th row at center court in the upper deck tonight.  GREAT seats...clear view of everything.  No Kid Rock...no big deal...whadda night.  Pro cameras and crew everywhere.  Pray for the DVD!!!!!!!

Our daughters (22 and 16) saw Bob for the first time.  They were rocking.   Oldest daughter took her close friend from Michigan State.  No question, they loved it.  Proof??? They are running around the house at 12:30 AM singing and dancing along to the concert "replay" (from CDs) on WCSX. 

Bob was clearly having a great time..  It was a pumped and loud Motor City crowd.  They certainly knew it was being recorded.   More Detroit and Michigan references throughout the show than back on the 20th. 

The Silver Bullet Band was smoking tonight. Overall, a better show than the one we saw back on the 20th (the one I said was one of my top 5 concerts, if not #1).  I guess tonight's show is now #1.  Better setlist and performance....period

There were some phantom percussion effects (crash-like sounds) that flawed a few songs late in the show.  Techs worked near Don's kit and fixed it between encores.  Hopefully, they can edit out of the recordings.

Highlights:

Roll Me Away - There is no better opening song for Bob.
Tryin' To Live My Life Without You - Bob was really into it, with the Motor City Horns wailing.
Wreck This Heart - Is this his best rocker in 20 years???
Old Time Rock and Roll - Gawd the crowd went nuts.
Betty Lou - Gawd the crowd went nuts.
We've Got Tonight - I think 15,000 of 17,000 knew all the words - including the girls' backup
Turn The Page - All 17,000 sang and it sounded like a couple thousand outside helped - it doesn't get any better!
Travelin Man / Beautiful Loser - Takes ya all the way back.
Ramblin' Gamblin Man - Better than the 20th...I can die now (even without Heavy Music)
Sunspot Baby - The crowd was all over this one as usual
Katmandu - Gawd the crowd went nuts
Night Moves - Seemed to need a little more oomph - regardless an all time classic song.
Hollywood Nights - Rocked.
Against the Wind - Seemed to need a little more oomph. 
Rock and Roll Never Forgets - As John Belushi said..."Holy S#!!" - a perfect close to the show

I'm ready for another show...unfortunately, no more are scheduled in Motown.


Auburn Hills #4
First-hand Fan Report:
December 30, 2006
Bob Maren

I had seen Seger twice before: first in 1980 at Madison Square Garden on the "Against the Wind" tour and then in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ during 'The Distance" tour.  As the years "rolled slowly past", I wondered if I would ever get the pleasure of seeing him perform live again.  I started to get excited when 'Face the Promise" finally appeared to be a reality and then waited patiently for new of New York area dates.  When only one show for Madison Square Garden was announced, I (jokingly) suggested to my wife that we should go to Detroit to see him.  Thank goodness she took this suggestion seriously and urged that we do it as our Christmas present to each other.  We flew from Newark to Detroit on 12/29 with our return flight on 12/31.

I ended up getting 16th row center seats on the floor for the last of the four shows at the Palace.  The atmosphere was electric; just as if it was a Bruce Springsteen concert in New Jersey.  The crowd was on its feet the entire night.  Rumors of Kid Rock (who had been at the Pistons game the night before) were running through the crowd.  Steve Azar performed well but it was clear who the crowd wanted.  The noise level increased when Seger and the band hit the stage and I felt like I was in "Live Bullet".  In hindsight, I was and enjoyed every minute of it.

Having followed the progress of the tour on "Segerfile", I knew what to expect as to the set list.  However, I didn't expect 17,000 people to be singing every word to almost every song!!!  "Roll Me Away", a personal favorite, was nicely accentuated by Laura Creamer providing bass drum accompanyment.  The Motor City Horns added funk (not that Alto Reed isn't funky enough!!)  The balance of old and new songs was great and Seger seemed to take great pleasure in the fact that he was dipping further back into his past.  However, the songs from "Face the Promise" sounded tight and were well received.

I enjoyed watching the various members of the band-especially Alto Reed and Mark Chatfield.  Alto is just a constant man in motion and Chatfield really worked the entire stage.  Chris Campbell, Don Brewer and Craig Frost were solid.  My wife was amazed when I told her how long most of the band had been with Seger.  The band was tight and on its mark the entire evening.

Seger was in his element as well, with a gap toothed smile on his face and his arm pumping in the air.  It's obvious he didn't spend his hiatus from the road working on his dance moves, but the crowd didn't care.  We wanted to hear the hits, the songs we grew up with, the songs that gave meaning to our lives.  "Night Moves", "Mainstreet", "Ramblin' Gamblin" Man" and so many others had the crowd unified as one.  You could say that there were so many other hits that didn't make the set list but we can't expect him to play a four hour show. 

There's no doubt in my mind that we picked the best place to see Seger perform live-at home, in front of friends and family.  For one night, I was born in Michigan and was part of the "Seger Nation".  Let's hope we can do it again soon.


Palace of Auburn Hills, 12/30/06

Set List
A few changes to the setlist from the 20th...
Adds: Satisfied, Katmandu
Deletions:  Answer's In The Question, Are You, Real Mean Bottle
 
Roll Me Away
Tryin' to Live My Life Without You
Wreck This Heart
Mainstreet
Old Time Rock & Roll
Wait for Me
Face the Promise
No Matter Who You Are
Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight
We've Got Tonight
Turn the Page
Travelin' Man
Beautiful Loser
Intermission
Simplicity
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
C'est La Vie
Satisfied
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Encore #1
Night Moves
Hollywood Nights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
 
December 30, 2006

Seger's magical hometown stand subdued in its finale

Audio troubles, tame crowd sap the energy

Brian McCollum
Detroit Free Press
December 31, 2006

There were bright moments during Bob Seger's show Saturday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, and they came mostly in the lighter spots: a frisky "Sunspot Baby," a giddy "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight," a rollicking twofer on "Travelin' Man" and "Beautiful Loser."

But in the finale of a highly anticipated four-night hometown stand, the high points were less forthcoming than at other flagship dates on the Detroit rock icon's national excursion, including his first Palace show Dec. 20 and the tour's November opener in Grand Rapids.

It was an unexceptional night on a tour that has largely reaped glowing reviews. This final show of the tour's initial leg lacked the spark and energy that made magic at previous dates -- a scenario that got little help from an audience that was at times oddly subdued.

Running just over two hours, the night clocked in a bit shorter than his other Palace concerts; at some point after the show's start, Seger opted to shave a pair of new tunes from the set list.

Seger during stretches sounded less robust, less assured in reaching for the high notes. That was the product, perhaps, of a cold he had battled earlier in the week, and he sounded downright hoarse by the time he hit "Against the Wind" in the second encore.

But the evening's overwhelming problem was the audio mix, a muddy, muffled mess that buried the wrong stuff at the wrong times. It was just one of those nights -- the kind of night when a microphone could suddenly droop and plop itself against drummer Don Brewer's high-hat during the first encore, marring his otherwise impeccable performance on "Hollywood Nights."

It all added up to an anticlimactic night in a hometown run that had been packed with peaks both musical and emotional. But fans shouldn't walk away too despairing: It's doubtful that this is the last Detroit will see of Seger on this tour, which now stretches into March. "You've been a great audience, Michigan," Seger said before kicking into his chugging closer, "Rock and Roll Never Forgets." Don't bet against hearing that testimonial at least a couple more times.


Seger completes Palace run

John Smyntek
Detroit Free Press
December 31, 2006

It was another warm December night Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills, as Bob Seger put a punctuation mark on his run of sold-out hometown shows. As with each of his other three Palace concerts this month, Seger made minor tweaks in the first half of his scheduled two-hour-plus set list, with new material that included "The Long Goodbye" and "Satisfied."

There were occasional rough spots to Seger's voice in this final show of his tour's first leg, perhaps the remnants of a cold he had battled earlier in the week.

But they seemed of little bother to an enthusiastic crowd of about 17,000 who came primed to live up to Seger's party-hearty opening declaration: "Saturday night in Michigan -- it's dangerous out here!"


Seger saves best for last at Palace

Gary Graff
Oakland Press
December 30, 2006

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band saved the best for last in their four-show stand at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

With cameras and tape machines rolling, Seger and company delivered the most consistent and exuberant start-to-finish concert of the homecoming on Saturday night (Dec. 30), bringing 2006 to a rocking close to the delight of more than 17,000 pre-New Year's Eve revelers who couldn't get enough of that "Old Time Rock and Roll."

Credit some production and repertoire tweaks for vaulting Saturday's show above the other three nights at the Palace. With the band already keyed up because of the filming -- although bassist Chris Campbell and guitarist Mark Chatfield were both suffering with the flu -- a new lighting scheme, brighter and more dynamic than that which had been used at the tour's previous shows, helped bring extra energy to the two-hour and 10-minute show and give it a visual punch that accented the music.

And the music underwent some changes, too. Though largely the same set that Seger and the Silver Bullets have been performing since the tour opened Nov. 8 in Grand Rapids, a crucial change came in the second half when the group eliminated the brief sit-down set -- a musically compelling section that nevertheless brought the tempo down after the roof-raising "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." Instead the band powered through the bluesy "Satisfied" -- a song from the new "Face the Promise" album that Seger wrote for his wife, Nita -- and then launched into hard-charging crowd favorites such as "Sunspot Baby," "Horizontal Bop" and "Katmandu."

And even with some sound system glitches, the encores -- "Night Moves," Hollywood Nights," "Against the Wind" and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" -- still brought the show, and the Palace stand, to a triumphant conclusion.

Seger's camp hasn't yet said what will become of the footage from the final two Palace concerts, although one source said they'd like to do something with it -- probably a DVD and perhaps a live album -- "sooner rather than later."

Seger and the Silver Bullets, meanwhile, are off until Saturday (Jan. 6), when the tour resumes in Orlando, Fla. Some west coast dates are being announced for late February, and there are strong rumors of a return to the Detroit area -- probably at Joe Louis Arena -- to close out the tour in March. An announcement is expected early in the new year.


A3: Tape Is Rolling As Tour Nears Halfway Mark

The Face the Promise Tour is now 20 shows old, with 21 more on the schedule, at least as it stands today. But there are still as many as ten open dates, so more shows could be added if the second leg really goes through March 15, as Seger said to writer Gary Graff recently.

Either way, the first leg is nearly done, and it can only be judged a tremendous success. Thanks to the Detroit sales, Seger ranks No. 1 in concert ticket sales for the week ending 12/24, leading Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Justin Timberlake and others. He ranks #3 in overall ticket sales for all events (including sporting and theater events).

Thursday's show (Auburn Hills #3) added "Still the Same" to the mix. As I thought he might, Seger sent "Simplicity" out in honor of James Brown.

A camera and sound crew caught the show on tape; Saturday's final show at the Palace will also be filmed, according to an article by Gary Graff:

There's no word yet on what will become of the material, although a Seger source told Billboard.com that "obviously we're intending to do something with it, sooner rather than later."

The idea for some sort of document of the tour -- Seger's first since 1996 -- was broached to the artist after a Nashville concert by a neighbor of songwriter/producer Emory Gordy. "He's not in the business or anything; he just lives next door to Emory and Patti (Loveless)," Seger recalled. "I guess he went on the web sites or something, and he said 'Everybody's clamoring for a DVD. People have been saying you gotta do a DVD of this show.'"

The taping has fans wondering if Kid Rock -- with whom Seger shares manager Punch Andrews -- will make another guest appearance to recreate their duet on Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle," which the two Michigan rockers recorded for Seger's latest album, "Face the Promise." Rock closed the show with Seger on Dec. 20 but is scheduled to be in Iraq entertaining troops until Friday. Still, he's expected back in time for Saturday's concert.

"You never know with him," says Seger, who joined Kid Rock for encores at his two pre-Super Bowl XL concerts in February at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena. "We're ready to go at a moment's notice. We play ('Real Mean Bottle') at sound check. We have to be on our toes, 'cause you never know when he's gonna show up." Gary Graff, Billboard, December 27, 2006. "Seger Taping Detroit Shows For Future Release."


Seger revs up the Palace for a third time

Jim Schaeffer
Detroit Free Press
December 28, 2006

Bob Seger pretty much stuck to the script Thursday night, playing the third of four sold-out shows at the Palace of Auburn Hills. There was one notable exception before the show's intermission: After 10 years' absence from the stage, Seger showed his fans that he's "Still the Same."

The popular song, which he hadn't performed on previous nights in Detroit, drew the fans to their feet, people apparently agreeing that the silver-haired rocker hasn't changed.

"He's like a kid," someone shouted in the crowd. "I love it!"

Seger's voice resonated deep and true through classics like "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight" and "Travelin'Man"/"Beautiful Loser," while film crews taped the show, presumably for some yet-to-be announced future release.

"Alright, Michigan," Seger implored from the stage, "you feeling funky tonight?" Based on the roars, the answer was undeniably yes.

Seger started the second half of the show dedicating "Simplicity" to the recently deceased James Brown. It was really the only somber moment of the night.

While he ripped through renditions of "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" and "Sunspot Baby," it became clear that the 61-year-old rocker wasn't just performing on his first concert tours in a decade, he was having a blast doing it.

Seger bounced around the stage, black T-shirt and headband soaked with sweat, pumping his fist and flashing huge smiles. He took pride in his roots, relishing in repeated introductions that divulged that most of his 13-member supporting band has Michigan ties.

Even if he avoided the climactic notes of "Night Moves," his exuberance masked any imprecision in reproducing his greatest hits.

He ended the 2-hour, 15-minute performance with a pertinent classic: "Rock and Roll Never Forgets." Along the way, he even fine-tuned his lyrics for the occasion.

"Sweet sixteen turns … 61!," he bellowed with a huge grin. "Come back baby, rock and roll never forgets."


A2: Lots of Rock, No Kid

 
Kid Rock is heading overseas to entertain the troops, so there was no duet with Bob at the second Palace of Auburn Hills concert. "Katmandu" returned to the set list and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" moved back to the second encore.
 
The Freep and the DetNews published short reviews. The DetNews piece, which stole my headline from yesterday, particularly gets me. The writer makes a big deal of how the Friday crowd was younger and looser. How does he know? Was this guy standing at the door checking IDs? And then he reaches back for the old "Just Play the Hits, Bob. Your New Songs Are Nice, But No One Wants to Hear Them," which I detest. Many of us want to hear the new songs. Repeat, we want to hear the new songs.
 
I've heard Seger live enough times that I've lost count, but I particularly love the moments where he played something unexpected, something I'd never heard before. True, the crowd won't roar the way they do for the old songs, but I'd be willing to bet that everybody in the place is going home hoarse from roaring, anyway.
 
The reviewer, Adam Graham, might be right, though, when he asks for a little more conversation. I don't know if Seger is obligated to talk to the crowd in any special way just because it's Detroit. But I do agree that the crowd would go through the roof if he did.
 
December 23, 2006

Seger rocks the Palace a second time
 
Rachel May
Detroit Free Press
December 22, 2006

Friday night marked the second show of Bob Seger's four-night run at the Palace of Auburn Hills, and it began much the same as the first: as a lovefest. "It's great to be home," Seger said, and it was clear everyone agreed.

Just about the entire crowd of 17,000 was on its feet during the show's two hours and 20 minutes, as Seger & the Silver Bullet Band delivered a mix of classics and a few tunes from his new disc, "Face the Promise."

At least early on, the set list didn't deviate much from Wednesday night's show. Highlights prior to the admission included "Travelin' Man"/"Beautiful Loser," "Old Time Rock & Roll" and "Turn the Page," which featured Seger at the piano and the crowd roaring its approval.

After the intermission he mixed things up a bit, sprinkling in a few newer songs and "Katmandu."

The first encore included climactic versions of "Night Moves" and "Hollywood Nights." But the energy level continued to rise during the second encore, "Against the Wind" (dedicated to his son) and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" -- a fitting finale, because it was clear no one in the crowd had forgotten him in the 10 years that he'd been away from live performing.

There was no appearance by the first night's guest, Kid Rock, who announced Friday he'd be traveling during Christmas to visit troops overseas.


Seger at the Palace: Two down, two to go
 
Adam Graham
The Detroit News
December 23, 2006

Bob Seger performed his second of four sold-out homecoming concerts at the Palace of Auburn Hills Friday night, working through an altogether tighter set which eliminated the mid-show lull that marred Wednesday's Palace opener, and illustrated how the slightest tweaks in a set list can alter the ebb and flow of a show.

Grant it, it was tough to compete with the electricity in the air at Wednesday's show, when Seger took the stage in front of a Detroit audience for the first time in more than a decade. But Friday's crowd of 17,000 was, well, a Friday crowd, and was younger, looser and more ready to get down than the work week crew that made up Wednesday's audience.

It helped, too, that Seger already had one of the Detroit shows under his belt. These are clearly the biggest concerts on his current tour, and getting the first big one out of the way had to take a load off Seger's shoulders.

But it also seemed to help that he didn't have Kid Rock waiting in the wings to join him on the show-closer. Rock's cameo Wednesday, while a nifty, inevitable nugget of Detroit rock history, disrupted the flow of the show, and Seger's set frankly works better without him. (Sorry, Rock.) Rock's appearance meant the show closed with the two Bobs performing "Real Mean Bottle," which bumped "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" up to the end of the set and resulted in the elimination of "Katmandu" altogether; it also meant Seger was sharing the spotlight in the show's final moments. Friday's set -- with "Katmandu" leading into the encores and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" closing the show -- felt much more natural.

One thing that didn't change was Seger's obvious jubilance to be performing for a hometown audience. Seger flashed his toothy grin throughout the 2-hour, 15-minute show, and was rarely seen not bouncing in place, rhythmically pumping his fist in the air or cheering on his Silver Bullet bandmates like a proud papa. His fist bumps with sax man Alto Reed were especially endearing.

And while the show was a trip back for both Seger and his fans, never did it feel like a nostalgia fest. Seger brought vigor and passion to the material from his new album, "Face the Promise," especially "Wreck This Heart" and the rip-roarin' title track. Sure, the crowd clearly came to hear the favorites, but the new songs work well in the context of the show.

Still, enough's enough, and Wednesday's show -- which revealed a whopping eight songs from the new album -- nearly overdosed on new material. Seger mercifully cut the new songs down to five on Friday, but he can still afford to excise at least one of them -- I vote for the too plain "Simplicity," which he says he wrote for the Detroit Pistons -- in order to tighten the show even further.

Also, it would be heartwarming to hear him open up to the crowd. He stuck entirely to the script Friday, with scant mentions of "It's great to be home!" here and there, but Seger the storyteller never emerged. If he were to simply address the crowd and explain the significance of this hometown stand, he could bring down the house with relative ease.

Treats from the show included a mid-set "Sightseeing" (from "The Fire Inside") -- performed with the band huddled in a circle at center stage -- and a set-closing "Katmandu," neither of which made it into Wednesday's show. Meanwhile, the triple shot of "We've Got Tonight," "Turn the Page" and his segue from "Travelin' Man" into "Beautiful Loser" remains a high point, and "Hollywood Nights" and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" -- performed Friday in their rightful places in the set -- absolutely smoke.

Six weeks into his tour, Seger's voice is in amazing shape and his Silver Bullet Band is dazzling to behold. Now, with two Detroit shows down and two to go, here's to hoping one of them is the out-and-out magical evening we've all been waiting for.


Palace of Auburn Hills, 12/22/06
Set List
Roll Me Away
Tryin' to Live My Life Without You
Wreck This Heart
Mainstreet
Old Time Rock and Roll
Wait For Me
Face the Promise
No More
Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight
We've Got Tonight
Turn the Page
Travelin' Man/ Beautiful Loser
Intermission
Simplicity
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
C'est La Vie
Sightseeing
Satisfied
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore
Night Moves
Hollywood Nights
Encore
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets

Seger and Kid Rock electrify the Palace Wednesday night. See more Detroit News photos here.

Seger, Detroit, Rock & Roll!

New Orleans has jazz. Chicago, the blues. Austin has SXSW. St. Louis will always be Chuck Berry, and Memphis is Sun. San Francisco still has Deadheads and Seattle gave us grunge. From Liverpool came The Beatles. But Detroit is Seger Country. Detroit means you are here because you want the real thing. I'll keep all the links, photos and reviews I can find about Detroit right here.
 

Auburn: 1 Down, 3 to Go!
 
It was amazing, awesome, jubilant and triumphant. Or it wasn't. The reviews of A1 are mostly fantastic. The Flint Journal thought the energy lagged and the band was "subdued" at times. The Free Press gave it three out of four stars. I wasn't there, so sample the reviews and judge for yourself!
 
December 21, 2006

Seger wows Palace crowd with jubilant performance of favorites
 
Detroit Free Press
Brian McCollum
December 21, 2006

Bob Seger rocked a crowd of 17,000 Wednesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, his first show in metro Detroit in more than a decade.

They waited a decade. Sometimes impatiently, sometimes forgiving. Always with passion intact.

Wednesday night, at last, they got Bob Seger. In the most prominent concert of Detroit music since Eminem played Ford Field in summer 2003, more than 17,000 fans watched -- and sang, and screamed -- as the local icon lit up the Palace of Auburn Hills for his first hometown show in more than 10 years.

On a night that included a well-paced batch of classics and new songs -- and a not-so-surprising Kid Rock appearance during the second of two encores - the performance was first rate: A jubilant Seger and his 13-member Silver Bullet Band were atop their game, deep into a national tour that kicked off six weeks ago in Grand Rapids.

The grooves had warmth and bite, the vocals strength and poise, in a two-hour-plus set that traversed nearly four decades of familiar heartland rock. Wednesday, though, was about far more than the way the songs were played.

Seger, pleasantly informal in jeans and a black T-shirt, opened his show at the Palace as he's done every night on his tour, leading his band through the triumphant chords of "Roll Me Away." But Wednesday night's concert was no standard Bob Seger show. In Detroit, where fans speak of the star as an old friend, it's never a standard Bob Seger show.

In recent days, 61-year-old Seger had joked about whether he'd be able to hear himself onstage at the Palace. He wasn't kidding: While the capacity Palace crowd was at times more reverent than raucous, the roar Wednesday night, which emerged on each recognizable opening lick, was massive.

It was a show that built momentum as it went, each emotional crescendo matched by another: a cathartic "Travelin' Man"/"Beautiful Loser," a stomping "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," a lovely "We've Got Tonight" with Seger at the piano, where he remained for a smoky reading of "Turn the Page." "Mainstreet" was soulful, "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight" was a romp, and the new "Face the Promise," propelled by guitarist Mark Chatfield's oily riff, has turned into a formidable live number.

The night rounded to a close with a pair of rousing encores, which included four of the night's most potent performances. "Night Moves," "Hollywood Nights," and "Against the Wind" delivered the sort of yearning, soaring, midtempo rock that cemented Seger's name during the 1970s.

And finally, capping a day of radio rumors and startling nobody, appeared Kid Rock, returning a favor for his friend Seger, who had performed at Rock's Super Bowl weekend shows in Detroit. After a bow, and hug from Kid Rock, the two ripped through a cover of Vince Gill's twangy "Real Mean Bottle."

While insiders say it's not a sure bet that Rock will be at all three upcoming Palace shows, it's likely fans will see him again.

Wednesday's lively but heartfelt show revealed a truth that wasn't as apparent even during his last run in 1996.

Seger has accomplished what is surely one of a musician's greatest hopes: His best songs have now transcended their original forms and context to become something bigger than themselves, embedded deep within the bond between artist and audience. They have become indelible.

As he rolled through his career standards, it felt not so much like a good-times nostalgia trip -- every classic rocker does that -- as a poignant journey back through the real lives of real people. Real people who undoubtedly told themselves, as Seger reached into his gut for the high notes on "Rock and Roll Never Forgets," that yeah -- it was worth the wait.


Seger rolls away years of road rust
 
The Detroit News
Susan Whitall
December 21, 2006

He was casual in black T-shirt and blue jeans as he strode out in front of a sellout crowd of 17,000 Wednesday night, but Bob Seger clearly felt the anticipation in the air at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday night, as heavy as a New Orleans fog, as he played the first of four sold-out shows here.

It's been a decade since Seger last played in Metro Detroit, and he is living proof that the human voice truly is a muscle that only needs exercise, and that talent will endure even a long period of rust and disuse. After a month and a half of road work, his voice is infinitely stronger than it was at his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction just two years ago.

As soon as his soulful, smoky voice hit the first mention of Michigan -- the line "12 hours out of Mackinaw City" from "Roll Me Away," Seger heard the crowd erupt and they rarely sat down after that.

On a stripped-down, simple stage, his Silver Bullet Band looks comfortable again, having whipped themselves back into road shape. They are an arena-worthy sight, offering enough visual variety to offset their low-key front man. Alto Reed glided across the stage on cat feet, danced with a huge bass saxophone and ran back and forth onstage, breaking into that familiar Soupy shuffle when he played the saxophone riff on "Old Time Rock and Roll."

Craig Frost on keyboards, Chris Campbell on bass, Mark Chatfield and Jim "Moose" Brown on guitar and Don Brewer on drums are all rock solid, with longtime backup singers Shaun Murphy and Laura Creamer and newcomer Barbara Payton offering vocals so rich in texture and volume their soulful, collective roar could overwhelm a lesser lead singer.

It appears to be the first time Seger has toured with a brass section, and it seems so natural and right, it's hard to imagine that he ever sang songs like "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You," without them.

There was a slight lag as he went through three new songs from his new album "Face the Promise" all packed together in the middle of the show.

Dispersed throughout the show, the rhythm wouldn't slow down as much; the crowd seemed to enjoy "Wreck this Heart" particularly.

The new songs work well, but they don't evoke the depth of emotion that his older songs do. Radio airplay would fix that, but that's a slow slog these days.

When the crowd sings all of "Turn the Page," word for word, loudly enough to almost drown Seger out, there's obviously a lot more than a concert going on. There are innumerable layers of communal and personal memory kicking in, with Seger acting as the much-loved host and emotional touchstone.

Seger and the Silver Bullet band return for their second show at the Palace on Friday night.

Tickets are officially sold out, but it's possible a handful will be released on the day of the show.

 

Detroit's favorite son finally returns home
 
Gary Graff
Oakland Press
December 21, 2006

A knowingly placed recording of Thin Lizzy's "The Boys are Back in Town," playing at full volume over the speakers, said it all at Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band's concert Wednesday night at The Palace.

Seger and his boys were indeed back in town, fulfilling wishes that his legion of hometown fans have held for 10 years' worth of holidays.

Like kindred spirits Bruce Springsteen in New Jersey or John Mellencamp in Indiana, Seger in Michigan - and especially in the metro Detroit area - is as much an event as a concert, a collective celebration of civic pride presided over by a favorite son. In Milwaukee or St. Louis or Chicago, songs such as "Mainstreet," "We've Got Tonight," "Hollywood Nights" and "Night Moves" are big hits; in these parts they're part of the cultural fabric that has defined the musical heritage of the area for the better part of four decades.

With all that going for him, Seger could have spent more than two hours singing Christmas carols Wednesday night and still kept the soldout Palace crowd of about 17,000 on its feet for the entire show - including Kid Rock, who was in the house planning to re-create the duet version of Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle" that he and Seger recorded for the latter's new album, "Face the Promise." Instead, Seger and the Silver Bullets rocked their fans with plenty of hits and a generous sampling of material from the platinum-certified "Face the Promise."

Greeting the faithful with a hearty "Nice to see ya!" Seger drove into the first of four Palace shows with the anthemic "Roll Me Away" as the audience sang almost as loudly as his amplified voice and pumped their fists with each stab of timpani. The four-piece Motor City Horns section brought extra muscle to "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You," while guitarist Mark Chatfield put the appropriate Rolling Stonesy grind into "Wreck This Heart."

The fans hung with Seger and company for new songs like "Wait For Me," "No Matter Who You Are" and "Face the Promise," but they really raised the roof for favorites that were greeted like old friends returning from a long absence - especially "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," Seger's first national hit which has returned to the repertoire for the first time since 1980. "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll," with Chatfield and Silver Bullet showman Alto Reed trading guitar and saxophone solos, turned The Palace into a veritable wedding reception. "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight" had the grit of a barroom shuffle, and an effective pairing of the gentle "We've Got Tonight" and the pensive "Turn the Page" provided a perfect set up for the pairing of "Travelin' Man" and "Beautiful Loser."

With both the performance and the sound mix noticeably improved from the tour's Nov. 8 opening in Grand Rapids, Seger exuded confidence and an energy that belied his 61 years, and was ably supported by the whole Silver Bullet crew, from Craig Frost's keyboard fills to Don Brewer's rock-solid drumming. When he sang "next time we'll get it right" at the end of "Roll Me Away," Seger was being a bit disingenuous; this time it worked just fine.


Kid Rock helps lift tepid Seger opener

Doug Pullen

The Flint Journal
December 21, 2006

If performing in his hometown is like being in the NBA playoffs, as Bob Seger said recently, then the home team almost let the first one slip away.

Seger and his Silver Bullet Band opened a four-game series, uh, four-show run Wednesday at The Palace, the Pistons' home, with a performance that resembled one of those games in which they start strong, get bogged down in the middle and pull it out at the end.

In this case, the band got a big lift off the bench from Kid Rock, Seger's Motor City disciple, who joined his hero for a rousing, show-closing version of the honky-tonk romp "Real Mean Bottle," a song Vince Gill wrote in tribute to Merle Haggard.

It's one of eight songs from Seger's new album "Face the Promise" that was squeezed into the two-hour, 25-song performance, and it was its first appearance on the tour.

That's a lot of new stuff for a guy whose audience is there mostly for the old stuff. When you pride yourself on your songwriting and having something to say, as Seger does, but you release a new album only every decade or so, you probably want the faithful to hear what's on your mind.

That's fine if you tour regularly and routinely play your new creations. But the 61-year-old Seger hasn't toured in 10 years. Those loyal fans aren't only not that interested in the new songs, they probably haven't heard more than one or two of them.

So when he reeled off three new songs in a row, as he did near the end of the first half of the show, it sucked some of the abundant energy out of the sell-out crowd of about 17,000.

A few of the new inclusions, such as the hard-edged rocker "Wreck This Heart" and country-tinged ballad "The Answer's in the Question," work pretty well.

Others, such as the monotonous "No Matter Who You Are" and "Simplicity" (the latter inspired by the Pistons) are as predictable as coach Flip Saunders' unwillingness to use the Pistons' bench.

Another problem was the band's energy, which was considerable but flagged occasionally and wasn't as focused as it was at the tour's first shows in Grand Rapids and Saginaw. Rockers such as "Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight," "Sunspot Baby," "Hollywood Nights" and "Horizontal Bop" were serviceable but lacked the explosiveness that makes them so effective in concert.

It wasn't for lack of trying. And certainly the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer - in his touring uniform of black T-shirt and jeans - seemed to be excited and in good spirits, smiling, pointing and waving throughout the show.

"It's great to be home," Seger announced before an encore of "Against the Wind," one of several ballads - including "Night Moves," the Ann Arbor-inspired "Mainstreet" and the impressive coupling of "We've Got Tonight" and "Turn the Page" (with Seger at the piano) - that sounded particularly good.

The 13-piece band, including a sparingly used four-piece horn section, did rally impressively at times. They turned up the heat considerably on warhorses "Old Time Rock & Roll," "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" and the old "Live Bullet" coupling of "Travelin' Man" and "Beautiful Loser" (which highlighted Flint native and Grand Funk Railroad drummer Don Brewer).

A cover of Chuck Berry's "C'est La Vie" and new rockers "Wreck This Heart" and "Face the Promise" also flashed the kind of energetic teamwork that was lacking at times.

The sound mix Wednesday seemed to bury Bob's voice in the mix, which may have been a blessing since he seemed to flag during the second half.

The malaise seemed to trickle down to opener Steve Azar, the Mississippi-born country-rocker who has opened most of Seger's shows thus far on the tour. He didn't have the same energy or edge as he did at the beginning of the tour.

Silver Bullet keyboardist Craig Frost acknowledged after the show that the band was subdued at times, no doubt the result of the anxiety and anticipation that typically precedes Seger's Detroit runs.

Hey, even the Pistons have off nights. With three games, ahem, shows left - Friday, Dec. 28 and Dec. 30 - it's a sure bet the rest of this series will be a slam dunk.


First-hand Fan Report:

Bill Cook

Great friggin' night at The Palace.  Gotta admit, the atmosphere and the set list last night made the eyes well up a couple of times.  Can't remember that feeling at any concert I've attended since the 60's.  At last count (please don't ask why I bothered to count), I've gone to about 160 concerts. This was top 5...maybe #1. 

We started the night off at The Post across from The Palace around 5:30...drinks, dinner, WRIF, packed with Seger fans.  Took The Post's "school bus" shuttle over to the Palace at 7:30.  The bus ride was raucous and fun...we probably needed a "Safety Patrol" or two on that one.   Kudos to the bus driver for putting up with us.  

Mary Lynn and I sat on the riser section (120) behind the soundboard / 'puters...dead center. 

Highlights:

Roll Me Away - the band taking the stage - crowd was electric - sounded like the Pistons made a buzzer beater to win a playoff game.

Wreck This Heart  - the band was tight - rocked - set the stage for two more hours.

Betty Lou - excellent solos from Mark and Alto.

Travelin Man/Beautiful Loser, Turn The Page - listening to the crowd take over...so loud...so cool...oh yeah, gotta go stick Live Bullet in the CD player...no play the LP on the turntable...I'll be right back.

Ramblin' Gamblin' Man - Still my favorite song...er..wait..Heavy Music...er...uh... - the sound was a bit muddy and played "maybe" a little slow.  Needed to hear more of Craig's keyboard and Don's drums.  If the Silver Bullet Band would have transitioned to Heavy Music, I would have officially announced "I can die now". 

Sunspot Baby - great sing-a-long - crowd took over - light projections of the sun all over the band and stage...

Horizontal Bop - everybody wants to do....

Rock and Roll Never Forgets - hearing it at this unusual point in the setlist let us know we were in for something special.  Bob found the good old higher octave a number of times.

Night Moves - first encore - the very cool, eerie lighting - made the Palace seem smaller for a few minutes.

Hollywood Nights - Don Brewer (my favorite drummer) wailing in the back...

Real Mean Bottle - Bob announcing "the two words you've been waiting to hear all night"..."Kid Rock".  Seeing Kid approach Bob, bowing to him, hugging, dancing, singing his ass off.  GREAT.  The live version of RMB belongs in our music collection.  Hopefully, somebody will bootleg it.  So much stronger than the studio version...like Seger's career...ALWAYS BETTER LIVE!  No way for a third encore after that

and finally...

The band! - never saw 15 people on a Bob Seger stage - make it 16 with Kid Rock.  Michigan royalty up there....King Bob, Don Brewer, Alto Reed, Chris Campbell, Craig Frost,  Laura Creamer, Shawn Murphy, Bob Ritchie and we might have to add Mark Chatfield after last night.

Can't wait until we return on the 30th with 17,000 more close friends to see Bob again.


First-hand Fan Report
Paul Dunn

Amazing show last night. They made an announcement that the show would be starting in 5 minutes. I went in and went to my seat. I thought I might have crappy seats because I was at the side of the stage, and when you look at the maps they could have been good or bad. They were GREAT!! 15 rows up from the stage to the right side of the arena. Seger was in fine form all night long - no weakness in his voice at all from beginning to end. One thing else I looked for but it never came was any reference to his age or his lengthy absence. Even during "Rock N Roll Never Forgets" he never did the "turned 61" line. He sang it straight up.

I know if anyone would understand what I felt last night it will be you. I swear at some point it was like a religious experience. To be there and watching Bob was just amazing. I was by myself (I had gotten tickets for 4 of us, two were together in the upper level and my son was down on the floor) in my section. It was great to be surrounded by Seger fans. To my left were two older guys who you could tell loved Bob. One of them finally said to me "I've never seen someone have so much fun at Seger concert. You (me) know every word to every song". I thought to myself...no that's too easy but seriously I had a great time.

I thought I could live without "Old Time Rock N Roll" but it ended up being a hi-light. A big fun sing along. "The" moment of the night for me personally was the "Travelin' Man/Beautiful Loser" combo. This version of the Silver Bullet Band doesn't need to take a back seat to anyone. Kicked ass! I made two bathroom/beer runs and I have to admit I picked "Wait For Me" and then "Answer's In The Question." It had to be done and those two seemed easiest for me to leave.

Here is the set-list as best as I can remember it

Came on to a huge ovation and had to wait a bit to get started. The crowd just showered him with praise. They were so loud it took a bit to hear the band playing.
Roll Me Away
Tryin' to Live My Life Without You (You guys feelin funky tonight...oh I know you are)
Wreck This Heart (commented that this was a song about the balance between work and love)
Mainstreet
Old Time Rock & Roll (Seger introduced it as a song they first played in Europe on Tour)
Wait for Me
Face the Promise
No Matter Who You Are
Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight
We've Got Tonight
Turn the Page -- after the huge sing along Bob stepped up to the mic and said something to the effect of "can you believe it's been 35 years since Live Bullet" and then they tore into:
Travelin' Man / Beautiful Loser (INCREDIBLE - great drum solo by Don Brewer - and Mark Chatfield totally earned my respect)
Intermission
Simplicity
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
C'est La Vie
Answer's In the Question with Laura Creamer
Are You
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop 
Rock N Roll Never Forgets (no mention of 61 at all)
 
Encore #1
Night Moves - said the line "It was like Michigan Summertime"
Hollywood Nights
Encore #2
Against the Wind - at the end of this song when he sings "Let the cowboys ride" he put a different spin on it that made me think of the line "Against The Wind" differently - he said "Riding on their Harleys...Against The Wind".  When the song ended Bob said "I've been dying to say these two words all night...Kid Rock!" Kid came on stage and bowed down before Bob in homage. It was cool. Kid got a huge ovation and they did a bang on rendition of it. Amazing night.
 
Real Mean Bottle

There was no Katmandu and he didn't play Satisfied or Tomorrow. I was hoping for one of them. All in all, the best show I have ever seen. Seriously. I had seen Bob do the final show at DTE (Pine Knob) to end the '96 tour but this was far superior. I have seen a lot of bands but last night was amazing.


First-hand Fan Report
Long-Time Fan

Seger can walk on water, we love him. But I was ever so slightly disappointed, and I really don't know why.  The sound issues have been addressed, everything sounded great.  I had a great side stage seat, purchased from Ticketmaster just hours before the show.   With my $20 binoculars, I could almost read Bob's wristwatch. The arena was very clean, the crowd well behaved.  But the Saginaw show was my first time, and you never forget your first time.

I thought Bob looked tired the first half of the show.  He didn't speak much to the audience...His voice got weak at about the 3rd song, stayed raspier than usual until maybe the 6th song. 

The energy really picked up after intermission though.  The boys sure were rockin'.  We were all waiting for Kid Rock; apparently he was spotted in the building earlier in the day.  When he came out for the final song, the place went WILD!  Then Bob really got his groove on...very high octane. 

Security was plentiful, as I expected...they've gotten serious since the 'basketbrawl'.  No cameras at all were allowed, although somehow there were plenty of flashbulbs going off.  Rumor has it that Bob himself said no cameras at 7pm, and the show started at 7:30.  There was also a rumor floating around that Springsteen will be at the Friday night show. 

(Thanks to Bill Cook for the Palace sign photo.)

December 21, 2006
Auburn #2
December 22, 2006
First-hand Fan Report
Andrew Sharp
 
I flew into Detroit from Montreal for the second of the four Shows at the Palace on Friday December 22. I knew from the moment this tour began that I had to go at least once, and I kept saying to my brother and best friend, who both joined me for the incredible Chicago Show, "what about Detroit?......I think that might be the place to see him before its all over, just once". And so I went, alone. But I never really was alone. I was with the extended Seger family. And this wasn't just another of so many stunning Seger performances, it was historic in so many ways, it was a pilgrimage as his beloved fans from Detroit and yonder marched to see him and that great Silver Bullet Band, perhaps for the last time....one never really knows. But I am so glad I was there to see it, to experience it, to feel it and to live it.
 
What a remarkable evening, what an awesome show, what electricity in the air throughout. As phenomenal as the Chicago show was, and it was, this was perhaps even better and just a little extra special. I don't think I have ever heard a crowd that loud and for so long, so exuberant, singing from very early on and almost throughout, at times almost even drowning Seger out (at the end of Turn the Page, in particular). Before the show, I stopped by the Post at 4:30 for a light supper and a few quick, but awesome beers. They were having a Seger Party with the local Detroit classic rock station hosting, I can't remember the name, but you probably know the one. What a great warm-up, lots of excitement.
 
Got to the Palace by 6pm, had to pick up my tickets at the will call and buy some Seger shirts; can't believe how early I was but I did not want to miss a trick. Then, after they finally let us into the main stadium, I picked up one of the largest Heineken's I've ever seen, must have been 40 ounces, and parked myself just in front of the same classic rock station stand where they were playing loads of Seger songs, interspersed with commentary from the DJ, sound clips of Seger interviews, and then Gary Graff joined them for an on air interview - great stuff.
 
Afterward, Gary Graff joined myself and a couple of his pals for a  little beer and Seger chit chat. Throughout, I was just standing by the stand, sipping my brew, feeling the buzz of the crowd as I watched the thousands of people flock by, and I was just grinning like a Cheshire cat - It was Seger time, in Seger country and it was historic!!! A few twists to the show from most of the others were, No matter Who You Are, which is a great song, was replaced by No More, another great song, but different. And an extra song was added with Sightseeing, which I have not heard in ages and it was fantastic - a great finish with the band all huddled around Bob as they just jammed it out. The beginning, like the ending, was huge, and emotional, as Seger strolled onto the stage and launched into Roll Me Away, His voice never sounding stronger, pumping his fists, the crowd roaring, it was triumphant and just totally sent goose bumps down your body. What a moment. The show never let up, building from one climax onto the next, each one seemingly more intense, totally brilliant.
 
The usual highlights were the same, from the beginning to Wreck this Heart, Face the Promise which he told the audience that he just absolutely loves to play that song now, to Mainstreet, to Turn the Page,Travelin'Man/Beautiful Loser, to Ramblin' Gamblin Man, and Sunspot Baby which almost tore the roof off the stadium. And It just kept on going, and through it all it was obvious that he was just having a blast. All the new stuff was really solid and fits in exceptionally well, they are great songs and they were a treat to hear. Even Simplicity, which isn't my favourite of his, really comes off well live, phenomenal vocals - its growing on me. The encores were superb, and nothing short of eloquent and stunningly sentimental as the crowd swayed with every word on Night Moves and Against the Wind, and explosive on the rockers Hollywood Nights and Rock and Roll Never Forgets - I surely never shall.
 
It wasn't just another great rock n' Roll show, it is about the depth and quality of his songs, how they have reached our souls and spoken about our life experiences, reaching the most sensitive chords deep within, that we all can relate to, and it is for all of this that we can thank Bob Seger, and thank him for delivering it with such unpretentiousness and sincerity....To Bob, I say "thank YOU". When it was over I was exhausted and could barely speak. What a night, what an experience, and what an enduring testament to this exceptional man, and artist.I only wish that some of these shows are recorded for DVD's. May he take of himself, that voice, (hopefully overcome the smoking), and may God Bless him and his family.

Palace of Auburn Hills, 12/20/06
Set List
 
Roll Me Away
Tryin' to Live My Life Without You
Wreck This Heart
Mainstreet
Old Time Rock & Roll
Wait for Me
Face the Promise
No Matter Who You Are
Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight
We've Got Tonight
Turn the Page
Travelin' Man
Beautiful Loser
Intermission
Simplicity
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
C'est La Vie
Answer's In the Question
Are You
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
Encore #1
Night Moves
Hollywood Nights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Real Mean Bottle

The Detroit News
Preview
Susan Whitall
December 14, 2006
 
Ramblin' again

Bob Seger charges through tour with renewed vigor

Somewhere out on the road between Kansas City and oh, say Katmandu, Bob Seger found his mojo again.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer never abandoned music, but as recently as September, with the release of his new CD, "Face the Promise," he hedged his bets about whether he'd ever go back on tour. If he did a few dates, and if they worked out well, then maybe just maybe, he'd do a brief tour of 10 or so dates.

Things worked out well. "The feel-good show of 2006," raved the Indianapolis Star about his show there. It was "a cathartic return for one of rock's greatest voices," exulted the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Chicago reviewers, who sharpen their pens on veteran rockers, bubbled over.

Next Wednesday is the first of his Palace of Auburn Hills shows, "the most important dates," Seger called them in a phone interview Monday. That's why he delayed the hometown shows to the end of the first leg of his tour, which started Nov. 8 in Grand Rapids. "You want to be peaking, kind of like the playoffs," the veteran road warrior said. "You want to come in here and rock hard!"

Rocking hard will apparently include Kid Rock on one of those Palace dates. He did, after all, duet with Seger on the Vince Gill song "Real Mean Bottle" on "Face the Promise." Although granted, Rock's life has been a little tumultuous lately.

"I'd be surprised if he wasn't there," said Seger, erupting in laughter. "But we never know, Punch (Andrews, manager to both rockers) and I, what Rock is going to do. We think we know.

"We're saving 'Bottle' for him, but we'd looove to have some notice!" Seger said, building to a genial roar. "We do the song in sound check every third date, but it's not the same as playing it live. But he won't tell us anything."

But hang on, how did "maybe a few shows" in September turn into a 45-date tour. Right now the concerts extend into late February. What happened? What's he on?

Sleep and water, as it turns out.

"I go home, drink a lot of water and go to sleep," Seger revealed. And yes, he means all the way home: He flies back to Michigan on a private plane after each gig. No noisy hotels, no endless backstage yakking. It's meant that his voice has held up surprisingly well, even with his lifelong smoking habit.

Babying his voice

One of the secrets to Seger's enduring career has been that voice, with its unmistakable scratchy, soulful timbre, a voice that turns rough and raucous on the hard-rocking numbers, but is an instrument of sensitivity and emotional nuance on the more reflective songs.

Fortunately, except for puffing on the smokes, he's looking after it.

"I went to this doctor after seven gigs," Seger said. "He said, 'What do you do after the show?' I said, 'I go offstage, get in the car, go to the airport and fly home!' He said, 'You could not be doing anything better.' Most singers after the show, they bask in it. They want to talk. They want to party, and that's the worst thing you can do after you've just killed yourself for two hours and 10 minutes. You've got to let it rest! But in rock and roll, nobody ever wants to do that."

Energy to spare

Some of Seger's own staffers are marveling at the energy he's showing on this tour, more than on his last outing 10 years ago.

"Or the one before that," the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer offered with that laugh audible for a square mile. "I don't know what it is. For some reason, it's just yeah! I think it's maturity, that's the best thing I can say. You really owe it to people who paid money to show up in the best shape possible."

But it's even deeper than drinking water and resting. To see Seger dancing as he sings Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell (C'est La Vie)" is to observe someone losing himself in the joy of performing.

As the line in "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" goes, "sweet 16's turned 31," but he now sings it "sweet 16's turned 61!!!"with disbelief, wonder and awe. Recapturing that joy did surprise him.

"But I've gotten such good support," Seger said. "The three gals I sing with are so great. And the (Motor City) horns, I really love what they add. They only play seven or eight songs out of 25, but it's a nice change."

Along for the ride

Seger is joined onstage by Silver Bullet Band veterans (of 30 plus years) Alto Reed on saxophone and Chris Campbell on bass, as well as Craig Frost (formerly of Grand Funk), a 25-year vet, on keyboards. Mark Chatfield and Jim "Moose" Brown play guitar, and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, who's toured with Seger before, is on drums.

When the band kicks into Seger's '60s hit "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," which they've played on every show since Saginaw, if it sounds just like the old Capitol single, it helps that backup singer Laura Creamer sang on the original record back in 1966.

Seger's other longtime backup singer, Shaun Murphy, took a brief hiatus from singing lead with Little Feat to join him on the road, and Barbara Payton rounds out the trio of backup vocalists.

"Everybody is really committed. I think it's just maturity on everybody's part," Seger said of his band. "Don Brewer was always a major professional on drums, but everybody else in the band, they get it now. We don't know how many more times we'll be able to do this. They really are dedicated and committed, and it really is fun."

It was Brewer who suggested that Seger do "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" again, which he hadn't performed live in 26 years.

"I never thought I'd do that song again," Seger admits. "We were messing around and he started playing it and I started singing it I found the right key, a whole step down from the original, then we found the right tempo, and the girls started singing it oh man, it was too good! It's getting a hugeresponse at the shows. I didn't think anyone knew it! (He sings:) 'Ramblin' Man!' Everybody's singing it!"

Rocker John Mellencamp's barked order to Seger cinched it. "I did that Vanity Fair photo session with John, and he said, 'If you do this tour, and you don't do 'Ramblin' Gamblin' Man,' I'm going to come out and personally kick your ass.' So I said, 'OK, John ' "

It wouldn't be a Seger interview without an affectionate story/tirade about his longtime manager, Andrews. Seger speculates that Andrews might be arranging to have one or all of The Palace shows taped.

"I don't know if Punch is going to tape. He doesn't tell me anything," Seger said. "He hasn't said a thing, but that doesn't mean he won't do it. The guy will call a crew, he'll say, 'Oh, can you be here in two hours?' That's the way he is. I never know what the hell is going to happen. Just point me, tell me where to go "


Detroit Free Press
Preview
Brian McCollum
December 17, 2006
 
BOB SEGER: The interview

Here come the big ones.

Less than a year ago, Bob Seger still wasn't sure he'd ever tour again. In four days, he'll be playing his biggest show in a decade.

The first of four much-awaited hometown dates comes Wednesday at the Palace of Auburn Hills, a concert that sold out in 3 minutes when tickets went on sale. By Dec. 30, nearly 70,000 fans will have shared an evening with Seger at the Palace -- the latest round of native rock 'n' roll love for an artist whose Michigan career stretches back 44 years.

Seger, who in the autumn expressed uncertainty about his vocal strength and stamina, sounds upbeat and confident as he homes in on Detroit, nearing the midway point in a national tour that kicked off last month in Grand Rapids.

"I have to pinch myself. It's almost surreal," says Seger, 61. "I think this is my favorite tour of the last three. You think you're in good shape, but then, I feel like I'm still getting in better shape each night."

He's enjoyed sellouts in nearly every city so far, and reviews have been uniformly strong for the 2-hour-plus shows that have featured new material sprinkled amid the ample classics. The voice has held up, Seger says, in large part thanks to a low-key regimen that has included flights home -- and a day of rest -- after each show.

"The doctor said, 'You can't do anything better -- the worst thing rock guys do is walk off the stage and go chatter for two hours.' I let my voice get a good rest on the way home, and it works out perfect."

While he'd earlier talked of possible Joe Louis Arena shows, Seger says he isn't committing to anything beyond the tour's scheduled final night, March 3 in Las Vegas. He concedes that his Dec. 30 Palace concert theoretically "could be" his last-ever hometown performance.

But he also says that national promoters -- some of them pleasantly surprised by this tour's success -- are already clamoring for Seger to hit the amphitheater circuit this summer.

"So I might come back in July and August for a few," he says. "I think I'll have a really good bead on it after January or so."

Among the fans at the Palace this week will be his 13-year-old son, Cole, and 11-year-old daughter, Samantha -- who have been watching Dad on tour "literally with their jaws dropped," Seger says with a laugh.

But he knows they won't be the only adoring observers in the house as he returns for his first hometown dates since Pine Knob in June 1996.

"My only fear in Detroit," Seger says, "is that we won't be able to hear ourselves because of the audience."


The Flint Journal
Preview
Doug Pullen
December 17, 2006
 
Frost warms up to the road life all over again

Flint homeboy Craig Frost looks forward to his four Detroit performances with Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band with a mixture of excitement and a little dread.

"Of course, you know it's one of the loudest shows crowd-wise. That's kind of cool. It's very cool. It's always good to play in the hometown. It's wonderful," says the keyboardist, who'll accompany Seger Wednesday, Friday and Dec. 28 and 30 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The downside? "The after-show thing is just crazy in Detroit," Frost said incredulously from a tour stop in Atlanta. "You can't even walk through the place. That's the crazy part. Everybody wants to come backstage."

Frost has experienced the "after-show thing" at various Detroit venues over his nearly 27-year run with Seger. Though they've toured only twice in the past 20 years -- this is their first since 1996 - The Palace shows should be no different.

The tour, in support of Seger's new "Face the Promise" CD, is selling out arenas and earning raves across the South and Midwest. Frost admitted in an interview from Atlanta that he used to worry their touring days were over.

"Let's face it, when I heard Bob sing at the Rock and Roll hall of Fame, he didn't sound very good," he said, referring to Seger's 2004 induction ceremony performance. "You could tell he hadn't sung in a while. It's a muscle. You've got to keep that thing going. I was worried. I didn't think we'd ever tour again, but he surprised me."

Now, he said, Seger's husky tenor is strong again, thanks to extensive rehearsals and performing. "He's singing great," Frost raved. The audiences, he added, are "having a ball."

So is Seger, who took the long hiatus to stay home in suburban Detroit with his wife, Nita, and their kids, son Cole, 13, and daughter Samantha, 11. "I've never seen him have so much fun. Generally, in the past, he doesn't like to tour. He never really has. This time, he's really enjoying himself," Frost said, noting that Seger uses a private jet to fly home after each gig.

While the 58-year-old keyboard player - who had Thanksgiving dinner at the Fenton Hotel, and has a daughter, three brothers, a sister and his mom in the Flint area -- is having a blast on this tour, he admitted it was tough to give up the comfortable life he was leading at his home near Tecumseh. "The older we get, we get set in our ways. I like to have my own remote, my own bed to sleep in, I want my kitty on my lap," he said.

This tour already has had its share of highlights. Frost has been playing accordion on a Cajun-flavored version of Seger's "Sightseeing," something he'd never done before. He also performed on "The Tonight Show" last September - Seger's first network TV appearance - with his son, Matthew, a 19-year-old University of Miami music major, playing keyboards next to him. "That was way cool," the proud papa said. "Matt's very capable, very gifted. He's going to do something in his life."

The tour also reunites him with drummer and fellow Flint native Don Brewer, with whom Frost played in Grand Funk Railroad from 1972-76. They also played in the Silver Bullet Band on Seger's 1983 tour. "Brewer's perfect for this. It's one of the toughest jobs, being a drummer in this band. ... He commands it," Frost said.

He's not sure what the future holds. The tour is expected to end in March in Detroit. After that, who knows? "I can't picture him (doing this much longer), not at these 10-year intervals we do now. He'd be 70. I can't picture doing anything like that," Frost said of the 61-year-old Seger.

Frost, who would be 68, isn't worried about that right now. "The fact that I get to do this again, it's a treat," he said. "That and the fact that Bob's up for this, and the band sounds amazing."


Temperance man on the road again with Bob Seger

Monroe Evening News
December 21, 2006

Keyboardist Craig Frost has been with the Silver Bullet Band 25 years and has lived in Bedford Township for 20 of those years.

As Bob Seger plays for the hometown crowd once again, so does Temperance resident Craig Frost, longtime keyboardist for the Silver Bullet Band.

Mr. Frost has been with the band since 1980 and is taking the stage with the singer as he performs at the Palace of Auburn Hills Friday and Dec. 28 and 30. The first concert in the Palace series was Wednesday night.

Detroit legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Mr. Seger released "Face the Promise," his first studio album in 11 years, in September and started touring in November.

Mr. Frost grew up in Flint and moved to Bedford Township in 1985.

He started off as a drummer, he told The Evening News' sister publication, Bedford Now, last year. "But there were too many drummers in Flint. Then I started on piano. My grandmother sent over an upright to our home. It just sort of happened. I can't read a note, so I never took a lesson," he said.

Before joining the Silver Bullet Band, he played with Grand Funk Railroad during its heyday, including on its most famous song "We're an American Band."

The band broke up in the late 1970s, and Mr. Frost eventually joined up with Mr. Seger.

"I tried out with about 13 guys," he said of his first audition for the band. A second one followed a few days after.

"Halfway through the first song, Bob says, 'You're the guy,' " Mr. Frost told Bedford Now.

"Seger worked (for me) better because it wasn't four guys with opinions," Mr. Frost said.

"This was Seger's band. You got to play what you wanted to play, unless he would say, 'I see what you're trying to do, but I'd like something else.' Bob's a good guy. He's demanding, but he doesn't act like it," he said.

In between performances, Mr. Frost said he likes life in Bedford.

"I like it here," he said, looking out at the snow-covered fields and trees just beyond his kitchen window last year. "It's quiet."

Most of the other band members stay in or around the Detroit area, but Mr. Frost says he prefers the "country life."

He also said he liked being close to Toledo.

Mr. Frost isn't the only one who likes the quiet life. Mr. Seger's home in Clarkston is situated on 20 acres of land surrounded by wetlands.

In September, Mr. Seger told The Associated Press he was excited to have the Silver Bullet Band back at his studio practicing.

They haven't really played together since the band helped him record a 1997-98 album that never was released; none of those songs showed up on this record, he told the AP.

In preparation for the tour, the band practiced daily at Mr. Seger's home before the album's release.

"Face the Promise" is at No. 65 on the Billboard 200 list, up from No. 67 last week. It's been on the chart for 13 weeks and peaked at No. 4.