Seger Live!
A special section of The Seger File.
Updated February 11, 2007
Written and edited by Scott Sparling
sparling@segerfile.com

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Seger's Orlando Concert -- Online

If you can't make it to Orlando tonight, don't worry -- you can listen to the Orlando show online. Only hitch is, there's a 34-year tape delay. What's actually online is Seger's Orlando show from May 13, 1973, broadcast at the time by WORJ in Orlando. The show was taped at a turning point for Seger -- his "Borneo Band" was falling apart, and a couple members didn't show up for the gig. Not long after this show, Seger decided it was time to put together a band he could count on -- and soon the Silver Bullet Band was formed.

Check it out, here, and hit the Live Concert link.

January 6, 2007
Orlando, FL, 1/6/07
Jim Abbott
Orlando Sentinel
January 7, 2007
 
Bob Seger performs an 'old-fashioned, rafter-rattling rock 'n' roll show'

Bob Seger's old time rock 'n' roll has never carried the intellectual weight of Bruce Springsteen's best work, but the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer's anthems are still plenty solid and fun.

[A Note from the Seger File: Jim Abbott's reviews have never carried the intellectual weight of an anteater, as demonstrated by his need to trot out tired cliches in a futile attempt to give his opening sentence some punch. Abbott obviously needs a trip to the Seger/Springsteen Complexo-Meter.

Furthermore, anyone who refers to songs as "war-horses" should not have a job that involves reviewing music. It's like asking a vegan to review a steakhouse. Still, I'm posting the remainder of his piece anyway, because he manages to include some interesting tidbits in the body of the review.]

Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, out on the road for the first time in a decade, delivered an old-fashioned, rafter-rattling rock 'n' roll show on Saturday, January 6, for a nearly packed house at the Amway Arena. So what if war-horses such as "Old Time Rock & Roll" and "Turn the Page" are beyond cliche? When Seger and his massive ensemble launch into them, that can be forgiven.

And so what if Seger, at 61, looks like your grandfather with his silvery hair, black T-shirt, blue jeans (not the designer kind) and practical loafers. It's still cool to see him back on the road, telling tales about the old days playing in Orlando in the 1960s.

All that time on the road has paid off. The band's show, more than two hours' worth of music split into two sets, is high energy and crowd friendly. In front of the band, Seger was a chatty frontman, calling out acquaintances in the audience by name and introducing songs with a personal touch. He kept everyone updated with the score of the Dallas Cowboys- Seattle Seahawks playoff game, taking pleasure in ribbing the anti-Cowboys folks in the crowd.

Seger alluded to his "long history of playing Orlando" in the introduction to "Turn the Page," calling it "a song that makes me think of those days."

The memories must have been strong for the audience members, too. They erupted into a huge ovation, sang along lustily and held up the cigarette lighters in tribute.

That song was augmented by a spot-on alto saxophone solo by Alto Reed, one of the founding members of the Silver Bullet Band. Reed, who played a variety of saxophones as well as guitar, was a kinetic presence. Dressed sharply in his white boots and burgundy jacket, he danced and played at the same time, not an easy feat when carrying a bass sax.

Unfortunately, the saxophone was often lost in a harsh sound mix that detracted from the impact of the 13-piece band. Craig Frost's piano also was impossible to hear most of the night, although the drumming of Don Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) did shine as the band's essential backbone.

The rhythm section was the force behind three-chord rockers such as "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight," "Sunspot Baby," "Katmandu," "Horizontal Bop," "Hollywood Nights" and "Face the Promise." The latter, the title track of Seger's new album, was among several new songs that fit nicely with the familiar oldies.

He saved the strongest of those hits, "Night Moves," for the first of two encores that concluded with a raucous "Rock and Roll Never Forgets."

Obviously, Seger still remembers too.

January 7, 2007

And the reviewer's follow-up from January 12, 2007

...One woman called me an idiot on the answering machine this week in response to my favorable review of Bob Seger's show. Now I know: Seger is better than Bruce Springsteen and anyone who dares to think otherwise is, well, idiotic.

Yes, the Seger tour is hot, ranking at the top of Pollstar's Top 50 list of current tours this week. Joel was at No. 6, with Stewart at 13. Both far outpaced John Mayer (19) and Breaking Benjamin (28), young guns with separate arena dates upcoming in Orlando. Also in the Top 5: Eric Clapton and The Who -- not exactly a pair of spring chickens either.

There's a big market for these veteran stars. Still, I wouldn't cross the street to see Rod Stewart sing the Great American Songbook without a paycheck involved..."Tonight's the Night" is different when the singer is 62.

Hey, nostalgia is subjective. I'd drive to Gainesville again tomorrow to see Tom Petty, and he's an AARP guy, too. I'd love to see Chuck Berry again, even more than watching Seger do a Chuck Berry song (as he did the other night).

...I love an old, skilled performer who can still summon the skills to create new music capable of surprises (Bob Dylan) and even one that's cantankerous and difficult (Van Morrison). Clapton surrounded himself with some young guns that impressed me more than he did.

I had fun at the Seger show because he won me over with his spirit. That surprised me, even if the songs didn't.
Charleston, SC -- 1/9/07
Fans On Tour
Joe Stevenson

Seger's show last night at the North Charleston Coliseum (Charleston, SC) was one of the best concerts I've seen in a long while. It's the first time he's been through town since the 1996 tour, so he had a lot of eager fans waiting for this one. Bob's voice was in great shape, and the band was as tight as ever. Bob and Alto were animated throughout the whole show, tossing off energy to the rest of the SBB and to the crowd. Even Mark Chatfield, who Bob said was suffering from the flu, played like he was just lovin' it. The crowd, mostly in their thirties and up, couldn't have been more enthusiastic. They sang along word for word with We've Got Tonight, Turn The Page and just about every other tune Bob and the band did.

The sound was muddled at times, and I was a little disappointed that Bob favored We've Got Tonight over some other songs. I spent high school in Michigan, and I would have loved for him to reach back for old gems like Innervenus Eyes or East Side Story, but that's just quibbling. What to leave in, what to leave out. The performances of Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, Travelin' Man and Beautiful Loser were so good they made the versions on Live Bullet sound weak by comparison.

Bob and the band seemed to enjoy themselves, and if they are having as good a time on this tour as it would appear, maybe we won't have to wait another decade to see them again.

The set list was the same as Orlando.
Hollywood, FL -- 1/11/7
Same old Seger after all these years
Lawrence A. Johnson
Miami Herald
Jan. 12, 2007

Bob Seger's first tour in 10 years brought the Ann Arbor singer to the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood on Thursday night with a rousing two-hour stand of new songs amid his deep catalog of favorites. The enthusiastic reception proved that as far as the Michigan rocker is concerned, rock and roll really doesn't forget.

The near-capacity crowd was heavy on those in their fourth and fifth decades who came of age in Seger's 1970s heyday. The singer wryly noted the march of time for himself and his fans by changing the lyrics of Rock and Roll Never Forgets to ``Now, sweet 16's turned 51.'' [51?? -- the reviewer must have misheard -- Segerfile.]

At his best, Seger is a kind of Midwestern rock Boswell, his music of restless energy and wistful melancholy chronicling the frustrations and fleeting cheer of the working class. There's an artless poetry to Seger's finest songs reflecting the pent-up alienation and semi-articulate search for meaning amid bust-out nights of beer-case revelry -- most famously in Night Moves, a rock tone-poem of starkly unsentimental nocturnal teenage longing.

Seger now wears wire-rimmed glasses and his formerly freaky long hair is silver and neatly trimmed. Clad in jeans and oversize black T-shirt, the singer was somewhat more restrained than in days of old, with fewer screamed yowls and an artful conservation of energy.

But at 61, Seger showed great vitality, his gravelly shot-and-a-beer vocals in surprisingly good repair, with power to burn on the rockers and security on ballads like We've Got Tonight and Turn the Page. The grinning singer appeared to be having a great time, with his power-chord air punches, as he headed a crack 2007 incarnation of the Silver Bullet Band.

Seger's new release, Face The Promise, was copiously represented and with an added live edge, many songs came across stronger in concert. It's telling that the best new material were the straight-ahead guitar rockers like Wreck this Heart and Real Mean Bottle. The title song's grit and propulsive drive stands with Seger's best amped-up stadium blasters of the past.

Seger's live performances have always been some of the most energized of the rock era, and Thursday's show was best at its loudest and fastest, with combustible takes on Rambling Gambling Man, Roll Me Away, Hollywood Nights, Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight, and especially a frenzied, tear-the-roof-off Katmandu. Guitarist Mark Chatfield and saxophone player Alto Reed's full-throttle solos even managed to blow the accumulated dust off of Old Time Rock and Roll.

Reed and bass Chris Campbell were the only longtime members of Seger's Silver Bullet band but it proved a cohesive, dynamic group, with three female backup singers, and four brass players. Drummer Don Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) provided firm rhythmic impetus with Craig Frost on keyboards contributing a Jerry Lee Lewis-like solo on Chuck Berry's C'est La Vie (You Never Can Tell).

Steve Azar was an apt opener for Seger, with a tight set, his retro, James Gang-like riffs spiked by a pungent Louisiana blues edge.
Hollywood Review
5,000 jam to gritty familiarity of Bob Seger and his band
Sean Piccoli
Sun-Sentinel
January 12, 2007

HOLLYWOOD -- Bob Seger made a career of ordinariness by never seeming to want any more from life than the rest of us do. His approachable, straight-ahead rock 'n' roll songs traded in our basic desires -- for love, comfort, reassurance, painless memories and a sense of place. But he was always at his best singing about the elusiveness of these things.

That's where his greatest appeal still lies after a decade away from the music business. Seger, performing on Thursday night at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, showed he could still muster the grit and heft needed to carry his most rousing and carefree songs: Old Time Rock & Roll, Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight and Ramblin' Gamblin' Man. But the ordinary man of more pensive songs such as Night Moves, Main Street and Turn The Page might, over the long run, prover truer and more durable.

Seger, 61, sang those quieter songs with the same candid yearning that first attracted millions of fans in the 1970s. This was not a night for re-inventing or re-arranging material; repetition on radio has made the Seger songbook in its original form almost sacrosanct. Also, it's not in Seger's nature to throw curves for the sake of art: The capacity crowd of more than 5,000 people came for the sameness and familiarity provided by this Motor City icon and his mainstay Silver Bullet Band.

The band sometimes grew to more than a dozen musicians, and sounded crisp in every combination of players. Horns and female backing voices converged beautifully on Seger's hit cover of an r&b chestnut first made famous by Otis Clay: Tryin' To Live My Life Without You, a case of heartache that Seger's voice put across with a mix of humor and regret.

Songs from Seger's new album, Face The Promise, had a harder time standing out alongside so much famous company.Wreck This Heart offered some nicely turned confessional phrases -- "Everything I do is just a little bit wrong" -- but wrapped them in a stock, two-chord rock sequence.

On the other hand, it was also difficult at times to be certain that an older song was a better song. Did Travelin' Man, for example, make a stronger impression on Thursday night because it is objectively a stronger composition than Wreck This Heart, or because it's had a 30-year head start? To quote Seger himself on the subject of fond remembrance: "These are the memories that make me a wealthy soul." It's hard for anything he's putting out today to compete with the past.
Hollywood Preview
Staying power: Seger and his lighter-waving fans
By Evelyn McDonnell
The Miami Herald

Bob Seger long ago trimmed the flowing brown locks that helped make him an ultimate symbol of corn-fed '70s rock 'n' roll. At 61, the Ann Arbor rocker still has an impressive head of hair, but it's a stately gray. In the DVD interview that accompanies his new CD Face the Promise, his first studio album in 11 years, the biker icon wears wire-rim glasses. No dyed extensions for this former car-factory worker who has always presented himself as a voice of the people, not a peddler of stardust.

''I've never lied about my age or anything,'' Seger says in a gravelly rasp over the phone from Naples, where he's had a home since '92. ``I think maybe it's my Midwestern sensibility.''

SOLD-OUT CONCERT

More than perhaps any other artist, Seger epitomizes a certain American proletarian heartland idyll that held great sway a couple decades ago and apparently has intense staying power, given the outpouring of interest in Seger's new work and the tour that brings him and his Silver Bullet Band to Hollywood's Hard Rock Live tonight. (Scalpers are asking for hundreds of dollars for tickets to the sold-out show.)

Seger was a hardworking touring musician, the ultimate journeyman bar-band act, for a decade. He earned intense followings in the Midwest and Florida (''A lot of people from Michigan go to Florida'') before he finally broke big in the year of America's bicentennial with two multiplatinum albums of guitar anthems and lighter-waving power ballads: Live Bullet and Night Moves. His albums have rarely gotten the critical acclaim of those by his T-shirted peers, but songs like Against the Wind, Katmandu, and Turn the Page are the kind of indelible radio standards few singer-songwriters achieve.

PITCHING NOSTALGIA

Even in the '70s, Seger was selling nostalgia. Night Moves reminisced about teenage trysts in a '60s car; Against the Wind mourned the idealism of youth; Rock and Roll Never Forgets and Old Time Rock & Roll lionized a musical form that was then already two decades old. At a time when hip-hop, reggae, punk, dance music, and rhythms from around the world were beginning to forever change and broaden pop music -- and were shaking up the tyranny of a 4/4 beat -- Seger was lamenting, 'Today's music ain't got the same soul/ I like that old-time rock 'n' roll.''

''My band hated that song,'' Seger admits, referring to the veteran soul players in the Silver Bullet Band. ``There was an unwritten rule that Muscle Shoals musicians don't play rock. It made them angry. But we played it one night in Brussels and the crowd went nuts. We needed one more rocker on [the '78 album] Stranger in Town, and now we've been stuck with it.

``I was mainly referring to disco, which I truly loathed: the whole thing, the dress, everything was just hideous to me. In that regard it was a little slam at that. In my opinion the greatest music ever made was between 1955 and '57.''

ULTIMATE THROWBACK

Seated on a bike in front of a golden prairie on the cover of Face the Promise, Seger is the ultimate throwback: the modern cowboy nostalgic for amber waves of grain. Icelandic singer Bjrk wasn't talking about him when she once deconstructed American rockist hegemony to this reporter, but she might as well have been: 'With the States, obviously the climax was the 1950s, when they still believed in plastic and nylon and Ken and Barbie and products and shopping, and rock 'n' roll was the sound. . . . The American rock 'n' roll industry is more conservative than the electricians' union in Iceland. . . . Once you've learned to be an electrician, you have to go to courses just to keep in touch. And everybody in the world is doing that except the U.S. rock 'n' roll industry. They're just staying in their jeans and their black motorcycle jackets and listening to guitar solos.''

Actually, Seger's spent the last decade raising his two sons, now 11 and 14. ``I was doing all the things stay-at-home dads do. I really enjoyed it.''

It was his '04 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that inspired his return to the studio and stage. His sons liked seeing him play at the ceremony and encouraged him to get back in the saddle. Seger had been writing songs all along; he picked 12 for Face the Promise.

`ABOUT THE FUTURE'

``It's really about the future, it's kind of a sly way of me giving advice to my kids. You hear that a lot on the album: on Between, about ecology. No Matter Who You Are, which is about maintaining your individualism.''

On No More, Seger connects the past to the present by comparing the conflict in Iraq to Vietnam -- and condemning both wars. Seger also challenges what outsiders might think of as heartland politics when the son of America's historic car-manufacturing state criticizes the mentality of buying bigger engines.

Seger says he's just singing for the people again: ``Polls show 71 percent of the country agrees with me on Iraq. I just think this president has misled us and it's been a disaster. The troops have given it their all and done a magnificent job. Let's bring them home.''
Tampa, FL -- 1/13/07
Review
Curtis Ross
The Tampa Tribune
January 14, 2007

Powerful Seger Shows It's Still His Heyday

Bob Seger took the stage Saturday night, gray-haired, bespectacled, baggy T-shirt and jeans accommodating the paunch to which even the most active 61-year-olds are prone.

So, kid, you gonna sit there and smirk about "granddad rock"? Shut up and sit down, punk. Let Seger show you how it's done.

Better yet, get on your feet and rock along with the St. Pete Times Forum crowd of 16,994 that matched the audience on Seger's 1976 classic "Live Bullet" for enthusiasm.

Because, kid, despite what you hear on the radio or see on TV or read on Pitchfork, there's still a place for rock 'n' roll that's rooted in R&B and Chuck Berry; that isn't self-conscious or ironic; and that talks about hard times, good times, love and the lack thereof with an honesty that gets more rare with each passing season.

Seger's new material, from last year's "Face the Promise," sounded none too shabby up against the old favorites, mainly because Seger has known the characters and emotions in songs such as "Wreck This Heart" for most of his life.

For proof, check the "Travelin' Man"/"Beautiful Loser" medley that equaled the "Live Bullet" version for sheer transcendent beauty - no mean feat. When Seger writes about someone - most likely himself at an emotional low-point - as being "the perfect lodger, the perfect guest," well, that's not navel-gazing, kid. That's brutal honesty made poetic.

But let's make no mistake here - this show rocked far more than it reflected. "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," "Katmandu," "Hollywood Nights," to name but three, stormed mightily. The Silver Bullet Band was as mighty as a Detroit muscle car, firing on all eight cylinders and mowing down anything in its path.

At the center of it all was Seger, voice still powerful, performing like a man who worked long and hard to get where he is and who knows he has the best job in the world. That, kid, is how it's done.


Tampa Review
By Sean Daly
January 14, 2007

He roars. They cheer.

He's 61, grizzled, growly and with a voice just as big. And a raucous crowd just loved it.

TAMPA - Let's be honest: The best way to hear a Bob Seger song has nothing to do with big, bursting arenas or $40 concert tees. Instead, the growly Detroit rocker has always been the patron saint of drive-time radio, the perfect guide as we rattle home from work in our beatup rides, pounding the steering wheel to the beat, just enough money in our lonely, linty pockets for a cheap six-pack.

Many in the raucous crowd of 16,994 at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday forged their affections for Seger in very much the same way, growing up in the '70s and '80s, running against the wind, working on their night moves, you get the picture.

And now here they were. Here he was. All of them loud and happy and still young enough to rock.

Man, was this a fun show.

In order to raise his kids and be a family man, the 61-year-old blue-collar hero took a decade off from singing songs and kicking out the footlights. But now he's back on the road - finally - with a gone-platinum new disc, Face the Promise, and a bestselling comeback tour with his venerable Silver Bullet Band. And my oh my, weren't his fans happy to have him back.

You could say that Seger has always been the Springsteen of the heartland, the chosen navigator of all those wide open spaces and dusty main streets where a young Midwesterner can feel a little lost. Seger is a rich man now, with a nice big house in Michigan, but he never forgot his roots.

And he certainly never bothered dyeing his roots, either, as Seger hit the stage for his two-hour-plus show looking every bit his age, a grizzled, gray-headed grizzly bear in a black T-shirt, jeans and uncool glasses.

But the layoff only helped preserve his iconic voice, as Seger unloaded an opening version of Roll Me Away with a voice that sounded just as big as it did all those years ago.

And he certainly wasn't lacking for energy. Backed by his 13-piece band including a wild, woolly horn section, Seger unloaded hit after hit: Mainstreet, We've Got Tonight, Turn the Page, the latter of which Seger performed behind a piano, leading the crowd in a tingly sing-along.

Seger is such an eager, robust performer, he has the ability to pump refreshing life into songs you've heard hundreds of times. If you think you're tired of Old Time Rock & Roll - and if the sight of Tom Cruise gamboling in his undies in Risky Business soured the song for you years ago - that sucker flat-out cooked in a live setting, the very definition of "arena rocker."

Seger took a quick intermission - perhaps to refresh his likably dorky headband? - and returned with just as much fire.

He played and played, oldie after goodie, long into the night. After all, the man had a lot of catching up to do.

Tampa, FL -- 1/13/07
Fans On Tour
Jamil Haidous
Seger fan who traveled from Gambia, Africa
 
I came back and went to the Tampa Bay show, this was probably one of the better shows since Indianapolis and the crowd got into it even more in the second half. I really believe that the 4 horns special and every one else Solo were adjusted and the technician did a better job on the sound system. He sang Real Mean Bottle with Brewer doing the Kid's part. Although everyone in the audience sang with him Turn the Page we still got to hear every note and Seger's voice. It was great to be here but I have to go back, Jamil 
Fans On Tour
Yngve 'Hoba' Berg
Seger fan who traveled from Oslo, Norway

It took me 28 years from I first heard Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, untill I was able to attend to a show.

In mid-December 2006, I persuaded my family to take vacation in Florida, as we did last year. Of course there was a catch here. Bob Seger's on tour.

So here my chase for tickets to the Tampa show started.

We flew over from Norway earlier this week and spent some days sightseeing and enjoying the sun and good food. On the 11th Jan, we visited St. Pete's Forum where I bought ticket from the box-office. Got a good seat and was quite satisfied with that one.

Changed hotel same day as Tampa-show, and relaxed by the pool. Left the hotel a bit early to catch up with the atmosphere around the venue before show and might hear the support act, which sounded good.

Then there was a break for changeover, and I took the opportunity to do what everybody else was doing. ( Whatever that was)

Then I decided it was about time to find my seat again, in good time before Mr. Seger with Band entered the stage.

And when he and the band walked onstage, goosebumps occurred all over.

From the first song I had a GREAT time. All those song I've played over and over again through the years LIVE. And I was there in the same hall ! ! ! !

Unfortunately, the sound was definitly NOT optimal where I was sitting, but we could hear the voice of Bob, guitars, keys, and the horns.

Not to forget Alto Reed !!!!! What a great sound he creates.

But nowhere during the whole show did I hear what Chris Campbell was doing onstage. Which was a pity, as Chris Campbell has been my # 1 bassplayer for more than 25 years. But due to years of touring and working on shows, I know that not everyone in a venue can get 100 % good sound.

Anyway, I had a great time watching the show. Song after song just pumped out of the speakers, and man, was there a lot of goodies ! ! ! !

After a while Bob and the band had a short break before continuing the concert and part 2 started with 'Simplicity' from the new album, and is one of my favourites on it. I must admit that I was quit surprised by the response from the audience, as this song has a great groove, but it was like no-one had heard the song before.

Which I got the feeling was the same with the rest of the new material. But it's a tough task to compete with the fantastic old stuff that they played that night

'det må være som å hoppe etter Bjørn Wirkola' ( Old Norwegian quote )

I guess you have to be Norwgian to understand that phrase.

I mean, when you have material from Live Bullet, Nine Tonight, Beautiful Loser, Against the Wind and a whole bunch of great albums that people have played for decades and has a relation to, it's hard to beat that.

All in all, for me it was a incredible night in Tampa

And in my opinion after hearing Bob Seger do a 2 hour + concert : With that voice intact, he still has many years to go, which I personally hope he does,

And also hope that he one day will return back to Europe.

I don't see that you ever have been to Norway, Bob. Isn't that about time ?

Anyway, now I have started chasing tix for NY and Boston. So, if anyone knows . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Well that is for now, BBL.

Hoba

Fans On Tour
Mike from GR

I was in a section with friends of the band. The couple behind me had backstage passes. The male told me that his girlfriend was a neighbor of Chris Campbell in Sarasota. He apparently wasn't a fan, since he called him Mark Campbell and said he played guitar. I was on the aisle. The two women next to me appeared to be a mother and daughter. The younger of the two was probably 25 years old. She sat through much of the show, but came to her feet when she heard songs she recognized. The killer is that she got backstage passes for her and mom from a guy she said was a friend of Alto Reed. Also met a nice couple that are transplanted from Michigan and seeing Bob for the first time. They were absolutely blown away. They got their tickets from a friend/coworker that got them through the American Express special "prebuy" perk.

Some observations:

As Bob was opening with Roll Me Away, he spotted someone in the front row he recognized. His smile became bigger than usual and he bent over near the edge of the stage and started wiggling his fingers as he waited for the slapping of flesh. He later dedicated Turn The Page to this man and his family. I'm sorry I didn't get his name, but Bob said he used to be his tour manager -- which made TTP very appropriate.

Real Mean Bottle was an absolute delight to hear live. Don Brewer does a great job!

When Bob was introducing the band and when he got to "the girls," Shaun Murphy was offstage. He introduced Laura Creamer, then "Shaun Payton." He immediately realized his mistake and looked very embarrased as he corrected himself.

I thought Bob and the Band were tight. They clearly seem to be enjoying themselves. There was some feeback problems on one song, but otherwise it was flawless.

The audience was very polite during the new material, but most found it a good opportunity to sit down. Bob has a lot of guts, doing four songs in a row out of six he played from his new album. Most acts couldn't get away with it at his age and after such a long absence of new material and touring. The new stuff fits well with the classics, and Bob pulls it off.

I thought the crowd seemed a bit subdued at the beginning, although I could have been influenced by people near me who were more friends than fans. There was no doubt that Bob had won them over as the show moved on. Even the young woman next to me started taking photos with her cell phone.

I loved the opening show in Grand Rapids for many reasons. There was an electricity and excitement that night with the band and the crowd that can't be recreated. This show was also top notch. A high point for me was Ramblin'Gamblin' Man, which was on the set list but never performed on opening night in GR. It was awesome.

Chris Campbell, like Bob, is also a smoker. Each time he left the stage he handed off his bass and was given a lit cig. The ritual was reversed each time he took the stage.

I'm left wanting more! I've seen Bob many times in big and small venues beginning in 1975. His show has changed in some ways as age forces itself upon him and the band, but Bob and the band offer a show that is still unequaled by most performers half their age. I've gotta see one more.

My advice to anyone reading this is simple: BUY A TICKET ANY WAY YOU CAN for this tour. I don't think we'll see him tour again after this year. Although he's enjoying it, he has no need for the spotlight and or the income from touring. Some of Bob's comtemporaries will continue to be around because they need both. If you have the opportunity to catch his show and don't, you will regret it. And keep checking with Ticketmaster. I learned that good seats become available, especially if you're willing to take single seats. In fact, they guy in the seat in front of me bought his ticket at the box office after Steve Azar's set.
Fans On Tour
Tony from Brooksville, FL

Seger in Tampa - it was giving me chills

Bob Seger's first hit was almost 40 years ago. The first song of his I heard on the radio was "Shame on the Moon" -- released in 1982 (I was 7). He stopped being relevant soon after the MTV boom. He had a couple of movie soundtrack hits and a haunting, epic song that later was ruined by General Motors. Basically, Seger had become blasé before I learned how to drive.

The first time I saw myself dropping $70 for a ticket to see him concert was while I was in college. Grunge did nothing for me. Most bands in those days were too strident. I hadn't yet embraced Bruce Springsteen (although that was about to change). U2's previous album was too techno, hip-hop was too noisy and standard arena rock bands had become flaccid. I craved the kind of rock music that could be both uplifting and soulful.

Two albums (cassettes) blared through my headphones night after night -- Seger's Night Moves and Stranger in Town. The truth is I hated college. I wanted to hear songs that helped me forget about where I was and what I was doing. At 19 years old, I wanted to be "out from the cornfields where the woods got heavy." In other words, I wanted to be working on MY night moves. It might be a flimsy dream for some, but it worked for me.

Of course, I was so painfully shy and socially awkward around women back then, my "moves" would have involved a lot of stumbling and stammering … and then silence. But when Seger was on the radio, I dreamt I was someone else. I imagined myself being one of those who was "getting my share" with a woman with "points all her own, sitting way up high."

OK, that's enough puns.

Attending Saturday night's concert at the St. Pete Times Forum (ugh, I work for the Tribune, so I really hate having to type that) was a confirmation of why I sought the soulful sounds of Seger's music in 1994 rather than the angst-ridden wails coming from Nirvana or Soundgarden.

Seger was gray, paunchy and wore glasses. I could tell the man was far removed from being in his physical prime. Once a lean, longhaired singing machine, Seger looked every bit like a man who had not toured in 11 years. He didn't sing like it though …

While Seger was a fledgling rocker, he earned instant fame in his home state of Michigan, but was hardly noticed elsewhere, except in Florida. Many of those people who saw him 35 and 40 years ago were probably at the Forum that night. Walking into the packed arena, I felt a little out of place. One couple sitting next to me actually took a nap during the opening act! I hadn't been around so many AARP members since I worked at The Villages.

But I digress …

Bob (I actually prefer calling him by his first name) opened with Roll Me Away. He followed that with the Motown-flavored "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You." The third song was a new cut from his latest album. He followed that pattern for the rest of the night. The show consisted mostly of well-known classics with a smattering of new songs.

The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and U2 are among the few long-time rock acts today that can play songs from a new album and maintain an audience's interest. Add Bob to that list. The crowd actually enjoyed the new songs. Fans have waited for more than a decade for new material and they appreciated hearing everything coming out of his mouth -- whether it was familiar or new. I once saw the Steve Miller Band live and the crowd literally groaned and sat down every time he played a song from his latest album. I'm glad that didn't happen on this night.

Mainstreet simply soared. The song, like many of Bob's, describes a vivid scene and is accompanied by a rich, musical backdrop. Alto Reed's sax raised the show to another level. He danced and strutted across the stage all night. He was as good as he's ever been.

Old Time Rock and Roll, a worn-out jukebox song, actually ignited the crowd.

Admittedly, not every classic was played with the same level of enthusiasm.

Travelin' Man and Beautiful Loser (highlights on Live Bullet) were mailed in. Bob bailed out on hitting the higher notes during the closing measures of Night Moves and the overall performance did not live up to expectations. C'est La Vie (a Chuck Berry cover) was an odd choice.

Some songs not included in Saturday's setlist were Feel Like a Number, You'll Accompany Me, Fire Lake, Her Strut, The Fire Inside, Get Out of Denver and Still the Same.

Thankfully, Bob also passed on performing Like a Rock.

The rest of the show consisted of some surprises (Sunspot Baby, Horizontal Bop), but most of the songs that were expected to impress certainly did.

Turn the Page, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, Katmandu and Against the Wind sounded every bit as good as I had hoped they would.

My personal favorites?

We've Got Tonight -- This is the single greatest song about break-up sex ever written. It's a piano ballad and it could have been a momentum-stopper. Instead, it raised the temperature in the arena a few degrees. When he held the last note of the last line ("Why don't you staaaaaaaaay"), it was bona fide goose bump moment.

Hollywood Nights -- I'm putting this one in my top 20 all-time concert performances I've seen. This is coming from someone who has seen more than 50 concerts (including 11 Springsteen shows). It sounds great in the car and even better live. That will stick in my head forever.

I know, I know…this "review" was long and drawn-out. Most people wouldn't devote this much text for a concert, but Bob has sentimental value. I also gave up years ago thinking I would ever getting the chance to see him. I didn't think he'd tour again.

I mentioned how I liked him in college -- well, I might have been the only one, at my college anyway. More than a few people ripped me about my musical preferences. (They still do.) It doesn't matter to me.

Bob closed with "Rock and Roll Never Forgets." How many possible "punny" comments can I derive from that song title?

I'll just say this … I'll forget to turn off the stove once in a while. I'll forget a birthday. I'll forget who won the World Cup. But I'll never, ever forget Saturday night … ever.

Tampa
Fans On Tour
Randy Wickham

I felt young again

Since I have been a dedicated Seger fan for more than 35 years, I was worried that his ability to perform live would end up understandably disappointing. After all, it has been a long time. At 61, could he really transfer that exciting feeling that we all have relied upon? However, as I was walking to my car after the show, I smiled to myself. I should have known that if he didn't have it any longer, he would not be on tour.

The entire experience was incredible. Seger fans arrived to the show ranging from teenagers in hip hugger pants to cane waving dinosaurs well into their 70's. All were expressing a feeling of being very much alive. I could tell that there was nowhere else they would rather be. Even my wife, who considers Seger music as only acceptable, was clearly impressed. You see, we have the typical Seger-Springsteen debates. Prior to the show, she said, "Lets see if the women throw their panties on stage". I had to remind her that Seger women don't wear panties.

There were nearly 17,000 people at the show and the enthusiasm of the crowd matched the level of the "Live Bullet" show at Cobo. You could tell that Bob loved it as he performed with an energy level that matched the tightness and speed of the Silver Bullet band. His voice was powerful and he was able to reach many of the high notes that I expected him to avoid.

There is something about his voice that projects a reassuring explanation point to every word he shares. When his knees bend, the back arches, and the mic is raised over his head, you know that he is bringing home the note. The band was outstanding and Bob, as usual, ensures that they are noticed on their solos. He knows what the crowd wants and delivers consistently. Only Seger can make nerdy looks like the headband and nerdy gestures such as pointing and fist pumping cool. Real cool!

For those of you that are reading this and are on the fence on whether or not you want to see his show, don't miss it. Rock and Roll at it's vary best!
Charlotte, NC -- 1/16/07
Preview 
Rock of Ages
Courtney Devores
The Charlotte Observer
January 12, 9007

After long break, Bob Seger rewards his generations of fans with tour

Old-time rock 'n' roller Bob Seger is back.

After a 10-year hiatus from touring, the 61-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer -- whose music has been immortalized in Ford truck ads and in blockbuster movies like "Risky Business," "Beverly Hills Cop 2" and "Forrest Gump" -- is bringing his 14-piece Silver Bullet Band to Bobcats Arena on Tuesday.

The cross-generational fans who hit the show can expect a 2-hour-and-15-minute set that will include many of his classic hits, as well as six to eight tracks from his latest disc, "Face the Promise."

(He reports that the crowds at previous stops on this tour have been appreciative, although he jokingly concedes: "Maybe that's because we are so exclusive -- this is only our second tour in about 18 years.")

Just because he's been generally out of the music-industry loop since 1996 doesn't mean he hasn't been working.

At the time, Seger had taken a break from music to spend more time with his son and daughter, who are now 14 and 11, respectively. But "when they'd go to school, I'd continue to write songs." After his kids saw Seger's Hall of Fame induction performance in 2004, "They said `Dad, you ought to go out and tour again.' So I got busy, and worked a little harder."

In September, "Face the Promise" -- his first album of new material in 11 years -- debuted at No. 4 on Billboard's Top 200. It's vintage Seger, who wrote and produced everything on the album except "Real Mean Bottle," a duet with fellow Detroit rocker Kid Rock that was written by Vince Gill.

"We share the same manager, Punch Andrews. He's a great guy and a good friend," Seger said of Rock, who on his self-titled 2003 album recorded Seger's unreleased song "Hard Night for Sarah." "We both have sons the same age."

Thanks to '70s megahits like "Night Moves," "We've Got Tonight," and his signature song, "Old Time Rock & Roll," Seger remains a staple on classic-rock radio stations despite his lengthy absence.

"That's very gratifying," he said. "That means the songs have held up."
Charlotte, NC -- 1/16/07
Review
Courtney DeVores
Charlotte Observer
January 17, 2007
 
Seger brings the old-time rock 'n' roll

Show reminiscent of legend's glory days

After taking an 11-year break from touring, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band made a triumphant return Tuesday at Bobcats Arena.

Seger and his band, which began touring in the fall behind his latest release, "Face the Promise," delivered a rocking set that seemed to delight older, longtime fans as well as those only familiar with his hit singles.

During "Old Time Rock & Roll," the crowd sang along with Seger: "Say I'm old fashioned/Say I'm over the hill That music ain't got the same soul." It was evident that Seger's signature song, which celebrated the music he grew up on, has become today's old-time rock 'n' roll.

Although the lyrics weren't always audible over the band, Seger's gruff voice has held up well over 61 years. The 14-piece band, which included Seger, three female backup singers, and the Motor City Horns, kept things simple. The large band, light show, and boisterous crowd were reminiscent of '70s and '80s tours. The one modern perk fans weren't afforded were screens projecting the show across the venue.

Seger kept the hits coming during the first half of the show, playing "Mainstreet," "Betty Lou's Gettin' Down Tonight," "We've Got Tonight," and "Turn the Page." He dedicated "Old Time Rock & Roll" to his brother George and his nephews Josh and Clark, who sat in the audience near the stage.

The second half of the show featured a more eclectic set, which included Chuck Berry's "C'est la Vie," "Real Mean Bottle" (from "Face the Promise"), "Satisfied," and "Katmandu."

"It's a good, quality show," said J. Dewar of Charlotte during the encore. "He's 61 years old. He's doing all he can."

The band encored with "Night Moves," which began with crisp, acoustic guitar and the rocking "Hollywood Nights."

The crowd, which nearly filled the arena, welcomed Seger back to the fold enthusiastically. With his tight band, one might wonder why he tours so infrequently. Maybe the monotony of the road so poignantly captured in "Turn the Page" explains it best.


Charlotte, NC -- 1/16/07
Fans On Tour
Vincent Barr

From the very first words of Roll Me Away you were taking back in time or maybe not back in time but you forgot about the world and stress thereof. 2.5 hours of straight ahead rock-n-roll. I've seen numerous country and rock concerts from Alan Jackson to Van Halen. Kiss has a heck of a light show. Bob Seger has no light show, just a dozen guys and gals on stage sweating out every note and emphazing it with a fist pump into the air.

The new songs were well received by the crowd. Real Mean Bottle rocks. The crowd was 20s and on up. Several folks I spoke to were seeing Bob Seger for the first time because they were too young in the late 70s and early 80s. They did not go away disappointed.
Fans On Tour
Mike Turner

The Charlotte show was great! Sound system was really clear. Segers brother George and his and his kids were there. They live in Salisbury NC. He dedicated Old Time to them and went to the side of the stage where they were seated on several occasions. Seger also mentioned that Toby Keith was in the house also. Boy I was sure hoping at the time if he did Real Mean Bottle that Keith may help out on that. But that did not occur. However he did do Real Mean Bottle, which I thought was way better live. Everything else was fairly much the same. The crowed was great and stood most of the time. They did tend to make beer runs during the newer songs. Seger did play some guitar other than acoustic on Face The Promise. Below is the Review from the Charlotte Observer and the set list. Keep up the excellent work on this web site. It is the best!!!!


Fans On Tour
John Collins

Highlights:

  • The set list was the same as the Hollywood, FL show on 1/11 with the exception of "Satisfied" being switched in for "The Answer's in the Question" duet in the second set. I was hoping to hear "Sightseeing" in that spot based on previous set lists, but "Satisfied" was good enough performed live, even though I'm not much on the studio cut. I was also hoping to hear "Still the Same" at some point during the evening, but that didn't happen either. On the other set lists, Bob only plays that one occasionally in the encore and seems to always switch out "Night Moves" to include it, so in that case maybe it was better that I didn't hear it! I can certainly understand that Bob and the band like to have some variety at times, but I can also understand a Seger fan getting ill at the prospect of a show that didn't include "Night Moves." Especially if you are a fan like me who was seeing his first Seger show. It also would have been nice to have heard "The Fire Inside" and "Like a Rock" among a few other personal favorites - I could have done without "Simplicity," "Horizontal Bop" or even "Betty Lou…" for one of those, but who am I to complain? I briefly considered Scott's joke of carrying a sign that said "Lucifer" and "Very Few," but thought better of it.  For me, the standout performance of the show came with the "Traveling Man / Beautiful Loser" combo right before the intermission. They were both very crisp (particularly the lonely opening beat and guitar licks on Traveling Man) and Bob was in good voice, getting the crowd really fired up.
  • Shortly into the first set, Bob gave a shout out to his brother George and his nephews who were in attendance. Right before dedicating "Old Time Rock n' Roll" to them, Bob squinted out into the audience on the left side of the stage and said "All right, where are the Seger boys?!?" and then introduced them all. Funny enough they were sitting in about the same seats as I had on the opposite side of the stage. I thought this turn of events was pretty cool. I knew, but had forgotten that George Seger does indeed live in NC.
  • There were some fans sitting front row center that Bob seemed to know by name. He pointed at them several times during the show and made comments like "I know you remember this one…" etc. It would be interesting to find out if those were some dedicated fans following the whole tour, or just NC locals with a connection and history of some sort with Bob. I suppose it could have been country star Toby Keith (who was at the show) however I'm not exactly sure where he was sitting.
  • Another local charm that Bob threw in was something to the effect of "riding Harleys in the NC summertime," and of course he mentioned how it was good to be back, etc. I know he has said in past interviews that the Carolina shows are always very big for them. He also mentioned general things about his age, and the fact that he couldn't believe it had been 32 years since Live Bullet (immediately prior to TM / BL). I know that in some previous shows Bob has used the line "Sweet sixteen's turned SIXTY-ONE" in "Rock n' Roll Never Forgets" but for this one he stuck to the song's original line. I guess in looking back now, Bob probably realizes that he was wrong about how old he thought he was getting in 1976.  On the flip side of that, he also would have probably been the last person to guess that he would still be touring in 2007.

As mentioned, this was my first Seger show. I hope it's not the only one but I know that is likely, at least based on how things are now. I'm 29 years old, and this was the culmination of something that I never thought would happen. I first found Segerfile and began posting on SegerNet back a couple of years ago when details about the new album and whether it would ever see the light of day were still unclear, and the general consensus seemed to be that Bob would never tour again. So, when Tuesday night finally rolled around, I was absolutely in awe.

The level of energy at Cobo Hall back in 1975 could not have been any higher than it was at this show. There were surely some differences --  the hair is shaggy gray and white as opposed to flowing brown, there are glasses resting on his nose now, he can't hit many of the high notes anymore and wisely didn't try.  I did notice a misplaced line or two in "Hollywood Nights," but the bottom line was that the man gave it his absolute all and ignited the crowd with energy that was certainly youthful, even if his body wasn't. Bob is the same age as my mother, but that is not an immediate comparison that I would have thought to draw at the show. 

Being among the younger generation of Seger fans that didn't get a chance to see the glory-day performances of the 70's and 80's, (and then one who was too ignorant and ill-informed to catch the '96 tour) I was grateful to have the opportunity to hear an early hit like "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" played live.  It would have been even better followed-up by "Heavy Music," but I digress…

The general atmosphere of the show was a shared treasure of memories for most of the older folks, and something that the first-timers like me were extremely appreciative of. People in the crowd and standing in lines were commenting that they (like me) couldn't believe they were finally seeing Bob Seger live. One guy said that he hadn't been to a concert in 10 years, and that this was his Christmas present from his girlfriend.  Teenagers danced in the aisles along with couples in their 50's who might as well still have been teenagers. A mother and daughter in the row below me smiled at each other and you could see their faces light up when Bob broke into "Against the Wind" during the 2nd encore. You could tell that was the one song they had been waiting all night to hear. Those kinds of things just have to make you smile. 

Most everyone in the house stood up for the entire show. It just seemed like every song was worthy of that, though I did have to ditch part of "No Matter Who You Are" for a bathroom break.  I had vowed earlier not to have refreshments at the show so as to avoid that, but come on, a Seger show without just one beer? I couldn't resist.

While I do wish that I could have seen Bob perform live in his younger days, the Charlotte show was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I'll never forget.  Sadly now, it's back to mainly enjoying Bob blasting out of my car stereo. Actually come to think of it, that's not bad at all!
Fans On Tour
Rodney Graham

Great show!  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about all these reports about how great Seger's voice sounded, because to me it hasn't sounded all that great on the cell phone videos floating around YOUTUBE.  The good news is that it turns out that cell phones aren't great hi-fi devices.  In person, he sounded great.  I'm not sure how it happened, but his 61-year old voice sounded even better than his 51-year old voice from the '96 tour.

The set list was pretty much the same as previous shows.  No "Sightseeing".  He called out someone in the audience ("the great Bill ???) when introducing "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You," and he made an aside "it's not 'The Long Run'" when the song started.  I've read previously that he put out that song to show the similarities between it and 'The Long Run.'  He called out Toby Keith - who was in the audience - on another song.  His brother George was at the show and Bob spent a lot of time playing to that side of the stage.

Although I'm not a huge fan of the song "Simplicity," I think the great thing about the show was it's simplicity.  No fancy stage or effects, and no 15 minute introductory video to tell us what we already know - Bob Seger is great.  Just a great performance of some of the best music of the past 40 years.
Philadelphia -- 1/18/07
Preview
Nick Cristiano
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 12, 2007

Stirrings from Bob Seger

Excerpts:

...The guy who bellowed the praises of "Old Time Rock and Roll" is making no concessions to fashion. His music retains the no-frills, blue-collar ethos it's always had.

"That's my sensibility, it's just what I like," the 61-year-old Seger says over the phone from his Naples, Fla., vacation home. "I like big, heavy drums, blues-based electric guitar. I like acoustic guitar and acoustic piano, and I like that gospel kind of singing behind me that I've had since '72. I've got the same gals singing with me, and they're on tour, too."

...The seeds of his current tour were planted at his Hall of Fame induction.

"My kids went and saw me, and they were 9 and 12 at the time, and they were all excited about it," Seger says. "They said, 'Dad, you ought to go on tour.' So I said, 'OK, I will.'"

As rightfully proud as he is of Face the Promise, Seger understands what his fans want most, even in his own backyard. Back home in Michigan, he says, questions about the next tour always far outnumber questions about a new album.

"It's like 3 to 1: 'When are you going to tour?' Everybody wants to see the show."
Philadelphia - 1/18/07
Review
Philadelphia Inquirer
Nick Cristiano
January 20, 2007

Even 30 years ago, when he was a superstar in a world where rock-and-roll was a bigger cultural and commercial force, Bob Seger could sound like a man out of his time, a guy already feeling the weight of mortality.

Think of "Night Moves" or "Against the Wind," two hits whose autumnal air is closer to country fatalism than rock swagger. Or, at the other extreme, the reactionary railing of "Old Time Rock and Roll" - "Today's music ain't got the same soul."

Seger didn't write that last one, although he might as well have - it's hard to think of a rocker who better fits the song's sentiments. But by the time the 61-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and his Silver Bullet Band delivered the tune five songs into their scintillating show Thursday night at the far-from-sold-out Wachovia Spectrum, it was clear that while "old-fashioned" might apply, "relic" and "over-the-hill" did not.

What came to mind foremost was the description he gave to the wheels he sang about in 1982's "Makin' Thunderbirds" - "classic, in a word." This is a musical vehicle that, for all the miles on it, has stood the test of time magnificently.

Looking fit and energetic for his first tour in 10 years, the silver-haired Seger opened with "Roll Me Away," a mid-tempo song built on his basic sound of heavy rhythms, guitars, and graceful piano lines, with three female backup singers.

Befitting his Michigan heritage, however, his rock also contains heavy doses of soul and R&B, and that immediately became apparent when he brought out a four-man brass section, the Motor City Horns, to augment Silver Bullet sax man Alto Reed. The horns reappeared periodically throughout the night, putting an extra charge into numbers like "Horizontal Bop" and "Katmandu."

Seger included five songs from his strong new album, Face the Promise, but mostly he gave the fans what they wanted from his catalog of radio and concert favorites. The show moved along briskly - befitting his no-frills, working-class ethos, the band didn't indulge in any extended flashy solos. Rather it functioned as a finely tuned machine in the service of the songs, keeping the rockers hurtling along and providing spare atmospherics on the ballads. Seger's distinctive rasp, meanwhile, remains robust; it has taken on some deeper tones, but that has only made one of the great rock voices sound even better.

It was fitting that the night would end with a song about the music. "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" is another tune about getting older ("Now sweet 16's turned 31..."). But with the rhythm section laying down that heavy beat, the guitarists firing off chunky riffs, the piano player pumping out a boogie woogie, the horn section driving, and the singers wailing - all threatening to blow the lid off the old arena - the music did what all the night's rockers did: rage, in a gloriously infectious and good-time fashion, against any dimming of the light.

And isn't that what rock-and-roll is all about?


Chuck Darrow
Cherry Hill Courier-Post

'Still the Same'

Seger, Silver Bullet Band show they haven't lost anything

An extended hiatus from the road doesn't seem to have affected Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.

The Detroit-bred rocker and his veteran unit played Philadelphia's Wachovia Spectrum Thursday and picked up right where they left off the last time they came through town more than 10 years ago, turning in a typically muscular, no-frills evening of good, old-fashioned, rafter-rattling rock 'n' roll.

To be sure, Seger's flowing brown locks have morphed into a shorter gray mop. And, like so many of his generation, the always-husky singer-songwriter is thicker around the middle than remembered. But musically speaking, it was 1996 (and '86 and '76) inside the Spectrum, thanks to Seger's still powerful, masculine vocalizing and the sure-handed performance of his 13 supporting musicians and singers, some of whom have been with him for 30 years or more.

Never a showman, Seger relied instead on the earnestness of his material and the crackerjack playing of his musicians, to turn mostly basic, major-chord rock songs into individual celebrations of determination and Heartland spirit.

Seger and company ostensibly are touring in support of their most recent CD, Face the Promise, which was released last fall.

The handful of songs from the disc included in Thursday's set all were rendered competently. The best was the rave-up "Real Mean Bottle" with drummer (and former Grand Funk Railroad beat-keeper) Don Brewer handling the vocals done by Kid Rock on the album.

But make no mistake, it was the vintage material the fans came to hear. They were not disappointed.

In a show with more than its fill of familiar melodies, none resonated more than the first-act reading of "Turn the Page," Seger's brooding meditation on the not-so-fun aspects of being a touring rock 'n' roller in less-enlightened times, when long hair was an invitation to verbal abuse or worse.

Punctuated by the keening sax line of horn-player extraordinaire Alto Reed (get it?), "Turn the Page" was a shiver-inducing masterpiece and easily the show's emotional center.

Close behind were two other pre-intermission signatures: an all-cylinders-firing "Travelin' Man," that segued seamlessly into a full-bodied "Beautiful Loser."

Other strong moments included another atomic rocker, "Katmandu," a stomping version of the beloved party song "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll," and all four encores: "Night Moves," "Hollywood Nights," "Against the Wind" and "Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets," which sent everybody home on a supercharged note.

Throughout, the Silver Bullet Band was a model of rock efficiency, seldom unduly flashy, but always there with just the right feel and attitude. With their help, Seger turned back the clock and provided the faithful with exactly what they demanded.
Philadelphia -- 1/18/07
Fans on Tour
Mike in PA

The Philly show was great. The sound was pretty good, ( sometimes getting a good sound in the Spectrum is tough) and Bob's voice was right on. The band was solid and the crowd was treated to a real entertaining show. I believe it was the same set as in Charlotte, NC two nights previous. A couple of people had a little more of the hooch than they should have had, but that was only a very minor distraction.

Steve Azur was a quality opening act. I had not heard him before, but I did enjoy his part also. 

It's hard to believe this man is 61 and still sounds so fresh.

The backing singers with the horns rounded out an excellent show. There was a range of ages from kids, (I would say from around 10 or 11) to people in their 60's. I hope he decides to not let this be his last tour as I would like my 8 year old to catch him on his next one !!


Fans on Tour
John Haydt

The Wachovia Spectrum was ROCKING last night!  Bob and the band were dancing around the entire show and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. 

The fans started off loud and just got more and more so during the show.  I have attended many concerts at that venue since the 1970's, and though the crowd was not quite a sellout, it was louder than any I can recall there.

Bob and the Silver Bullet Band took the crowd's electricity, chewed it up, and returned it five-fold.  The pent up frustration of waiting over ten years for live Seger was evident in the loud, dancing, chanting crowd.  We all had an absolute blast.  What a night. 
Uncasville, CT -- 1/20/07
Preview
Eric Danton
Hartford Courant
January, 18, 2007
 
Rock 'n' Roller Never Forgets

After A Quiet Decade As A Contented Family Man, Bob Seger Has A Hard-Driving New Album, Tou

Bob Seger hadn't toured in a decade before he returned to the stage late last fall, but that doesn't mean he wasn't on the road.

He traveled with a smaller retinue on those trips: His kids.

"We went out West in a Chevy Trailblazer for 1,700 miles together. That was a great time," he says by phone from Naples, Fla., on a tour that stops Saturday at Mohegan Sun. "They went sailing with me. I went to my daughter's gymnastics. I was an assistant baseball coach."

Fatherhood has been Seger's main gig for years, and though the veteran rock 'n' roller continued to write songs, last year's "Face the Promise" was his first new album since 1995. Eleven years is a long pause for a man who had released albums at a fairly steady clip since his 1968 debut, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." But Seger, 61, didn't become a father for the first time until he was 47, and he didn't want to underplay the role for his two children, now 14 and 11.

"My father left home when I was 10, and maybe it was because of that, but I wanted to be there," he says.

..."I would record stuff, and I would play it for them, and they would like it, and they would say, `When are you going to put out an album?' And this went on for 10 years," Seger says with a throaty chuckle. Despite the growing volume of unreleased material, he didn't know what, if anything, he planned to do with it.

"Frankly, I wasn't sure how serious I was about it anymore," he says. "I stayed home, and I liked being around them. I had never had a family before. It was a whole new thing for me."

The balance tipped toward resuming his career when he was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Fellow Michigan native Kid Rock inducted Seger at the ceremony in New York, calling him "the most underrated singer/songwriter of our time." For Seger, the honor was something of a spark.

"I said to myself, `They put me in the hall of fame, now you've got to get down, get dirty, put out a good record and get out there and tour and show that you deserved it,'" he says.

Seger estimates he had written more than 50 "album-worthy" songs during his hiatus, a number he winnowed into 11 original tunes (and one cover) on "Face the Promise."

..."We've got a four-piece horn section, which is really great, the Motor City Horns. They just wail. I don't know why I never had a horn section before," he says. "It occurred to me that `Trying To Live My Life Without You,' `Rock and Roll Never Forgets' would sound great with horns, `Katmandu.' And those are the songs they play on. ... I call them my turbochargers."

Uncasville, CT - 1/20/07
Review
Rick Koster
The Day.com
January, 21, 2007
 
Seger Can Still Make the Night Moves

Mohegan - Saturday night was cold, maybe the first hard, brittle weekend night of the winter. So who better to greet a sold out crowd of 10,000 in the Mohegan Sun Arena than Bob Seger -- who for almost four decades has established himself as the Beef Stew of Rock.

Indeed, it was a hearty, savory performance by the Detroit legend and his Silver Bullet Band, this edition of which swelled to as many as 14 players and singers over the course of a two-hour show. Seger, 61, has been absent from the scene for a while, serving as a husband and father as his kids grow up. The impetus for the tour was his new CD, "Face the Promise," a surprisingly resonant discourse written over the past several years, and which poetically reflect his thoughts on time, aging, and the rewards of staying true to oneself.

Appropriately, Seger didn't try to lose 80 pounds or hire Mick Jagger's trainer to get in shape for the junket. He was dressed in a plain, baggy black T-shirt and jeans, wearing eyeglasses and a jogger's headband. And with his silver hair cut short, he looked like nothing so much as a goofy but popular high school history teacher who, on his way to karaoke night at the bowling alley, gets kidnapped and plopped implausibly on the biggest rock 'n' roll stages in the world.

And decides to make the best of it.

Fist-pumping and frequently working the stage without guitar or piano, Seger demonstrated all the textbook rock-dude moves, which came across as charming from such an old-timer until, in a dazzle of sudden awe, you remember he probably invented some of these (night) moves

His voice is even deeper and raspier than ever -- if such a thing is possible -- and it seemed to tire towards the end of the night. No worries, though, Seger and his band effortlessly navigated a 25-song set list of old favorites and new material, and they seemed genuinely happy to be playing.

If there are any complaints, the first, pre-intermission segment seemed to have more of his truly best songs, the ones that resonate with meaning rather than surface boogie. "Main Street," "We've Got Tonight," "Beautiful Loser," "Turn the Page" and the finest off the new CD, "Wreck This Heart," "Wait For Me" and the title cut," were all front-end loaded.

It's a minor point, perhaps. The second half of the show did focus on high-energy rockers - "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," Chuck Berry's "C'est La Vie," "Sunspot Baby" and the show-closer "Katmandu" - and it was clear the audience was rapturous however Bob dished out the stew.

Two encores followed, including "Night Moves," "Hollywood Nights" and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" and "Against the Wind." Kudos to Seger's longtime sax-man, Alto Reed, who, despite looking like one of those Beverly Hills salon owners, added his signature licks to much of the proceedings.

Opening was Mississippi singer-songwriter Steve Azar, who seduced the impatient crowd impressively by managing to simultaneously channel such disparate influences as Alan Jackson and Sonny Landreth.
Uncasville, CT -- 1/20/07
Review
Jack Coraggio
Hartford Courant
January, 22, 2007
 
Seger Shows Rapt Audience That He Never Forgets

In recent years, there has been a vast cross-section of classic-rock artists leaving retirement for the open road. After an 11-year hiatus, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band has joined that movement, but possess something many of the others don't: demand.

On Saturday one of Detroit's finest rockers played a sold-out show at the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena on his tour supporting "Face the Promise," Seger's new album. Tickets were in such high demand that seats sold near $100 per at the box office, and in minutes only singles were left.

But after the two-hour raucous, but at times tender, performance, nobody left with buyer's remorse. Especially since the spry, 61-year-old Seger showed surprisingly strong command of his band, his voice, the stage and the crowd.

His fifth song in was the classic-rock classic "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll." And with that, open areas of the floor were banging with dancing feet. Not surprisingly, "Betty Lou's Going Out Tonight," "Sunspot Baby" and the "Traveling Man/Beautiful Loser" medley all had similar effects.

But the stand-out moments of the show were not the upbeat rockers or golden-oldie boppers, but the earnest and sentimental ballads, on which Seger has built a strong reputation.

With each power ballad, the house went black and a single, smoky spotlight hit Seger and his piano, proving highly effective for the darkly written "Turn the Page." Overexposure to any song can leave a person unresponsive to its original brilliance, especially if a certain unnamed heavy metal band ruined it. But a live version of this song, with its sunset lyrics, hollow bass platform and screeching saxophone interludes, cements it as a modern-day Western classic.

And while on the topic of moving ballads, "We Got Tonight" had many people back at their senior prom, evident in the mass singalong, and in the number of couples slow-dancing on the floor.

Seger squeezed in five songs from his new album, which unfortunately, but predictably, translated to "beer run" for much of the crowd.

Then the show finished with a double encore. "Night Moves," the song that sums up the reality of teenage love and lust, moved into "Hollywood Nights." Then he wrapped up with "Against the Wind" - and, probably not by accident, a song whose lyrics work for an old rock star who just came out of retirement: "You can come back baby, rock 'n' roll never forgets."
Uncasville, CT
Fans on Tour
Rosalie P.

What can I say? I was speechless and numb by the end of the concert. Speechless from singing along and cheering until my voice was hoarse and numb from clapping along and applauding!!

Bob sounded great. The band and singers were in good form and seemed to be having a fun time. Bob looked so happy and appreciative of his audience. The same Seger I remember from his '86 and '96 tours when we saw him at the Hartford Civic Center. We had been hoping against hope to see him tour again. Then, when the tour was finally announced, our hopes were dashed each time a city was added and it appeared he would bypass our little state of Connecticut. Hartford was not on the list. Then came the announcements for the second leg of the tour.  Finally, our dreams were to come true when Uncasville was added. It was well worth the decade of waiting.

Bob strode out into the spotlight and started out the concert with a powerful rendition of "Roll Me Away", my all-time favorite Seger song. Ahhhhh, it just does not get any better than this! The set list seemed to follow the last few concerts.

Our seats turned out to be darn good ones despite being "nosebleed" seats. They were near the stage and Bob kept coming over to the stage riser on our side of the stage (I believe that is what it is called) and pumping his fist, thrusting his microphone at the crowd to pick up our "singing", and even applauding his fans. Life is good!

The Silver Bullet Band was finely tuned, including Alto Reed who was in his usual fine form, cavorting around the stage with his huge sax. Don Brewer, in particular, got big rounds of applause when he was introduced. I thought C'est La Vie went over particularly well, lots of noise from the crowd on that one. Lots of singing along with most of the songs. The band was really getting into it. 

I really enjoyed his songs from Face the Promise, great to hear them live: Wreck This Heart, Wait for Me, Face the Promise, Real Mean Bottle, and the duet, The Answer's In the Question. Don Brewer filled in for Kid Rock on Real Mean Bottle, and one of Bob's backup singers filled in for Patty Loveless on Answers in the Question.

They performed the now usual 2 encores, Night Moves/Hollywood Nights and Against the Wind/Rock and Roll Never Forgets. 

We'll never forget you either Bob!!!!! 
Uncasville, CT
Fans on Tour
Sandy O.

The show at Mohegan Sun Saturday night was fantastic. I saw Bob perform in the late 70's and again saw him twice in 1996. I think Saturday night he was even better than he was in 96.

First of all it looks like he's lost about 30 pounds since the tour has begun. He looks great and has tons of energy. His voice is the same Seger voice we've always known and loved. The arena was packed and everyone was singing along to most of the old songs.

I loved hearing the old stuff and the new stuff. Real Mean Bottle was great. The energy that Seger and the band has is incredible. Alto Reed put on quite the show as well.

Sitting nearby was Chris "Boomer" Berman of ESPN and Seger dedicated Old Time Rock N Roll to him and his kids. As my husband and I are big Patriots fans and watch ESPN quite a bit, we went over to Boomer at intermission and he told us how him and Seger are old friends and he just loves his music. He had gone backstage with Seger before the show. Wish we could have!

Anyway, it was a great show and we are seeing him again this Sat nite in Boston -- I can't wait!
New York - 1/25/07
Preview
Jay Lustig
New Jersey Star-Ledger
January 21, 2007
 
At 61, Seger turns the page again

In 2004, Bob Seger entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with artists like Prince and the late George Harrison. It was a great honor. It was also, as it turned out, a kick in the butt.

"There was something inside of me that said, 'Now you've got to prove that you deserve it,'" says Seger, 61.

At the time, Seger was inactive, artistically. Devoting himself to fatherhood, he hadn't released a collection of new material since 1995, or toured since 1996. But last fall, he re-emerged with a new album, "Face the Promise," and reassembled his longtime backing group, the Silver Bullet Band, for a tour that comes to Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

"I started to do this because I felt a little sorry for the band," says Seger. "They had been sitting around for 10 years, waiting for me to tour. I said, 'Well, maybe I'll do 20 dates.'

"But when I got out there, I saw how dedicated everybody was. And I added a horn section the last week of rehearsal, and that was a lot of fun. So I said, 'Let's keep going,' and we're going all the way to mid-March."

He will definitely take the summer off, he says, but hasn't ruled out returning to the road in the fall.

The concerts have showcased the "Face the Promise" material (see sidebar). But he has also sung everything from lighthearted rockers ("The Horizontal Bop," "Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight") to emotionally rich ballads ("Night Moves," "Against the Wind"). He has pledged allegiance to his chosen art form ("Old Time Rock 'n' Roll," "Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets") and returned to his bar-band roots with the ferocious "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," and covers of hits by soul singer Otis Clay ("Tryin' To Live My Life Without You") and rock giant Chuck Berry ("You Never Can Tell").

Other notable songs have been conspiciously absent. Of "Like a Rock," which found new life via Chevy truck commercials, he says "I think that's been heard plenty." And he says that though he would like to include songs like 'You'll Accomp'ny Me" and "Still the Same," he just couldn't fit them into the set.

It is easy to take Seger for granted. He has never been much of an innovator, or had a flamboyant personality. But he has produced a body of work that few can rival.

Inducting him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, fellow Michigan native Kid Rock called him "the most overlooked musician of our time ... Bob Seger is the voice of the working man and living proof of the American dream."

Born in Detroit, and raised in Dearborn, Mich. and Ann Arbor, Mich., Seger spent several years as a local hero in Michigan before breaking through, in 1969, with his first hit, "Ramblin' Gamblin Man." Things slowed down again in the first half of the '70s, but he hit his stride with a hard-charging concert recording (1976's "'Live' Bullet"), followed by hit-filled, multiplatinum albums such as "Night Moves" (1976), "Stranger In Town" (1978) and Against the Wind" (1980).

"Heartland-rock," the critics called it, lumping him and others (Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp) into a new genre.

He slowed down in the late '80s and early '90s. Then, having had a son in 1992 and a daughter in 1995, he virtually dropped out of the music business.

"I had a chance to have a family, and I wanted to see what it was like," he says. "I wanted to be there, and be present. I kept writing during that time period -- I would write when they were in school, and do a bit of recording here and there. But mostly it was like family vacations, and (supporting) their interests, and helping them with their homework. Going to their baseball games or gymnastics, or whatever."

Though he had a backlog of material, he drew on newer songs for most of "Face the Promise."

"I write so much that I lose all objectivity, so usually the ones I write the latest are the ones I use," he says.

Most of the tracks have rock beats, and Kid Rock guests on a rowdy cover of Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle." But Seger's lyrics are frequently serious.

"Simplicity, it works for me/It keeps me runnin' hard and sharp and true," he sings in "Simplicity.

He expresses ecological outrage in "Between," singing "The world keeps getting hotter, ice falls in the sea/We buy a bigger engine and say, 'It isn't me.'"

In "No More," he compares the war in Iraq to the Vietnam War: "It was 40 years ago, and I was young/And the jungle not the desert heard the guns/Someone said they had a secret plan/And the rest of us were told to understand."

"It's about the future," says Seger, of the album's overall theme. "When you're a parent, you stop thinking about your past, which a lot of my famous songs are about, like 'Against the Wind,' and 'Mainstreet' and 'Night Moves.' And you start thinking about (your children's) future."

On tour, he deals with his least favorite thing about the road -- hotels -- by staying away from them. He has been flying in his own plane, after shows, to his homes in Michigan and Florida.

Of course, he didn't always have that luxury. "We used to joke that we were musicians moonlighting as long-haul truck drivers, because we were always driving," he says.

But now that he can stay away from tour buses, he does. He can sleep in his own bed, and he can also rest his voice, since he's not hanging out after shows.

"It's important to get out there with the best voice you've got," he says. "Audience first -- it's kind of my mantra."

He says a night on the town with Springsteen, in '83 or '84, had a lot to do with his attitude.

"I went out with him in L.A. one night," he says. "We saw this blues act. I won't say who they were, but they were obviously blown away on cocaine, and they were so bad we were laughing. It was, I think, at the Whiskey a Go Go, on the Sunset Strip. So we drive back to the hotel together, and I'm still laughing, going, 'God, that was awful.'

"(Springsteen) said, 'Yeah, but you know what? Those people had no respect for their audience. None.' And it resonated with me. And from that point on, I just said, 'I'm not getting high, I'm not getting drunk (before a show). I'm gonna show up, I'm gonna be on it, I'm gonna have a good voice, and I'm gonna go out and give the audience all I've got. That's going to be my dedication.' Because I could tell that was his."

He also credits Springsteen with inspiring him to bring the four-piece Motor City Horns on tour. They join longtime Silver Bullet Band saxophonist Alto Reed on eight or nine songs a night.

He says he had seen a Springsteen show featuring a horn section, years ago, and had often thought about how well that worked. "So a week before we went out on this tour, I said, 'I want to try that out.' My manager said, 'Oh man, don't do that, you're going to wreck the show.' But it's been great."

He says some of his old songs have taken on new meaning for him. While his traveling songs, for instance, once expressed what he was about, now he uses them to reconnect with what he once was.

"You know, I never realized until I did this tour how many songs I wrote about traveling," he says. "I do 'Travelin' Man'/'Beautiful Loser,' for instance, and I do 'Ramblin Gamblin Man,' which we haven't done for 26 years. We stopped doing it in 1980 -- I just thought, 'Ah, that's too old.' But they have a new meaning to me.

"It's like, when I first started out, that's exactly who I was: the ramblin', gamblin' man. I loved being out on the road. All I wanted to do was play music for people, and 'Travelin' Man'/'Beautiful Loser' -- especially 'Travelin' Man' -- deals with that. 'Turn the Page' deals with that. And they have a new resonance now: They're very old, but they're very new for me."

The current lineup of the Silver Bullet Band includes bassist Chris Campbell, keyboardist Craig Frost, guitarist Mark Chatfield, singers Shaun Murphy, Laura Creamer and Barbara Payton, drummer Don Brewer, guitarist-keyboardist Jim "Moose" Brown, saxophonists Alto Reed and Keith Kaminski, trumpeters Bob Jensen and Mark Byerly, and trombonist John Rutherford

Brewer is a co-founder of Grand Funk Railroad, and Murphy is a current member of Little Feat. The longest tenured members of the band, Campbell and Reed, have been with Seger for more then 30 years.
Toronto - 1/23/07
Preview
Jane Stevenson
Toronto Sun
 
Bob Seger back after decade-long break

Bob Seger didn't plan on waiting 11 years between studio albums -- it just turned out that way.

Seger's latest collection, 2006's Face The Promise, is the followup to 1995's It's A Mystery, and finds the veteran Detroit rocker touring for the first time in a decade, including a Tuesday night date at the Air Canada Centre.

The 61-year-old Seger, whose first album, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, came out in 1969, says he's never afraid his audience won't be waiting for him when he returns after a long break.

"I don't think I'd take the break if I was fearful. Actually, I probably took the break thinking I never would come back," said Seger, 61, down the line from his Michigan home in an exclusive Canadian newspaper interview with the Sun.

"You gotta realize I started doing it in '66, you know, and then I stopped doing it in '86 for awhile. I did it for 20 consecutive years and then I slowed down a little bit and then we did the '96 tour. And now it's like every 10 years. But it's not by design. It's really because I had my children when I was 47 and started with my son, he's 14 now, and then my daughter's 11. And on the last tour they were 31/2 and 1, and at that point I just said, 'You know, I want to watch them grow up.' I kept writing. And when they were in school, I would write every day, but basically I was a dad."

Curiously, Face The Promise -- which sounds like vintage Seger and is technically his first solo record, since it was made without the Silver Bullet Band for expediency reasons (although they are touring with him) -- was influenced by Canadian Leonard Cohen's 1992 disc, The Future.

Connecting the two artists musically isn't obvious and Seger has never met Cohen -- although he said he would love to -- but has been an avid fan from the beginning of his career.

"Oh, Leonard, he's been a huge influence on me from Day One," said Seger, who has a separate studio in the woods about 12 miles north of his home but recorded Face The Promise in Nashville.

"I'm just a fan of great songwriting and he's a wonderful writer. I've got all of his stuff, everything he's ever done. And you can kind of hear the influence on Face The Promise. When I first saw (The Future) in the record store I thought, 'What a fantastic idea for an album, talking about the future and the ramifications of what we're doing now and what they're going to have towards the future.' And I love Waiting For The Miracle and I love Democracy and I love a bunch of songs on that record. I think I have five copies of it. I've always got to have it with me at all times."

Seger himself isn't that optimistic about the planet's future given the growing evidence of global warming.

"I'm not real keen on (the Bush) administration's conservation policies -- they're dead in the water on that issue," he said.

"I took my kids to see An Inconvenient Truth, and they were really affected by it and they came home and told their mom that's the most important movie of the year."

On the new song, No More, Seger also equates the U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq as the next Vietnam.

"Well, it is, isn't it?" he said. "I mean, look at it. We're trying to get out gracefully and we're caught in a mess there and if we left today, there'd be a huge civil war and that wouldn't be good for anybody, especially there. And so it's a quagmire, which is what Vietnam was. We got caught there, we got stuck there, and I think now we've got to deal with it."

The political and environmental concerns of Face The Promise aside, Seger's sound basically remains unchanged -- think pure classic rock and soul from the heartland -- and he makes no apologies for that.

"It's not going to change -- it's just my sensibility," said Seger, who has used the same engineer for the last 30 years.

"I love a blues-based guitar. I love singing with the gals I've been singing with forever, Laura (Creamer) and Shaun (Murphy). I've been singing with them since '76. Laura's on Ramblin' Gamblin' Man -- we recorded that in '68. It's just what I gravitate to. I love the sound of an acoustic piano. I love the sound of an acoustic guitar. It's always been my sensibility. That's me. And I think to try and do, like for instance, a really dry record, no echo -- which is a lot of records now -- is just not my sensibility. It's not what I like. I like a big sound."

Given the lengthy time off between road trips, Seger said he and the Silver Bullet Band rehearsed for five-and-a-half weeks leading up to his Nov. 8 tour launch at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.

"The first night is always a little scary, you just don't know what to expect," admitted Seger. "You've got to contend with the volume of the audience, which you don't have to do in rehearsal, and so it's always a bit of a shock. But by the second night, we felt fine and it's been cruising ever since. The first night was an adjustment, but we got through it. But it's a shock, because you have so many distractions in the audience. I'm trying to remember the lyrics. I have one cheat sheet because we did this song that we don't do very often called Sightseeing, from (1991's) The Fire Inside, and it's fun to do and that one's got some really involved lyrics."

Seger said doing a two-hour plus show has its challenges and, for that reason, he's got a seven-minute intermission this time out.

"Basically, the only reason we have an intermission is me -- I have to change clothes," he explained. "I look like I'm taking a shower by the 13th song 'cause the lights are hot and it's just very physical up there. I'm singing high and hard and constantly and so I have to change my clothes."
Toronto - 1/23/07
Review
Jane Stevenson
Toronto Sun
January 23, 2007
 
Rock and roll never forgets

It's been a long time since Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band were here, but the welcome was warm.

So, just how long has it been since Detroit rocker Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band played Toronto?

Would you believe it was 1996 at Maple Leaf Gardens, the year after he released his last album, 1995's It's A Mystery?

Naturally then, the 61-year-old Seger's return to T.O. last night at the Air Canada Centre, in support of his first album in 11 years -- 2006's Face The Promise -- was a highly anticipated one by the boomer-heavy, sold-out crowd.

Appropriately, the song that heralded Seger and the Silver Bullet Band's arrival on stage was Thin Lizzy's The Boys Are Back InTown.

To be accurate, Seger's six-piece band had swelled to include three female backup singers and a four-piece horn section -- the Motor City Horns -- by the second song, Tryin' To Live My Life Without You.

Opening the show with Roll Me Away, Seger evoked almost Springsteen-like energy and enthusiasm, singing his heart out and dressed casually in a black T-shirt, jeans and beat-up black loafers with no socks.

"Alright Toronto, you feel funky tonight?" said Seger, who had worked up enough of a sweat by the third (and new) song, Wreck This Heart, to wrap a black bandana around his head.

But it was the next two songs, the late '70s classics Mainstreet, and Old Time Rock And Roll that provoked the audience to really roar for the first time.

"It's great to be back in Canada," said Seger, who alternated between having no instrument and playing an acoustic guitar and upright piano.

And while it was Seger's classic rock and soul hits the crowd came to hear, the best material from Face The Promise fit in seamlessly with his quality work from the '70s and '80s, particularly such energetic rockers as Wreck This Heart and the title track.

Otherwise, the evening's standouts were no surprise and audience participation was encouraged.

"I need the help from the guys, the men, the boys," said Seger before launching into audience favourite Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight.

"I'm winded," admitted Seger, before he sat down afterwards to play the piano on the classic ballad, We've Got Tonight and the undispited show highlight, TurnThe Page, with Alto Reed's striking saxophone opening.

Sadly, there was a brief intermission at about the show's hour-and-10-minute mark so Seger could change his sweat-soaked clothes, breaking the concert's momentum ever so slightly.
Toronto Review
Vit Wagner
Toronto Star
January 24, 2007
 
Seger now is like then

Bob Seger certainly can't be accused of having worn out his welcome.

To be sure, the 61-year-old Detroit rocker has been around for a solid stretch of time. It's fully four decades since he released his first single, and 30 years since his double-fisted commercial breakthrough in 1976, first with Live Bullet, followed by Night Moves.

But he's hardly been a constant presence since then. Seger's appearance alongside his Silver Bullet Band cohorts before a solidly full Air Canada Centre last night was his first Toronto set since a 1996 date at Maple Leaf Gardens.

And -- no disrespect intended -- that's probably about the right rate of frequency for a performer not particularly inclined toward reinvention. Anything more often and familiarity might tend to breed indifference. As it is, Seger's absence seems only to have increased the level of fondness in the hearts of his clearly devoted fans, few of whom seemed younger than 40.

Ostensibly, the cause for the occasion was last year's Face the Promise, the singer's first album since 1995's It's a Mystery. Without that new disc to flog, there might have been little to choose between the current tour and the Seger trek of a decade ago.

As it was, he opened last night's show with the very same song, "Roll Me Away," and closed out with the same string of hits as in 1996. "Old Time Rock and Roll," strategically positioned to ramp up the party, was the fifth number each time.

Unlike a lot of his contemporaries, however, Seger isn't shy about showcasing his new stuff. Four of the first eight songs came from Face the Promise, an album predictably balanced between low-key balladry and heartland rock. He returned to the disc in the second half of the program with the duet "The Answer's in the Question," sung with long-time backing vocalist Laura Creamer taking over the part performed on the album by Patty Loveless.

Throughout, Seger was in fine form, his voice more raspy than before, but only slightly. In addition to the full six-member Silver Bullet complement, including guitarist Mark Chatfield and sax man Alto Reed, the frontman was supported by a further four-strong horn section and three backing vocalists. Together, the assembled forces had no trouble putting across arena-ready renditions of "Katmandu," "Sunspot Baby," "Horizontal Bop" and "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" -- the last of these a loose-limbed 1968 hit that, to my ear, has aged better than any of the more familiar standards such as "Night Moves" and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" that came later.

It all seemed comfortably familiar. In that sense, Seger is more like the guy you haven't seen for a while and are happy to bump into on the street, than the habitual guest who is always the last to take the hint the party's over.
Toronto
Fans on Tour
Brad Fay

Halfway through the second song of the night (Tryin to Live My Life Without You), the 40-something guy in front of me turned around and said, to nobody in particular, "this is how you do it…this is old school rock and roll!!"

And you wouldn't get much of an argument from the packed house of middle-age rock fans in Toronto Tuesday.

From the time he came veritably bouncing on to the stage, through the final notes of Rock and Roll Never Forgets, Seger was in fine form and the crowd barely sat down throughout the almost 2-and-a-half hour performance.

Looking around the Air Canada Center, you could see a mix of emotions everywhere: laughter, smiles, even tears as people were seemingly transformed back to the days when Bob ruled their radio and their summers.

All in all an incredible evening.

Toronto
Fans on Tour
Philippe Pedron from Vannes , France
 
I'm french, from Vannes in Bretagne (west part of France) I realised my last rock & roll dream : seeing a Bob Seger concert.
 
I mean , i saw many rock concerts but a Seger one is like an achievment. And i have waited so much time...Thanks internet (and your web site !!!)
 
I chose Toronto because it was very much cheaper. I think it was my last chance.We never know but i don't think he will ever come back to Europe.(last time maybe 1983,i was too young). The music market has changed ,he would be obliged to play in a 2.000 people concert place. Some classic rock veterans play only London.
 
I enjoyed the concert itself.The voice was at the "rendez-vous".Some great songs were missing. (like a rock,still the same,firelake,american storm) in another way ,this concert gave me strong impression of "turn the page" and "travellin' man".like a new key for listening them.
 
And BOB seemed happy to be there (probably less than me...)
 
Last but not least , i enjoyed Toronto very much.
 
So, a long trip in short time (4 days) to realise a dream.A good deal.

Toronto
Fans on Tour
Mark and Jonathan Lewis
 
An Air Canada Centre capacity crowd of 19,000 (not an empty seat in the place) was awaiting the return of the legend and expectations were high. No one left disappointed. The show started with the "Boys are Back in Town" tune playing at a volume that announced that Bob was ready to go, and the crowd was electric. The lights went out and the long wait was suddenly over. Bob walked centre stage and was hardly audible speaking into the microphone as the crowd was very loud. He and the band started into "Roll Me Away" and the much anticipated show started.
 
His voice was very strong from the beginning and maintained itself throughout the whole show. He had a big grin through the whole show and it almost seems like he was in the back yard at a friend's place really enjoying himself. The band was tight and they moved about the stage interacting with the crowd whenever they had the chance.
 
As the crowd finally settled down, the Silver Bullet Band launched into a stunning version of "Mainstreet" that set the stage for the rest of the night. Alto was incredible on the sax as only he can play, and it was almost as if the audience was holding their breath. "No Matter Who you Are" was rich and haunting (My personal fave on the new CD) and from there, he exceeded expectations with especially incredible renditions of "Turn the Page", "Travelin' Man" and "Beautiful Loser".
 
The intermission was short enough to make a very quick run and almost unexpectedly he appeared again and launched into the second set. "C'est La Vie" was fun to listen to as it almost seemed like they where playing just for their own enjoyment. The band finished very strongly with "Sunspot Baby", Horizontal Bop" and Katmandu" before launching into the encores. The horns section and back up vocals made the songs so deep and rich they sounded better than ever. The horns section provided a particularly refreshing outcome to "Night Moves".
 
Having seen Bob 11 times, I was very impressed and pleased with the tightness of the band and the show itself, such as stage set up, sound quality and lighting. Apart from a few equipment squeals, there isn't anything that disappoints (other than the show ends at some point).
 
The crowd was noisy and appreciative as well quite a spectrum in ages. Seger delivered songs that matched all group interests and the bars in the area after the show where busy partying. One of the best tours by Bob and well worth the ticket.

Toronto
Fans on Tour
Dorie Cowling

We went to the Toronto show Tuesday...I was happy to find I was among the "youngest" there at 45. In fact, I was a little shocked. Not sure why, I should have expected the demographic would have aged along with me!

Most of the crowd drank alot of draft beer, sat down a little creakily then got up and, not surprisingly, went to dispose of the beer. But with the age group being a median of 50 in my estimation, it sure took the rows of people awhile to get up and let people out to go to the washroom. (We all have aches and pains at our age!) Just kidding, lots of fun.

I've been a Seger fan forever, and I'm one of those people who looked up what songs he'd play or was expected to play.

I noticed he went a bit heavier than expected on the Face the Promise songs, which were fairly well recieved. I am enjoying the CD myself.

I'd say half the crowd were people like me who know all the words to Travellin Man, Beautiful Loser etc...the other half the folk who like to dance to Old Time Rock and Roll at weddings.

Nonetheless, a great great evening. Seger in fine form, as expected. Thanks for sharing my lifelong Seger enthusiasm.
Toronto
Fans on Tour
Andrew C. Sharp

This was number three for me on this tour and all of the superlatives expressed before still apply. What a night and what a fun night all the way around. The Air Canada Center  in Toronto was jammed, all the way up to the rafters, and once again the mutual admiration society was on, full blast and all night.

Unfortunately, I seemed to be sitting in the dud section for the first part of the night anyway. I don't know what it is, but some of these die hard Seger fans are either too old or arthritic, or without a pulse, but at times, right around me, I was thinking come on guys and gals, get up, cheer, stand, dance, do something, this is a rock show of huge proportions, not a tea party. Anyway that was my little pet peeve.

To be fair, the ACC was rocking and the sing-along and crowd noise grew with the night and reached a fevered pitch at  the end of the first set, second set, and encores. All in, it was quite a night and man did Bob ever rock out, he was smokin', totally brilliant!!!!.

His voice was occasionally a little choppy in the beginning and the sound gang haven't quite figured out to turn his mike up out of the gate, but they did after a few songs, and, as with each show, it seemed his voice grew stronger as the evening wore on, as did his intensity. The band, as usual, was tight and awesome throughout;no weaknesses, just pure, and great rock 'n' roll. The songs were delivered with precision and passion and the new ones mixed in really well with the older classics.

For some reason, my memory is a little foggy as to the set list, but upon my review, it seems he did only 24 songs instead of the more usual 25; not sure why, maybe it was just how he felt on the night or something, or maybe he feels he needs one more for the US "'home" crowds, or maybe it was because the show was delayed a good fifteen minutes and he had to get outta' there? Anyway, the set list was the same as all the others for the first set of 13 songs and he kept No matter Who You are in there, which he just nailed. The second set was: Simplicity, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, C'est la vie, The Answers in the Question, Sunspot Baby (which never ceases to amaze me), Horizontal Bop and Katmandu. He shortened this set by one.

The encores were the same as usual, and were nothing short of gripping. What a phenomenal show, a night to remember, it was just awesome.

I encourage all readers that if you haven't gone, and your toying with the idea, JUST GO, it is a real treat, and one that may not come around again.
New York - 1/25/07
Preview
Jay Lustig
New Jersey Star-Ledger
January 21, 2007
 
At 61, Seger turns the page again

In 2004, Bob Seger entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with artists like Prince and the late George Harrison. It was a great honor. It was also, as it turned out, a kick in the butt.

"There was something inside of me that said, 'Now you've got to prove that you deserve it,'" says Seger, 61.

At the time, Seger was inactive, artistically. Devoting himself to fatherhood, he hadn't released a collection of new material since 1995, or toured since 1996. But last fall, he re-emerged with a new album, "Face the Promise," and reassembled his longtime backing group, the Silver Bullet Band, for a tour that comes to Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

"I started to do this because I felt a little sorry for the band," says Seger. "They had been sitting around for 10 years, waiting for me to tour. I said, 'Well, maybe I'll do 20 dates.'

"But when I got out there, I saw how dedicated everybody was. And I added a horn section the last week of rehearsal, and that was a lot of fun. So I said, 'Let's keep going,' and we're going all the way to mid-March."

He will definitely take the summer off, he says, but hasn't ruled out returning to the road in the fall.

The concerts have showcased the "Face the Promise" material (see sidebar). But he has also sung everything from lighthearted rockers ("The Horizontal Bop," "Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight") to emotionally rich ballads ("Night Moves," "Against the Wind"). He has pledged allegiance to his chosen art form ("Old Time Rock 'n' Roll," "Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets") and returned to his bar-band roots with the ferocious "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," and covers of hits by soul singer Otis Clay ("Tryin' To Live My Life Without You") and rock giant Chuck Berry ("You Never Can Tell").

Other notable songs have been conspiciously absent. Of "Like a Rock," which found new life via Chevy truck commercials, he says "I think that's been heard plenty." And he says that though he would like to include songs like 'You'll Accomp'ny Me" and "Still the Same," he just couldn't fit them into the set.

It is easy to take Seger for granted. He has never been much of an innovator, or had a flamboyant personality. But he has produced a body of work that few can rival.

Inducting him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, fellow Michigan native Kid Rock called him "the most overlooked musician of our time ... Bob Seger is the voice of the working man and living proof of the American dream."

Born in Detroit, and raised in Dearborn, Mich. and Ann Arbor, Mich., Seger spent several years as a local hero in Michigan before breaking through, in 1969, with his first hit, "Ramblin' Gamblin Man." Things slowed down again in the first half of the '70s, but he hit his stride with a hard-charging concert recording (1976's "'Live' Bullet"), followed by hit-filled, multiplatinum albums such as "Night Moves" (1976), "Stranger In Town" (1978) and Against the Wind" (1980).

"Heartland-rock," the critics called it, lumping him and others (Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp) into a new genre.

He slowed down in the late '80s and early '90s. Then, having had a son in 1992 and a daughter in 1995, he virtually dropped out of the music business.

"I had a chance to have a family, and I wanted to see what it was like," he says. "I wanted to be there, and be present. I kept writing during that time period -- I would write when they were in school, and do a bit of recording here and there. But mostly it was like family vacations, and (supporting) their interests, and helping them with their homework. Going to their baseball games or gymnastics, or whatever."

Though he had a backlog of material, he drew on newer songs for most of "Face the Promise."

"I write so much that I lose all objectivity, so usually the ones I write the latest are the ones I use," he says.

Most of the tracks have rock beats, and Kid Rock guests on a rowdy cover of Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle." But Seger's lyrics are frequently serious.

"Simplicity, it works for me/It keeps me runnin' hard and sharp and true," he sings in "Simplicity.

He expresses ecological outrage in "Between," singing "The world keeps getting hotter, ice falls in the sea/We buy a bigger engine and say, 'It isn't me.'"

In "No More," he compares the war in Iraq to the Vietnam War: "It was 40 years ago, and I was young/And the jungle not the desert heard the guns/Someone said they had a secret plan/And the rest of us were told to understand."

"It's about the future," says Seger, of the album's overall theme. "When you're a parent, you stop thinking about your past, which a lot of my famous songs are about, like 'Against the Wind,' and 'Mainstreet' and 'Night Moves.' And you start thinking about (your children's) future."

On tour, he deals with his least favorite thing about the road -- hotels -- by staying away from them. He has been flying in his own plane, after shows, to his homes in Michigan and Florida.

Of course, he didn't always have that luxury. "We used to joke that we were musicians moonlighting as long-haul truck drivers, because we were always driving," he says.

But now that he can stay away from tour buses, he does. He can sleep in his own bed, and he can also rest his voice, since he's not hanging out after shows.

"It's important to get out there with the best voice you've got," he says. "Audience first -- it's kind of my mantra."

He says a night on the town with Springsteen, in '83 or '84, had a lot to do with his attitude.

"I went out with him in L.A. one night," he says. "We saw this blues act. I won't say who they were, but they were obviously blown away on cocaine, and they were so bad we were laughing. It was, I think, at the Whiskey a Go Go, on the Sunset Strip. So we drive back to the hotel together, and I'm still laughing, going, 'God, that was awful.'

"(Springsteen) said, 'Yeah, but you know what? Those people had no respect for their audience. None.' And it resonated with me. And from that point on, I just said, 'I'm not getting high, I'm not getting drunk (before a show). I'm gonna show up, I'm gonna be on it, I'm gonna have a good voice, and I'm gonna go out and give the audience all I've got. That's going to be my dedication.' Because I could tell that was his."

He also credits Springsteen with inspiring him to bring the four-piece Motor City Horns on tour. They join longtime Silver Bullet Band saxophonist Alto Reed on eight or nine songs a night.

He says he had seen a Springsteen show featuring a horn section, years ago, and had often thought about how well that worked. "So a week before we went out on this tour, I said, 'I want to try that out.' My manager said, 'Oh man, don't do that, you're going to wreck the show.' But it's been great."

He says some of his old songs have taken on new meaning for him. While his traveling songs, for instance, once expressed what he was about, now he uses them to reconnect with what he once was.

"You know, I never realized until I did this tour how many songs I wrote about traveling," he says. "I do 'Travelin' Man'/'Beautiful Loser,' for instance, and I do 'Ramblin Gamblin Man,' which we haven't done for 26 years. We stopped doing it in 1980 -- I just thought, 'Ah, that's too old.' But they have a new meaning to me.

"It's like, when I first started out, that's exactly who I was: the ramblin', gamblin' man. I loved being out on the road. All I wanted to do was play music for people, and 'Travelin' Man'/'Beautiful Loser' -- especially 'Travelin' Man' -- deals with that. 'Turn the Page' deals with that. And they have a new resonance now: They're very old, but they're very new for me."

The current lineup of the Silver Bullet Band includes bassist Chris Campbell, keyboardist Craig Frost, guitarist Mark Chatfield, singers Shaun Murphy, Laura Creamer and Barbara Payton, drummer Don Brewer, guitarist-keyboardist Jim "Moose" Brown, saxophonists Alto Reed and Keith Kaminski, trumpeters Bob Jensen and Mark Byerly, and trombonist John Rutherford

Brewer is a co-founder of Grand Funk Railroad, and Murphy is a current member of Little Feat. The longest tenured members of the band, Campbell and Reed, have been with Seger for more then 30 years.

New York - 1/25/07
Review
Jim Farber
New York Daily News
January 26th, 2007
 
Seger return rocks Garden like old times
 

"Rock 'N' roll never forgets," Bob Seger vowed 31 years ago.

Last night at Madison Square Garden, he made that boast come true.

Given that Seger has spent more than a decade away from the stage, his current tour represents something of a risk for the star.

Now 61, and potentially rusty from all his time off, Seger might have shown a significant erosion of his vocal muscularity and command.

But his performance demonstrated only a meager measure of loss, as the singer upheld the mandate of songs that demand powerhouse growls ("Katmandu") or nuanced feeling ("We've Got Tonight").

It helped that Seger never sold himself as young to begin with. By the time he hit it big nationally in the '70s, he was already in his 30s, and many of his biggest hits openly court nostalgia (beginning with "Night Moves").

At the Garden, Seger brought even deeper feeling to songs of stalwart faith ("Against the Wind") or hard-won self-knowledge (the new "Wait for Me," which appears on his first album of new material in 11 years, the passable "Face the Promise").

Seger's backward-looking message can lapse into narrow-mindedness, as in the fogy-ish "Old Time Rock & Roll." But live he gave the song enough chunky funk to transcend its message.

Seger paced himself throughout the two-hour show, integrating ballads or midpaced rockers with higher-energy songs and taking a short breather in the middle.

When it came time to hit the highest notes in "Night Moves" and "Hollywood Hills," he changed the key.

Such deflections hardly marred the overall flow. Seger missed none of the punch of "Travelin' Man" or the pop buoyancy of "Beautiful Loser."

More than three decades after these songs charged their way into the classic-rock pantheon, they retain their relevance and vim. How nice to see their creator prove he does, too.
 

New York - 1/25/07
Review
Jay Lustig
New Jersey Star-Ledger
January 27, 2007
 
Seger the sage

Lyrics still resonate as rock icon, now 61, makes a rare appearance

NEW YORK -- Bob Seger's touring history breaks down, roughly, in the following way. For the first half of his career -- the mid-'60s to the mid-'80s -- he was on the road all the time. For the second half, he has hardly ventured out at all.

His current tour, which came to Madison Square Garden on Thursday, is only his third of the last 20 years.

It was, therefore, the kind of concert that doesn't come along very often: a rare opportunity to see a master in action. And Seger, 61, didn't disappoint, presenting a lively two-hour show with his well-oiled backing group, the Silver Bullet Band.

His gruff voice was in good shape, and he seemed genuinely enthusiastic about being there. And while songs from his new "Face the Promise" album didn't always live up to the standards of his past hits, he performed only six of them, so they never bogged down the show for too long.

In general, Seger's music has aged well. Or, at least, it seemed suitable for a rock artist who has aged.

Songs like "Night Moves" and "We've Got Tonight," for instance, date back to Seger's 30s, but have a world-weary flavor that made them fit a man of his current age perfectly well. "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll," from the same time period, is still the ultimate anthem for an aging classic-rocker. "Call me a relic, call me what you will/Say I'm old-fashioned, say I'm over the hill/Today's music ain't got the same soul/I like that old time rock 'n' roll," sang Seger.

Dressed for comfort, in blue jeans and a black T-shirt, he showed his love for vintage rock with covers of songs such as "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You" (a 1972 hit for Otis Clay) and Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell." And his final encore was his own "Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets," which started on a note of skepticism ("So you're a little bit older and a lot less bolder than you used to be/So you used to shake 'em down, but now you stop and think about your dignity"), but ultimately offered more or less the same message as "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll."

The only disappointment among the older songs was "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," which lacked the garage-rock swagger of its original version.

With its pounding beat, "Roll Me Away" was an effective show opener, and songs such as "Hollywood Nights" and "Katmandu" had their triumphant, fist-pumping moments. An instrumental interlude in the middle of the "Travelin' Man"/"Beautiful Loser" medley had a convincingly wild edge. Ballads like "Mainstreet" and "Turn the Page" had a larger-than-life, almost cinematic quality, thanks largely to longtime Silver Bullet Band member Alto Reed's evocative sax solos.

The best of the new songs were "Wreck This Heart" and the album's title track, which saw Seger reconnecting with his hard-rock growl.

The slower songs from the new album didn't work as well. "Simplicity" lacked a compelling subject ("Simplicity, it works for me ... So much clutter clouds our way/Fundamentals win the day," Seger sang). And "The Answer's In the Question," featuring backing vocalist Laura Creamer as a duet partner, was performed as an unplugged segment that was even duller than most unplugged segments.

The show featured only minimal song introductions ("It's pretty far away, but let's go to Hollywood," Seger said before "Hollywood Nights"), and there were were virtually no visual special effects. A four-piece horn section joined the Silver Bullet Band at times, swelling it to 13 pieces.

Overall, there was a business-like precision to this concert that Seger's appearances of the '60s and '70s probably lacked. After the intense "Travelin' Man"/"Beautiful Loser," he announced that there would be an intermission, but that it would be only eight minutes. And, sure enough, he returned to the stage in precisely that amount of time.
New York
Review
Jon Pareles
New York Times
January 27, 2007
 
A Rocker Who's Come to Terms With Time

Bob Seger is 61, with gray hair and glasses. But he still goes to work in a T-shirt and bluejeans.

On Thursday night he was working at Madison Square Garden. He was headlining his first tour in a decade, following through on last year's release of "Face the Promise" (Capitol), his first new album since 1995. Fans happily sang along with songs from his hit-making heyday, 30 years ago; a few even held up cigarette lighters, not illuminated cellphones, during ballads. They were delighted to hear that, grizzled or not, Mr. Seger has hardly changed. He didn't sing his hit "Still the Same"; he didn't have to.

His voice is still a robust, husky baritone with proud roots in Detroit soul music, and his songs, old and new, are heartland rock with ringing chords and a stolid beat, made for arenas. A new one declares, "Simplicity, it works for me."

Important members of his Silver Bullet Band -- Alto Reed on saxophones, Chris Campbell on bass, Craig Frost on keyboards -- have been with him for decades. Mr. Seger was never the most athletic performer, but he still pumps his fist to the beat. Mr. Reed takes care of the showboating, trucking and duckwalking with instruments as hefty as a bass saxophone.

Even in the 1970s, Mr. Seger's songs were about how fogies could continue to feel like rockers. "Night Moves," "Mainstreet" and "Against the Wind" are about memories of being young. "Old Time Rock & Roll" and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" are about being untrendy and proud of it. For Mr. Seger, oldies date to rock's early years; he looked back to Chuck Berry songs from the 1950s, playing them ("C'est la Vie") and openly emulating them ("Katmandu").

In the 21st century Mr. Seger's kind of rock is more often heard on country stations than amid the punk-pop and post-grunge that are now classified as rock. "Wait for Me," a ballad about restlessness and loyalty, has made the country charts. Yet while most of his new album was recorded in Nashville, Mr. Seger hasn't gone country so much as country has pumped itself up.

Mr. Seger's new songs are grounded in riffs that echo the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and the Who, and they have a growing streak of middle-aged disillusionment. "No Matter Who You Are," with piano chords out of the Who's "Baba O'Riley," observes, "This is an ancient test, this is a shiny lie/Discover somethin' pure then sit and watch it die."

The album also has some political songs -- the anti-Iraq-war song "No More" and the environmentalist "Between" -- but Mr. Seger left them out of the live set. The concert was an affirmation of tenacity, of coming to terms with time; not defying it, like a Rolling Stones concert, but living with its consequences. One of the ballads Mr. Seger sang was "Beautiful Loser": "He wants to dream like a young man, with the wisdom of an old man." It was a song he released back in 1975.


Looking Back -- From 1983

Stephen Holden
New York Times
July 2, 1983

ROCK: BOB SEGER IN JERSEY

Outside of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger is probably the most inspiring exponent of a rock-and-roll classicism that is quintessentially American in spirit. Rooted in 1950's and early 60's rhythm-and-blues, with secondary echoes from country music, Mr. Seger's songs deal honestly and sympathetically with the lives of working people.

Outside of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger is probably the most inspiring exponent of a rock-and-roll classicism that is quintessentially American in spirit. Rooted in 1950's and early 60's rhythm-and-blues, with secondary echoes from country music, Mr. Seger's songs deal honestly and sympathetically with the lives of working people.

Simplicity, optimism and decency are qualities that shine through songs like ''Makin' Thunderbirds,'' the tribute to 50's auto workers on Mr. Seger's newest album, ''The Distance.''

At the Byrne Meadowlands Arena Tuesday, the 38-year-old singer, writer and guitarist and his Silver Bullet Band put on a show that was as heartfelt as it was technically seamless. Mr. Seger's wonderfully husky, down-to-earth singing inflects the volatile intensity of soul singers from Little Richard to Wilson Pickett with a folksier Middle Western twang. Like John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, a band that strongly influenced Mr. Seger, he possesses an archetypal rock voice.

The Silver Bullet Band, like Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, is more concerned with capturing an essential rock-and-roll feel than with virtuosic display. Tuesday, they ranged skillfully through several rock styles, from the stampeding hard rock of ''Ramblin' Gamblin' Man'' to the moody gospel-flavored country-rock of ''We've Got Tonight.'' The band's precise teamwork equalled its ability to build simple tunes into genuine rock anthems. And Mr. Seger's friendly, unaffected stage presence reminded one that in rock-androll the most elaborate theatrical effects can never substitute for open-hearted generosity of spirit.
Looking Back -- From 1986
Stephen Holden
New York Times
September 25, 1986

ROCK: BOB SEGER CONCERT

ROCK-AND-ROLL concerts rarely evoke the sense of homey togetherness that Bob Seger, the 41-year-old singer and songwriter from Detroit, elicited at his Madison Square Garden concert on Tuesday evening. At a time when rock music is being attacked from many sides as a demonic force in American society, Mr. Seger stands as a reassuring reminder that the music can also be as wholesome as apple pie without seeming wishy-washy.

In both his singing and his songwriting, Mr. Seger is a walking dictionary of classic 1950's and 1960's rock and soul influences, animated by his personal enthusiasm for the good old days, and by an embracing friendliness that transcends the normal barriers between rock performer and audience. Mr. Seger has forged the harshly exuberant bark of early soul giants like Little Richard and Wilson Pickett and the softer, folk-influenced concept of musical narration into a hearty declamatory style that lends itself as readily to ballads as to stomping uptempo rockers.

Mr. Seger's great bear-hug of a voice, with its raw edges and warm center, was in top-notch condition on Tuesday. His Silver Bullet Band, augmented to seven musicians with the additional support of two backup singers, offered spacious, classic rock-and-roll arrangements propelled by pounding keyboards and featuring simple well-blocked guitar and saxophone solos. The music made almost no concessions to the synthesizer technology that is slowly but surely rendering his brand of ''old-time rock-and-roll'' obsolete.

Mr. Seger opened his show with ''American Storm,'' his heartfelt if vague anti-drug anthem, and went on to cover most of his biggest hits from the last decade, with ''Old Time Rock and Roll,'' ''Horizontal Bop,'' ''We've Got Tonight'' and ''Hollywood Nights'' among the high points. From the moment Mr. Seger stepped onto the stage, the Garden was awash with nostalgic fellowship.


Looking Back -- From 1996

Jay Pareles
New York Times
February 23, 1996

ROCK REVIEW;With Age And Time, Bitterness

Bob Seger never subscribed to rock's illusion of perpetual youth. Back in the 1970's, he was already nostalgic; on a million-selling album, he fondly looked back on teen-age sexual initiations in "Night Moves" and promised that "Rock-and-Roll Never Forgets," even after "sweet 16's turned 31." His music tossed off Chuck Berry riffs alongside gleaming, stately ballads; his voice had the grain and fervor of 1960's soul. Mr. Seger, now 51, has held on to the heroic tone and roots-rock flourishes that have made him an arena headliner for almost two decades. But in his latest songs, he has moved from nostalgia to bitterness.

"All you death wish addicts, you corrupters of truth/You killers of the spirit, you marauders of youth/Get your hands in the air," Mr. Seger sang on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Many fans waved along to the chorus.

Mr. Seger's current Silver Bullet Band played broad-shouldered rock, straight from the late 1970's and early 80's. The 11-member backup group includes two members of Little Feat (Bill Payne on keyboards and Shaun Murphy on vocals) and John Mellencamp's longtime drummer, Kenny Aronoff. Alto Reed played meaty saxophone riffs and struck poses around the stage; the keyboardists dispensed churchy chords or splashy barrelhouse filigree, and the guitarists could riff like Creedence Clearwater Revival or strum a wistful ballad.

Mr. Seger, with shorter hair and a larger belly than he had in the 1980's, sang with time-tested arena-rock gestures, leaning into his microphone stand or raising a triumphant fist. Although his voice was weakened by a bad cold, limiting both his shouts and his sustained notes, it kept its earthy sincerity. But most of the songs, from oldies like "Against the Wind" and "Beautiful Loser" to recent material like "Lock and Load" were about crumbling hopes and the recognition of limits. They were also about private gripes; the title song of his new album, "It's a Mystery" (Capitol), grumbles about television.

In his older songs, Mr. Seger found some bravery in facing the changes and losses of maturity, and he still performed them convincingly; he also caught the exuberance of early romps like "The Horizontal Bop." But his latest songs are sour and isolated, at odds with music that promises confidence and shared consolation.

John Hiatt, who opened the concert, contemplates middle age with resignation, manic humor and sturdy, twangy tunes. In a short set, he sang about love, mortality, family life, survivalism, guitar smashing and stealing a Cadillac from Graceland. While his band was tamer than both his songs and his voice, he hooted and howled as if a sharp mind and high spirits could conquer any mid-life misgivings.
New York City -- 1/25/07
Review
Dan Aquilante
New York Post
January 27, 2007
 
Like A Classic Rock

EVEN though it's been 11 years since Bob Seger prowled an arena stage, by the time he played "Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets," the last song in his Madison Square Garden set, it was clear this graybeard rocker also remembers.

For more than two hours Thursday, the revered 61-year-old Detroit rocker was a human jukebox laying down two dozen of his own songs, most of which have become part of the classic rock foundation.

Seger's trademark rasp, deeper than when he was a kid, packed familiar passion. His power ballads remain emotional, vivid sketches about lost and found love, life on the road and the breezy summer nights of his youth.

The upbeat rockers such as "Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight," the stuttering Ka-Ka-Ka-"Katmandu" and his once-risque "Horizontal Bop" oiled the dancing bones of the youth challenged audience.

Like his fans, Seger isn't much to look at.

He's round in the middle, gray at the top and craggy in the kisser, but despite looking like a roadie who's too old to tote an amp, he was the total star when hunkered down at the piano or strapped into an acoustic guitar doing one of his famous ballads like "Night Moves" or "Against the Wind."

While his backup outfit - the reconstituted Silver Bullet Band - was large. with five brass blowers and three singers, the sound was best when the arrangements were simple. Of all the players, it was Don Brewer - of the now Grand (defunct) Railroad - who gave the music punch. His drum work was unrelenting and his beats were especially inventive on the cover of the Chuck Berry's classic "C'est La Vie (You Never Can Tell)."

Seger included a few songs off his recent CD, "Face the Promise." While good, and delivered with the same enthusiasm as oldies, this show was a greatest-hits package that reestablishes Seger's relevance - making him an equal to peers like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and John Mellencamp.
New York - 1/25/07
Fans on Tour
Jack

I saw Seger at the Garden last night and I was blown away.  He and the band were in such great shape and fun to watch.  Let me tell you, hearing all of Madison Square Garden sing along side Bob Seger during "Old Time Rock & Roll" is a once in a lifetime experience.  This show had the exact same set list as Cleveland, the other show I attended, except "Real Mean Bottle" was omitted this time.  Though one would think both shows would be very similar due to their similar set lists, they were in fact very different.  New York had different highlights and weaknesses.

"Simplicity" wasn't as good as it could have been, though I don't think the band was to blame.  For some reason, the horn section on this song was too loud, probably because of a mixing error.  "C'est La Vie" was great as always, except Seger forgot the words  "He furnished off an ap-," and came in on the second half of the word "apartment."  It wasn't a big deal- Seger's version of the song is great anyway, and it was great to hear him do it live.  For whatever reason I wasn't as drawn to "Answer's in the Question" as I was last time- though that may just be because I was expecting the whole sitting down part.

Now for the strengths.  "Roll me Away" through "Old Time" were incredible.  Those first five songs were nicely done.  10 outta 10 for those ones, even "Mainstreet," which I never loved.  "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" was as good as it's ever been.  I was really happy with the version they did last night.  "Travelin' Loser" (as I now call it) was better than in Cleveland.  The instrumental transition was much more powerful this time.  The two encors were great- fans were cheering wildly.  "Betty Lou," "Horizontal Bop," and "Sunspot Baby" were just as good as in Cleveland, and in Cleveland they were very strong, fun songs to not listen to but also to watch.  "Katmandu" was the highlight.  It was the best song they did, because it both showed off Seger's performing skills and the tightness of the Silver Bullet Band.  Every member up on stage shined during that song.  All in all it was a terrific night- Seger deserves a banner to be hung in the Garden right in front of Billy Joel's, which was put up recently after he sold out the Garden 12 times in one tour.
New York
Fans on Tour
Todd

WENT TO SEE SEGER AT THE GARDEN IN NYC TONIGHT. WHAT A SHOW. BOB AND THE SILVER BULLETS WERE GREAT.

THE SET LIST WAS THE SAME, ALTHOUGH HE DID DO THE SIT DOWN FOR THE PATTY LOVELESS TUNE. OTHERWISE GREAT ROCK AND ROLL. THE CROWD SANG ALONG WITH JUST ABOUT EVERY SONG. 18,000 STRONG LOVED IT ALL, EVEN THE NEW TUNES. OF COURSE TURN THE PAGE WAS #1 BUT THE CROWD LOVED THEM ALL.

A GREAT RETURN TO NEW YORK. MY FRIEND TOMMY, WHO I TOOK WITH ME, SAID IT WAS EVEN BETTER THEN I TOLD HIM IT WOULD BE.

BOB SOUNDED GREAT. SO DID THE BAND, AND THE GIRLS. I HAVE NOW SEEN HIM 14 TIMES, AND THIS WAS AS GREAT AS EVER

New York
Fans on Tour
Till Langhorst from Germany

Germans in New York!

After 27 years of hearing Bob Seger and never seen him here overthere in germany me and a friend decided this is our chance hey ho lets go.

After spending more money for the tickets than for the last birthday present of my girlfriend we were on our way to the USA.

We arrived in New York and what should we say it is really a big apple.

When we arrived at the Madison Square Garden the first guy we met before the door was another german from Dortmund very funny. The doors were still closed so we went to a nearby Pub were we met Mad Max and his very nice wife (greetings from germany). We had a really good talk and some really good drinks. Mad Max told us that sometimes New York City is not the best city to see the mighty Bob and his Bullets, but lets see.

After this warming up we went into the garden and this garden is really bigger than my garden at home and made a big impression in our faces when we went inside.

Steve Aznar and his band were really good and than it was time for The Boys Are Back In Town from Thin Lizzy and that meant showtime. Bob and his band came on stage like you go in your favourtie shopping center totally normal and friendly - great guys.

The show started as always with Roll Me Away and there started the problem because the sound was the whole gig at our place not top notch. It was okay but not really clear.

Bob and his bullets were really rocking and had fun on stage and everything apart from the sound was fine than came Wait For Me and everybody was sitting down and we were forced to do the same this went through three songs Wait For Me, Face The Promise (really not a song for

sitting) and No Matter Who You Are. Gladly during the next song Betty Lou everybody was standing up so the show could go on the next song was We`ve Got Tonight and everybody was still standing obviously this would be more a song for sitting down than Face The Promise.

Than came the highlight of the first set Turn The Page and Travelling Man, Beautiful Loser. I was in a time maching remembering 1981 in our local record shop were I heard the first time in my life Live Bullet and bought it afterwards. Fantastic songs and fantastic played and sung by Bob and his guys in 2007 - R`n`R never forgets.

After the break the time flyed and the band rocked really big time sadly not the whole audience but maybe Mad Max was right when he said NY is not number one city to see Bob Seger.

Fantastic versions of Horinzontal Bop and Katmandu and Mark Chatfield and Alto Reed (really a legend) worked all over the stage.

The encore was also fantastic and it was over. Sad that the sound spoilt the whole thing a little bit but it must be better on saturday in Boston.
New York
Fans on Tour
Effie from Ottowa

Just wanted to drop you a line about other international travellers to see Bob Seger.

My husband and I travelled for a total of 11 hours by train (Ottawa to Montreal, Canada and then Montreal to New York City) to see Bob at Madison Square Gardens. We had been waiting (impatiently I might add) for Canadian dates to be announced, but since none had been forthcoming at that time we jumped when NYC was announced. Turns out we managed to get great floor seats for Madison Square Gardens and said to ourselves we'll never get a chance like this again - we're going! (Ironically, the only Canadian date - Toronto - was announced about 6 hours after we purchased our tickets for NYC).

What a concert! What a voice!! What a man!!! Two plus hours of some 20,000 people up on their feet singing and dancing - it was amazing! I did not sit down for one second, including when he performed his new songs off Face The Promise (love the CD). The man's voice was incredible and I can easily say that it was the best concert I've ever been to (and I've been to many, including The Stones, Dylan, Springsteen, Mellencamp, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Police, etc.).

I have been a fan of Mr. Seger 's for years, even though I technically fall into the Generation X category, I love the man's music. My husband (who is older than me by a decade or so) recalls partying into the night listening to Seger in the 70s and 80s - I was in grade school when Live Bullet was released. In my humble opinion, all the recent media and articles casting Seger and his music in the time warp of "come back classic rock" are BS as far as I'm concerned (hate the label). His lyrics and music, which I can only describe as brilliant, soulful and cutting to the heart of the matter, transcend all boundaries, including age and time! I hope he continues to write, record and tour (although the latter may be wishful thinking on my part).

So, that's it from Canada. The Seger concert was amazing, NYC was a blast and my husband and I formed memories that will stay with us forever!


Boston - 1/27/07

Preview
Jed Gottlieb
Boston Herald
January 25, 2007
 
Old Time Rock & Roller: Bob Seger is still the same, and his fans love him for it

Now in his fourth decade of touring, Bob Seger may still sing "Turn the Page," but the lyrics don't hit with the same hard truth. For his first tour since 1996, the 61-year-old Seger - who plays a sold-out TD Banknorth Garden tomorrow and Worcester's DCU Center on Tuesday - is happy to play the star again; it's riding a bus for 16 hours and being strung out from the road that he's done with.

"At my age we're not doing shows back-to-back anymore," Seger said from his Michigan home. "And I fly home in between shows to be with my family. My family is my top priority now.

"You know my wife loves staying in hotels, she gets excited, but I can't stand 'em," he said with a deep, raspy chuckle. "I'm always the grinch who just wants to be home in my own bed."

During the 30 years between scoring his first regional hit in 1966 with "East Side Story" and his commercial cooling off with 1995's modest-selling album "It's a Mystery," Seger spent few nights in his own bed. In the beginning it was playing local gigs to make gas money to head to where the fans were - which, in Seger's case, was often Boston. He's recorded live records here and said he's always shared a kinship with Boston fans and bands such as Aerosmith and J. Geils.

By the early '80s, Seger's Silver Bullet Band was selling out arenas nationwide. But after a 1996 tour, he just stopped. Seger never planned on quitting the road, but with no new album to promote and kids at home, a decade passed. Yet he never stopped writing - most of his 2006 CD, "Face the Promise," was written years ago. But it was only when the album became a surprise hit and defied expectations by going platinum that concert promoters came calling.

"It was time," Seger said with another hearty chuckle. "It had been long enough. We needed to hit the road."

So what's still the same about Seger's return to the stage? Well, most of his band.

"I can't believe it but a lot of these are the guys I've been playing with since the old days," he said. "Chris Campbell's been on bass since '69. Alto Reed's been on sax since '72. I picked up Craig Frost on keyboards from Grand Funk Railroad in '80. And the girls have been around forever. Both Shaun Murphy and Laura Creamer have sung every background vocal on just about every record I've done. Laura even sung on 'Ramblin' Gamblin' Man' in '69."

Even with this familiar cast, Seger has decided to retire some classic tunes (including "You'll Accompany Me," the live warhorse "Her Strut") in favor of newer material. But don't worry. Seger has made the show longer to make room for both hits and cuts from "Face the Promise."

What is worrying is that this could be Seger's final tour. While he hasn't made a decision, he said there's a good chance this will be his final cross-country blowout.

"I just don't know," Seger said. "I wanna stop when people still like us. So this could be the last one. Also, at my age, it takes a lot of work to put this together. We were rehearsing six hours a day for weeks. I was singing all the time. Alto was playing all the time. Chris and Craig and everyone was working so hard to bring the sound up to tour level. I don't know if that's something I wanna do again."
Boston -- 1/27/07
Preview
Sarah Rodman
Boston Globe
January 26, 2007
 
He's a father now, but triumphant return shows he's still a rocker

When Bob Seger laughs, it sounds exactly as you might it imagine it would.

It's a deep, rusty chuckle that starts in his belly and fights its way through the nicotine-coated throat famous for a whole mess of songs familiar to anyone who has ever listened to a classic-rock station or seen a truck commercial.

At 61, Seger is a jolly soul who laughs often. At his good fortune -- more than 50 million albums sold, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acclaim, a concert tour drawing rave reviews that comes to the TD Banknorth Garden tomorrow and the DCU Center on Tuesday. At the senior moments, he and his manager of 40 years, "Punch" Andrews, have been experiencing lately. At his ability, after an 11-year hiatus, to record an album as rock solid as his recently released "Face the Promise." And, unlike a lot of artists his age, at hearing his songs on the radio with his kids in the car.

"Oh yeah," he says in his friendly bellow on the phone from his home in Detroit. "I know every nook and cranny of all of 'em, and it's fun to hear 'em on the radio, we usually turn it up every time!"

For the first time in a long time, that is also what Seger's fans are doing with his music, and not just because more than a decade has passed since he released an album and hit the road. "Face the Promise," a mix of yearning ballads and heavy-duty rockers -- including the cowbell-licious "Wreck This Heart" and a raucous Kid Rock duet on Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle" -- has sold 693,000 copies in the five months since its release. By contrast, 1995's "It's a Mystery" has sold only 537,000 copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. [Seger File Note: The RIAA certified Face the Promise as Platinum in December 2006, meaning it has sold at least 1,000,000 copies. The album isn't yet listed as platinum in the searchable RIAA online database, however.]

Longtime Seger backing vocalist Laura Creamer attributes the album's sense of creative vitality to the work that her boss did during the break he took to raise his children. "He took a lot of time off of touring, but he didn't take time off of writing and recording," she says. "So this album is what he has chosen out of a great body of work in the last nine or 10 years."

"It's the best album that Bob's written in 25 years," seconds Alto Reed, who's been the restless-legged saxophonist with Seger since 1972. "Not that there haven't been other great songs and other albums, but I really think that [ 'Promise'] was a return to his basic sense of how he connects with the world around him and how he puts that into lyrics. It's a much more universal-themed album."

Seger agrees, saying he felt a desire to "be very out front with everything. The lyrics felt better to me when they were very straightforward."

He drew much of his lyrical inspiration from his kids, Cole, 14, and Samantha, 11, for whom he had taken time off to be a hands-on dad.

"When I talk about ' Face the Promise,' I'm talking about facing the future and the pitfalls in the future," says Seger of the album's rip-roaring, let's-hit-the-road title track. (In a list of towns, it name-checks Framingham. This, Seger says with a laugh, was "a simple matter of geography; it had to end in 'ham.' ") "I'm probably talking about their future, not mine, because that's what happens when you're a dad: You start worrying about your kids' future, not your own."

Which led to the poignant, Orbison-ian antiwar lament "No More"; the indignant minor-chord burner "Are You," which targets rampant consumerism; and the near-funk fury of "Between," which relates to the fragility of the environment.

"I took my kids to see 'An Inconvenient Truth' when it first came out, and they were just knocked out," he says.

But it might understandably rub some people the wrong way that a man who lent his music and image to gas-guzzling trucks for more than a decade is now singing the finger-pointing lyric "We buy a bigger engine and say it isn't me."

Seger offers up his six-cylinder truck and sports car as doing his "little part to save" and points to improvements in truck engineering and diesel. He aims to set a good example for his kids and has no regrets about the ad campaign. He doesn't think John Mellencamp should, either, with his currently inescapable "Our Country, Our Truck" ads.

"If it helps save jobs in the American auto industry, that's fine with me," says Seger. "That was my impetus for doing it, to help my area, and it did. I think the Chevrolet truck division never lost money for the 10 or 12 years that that was a commercial." He does admit, however, that the band no longer plays "Like a Rock." "We just put it away, enough's enough."

They do play just about everything else though, says Seger of the 25 - song, two-hour shows he is giving with the Silver Bullet Band, which is also augmented by the Motor City Horns.

So expect to hear the hits, from early tracks such as "Night Moves" and "Turn the Page" to later successes like "Fire Lake" and "Roll Me Away," along with a half-dozen tracks from "Promise."

"I don't think it could be going better. The band is real committed, and it's just a joy to do it," says Seger.

The tour is going so well that Seger recently taped a couple of performances at Detroit's Cobo Hall [Sic: It was The Palace of Auburn Hills] for a possible DVD release. He has yet to see the footage, however. "I've had the same manager for 40 years, and we're both getting kind of old, so I said, 'Where's the DVD? I want to see it.' And he said, 'I can't find it,' " he says. "So he's still looking around for it. They say it's good, but I'd love to see it myself."

Superfan Kid Rock, who inducted Seger into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and thinks that his hometown hero's plain-spoken comfort rock has long been underrated, confirms that Seger and the Silver Bullet Band still have the live goods.

Kid Rock caught a recent show in Los Angeles [Another sic -- the LA show hasn't happened yet. Thanks to Patricia Larson for pointing out the error] with compatriot Uncle Kracker. "So we were standing there checking out the show, and he busted out 'Turn the Page' about 35 minutes into the show, and I knew he was playing for two hours," says Rock. "I turned to Kracker and said, 'Dude, you know you've got hits when you bust out [expletive] "Turn the Page" 35 minutes into the show. You know you've got hits.' "

In one of the most enduring, and thoughtful, of those hits, Seger reflects on the life of a road warrior and the emotional bills one racks up pursuing any dream, rock 'n' roll or otherwise.

"When I wrote that song I was a lot looser," he says of 1980's "Against the Wind." "I'm really glad I didn't have kids back then, because I was so career-driven at that time -- 'never worrying about paying or even how much I owed' -- that really refers to the time . . . before we made it.

"I'll give you an example. In '71, I think we did 280 shows, and we cleared $9,000 after all of the expenses. I spent $6,000 on equipment, and that was my IRS statement. That was the way we were. If we had any spare money, we'd buy another guitar or a spare amp or a better mike, and it was totally pure music 24 hours a day. I think now having [my career] in its proper place with the family is much better."

So now he knows what to leave in and what to leave out?

"Oh, yeah," he says with another rumbling chuckle, "I think so."
Boston - 1/27/07
Review
Jay N. Miller
The Patriot Ledger
 
OL' TIME COMEBACK: Bob Seger wows sellout crowd

Bob Seger made a triumphant return to Boston Saturday night, performing for more than two hours before a raucously enthusiastic sellout crowd of about 19,000 at TD BankNorth Garden.

Singing in front of a backing band that ranged from eight to 13 musicians, Seger played a 25-song set that included many of his classic hits, as well as about half of his current comeback album, ''Face the Promise.'' Seger's Silver Bullet Band was an octet, with the added musicians coming from the four-piece Motor City Horns, and backup vocalists.

Seger, 61, was warm and engaging, dancing in place in his simple black T-shirt and jeans, and his vocals were uniformly terrific, his smoky baritone evocative and even tender at times.

Seger sounded almost apologetic in introducing his new songs, with ''hope you like this'' a frequent phrase, even though the new album has sold nearly 700,000 units [Sic: The album is already Platinum] and marks a major comeback, as well as some of the singer's best writing in decades.

But if there was much to adore about Saturday's show, there were also some disappointing aspects in the sound mix.

First, it was extrememly trebly, far too loud and focused on the high end of the music. Seger's vocals were mixed right on top, and were superbly clear, but most of the other instruments too often faded into a shrill din. The four-man horn section was especially wasted, blasting away in a muddy blare that was laced with distortion as often as not.

Seger's excellent longtime saxophone foil, Alto Reed, was another victim of the mix.

But for the gleeful throng of baby boomers, Seger's song selection was nirvana, beginning with the infectious ''Roll Me Away,'' as Seger appeared on a two-level stage, with the horns, drums and vocalists on the second level.

The old R&B chestnut ''Tryin to Live My Life Without You'' got a stirring big-band treatment with the horns, and ''Down on Main Street'' worked deftly off Reed's alto sax intro. ''That Ol' Time Rock 'n' Roll'' prompted a massive fist-pumping roar from the crowd, but the acoustic guitar center of the new ''Wait for Me'' worked much better.

Seger introduced his new anti-war tune, ''No More'' by simply stating, ''Our soldiers have done a great job in Iraq. ...Let's bring them home.'' Seger played piano for the subtle nuances of ''We've Got Tonight,'' which was one of the night's keepsake moments. Reed's haunting sax solo helped make ''Turn the Page'' a surreal taste of life on the road.

A thumping run through ''Beautiful Loser'' closed out the first set, and after a seven-minute intermission, Seger was back with ''Simplicity'' from the new CD, a pounding rocker that has its appeals but is a bit formulaic. An amiable romp through Chuck Berry's ''You Never Can Tell'' fit right into the '50s-'60s rock foundation of Seger's music.

''Real Mean Bottle,'' the Vince Gill-penned song that Seger does with Kid Rock on the new album, had members of his band taking the other vocal parts, and they were kind of submerged in the mix. But ''The Answer Is in the Question,'' done as a duet with Patti LaBelle [Sic: What the?? What album is this guy listening to?] on the CD, worked fabulously with backup singer Laura Creamer joining Seger.

For the first time on this tour, according to Seger, the band launched into ''The Fire Down Below,'' and that grinding blues-rocker shifted to a roaring anthem by its end. ''Katmandu'' came at a furious gallop, ending the regular set in a frenzy of boogie-ing fans. The easy rolling encore of ''Night Moves,'' with Seger on acoustic guitar, might have been the sweetest sounding song of the night, its gorgeous melody clear and distinct.

A pulse-pounding ''Hollywood Nights'' kept the adrenaline flowing, requiring a second encore.

The wistful, low key ''Against the Wind'' that opened the last encore solidified that rock fans are glad to have him back.
Boston
Review
Joan Anderman
Boston Globe
January 29, 2007
 
Seger still plays with a youthful exuberance

Bob Seger's is a no-frills, meat-and-potatoes version of rock 'n' roll salvation, and his return to the concert stage following a decade-long hiatus followed suit. [Note: Time out now to introduce the latest inductee to the Music Cliche Hall of Shame: Joan Anderman. Way to go, Joan.]

At the TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday, a blaring snippet of "The Boys Are Back in Town" served as fanfare. Seger walked out and waved. He wore blue jeans and a black T-shirt, and with the sturdy support of a reconstituted Silver Bullet Band -- several longtime members now sport flowing locks the color of their namesake ammo -- played heartland rockers and back-to-basics ballads for more than two hours.

It was as simple, and satisfying, as that. At 61, Seger seems more than ever like the blue-collar Bruce Springsteen, a less-complicated American dreamer who inspires fist-pumping around a nostalgic theme of youthful escape. "Katmandu," "Night Moves," "Roll Me Away," and "Hollywood Nights" were rendered, and received, exuberantly. So was Seger's like-sounding, but not like-minded, new music, which largely celebrates the comforts of home and hearth. (Springsteen's grown more thoughtful and political with the years; Seger has not.) [Note to Joan: You are an ignoramus.] But Seger has a secret weapon, something his more influential contemporary never mastered: great ballads.

"We've Got Tonight" turns an unfancy fistful of chords and a few clear-eyed refrains into one of rock's most poignant come-ons, and Seger sang it at the piano with seasoned conviction. He stayed at the keyboard for a beautifully torpid read of "Turn the Page," which captured the strangeness and weariness of life on the road so well you wouldn't guess the singer is just coming off a 10-year break.

The four-piece Motor City Horns and a stellar trio of female singers supplied the subtle strain of hometown soul that colors older songs like "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You" and "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight" as well as the riff-heavy title track of the Detroit native's new album, "Face the Promise."

Seger's always had a foot in the past; he covered "Old Time Rock and Roll" as a young man, and wrote "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" -- the charging rallying cry that closed down the show -- as an even younger one. Now it turns out those songs, and their invitation to rock out forever, have become that much more compelling for an aging musician and his devoted fans.  
Boston
Review
Christopher Blagg
Boston Herald
January 29, 2007
 
Seger playin' that 'Old Time Rock & Roll'

Bob Seger has always been a rather sneaky rock star, continually playing third fiddle to fellow Middle American rockers Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp. Yet without any glitzy-magazine cover stories or a massive, headline-grabbing press blitz, he has returned after 10 quiet years, armed with a Top 10 Billboard-charting record and a nation-spanning arena tour. Despite the lengthy break, Seger doesn't seem to be showing any signs of rust, as the capacity crowd squeezing into the TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday night could attest.

Touring in support of his first record in 11 years, "Face the Promise," Seger and his trusted Silver Bullet Band put on an almost 2-hour marathon set, chock-full of FM radio classics and a sprinkling of new tunes. Unlike other classic rockers on the comeback trail, there was no glitter or leather to be seen on Seger. Donning a simple black T-shirt, jeans and headband, Seger made sure this was to be a no frills, no gimmicks show, the usual arena rock pomp replaced by sweat and Detroit grit.

The piano-pounding heartland rocker "Roll Me Away" kicked things off on a suitably earnest note, followed by the Motown swing of "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You," which featured the Motor City Horns.

The 40-something-dominated crowd was understandably less enthused for newer tunes such as the generic but pleasant blue-collar rock of "Wreck This Heart" and the chugging riffage of "Face the Promise," but still gamely danced along -- the new tunes not being bad enough to force a beer run, but not memorable enough to truly stand out.

Despite the healthy sales of the new record, it was the hits the crowd was waiting on. Classics such as the sax-fried boogie of "Old Time Rock & Roll" and the insistent stomp of "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" forced many a graying/balding head in the crowd to bob in righteous rock salute and wistfully recall a simpler time before Eminem and Britney, when trendy bands like the White Stripes were still in diapers.

Throughout the set, Seger's unmistakable granular baritone remained true to form, the veteran rocker sounding loose and relaxed. His stage moves consisted of an occasional knee bend combined with the consistent pumping of a defiant fist -- simple but oddly effective in its Spartan simplicity. No ill-advised splits or stage dives to be found.

The steady stream of jukebox material raged on through two encores, highlighted by the iconic acoustic strum of "Night Moves," the epic power ballad "Against the Wind," and closing with the manic joy of "Rock & Roll Never Forgets." Considering Seger's decade-long layoff, the finale was quite fitting. Bob Seger's in no danger of being forgotten.
Boston -- 1/27/07
Fans on Tour
Vin Ascioti

Saw Seger live for the first time since October 20, 1986! The BankNorth Garden in Bostone had a seriously "live" crowd that roared and sang entire verses and songs at every opportunity!

I cannot add many superlatives other than what's been reviewed and written on your site, but I wanted to express a couple of thoughts about the show….

I'm a firm believer in karma, and I knew that my wife Sue, friend Laura, and I were in for a great show when I got a call from a fellow hockey father saying my son Joe had scored his first high school varsity goal on our way into the arena! He had the fourth ticket, and we left the seat open in his honor….

 The band played the basic set list, with one surprise -- a hard driving "Fire Down Below" that stoked the Boston crowd. The Silver Bullet Band was phenomenal, from younger player Mark Chatfield to the veteran Alto Reed. I even got a little emotional during "Turn the Page" -- it was a showcase song!

I also felt that the new songs translated well live -- and the slower songs were sprinkled judiciously through the mostly rocking show.

This was an incredible show! Hey -- it's been 26 years since the last "Live" album, and with the musicianship we saw last night, another live CD would not be redundant! My throat is still sore this morning, and I needed two Aleve to quell a chronic shoulder issue in order to sleep! Too much clapping and air punching!

Boston
Fans on Tour
Till Langhorst from Germany

Germans in Boston!

After three days New York now three days Boston. Really a nice town maybe we will come back sometimes but than not at the end of january and hopefully not with this freezing wind like last friday.

Two hours before the concert starts on saturday we went to the venue and it was totally different to New York the streets were crowded with seger fans the pubs near the venue were crowded with segerfans in every pub segermusic was blasting ticket seller were on the streets as also some blackmarket shirts seller. The atmosphere were totally ROCK`N`ROLL!!!

After a few drinks with some really friendly folks (Alan Arena and his wife and Rosie and her friends) we went into the arena. This one was also very big. It was a totally different feel in the venue compared to New York everybody was talking everybody was excited and than the boys were back in Boston. From the first notes of Roll Me Away the sound was fine and the whole crowd was standing like a man behind Bob and the boys and girls.

The surprise of the first set was No More the rest was like in New York. After Turn The Page the crowd really yelled Bob to the ground what a fantastic atmosphere Bob was grinning all over his face but he do this more or less the whole time what a great guy.

The second set started as always with Simplicity, Ramblin Gamblin Man (can somebody tell me why there is no more lead guitar in this song) Cest La Vie than came really a big surprise for me a really fantastic version of Real Mean Bottle with Don Brewer on lead vocals (great job Don). This song really rocked the house.

After The Answer Is The Question with Laure Craemer came the next big surprise for the first time in this tour they played one of my all time faves The Fire Down Below (the song seems very popular in Boston).

After that the band rocked a little bit harder with Bop and Katmandu the show was over. Than the encore with a fantastic version of R´n`R Never Forgets. The only thing I was now missing was a third encore with Let It Rock and this would be the ultimate R´N`R experience.

But Boston was really great I meant Bob Seger And The Silver Bullet Band were really great. Keep rocking guys and take a plane or a ship or whatever but come to europe.

Thanks to all the really friendly people we met over the 6 days.
 

Boston
Fans on Tour
Michael Funk from Germany

This is a Travelin' Man's report about a dream that came true. A lot of things happen in a life, and only a few of them are really important. For me it was marrying the love of my life (9 years now), having a child (3 months) and building a home (5 years). The rest is good, but not really important.

What if something you've been waiting for a very long time, 26 years, finally comes true? In 1981 a friend gave me his copy of Nine Tonight by Bob Seger, I was immediately hooked and never gave the album back. From that day on I started to collect everything connected with Seger, music, articles, cover songs, pictures, anything. Over the years my collection grew, but one thing was missing. It was seeing Seger live, performing his songs on stage.

On his last tour in 1996 I was in Canada for a vacation, it would have easy to arrange tickets. But I didn't know about it, I found out when I was back home in Germany. So I was waiting, keeping my hope for another tour cooking on a small flame.

When the FTP tour was anounced I was prepared, I purchased tickets for Boston, and booked a flight. The internet makes some things easy. And then journey began. Boston was very cold, the weather, but the people we met were warm and friendly. And we had a good time in Boston before the show.

Then we entered Banknorth Garden, and the countdown began. The first song Seger played in Boston was Roll Me Away, powerful and a perfect opener.

Then Seger asked the Boston crowd: "Do you feel funky tonight"? My last name is Funk and I thought to myself:" Shit I feel Funky for 26 years"! I expected to see a 61 one year old performer trying to deliver a good show, I had my concerns about his age and his voice. What I've seen was a man with the power and the energy of a 40 year old.

I was thrilled. For me there was no weak point in the show, the new songs arranged perfectly with the old ones. I liked to hear so many of the new songs in the show, that was very good..

The standout songs for me were Travelin' Man/Beautiful Loser &endash; delivered full force with eneryg and sensivity. And Turn The Page, when the lights were out, and suddenly the first notes of Altos sax cut through the darkness like a knife. And then the lights went on again. Man that was great. Some people called me crazy for travelling from Germany to the US just to see a concert. I take that as a compliment, it wasn't just a concert, it was THE Concert.

The trip was worth every second and every cent I spent, met so many nice people and a had a incredibly good time.


Set Lists

Orlando, FL -- 1/6/07
Charleston, SC - 1/9/07
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 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
Answer's In the Question
Sightseeing
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore #1
Night Moves
Hollywood Nights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
 
(Thanks to Joe & Ann Marotta)
 
Hollywood, FL - 1/11/07
Tampa, FL - 1/13/07
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
Real Mean Bottle
Answer's In the Question
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore #1
Night Moves
Hollywood Nights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
 
Charlotte, NC --1/16/07
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
Satisified
Real Mean Bottle
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore #1
Night Moves
HollywoodNights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
 
Thanks to Vincent Barr for the set list.
 
Philadelphia --1/18/07
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
Real Mean Bottle
Satisified
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore #1
Night Moves
HollywoodNights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
 
Thanks to Craig Collins for the set list.
 
Toronto - 1/23/07
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
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore #1
Night Moves
HollywoodNights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets
 
Thanks to Mark Lewis and Andrew Sharp for the set list.

 
The Schedule

Grand Rapids, MI

11/8/06

Saginaw, MI

11/10/06

Grand Rapids, MI

11/12/06

Charleston, WV

11/14/06

Milwaukee, WI

11/16/06

Indianapolis

11/18/06

Knoxville, TN

11/20/06

Cincinnati, OH

11/25/06

Mpls/St. Paul, MN

11/28/06

Chicago, IL

11/30/06

Kansas City, MO

12/2/06

St. Louis, MO

12/4/06

Atlanta, GA

12/07/06

Nashville, TN

12/9/06

Louisville, KY

12/12/06

Pittsburgh, PA

12/14/06

Cleveland, OH

12/16/06

Detroit

12/20/06

Detroit

12/22/06

Detroit

12/28/06

Detroit

12/30/06

Orlando, FL

1/6/07

North Charleston, SC

1/9/07

Hollywood, FL

1/11/07

Tampa

1/13/07

Charlotte, NC

1/16/07

Philadelphia

1/18/07

Uncasville, CT

1/20/07

Toronto

1/23/07

New York City

1/25/07

Boston

1/27/07

Worcester, MA

1/30/07

Washington, D.C.

2/1/07

Memphis

2/3/07

Dallas

2/8/07

Little Rock

2/10/07

Houston

2/12/07

Denver

2/14/07

Portland

2/17/07

Seattle

2/22/07

Oakland

2/24/07

Phoenix

2/27/07

Los Angeles

3/1/07

Las Vegas

3/3/07

Omaha

3/6/07

Lexington, KY

3/8/07

Columbus, OH

3/10/07

Detroit

3/13/07

Detroit (Cobo Hall)

3/15/07

Detroit (Cobo Hall)

3/17/07