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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisLong before Kid Rock, the Zac Brown Band and the recent slew of like-minded hell raisers, there was Bob Seger, the heartland rocker from Detroit who's beer-soaked Silver Bullet Band knew how to instantly rev up the party. Though the group's dusty grooves peaked throughout the 1970s and '80s, the above artists continue to name check the 66-year-old singer/songwriter, who still has no trouble packing arenas on simply the hits.
With his simple t-shirt, jeans and no frills production, Seger meant nothing but business, while his Silver Bullet backers remain well-oiled unit, even if it's been five years since they've hit the road together. The trip down memory lane revved up with the organ-infused growler "Roll Me Away," turned towards the regretful horn rocker "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You" and soon sent chills straight up to the rafters via "The Fire Down Below."
The boogie-woogie piano pounder "Old Time Rock & Roll" popped up surprisingly early in the performance, and though it's arguably outworn its welcome on radio, still served as an obligatory fist-pumper. It was followed by a cover of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train," which took a more bluesy approach than the Rod Stewart rendition and served as a preview of Seger's upcoming, yet to be titled studio CD. Speaking of covers, Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits" was as an apt example of how guitar-charged soul rubbed off on Seger's already boisterous Motor City sound.
Of course, there were plenty more originals on the docket, including the smoldering "Turn the Page" and the smoky (albeit range-testing) ballad "We've Got Tonight." Yet the true torch-lighters came during a staple-stacked encore that juxtaposed the slowly marinating "Against the Wind" and "Night Moves" with the incendiary "Hollywood Nights" and "Rock & Roll Never Forgets." By the end of the generous 25 track evening, it was apparent Seger's memories have miraculously escaped sounding dated, likely caused by his commitment to the spirit of unadulterated classic rock n' roll.
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