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Karaoke night with Rod




Trailing history and superlatives behind him, Rock 'n' Roll Hall-of-Famer Rod Stewart gave a sold-out Impact Arena a mug full of both Rockin' Rod and Karaoke Rod on Wednesday night, and the crowd would have loved to hear a whole lot more.

He's just joined the "When I'm 64" club, but he showed little sag as he piled on the hits and served up a few surprises for Bangkok.

In the end, though, Stewart left without a final goodbye, leaving the audience and his band to finish off the last choruses of "Sailing". It seemed an abrupt ending to a thoroughly enjoyable but oddly uneven show.

Things got off to a magnificent start with Rod at his charming best on "Some Guys Have All the Luck", "It's a Heartache" and "You Wear It Well".

He turned up the heat with Sam Cooke's "Having a Party" and then sang "Rhythm of My Heart", which ended in a stunning set piece with his three back-up singers taking cues from him one by one to unleash some serious vocal stretches.

Rod has kiddingly dubbed the ladies "the Lap Tops", a pun on lap dancers and the Four Tops, but musically they carried a heavy load, muscling through Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" on their own later and, in this number, building expectations as high as they were going to get.

Then technology stepped in to wreck things. The giant central screen at the back of the stage, which had been adding much to the fun with a spoof Hollywood teaser and Motown video clips, went berserk in a pixel firestorm that ruined all of Stewart's "Downtown Train".

The technicians struggled to douse the electronic fireworks as the band carried on with "The First Cut is the Deepest" and a lacklustre "Reason to Believe".

Finally they just pulled the plug, in time for Ruby Stewart, Rod's 21-year-old daughter with former long-time girlfriend Kelly Emberg, to give the old man a rest.

Ruby's a fine singer and drew cheers from the audience, but her participation only added to the concert's gradual unhinging.

Her dad did a stomping version of "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?", took a break and then got things back on track with "Twisting the Night Away" and especially a lovely rendition of "You're in My Heart".

A massive crowd response greeted "Have I Told You Lately", and the evening headed deep into karaoke territory.

It was amazing how many people in the arena were ready and able to provide the vocals for "I Don't Want to Talk About It".

Stewart twice silenced the band so the fans could pretend they were him. It was quite moving, and a lot of fun.

And so was the footie. Having displayed his devotion to Scotland's Celtic Football Club, Rod hoofed a couple of dozen balls into the crowd while singing "Hot Legs".


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