Kelly: Da ya think Rod Stewart is still sexy? Montrealers say yes

Kelly: Da ya think Rod Stewart is still sexy? Montrealers say yes

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Kelly: Da ya think Rod Stewart is still sexy? Montrealers say yes
#Kelly #Rod #Stewart #sexy #Montrealers,


Of course Da Ya Think I’m Sexy was the last song of the night, before the one-song encore of Stay With Me.

Of course the sax-playing busker on the way to the Lucien-L’Allier métro was playing Da Ya Think I’m Sexy as folks walked from the Bell Centre to the station after Rod Stewart’s super-fun two-hour set.

For better or worse, it’s become Rod the Mod’s signature song. Fans from the early days might argue the Rod song is Maggie May, and it was maybe the biggest singalong of the night with this crowd, which was, well, older. Some of the veteran arena acts bring in younger fans, along with their parents, like the Cure did this year. But the Rod Stewart demographic is light on the under-40 set.

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Stewart is 78 and, oddly enough, he’s still asking the same question he did on his 1978 disco-influenced No. 1 hit. Actually, he’s not really asking. He was always pretty sure what the answer to that question was, and he didn’t look in much doubt Thursday night at the Bell Centre. From the moment he hit the stage to perform a rendition of Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love, more of a tribute to the cheesy video than to the song, it was all about Stewart’s presence.

The biggest cheers of the night came for the hip-swivelling, not for the singing. In fact, Stewart’s voice is a shadow of what it once was, entirely not surprising given his age, and you sense that he loves when he can get the fans to sing the big lines in Maggie May or The First Cut Is the Deepest because it lets him off the hook.

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But man, does he look good. There’s the hair, which crazily enough doesn’t look all that different than it did in 1971. There are the form-fitting outfits, not to mention more costume changes than a Madonna show.

Curiously for a guy who used to front one of the greatest, grittiest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time — the Faces — there’s nothing particularly rock ‘n’ roll about his show. Like so many artists since Céline Dion paved the way, Stewart has headlined long-running shows in Las Vegas, and there is most definitely a Vegas vibe to his concert.

And it’s all built around Stewart as the dashing lover who’s usually singing about the hot times that suddenly went cold, of the older woman who led him away from home, just to save her from being alone. Apparently she stole his soul and that’s a pain he could do without.

When I ask Mel Dickson, who drove in from Fort Erie, Ont., to catch the show, what she likes about Stewart, the first thing she singles out is the fact that he’s a sexy dancer.

Her friend Jen Richard says her mother introduced her to Stewart’s music.

“I think he’s sexy just because of his persona,” chimes in Rob Ioanidis. “I actually grew up in Montreal and Rod was the guy.”

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Rod Stewart in concert at the Bell Centre on Thursday night. Photo by John Kenney /Montreal Gazette

CTV reporter Stéphane Giroux, one of the city’s more prolific concertgoers, was at the Bell Centre Thursday, and says he thinks Stewart should focus less on hip-swivelling and more on music.

“I don’t think he’s sexy at 78,” said Giroux. “I’m sorry, there’s a moment in your life when you have to accept that you’re not 20 anymore and I think Rod should’ve learned that lesson, oh, 30 years ago. Rod did an awful lot of good music in his career, especially with the Faces, and I wish he’d be more into that.

“But I think he should concentrate all of his energies on his musical legacy and stop the prancing around like ‘I want to be like Mick Jagger.’”

But that was clearly a minority opinion in the hockey rink Thursday night. Every swing of the hips elicited huge applause, and you’d have to be a mega grumbler not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment.

Rod Stewart in concert at the Bell Centre on Thursday night. Photo by John Kenney /Montreal Gazette

There’s no doubt Stewart’s heart is in the right place. He dedicated Rhythm of My Heart to the Ukrainian people. You’re in My Heart was transformed into an ode to his favourite football club, Glasgow Celtic. And in general, his good humour was positively infectious.

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Yes, for many of us Stewart peaked in the early ’70s with albums like Gasoline Alley and Every Picture Tells a Story, and then he just turned his back on that. We’re the same people who for years dreamed he’d return to his bluesy rock ‘n’ roll roots and once again team up with Ron Wood and his old buddies in the Faces.

But Stewart had other plans. Instead, here he is at 78 still filling arenas, still singing Da Ya Think I’m Sexy and still finding thousands every night who’d answer that question in the affirmative. That doesn’t seem like such a terrible turn of events.

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Kelly: Da ya think Rod Stewart is still sexy? Montrealers say yes

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