Rod Stewart may not be “Forever Young,” as one of his more famous songs suggests, but he could have fooled me.
At 66, the veteran rocker appeared trim, handsome and athletic Saturday night at KeyArena, kicking soccer balls into the crowd with the precision of a seasoned player and gliding effortlessly across a sprawling stage that looked like the set for a stylish, ’60s musical variety show.
The concert was part of the “Heart & Soul Tour” with Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. The two rock stars performed a three-hour concert packed with classic hits, good vibes and plenty of nostalgia.
Nicks, also looking far more youthful than her 62 years, opened the show with “Stand Back.” The set included such favorites as “Dreams,” “Sorcerer,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Rhiannon,” but “Landslide” was the most moving of her classic songs. Accompanying the beloved hit were photos of her childhood as well as images of her parents that certainly resonated with the middle-aged fans who filled most of the seats at KeyArena.
Before singing “Secret Love,” from her upcoming solo album “In Your Dreams,” Nicks talked about her latest connection to Seattle, via a niece who works here in radio. She called Seattle the “city of my heart.”
Dressed head-to-toe in black, Nicks closed her set with “Edge of Seventeen” and a touching version of the seldom-heard ballad, “Love Is.”
Nicks returned later for a couple of duets with Stewart, who opened his set with the O’Jays classic, “Love Train,” followed by “Tonight’s the Night” (which prompted an audience sing-along) and the rambunctious Sam Cooke hit, “Having a Party.”
Performing on a stylish, sumptuously appointed stage, Stewart defied age and gravity to put on a colorful, energetic and highly entertaining show, even if his voice was raspier than usual. Among those on stage were a bevy of women singer-musicians in red dresses. They recalled the fashion models in Robert Palmer’s 1980s “Addicted of Love” video.
The hits were delivered rapid-fire: “You Wear It Well,” “The First Cut Is the Deepest” (Cat Stevens), “Some Guys Have All the Luck” and “You’re in My Heart.” Stewart also performed such R&B, soul and rock ‘n’ roll favorites as Cooke’s “Twistin’ the Night Away,” Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Rock and Roller” and Eddie Floyd’s “Knock on Wood,” featuring his backup singers.
Stewart, who recently celebrated the birth of his eighth child, Aiden, showed photos of his beloved Celtic Football Club and displayed the team’s green-and-white logo. Stewart also saluted the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation with a moving “Rhythm of My Heart.”
Stewart closed his colorful show with the big hits “Hot Legs” and “Maggie May,” followed by an encore of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” his signature song.
— Gene Stout