If there is one thing you can count on when going to see Bob Seger in concert, it’s that you will get the maximum amount of bang for your hard-earned bucks.
That was never more evident than Saturday night, when the rocker led his Silver Bullet Band back to the Mohegan Sun Arena for a sold-out show.
While most concerts have a lull somewhere along the line, with Seger it was hit after hit for the two hours he was on stage. Even the two new songs he played flowed nicely with the 19 well-known numbers in the set list.
The concert got off to a bit of a rough start, as Seger’s vocals were drowned out by the band. The problem was quickly remedied, and Seger’s distinctive growl was back where it belonged as the focus of the show.
Seger, who turned 68 Monday, was energetic throughout, leading the crowd through a few sing-along moments, and graciously stepping aside at times to show off the virtuosity of his band members. None figured more prominently than sax star Alto Reed, although longtime Silver Bullets Craig Frost on keyboards and Don Brewer on drums — both former members of Grand Funk Railroad — got their time to shine.
The concert was basically critic-proof, as Seger has accumulated an impressive list of classic-rock staples in his four-plus decades of making music. Although our local classic-rock station rarely, if ever, plays Seger songs other than “Old Time Rock and Roll” and “Turn the Page,” he had no trouble filling two hours with audience favorites. Even more impressive is looking at some of the songs that didn’t make the cut this time around — “Still the Same,” “You’ll Accompany Me,” “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” “Fire Lake,” and “Shakedown,” to name just a few.
Seger has even brought his hit song “Like a Rock” back to his full-time tour set list for the first time since 1986, which leads one to believe even he was sick of hearing it in those ubiquitous truck commercials.
I will admit to being a little disappointed that Seger played nothing from his comeback album of 2006, “Face the Promises,” which was a welcome addition to his catalog after more than a decade of radio silence. Still, that’s just nitpicking.
The first of the new songs, “All the Roads,” was a wistful rocker, in the style of his “Mainstreet” or “Night Moves.” The second new tune was a cover of “California Stars,” which was recorded by Wilco using lyrics by Woody Guthrie.
Seger said both songs would be on an upcoming new record, which is a good omen for his fans. It’s nice to know that his new album already has two great cuts on it.
The set list
Long Twin Silver Line
Tryin’ to Live My Life Without You
The Fire Down Below
Old Time Rock and Roll
All the Roads
Like a Rock
Roll Me Away
Come to Poppa
We’ve Got Tonight
Turn the Page
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets