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Bob Seger solid like a rock at the Wells Fargo Center

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Here’s a trivia question for you: Who has the number one selling catalog album ranked by Billboard in the last decade?

The Beatles? Metallica? Michael Jackson? Nope.

It’s not the first name that immediately comes to mind, but with his original greatest hits collection from 1994,  Bob Seger ranks at the top of the list.

If you didn’t see that one coming, don’t feel too bad. The now silver haired, 66 year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer  keeps a low profile these days and doesn’t tour as much as he used to (this is just his second road trek in the last 15 years). Bob Seger photo: zigabid.com

And while similar artists such as Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp might get more recognition, make no mistake- neither Seger or his Silver Bullet Band have forgotten how to rock, and it’s safe to say the enthusiastic Wells Fargo Center crowd were treated to a good old fashioned rock show Saturday night. One where everybody came away feeling quite entertained, and maybe a little nostalgic as well.

Fellow Michigan natives Whitey Morgan and the 78’s were a solid opening act. Think of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Waylon Jennings combined with the sounds of Seger, and you’ve got the 78’s. The band’s honky tonk influenced sound was a perfect segway into the style of Seger’s blue collar, old school rock and roll.

Not too long after the 78’s ended their set, Seger came strong right out of the gate with rockers ‘Roll Me Away’ and ‘Trying To Live My Life Without You’ (from 1981’s  'Nine Tonight’ ). After Seger donned his trademark headband, he tore into ‘The Fire Down Below’ and familiar concert favorites ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ (arguably the most overplayed song in the history of rock music), and ‘Travelin’ Man.’

Despite his catalog of classic FM staples, Seger branched out by playing some classic covers and some rare gems. In addition to Otis Clay’s ‘Trying to Live,’ he polished off LiIttle Richard’s 'Hey Hey Hey Hey (Goin’ Back to Birmingham)' (an bonus track off of his new best-of compilation) as well as Tina Turner’s ‘Nutbush City Limits’ from his 1976 ‘Live’ Bullet’  album. Feeling festive as the holiday season beckons, Seger also played his version of ‘Little Drummer Boy’ (the first time the song has ever been featured on a Seger tour) and followed up with ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,’ his very first single from 1969. 

Although he toned it down at times with ballads ‘Mainstreet’ and ‘We’ve Got Tonight,’  a gracious Seger and his Silver Bullet Band provided a high energy set throughout the course of the near two hour show. The 13-piece ensemble was in top form, and featured longtime bassist Chris Campbell and saxophone player Alto Reed, whose introduction on ‘Turn the Page’ remains one of the greatest sax solos ever recorded. Also joining Seger for his fifth tour with the band is drummer and rock and roll legend (and fellow Michigan native) Don Brewer from Grand Funk Railroad.

After encores ‘Against the Wind’ and ‘Night Moves,’ Seger ended the night with ‘Rock and Roll Never Forgets,’ which is kind of fitting.

After all, he may appear a little less frequent these days, but clearly nobody has forgotten about Bob Seger.

Setlist:

Roll Me Away
Trying to Live My Life Without You
The Fire Down Below
Mainstreet
Old Time Rock and Roll
Little Drummer Boy
Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
Hey Hey Hey Hey (Goin’ Back to Birmingham)
Travelin’ Man
Beautiful Loser
We’ve Got Tonight
Nutbush City Limits
Come to Poppa
Her Strut
Real Mean Bottle
Turn the Page
Sunspot Baby
Katmandu

Encore:

Against the Wind
Hollywood Nights

2nd Encore:

Night Moves
Rock and Roll Never Forgets

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Special thanks to Rachel Spivak at Live Nation and Bryan Kehn at EMI Music!

Thumbnail and homepage photo: q104.radio.com

Article photo: zigabid.com