Last night Kish and I and a group of friends — stoked by a massive, family-style meal from nearby Buca di Beppo — watched Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band rock out Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Seger is an old pro who knows how to please a crowd, and he and his bandmates put on a high-quality show that delighted a close-to-full house.
Seger and the band, featuring long-time saxophonist Alto Reed, pumped out a huge sound. In two sets separated by a brief intermission, Seger faithfully performed most of his greatest hits, and they play well in a large arena. Highlights of the first set included The Fire Down Below — which really got the crowd cranked up for the rest of the show — Feel Like A Number, and Old Time Rock & Roll as well as an early Christmas treat: The Little Drummer Boy. The second set featured Sunspot Baby, Her Strut (written about Jane Fonda, Seger explained), Turn the Page, and a rousing, bring-down-the-house rendition of Katmandu that closed the show. Seger and the band then performed two encores, ending the evening with Night Moves and Rock & Roll Never Forgets.
Seger still has a lot of energy, and he moved from side to side on the stage, pumping his fists to the music and engaging in a number of call and response interactions with the audience. He might not be able to reach all of the highest notes, but Seger still seems to be in good voice — although at times it was hard to tell, because the fired-up members of the audience happily sang every word of every song right along with him. At times I wasn’t sure whether I was hearing more of Seger or the beer-swilling biker to my right — but then, I sang along with a few of the songs myself.
Seger has a devoted cadre of fans who’ve seen him perform many times. After watching him deliver a fine show at Nationwide Arena, you can understand why.