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Bob Seger Opens Tour In Grand Rapids

Of the Oakland Press

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GRAND RAPIDS — With a hearty thumbs up and a heartfelt “It’s great to be back,” Bob Seger kicked off his fi rst concert tour in more than 10 years Wednesday night at Van Andel Arena.

Before a highly partisan home-state crowd of nearly 13,000, the veteran Michigan rocker and his Silver Bullet Band — expanded to 13 members with the addition of the four-piece Motor City Horns — blasted away any blues that the Grand Rapidians might have felt in the wake of favorite son Dick DeVos’ loss in the previous days gubernatorial election.

Seger and company got things going with a pair of hits, “Roll Me Away,” and “Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You,” before cranking into “Wreck This Heart,” the first of several selections from “Face the Promise,” his first new album in 11 years.

At one point, Seger daringly strung four of the new songs together, but the night was dominated by the favorites the Michigan faithful had come to hear including “Mainstreet,” “Old Time Rock And Roll,” “Travelin’ Man/Beautiful Loser,” and an effective paring of “We’ve Got Tonight,” and “Turn The Page.”

Working hard enough to have to sweat through several headbands, Seger gained strength and confidence as the show went on clearly re-acclimating to the live stage after a lengthy hiatus some feared might be permanent.

Seger’s tour continues Friday in Saginaw, with a return to Grand Rapids on Sunday before heading out to other Midwest dates. He and the Silver Bullet Band return home for shows Dec. 20, 22, 28 and 30 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Tickets are on sale for all four concerts.

Seger has also announced four 2007 dates, in Charlotte, N.C., Boston, Dallas and Houston.

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