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Concert Reviews:
Seger Saves Best For Last At Palace
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

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AUBURN HILLS -- Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band saved the best for last in their four-show stand at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

With cameras and tape machines rolling, Seger and company delivered the most consistent and exuberant start-to-finish concert of the homecoming on Saturday night (Dec. 30), bringing 2006 to a rocking close to the delight of more than 17,000 pre-New Year's Eve revelers who couldn't get enough of that "Old Time Rock and Roll."

Credit some production and repertoire tweaks for vaulting Saturday's show above the other three nights at the Palace. With the band already keyed up because of the filming -- although bassist Chris Campbell and guitarist Mark Chatfield were both suffering with the flu -- a new lighting scheme, brighter and more dynamic than that which had been used at the tour's previous shows, helped bring extra energy to the two-hour and 10-minute show and give it a visual punch that accented the music.

And the music underwent some changes, too. Though largely the same set that Seger and the Silver Bullets have been performing since the tour opened Nov. 8 in Grand Rapids, a crucial change came in the second half when the group eliminated the brief sit-down set -- a musically compelling section that nevertheless brought the tempo down after the roof-raising "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." Instead the band powered through the bluesy "Satisfied" -- a song from the new "Face the Promise" album that Seger wrote for his wife, Nita -- and then launched into hard-charging crowd favorites such as "Sunspot Baby," "Horizontal Bop" and "Katmandu."

And even with some sound system glitches, the encores -- "Night Moves," Hollywood Nights," "Against the Wind" and "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" -- still brought the show, and the Palace stand, to a triumphant conclusion.

Seger's camp hasn't yet said what will become of the footage from the final two Palace concerts, although one source said they'd like to do something with it -- probably a DVD and perhaps a live album -- "sooner rather than later."

Seger and the Silver Bullets, meanwhile, are off until Saturday (Jan. 6), when the tour resumes in Orlando, Fla. Some west coast dates are being announced for late February, and there are strong rumors of a return to the Detroit area -- probably at Joe Louis Arena -- to close out the tour in March. An announcement is expected early in the new year.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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