Rod Stewart / Cyndi Lauper

July 28, 2018

Charlotte, NC

Spectrum Center

Reviewed by Joseph Hett

Rod Stewart And Cyndi Lauper Kick It Into High Gear In Charlotte

There is nothing more spectacular than attending a concert on a Saturday night. It makes it even more special when seeing living legends perform. And that’s what the fans got in Charlotte at the Spectrum Center when Sir Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper graced the stage. It was an amazing night from the time Lauper took the stage all the way until the curtain came down on Stewart.

Cyndi Lauper was up first as the sell-out crowd hurriedly filed into the arena. Lauper and her band started with “I Drove All Night” as Lauper danced around, and then laid on a large road case on her back while spreading her legs. Lauper then got to showcase her flute playing skills with the innuendo driven lyrics of “She Bop.”

Lauper, dressed in all black, told stories between the songs in her thick New York accent. It was almost like a storyteller setup.

For “All Through The Night,” Lauper stepped up on a rotating riser while wearing a white Gothic hooded robe. She perfectly hit a high note to finish the song.

The energetic Lauper made her way down the left-hand isle of the floor for a new song called “Hope.”  She stopped at an isle entrance at the lower bowl as fans flocked to take videos and pictures. Someone must have spilled something on her because when she got back onstage, she began to briskly towel herself off while acting annoyed.

Before the “The Goonie ‘R’ Good Enough,” Lauper told a story about how she was very fortunate to have worked with her mother and iconic wrestlers in her career. The large video screens showed the music video as they performed the song. Lauper crawled on the stage under the legs of her female guitarist for “Money Changes Everything.”

Lauper gave the floor on the other side of the arena some love too for “Shine.” She jumped up on a row of the folding chairs, then made her way back to the stage. Lauper strummed on her mountain dulcimer for “Time After Time.”

A couple of local teenage musicians were introduced to begin the mega hit “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” It did get politically charged for a moment when Lauper mentioned “women’s rights” and “Washington” in the same breath. Some fans cheered and some sighed during that segment. They ended with 1986’s somber “True Colors.”

Lauper and her band thoroughly got the crowd warmed up for Rod Stewart.

A black and white checkered curtain, resembling a soccer ball, fell as the stage was set for Rod Stewart. The show did start a tad early as the curtain dropped and just the band performed “Soul Finger.” Rod Stewart then emerged from the back to a massive eruption as they really kicked the show off with the funky “Infatuation” and the driving “Young Turks.”

They slowed it down for “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright).” Stewart played with his hair as ladies screamed in excitement. His hair would be a common theme throughout the night.

Stewart took his black jacket off, as once again the ladies screamed. He jokingly introduced his “current girlfriend” Cyndi Lauper back out. They paid tribute to Muddy Waters with “Rollin’ And Tumblin’.”

Someone threw a bouquet of red roses on the stage during “Forever Young.”  Stewart picked them up and took them in the back while drum and violin solos took place.

The whole area got to sing the opening of the classic “Maggie May.” Someone threw a bra onstage – Stewart picked it up and twirled it on his index finger while laughing with a devilish grin.

Stewart did feature a couple new songs from his forthcoming album called “Blood Red Roses” — due out September 18.  “Hole In My Heart” was a catchy, upbeat, bluesy tune that featured the saxophone. The other one, “Grace”, was a traditional Irish ballad detailing a tragic love tale during the Easter Uprising.

Stewart came out in tight red trousers after a wardrobe change. He directed everyone in attendance to have a seat as chairs were brought out on stage. He said it was time for the acoustic potion of the show. They began with “The First Cut Is The Deepest.” Stewart said there was “no miming” going on. And that was the absolute truth. They continued with the slower tunes “You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” and “Have I Told You Lately.”

Back in full party mode, the band paid tribute to Tina Turner with “Nutbush City Limits” as Stewart ran into the back to complete another wardrobe change – this time coming out in all white.

For “Stay With Me,” a Faces tune, Stewart kicked soccer balls deep into the audience. And for 1978’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?,” colorful balloons fell from the rafters as fans bounced them all around.  “Sailing” was the encore.

The 73-year-old Stewart shows no signs of slowing down. His silky smooth voice is just as good as ever. He genuinely appeared to have a good time joking around. His energy created a party atmosphere for the capacity crowd Saturday night. The whole arena really got a kick out of the performances.