That old-time rock ‘n’ roll reigned supreme at the Times Union Center with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Dec. 2 in Albany. I know of Seger the way most do – through classic rock radio stations, but I also recall way back in the early ’80s winning a small glass album of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band at the Altamont Fair for hitting 3 balloons with darts. When he announced he was coming to the Times Union Center, nostalgia was triggered for a first time show.
Truth be told, I missed most of J. Geils Band opening the show. “Angel is a Centerfold” was played but beyond that it was a mix of some new songs and older tracks I was unfamiliar with. I am sure they’ll turn up on the State Fair circuit next summer.
Seger and his band took the stage and opened with five songs I was wholly unfamiliar with but each of them had a ’70s rock quality that captivated me. For a band that has a handful of radio hits, I never recognized that there were some quality tracks lying around on those non-greatest hits albums; it was a pleasant surprise. “Old Time Rock & Roll” was played early and not shelved until the end – give the audience the song you are best known for and appease them early. “Like a Rock” inspired the audience to go out and buy a Chevy, while cellphones were used in place of lighters – the times, even for the old timers, have changed. “Travelin’ Man” was a good stand out tune, as well as “California Stars” the most modern song of the night despite being written by Woody Guthrie and Wilco. “Turn the Page” which got a second life when Metallica covered it back in the late ’90s, was the penultimate song of the night, with an inspiring “Detroit Made” closing the show.
The two encores gave us four solid songs – “Against the Wind,” “Hollywood Nights” (Umphrey’s McGee covers this and help to reintroduce Seger to a younger audience), “Night Moves” and “Rock & Roll Never Forgets”. Seger knows how to draw the crowd in, and despite being seated for most of the night, the audience was rapt with attention towards the rock n roll legend.
Setlist: Roll me Away, Trying to Live my Life Without you, The Fire down Below, The Devil’s Right Hand, Mainstreet, Old Time Rock & Roll, The Fireman’s Talkin’, Come to Poppa, Her Strut, Like a Rock, Travelin’ Man, Beautiful Loser, California Stars, Hey Gypsy, We’ve Got Tonight, Turn the Page, Detroit Made
Encore: Against the Wind, Hollywood Nights
Encore 2: Night Moves, Rock & Roll Never Forgets