Music » Livewire

Rod Stewart

Friday, March 2, at Quicken Loans Arena.

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Many aging rock writers and old heads claim Rod Stewart was rocking just as hard as the Stones in the early '70s. It's a defensive posture that usually pops up after some whippersnapper has dismissed Stewart as a leathery old pop crooner pandering to Botoxed housewives. Apparently, we young folk don't understand the power of Stewart because we didn't experience Gasoline Alley and Every Picture Tells a Story in the flesh.

But that's not the reason. In 1969, Stewart decided to simultaneously maintain both a solo career and his role as the Faces' frontman -- a move his bandmates, including Ronnie Wood, grumbled about, and for good reason. Between 1970 and 1974, neither Stewart nor the Faces ever released a stone-cold classic like the Stones' Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers. Sure, in isolated moments they fused rock, folk, country, soul, and blues better than anybody outside of the Band. But if Stewart had combined all his top material ("Maggie May," "Italian Girls") with the Faces' best jams, then, yeah -- my generation would be digging the Faces like we do the Stones.

Of course, if that's how history actually played out, I'd be complaining about both the Faces' upcoming gig at the Q and how the band refuses to retire. But that's still better than Rod the Mod touring in support of his latest disc, Still the Same: Great Rock Classics of Our Time -- which is not a rock album. It's a collection of "rock standards," interpreted by a dude who actually thinks he's some kind of Bobby Darin-Jerry Vale hybrid. What a douche.

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