accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Bob Seger brings authenticity to Philips Arena

Before the lights dimmed, by way of introduction, a voice intoned, “Are you ready for the real thing?”

 The “thing,” of course, being Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band, a veteran clan often referred to as the Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band of the Midwest.

 The comparison is true to an extent. Both possess endless catalogs of meaty rock tunes and have acquired admirably loyal fans who also share an affinity for beer and help sell out venues – though last night’s Philips Arena attendance was close, with about 85 percent of its seats filled.

 But Seger’s gigs have never tried to ape the manic intensity of a Springsteen show and his Atlanta stop on this tour, slated to roll through May, exemplified his unassuming approach.

 With his shaggy gray hair, goatee and glasses, Seger, who turns 66 in a few weeks, looked like the neighborhood bar keep – albeit one with a gravelly growl of a voice that instantly ignited blue collar rockers “Roll Me Away” and “The Fire Down Below.”

 Seger doesn’t tour frequently (and he recently noted to Rolling Stone that this might be his last run), so he peppered his 25-song set list with many diehard-worthy tunes such as “Shinin’ Brightly” – which he said the band hadn’t performed for 31 years prior to this tour – and “Good for Me,” written in 1980 as a thank you to the band’s wives.

 But the man has been doing this long enough to know that every “Real Mean Bottle,” a country-tinged stinger written by Vince Gill for Seger’s last studio album in 2006, needs to be countered with a pool hall classic.

 The ubiquitous “Old Time Rock and Roll” – aka the song that pays Seger’s mortgage – made a blessedly early appearance so the concert wouldn’t hang on its inevitable arrival. Even with Seger singing it as opposed to, say, an “American Idol” contestant last week, the song has become a novelty, an overplayed karaoke anthem that, along with Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration,” really should be retired.

 But of course Seger had to sing it for the three millionth time and turned out a perfectly respectable version.

 More interesting was the eerie whine of Alto Reed’s saxophone that traced the melody line in “Mainstreet” and the blistering “Travelin’ Man,” which featured terrific mid-song drum and guitar solos.

 Grand Funk Railroad drummer Don Brewer is part of the nine-piece Silver Bullet crew for this tour and along with guitarist Mark Chatfield and the four-piece Motor City Horns section, infused Seger’s songs with sizzle.

 Though Seger noted that he had a bit of a cold, his symptoms were easily masked by a voice that is naturally gruff and not huge in range.

 But that’s all part of his draw. No one really wants to see Seger do anything more than thrust his fists in the air and rock a little behind the mic, his hair tamed by a basic sweatband.

 When he slid behind the piano for “We’ve Got Tonight,” gently crooning the sad tale of seduction, and remained there for the still-ominous “Turn the Page,” which the crowd sung along with heartily, it would have been hard to dispute that Seger is anything but the real thing.

25 comments Add your comment

Buffy

April 20th, 2011
11:49 am

Took my 12 and 14 year old boys, Augie and Levi…..their first concert. We had a memorable time. Thanks Bob. Authentic would be my best description. Every song sounded like the versions I rocked to in college over 30 years ago. Crowd was great, polite. Phillips staff were fnatastic!! Just a memorable experience for my boys. Bob Seger’s energy was unmatched. He belted out tunes for 3 hours. Crowd on its feet the entire show. Great respect for Mr Seger made greater. A blessing.

Norine

April 20th, 2011
12:00 pm

The man still has it! What a voice (even with a cold) – played everything and gave everyone a super time. A privilege to be there. Thanks to the Arena and to Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band – they did rock the Arena!

cj

April 20th, 2011
1:45 pm

I LOVED the show. I have seen Bob Seger perform in Atlanta (Omni and Philips) at least a half a dozen times, over the course of 34 years, and he just keeps getting better. Yes, he’s aged and his voice lacks the range it once has but that goes with each of us who have loved him for so long. The difference in Seger, is he has come to the place where he can look back on life, on his career, his fans, and he has such gratitude for them. I was right up front and I could see it in his eyes. He looked at fans and he moved his lips with the words, “thank-you, and I appreciate you”. I found myself looking at him in the same way. I thought I might not ever get to see you in this way again and I so appreciate the music you have enhanced my life with. I have seen literally hundreds and hundreds of concerts but there is only one Bob Seger and he has enriched my life. Every song brought back memories of a day long gone but for a moment, as I was up dancing and fist pumping to Travelin’ Man and Beautiful Loser, I was lost in the songs and I was young again. Not every song and not every entertainer have the ability to do that for you. I will probably never get the chance to say it to his face, but I thank Bob Seger for doing that for me.

Pam Slye Brantley

April 20th, 2011
2:07 pm

WHAT AN AWESOME CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Terri Kellum Chase

April 20th, 2011
2:40 pm

Took my 10-year-old to see Bob last night and there was magic! I went back to my college days and my son sang the words with his Mom. I’ve seen Bob (4) times and he never loses his enthusiasm and leaves it all on the floor every time he performs. The music and voice can never be compared to anything or anyone – greatest performer of my lifetime! Thanks Bob and band for a performance that I know and saw everyone enjoying!

Roger

April 20th, 2011
3:50 pm

Took my 13 year old son. An aspiring singer. Had “seen ‘em all”, but never seen Bob. My impression was that he’s rock solid and very sincere. Not much hype, if any. My son could sing (and does sing) “Old time rock and roll” better than Bob, but I know that’s not the point. We enjoyed the show, Bob, and his band. Quite a crew on stage. All great singers and musicians that made Bob look good. Coming off of the Kid Rock show (wow.. note: best show I’ve ever seen)…I was thankful this show was about 1/2 that volume. Did NOT enjoy the “Phillips” experience. 1 entrance to the floor seating opposite the stage is insane. I bought 1 beer at the brief intermission. The little stand on the floor was sold out. Good planning. I had to walk up to the 200 section and waited in a huge line.. to learn to beer was sold out and they were in the process of getting more. They did. Finally. I missed 2 songs. I know I didn’t need that beer, but come on guys. It’s a concert. Many / most folks were having more than 1. Oh, and the coke I bought my son in the bottle was warm. Minor issues I know. And, my son and I enjoyed our evening, despite my wife’s dispair about us going out on a “school night”.

TJ

April 20th, 2011
4:03 pm

WOW…that VOICE!!!! that BAND!!! that ALTO!!! In his mid-60s, yet Mr Seger’s voice is still so powerful that I believe I caught his cold…and I was sitting at the other end of the arena.

Buffy

April 20th, 2011
5:33 pm

Roger. Glad I didn’t run into you at the show. Your son sings OTRR better than Seger, your complaining about the beer, your just a roal PITA Roger.

Betty

April 20th, 2011
5:43 pm

I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my 52 years but never had the opportunity to see Bob Seger until last night. In fact, he was the only performer that was still on my bucket list–checked off, crossed out. My husband and I drove from Gulf Breeze, Florida last Saturday, stayed with my older brother in Macon, and headed to the show yesterday. Seger exceeded my expectations by far. More than worth the trip! We all had a great time. What a show!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Bob.

greg cloutier

April 20th, 2011
7:05 pm

I went to see Bob on Thanksgiving night in ‘68 at Mount Holly ski lodge outside Pontiac, Michigan. I met my wife at that dance. Seger is still ROCK SOLID and so is my marriage. I made yesterday a DETROIT DAY.I threw on my Tigers throwback jersey and ate at the Motor City Coney Island in St.Mountain. The show! What an experiance!! The crowd had SO much fun, but Bob seemed to even have more. I snuck up to the front of the stage for the encores.Seger was interacting with the crowd (like always). When he saw my Tiger’s jersey he gave me a HUGE smile,pointed ,and gave me a fist.Rock and Roll Never Forgets. Neither will we Bob.

Ron

April 20th, 2011
7:05 pm

I saw Seger one time before summer of 1973, at a Northern Michigan High School Gym, then known as “The Seger System”…. He rocked then, and last night at Phillips Rocked again. Old Time Rock and Roll, Thanks Bob…

Mike

April 20th, 2011
7:33 pm

Bravo Buffy, ditto. I almost fell out of my chair when I read that. There is actually no one sings Seger songs like “the man” himself. And what an awesome show lastnight. The audience was right with him the whole time and it sounded like everyone was singing along and having a great time

CD

April 20th, 2011
7:50 pm

Ive been to lots of shows too, but had never seen Bob. Of course I know and have heard almost too many times all the songs from the Live Bullet to the Against the Wind era. But they all took on new meaning last night. The man is a genius and should be recognized with Dylan and Willie as the top American songwriters of all time. But the fun he had performing was what hit me most. Never seen an artist have so much fun singing his songs. He was not just working. Bob’s now in my top tier.

galia

April 20th, 2011
11:35 pm

Bob Seger has always been at the top of my list. His greatest hits CD has been in my car for years and doesn’t get taken out, ever. I’ve been waiting 35 yrs for this concert and was not diasappointed! After last night, his top spot is definitely secure. HE WAS AWESOME! My friends and I had a great time. The band was phenomonal and Bob still has it. What a show!

Connie

April 20th, 2011
11:35 pm

I enjoyed the concert…but was very disappointed that there was no screen…We paid good money for tickets and Bob, although his music was great, was only a little “icon” on the stage waving his arms and going from one side of the stage to another. We were not in the nose bleed section but feel that his concert would have really been better than “old school” if we could have seen what he and the band were doing up close….He missed a giant opportunity to make the concert great by not featuring the drummer from Grand Funk Railroad…he can do a drum solo….overall, a good concert…always loved his songs..will always love Bob!

megawatt

April 21st, 2011
9:31 am

I have seen many concerts over the past nearly 30 years, everything from Hard Rock to Heavy Metal to Rock and Roll to Country. I had never seen Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band prior to last night. Prior to last night my favorite concerts were Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in 2008, Judas Priest in 1984 and any of many AC/DC shows I have attended over the years. I should also probably throw in the Eagles in 2008.

This was the best concert I have ever been to. I have never had so much fun at a show, have never witnessed a group or performers having so much fun playing their music, and I have never had so many songs at one concert hit me emotionally as I did Tuesday night.

Let’s give credit to the band –the primary highlight (of many) for me was during Travelin’ Man, Bob had sung the last vocal on the song –and disappeared (as it turns out to change wardrobe, more specifically into a sleeveless t-shirt) leaving the spotlight on the band …and during that few minutes did they ever deliver. I was in awe.

All around fantastic experience. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band represent all that is good about “Old Time Rock n Roll” and it’s bands, and performances, like this that make me proud to be a fan of classic rock.

Thanks to every last person who was on stage.

Buffy

April 21st, 2011
12:43 pm

Thanks Mike. Party at Roger’s house tonight…….not. Only Connie will attend to critique Roger’s drapes and listen to his son sing OTRR.Paaaaaaaalease!

lane

April 22nd, 2011
12:23 am

I was there!!! Thank You Bob,now,come to Charlotte N.C.Your biggest Fan!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike

April 22nd, 2011
3:36 am

Bob has been a favorite of mine for as many years as I can remember. Growing up poor in upstate N.Y., I never was able to get to one of his live concerts. It took me fifty years, but tuesday night, I finally was able to see him in person. What a thrill, to be able to see a man and a band you’ve held in such high regard for some thirty plus years. He didn’t disappoint. Close your eyes, and the voice still sounds like he’s thirty. Thank you Bob. Thanks to the Silver Bullet Band, you guy’s killed it. I’m glad to have this off my bucket list, but now I want to see him again. I now need to pick another city. Best concert of my life. It must be awesome for an artist to have 20 or 30 thousand people know every word, to every one of your songs. Keep rocking Bob. We love you.

Myra

April 22nd, 2011
12:06 pm

Bob Seger is my all-time, #1 favorite artist. Being from A2, I was raised on Motown, The Tigers, U of M Football, and Bob Seger. What a fantastic way to celebrate my big FIVE OHMYGOODNESS birthday…ROCKING OUT with my best friend at the Seger concert. Life just doesn’t get any better than this!

shelia

April 22nd, 2011
4:13 pm

Great show, totally awesome. Thanks to Bob and the band. You all were great!

teresa

April 22nd, 2011
5:04 pm

Enter your comments here

teresa

April 22nd, 2011
5:20 pm

hey, connie…next time you pay “good money” for tickets in tha “nose-bleed” section, maybe you should shop earlier!!! We bought tickets 10 minutes after they went on sale (march 26), and had great tickets reasonably priced
hey roger… your 13 year old son can sing Old Time Rock And Roll BETTER than seger? sign him up for american idol…when he wins he can purchase tickets for a private concert suite for you…plenty of beer (no missed songs ) and cold soda!!! BAD example drinking in front of a 13 year old! HAH! This was my 6th seger concert…first saw him in 1980, the last was in 1996. unfortunatlely, missed him last time around (2006)…spent a fortune (2 nights hotel, dinners, travel, pet expenses,etc) WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED ANYTHING!!! BOB SEGER ROCKED!!!

teresa

April 22nd, 2011
5:27 pm

sorry connie, I mis-read you about being in the “nose-bleed”section, however, how much DID you pay, when, AND did you look at the seating chat before buying?

Gail Hiott

April 24th, 2011
1:11 pm

I saw Bob Seger last night in Greensboro,N.C. he was awsome.He rocked the house.This was the first time I ever saw him live.He is one of the greatest singers of all time.I would definately go see him again.He has only gotten better with age.It was a dream come true!!