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Thread: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Grand Rapids Michigan Saturday Night

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    Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Grand Rapids Michigan Saturday Night

    I saw Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band farewell tour at Van Andel Arena Saturday night. One of Seger’s most famous songs contains the lines “So you’re a little bit older and a lot less bolder than you used to be. You used to shake them down, but now you stop and think about your dignity”. Those words would pretty much describe most of the crowd at the show Saturday night. Older and a bit less energized than at Seger shows back in the day, but still totally sold out and enthusiastic for Bob’s final appearance in Grand Rapids. People outside of the state of Michigan may not understand what Seger meant to those of us who lived here and grew up in a certain period of time. Bob was a big time star in Michigan for 10 years before he broke nationally. One of the first albums I ever bought was “Live Bullet” which was recorded at several sold out arena shows in Detroit at a time when he was playing small clubs in other parts of the country. I have seen Seger a couple of times over the years, and since this was his final farewell to Southwest Michigan, I felt like I had to be there. As always it was a very hot ticket, and the best I could get was way up in the nosebleed seats about as far away from the stage as you could get. Luckily Van Andel is a small arena and Seger brought with him a full production this time, with big screens for close-ups of him and the band. The sound was pretty much perfect all night, and the lighting rig was probably the biggest I have ever seen him use.

    Opening up the night was blues rockers Larkin Poe from Atlanta. This unique little band is fronted by two sisters, one who sings and the other who plays mostly slide guitar. They were very good at what they did and show a lot of potential. I enjoyed them.

    After a half hour break Seger and The Silver Bullet Band hit the stage with the song “Shakedown” which was a hit from the Beverly Hills Cop II Soundtrack if I remember right. What followed was one big hit after another for 2.5 hours with the crowd knowing the lyrics to every song and often singing along. At 73 Seger can’t hit the really high notes anymore, but he still has a lot of power in his vocal chords and I actually thought he sounded better than the last time I saw him in 2011. He can’t run around the stage anymore either, but still got around pretty well, just at a slightly slower pace. There were a few times, especially near the beginning of the show, where Seger’s vocals seemed to be a bit out of sync with the band. Not sure if they were having monitor issues or what, but it seemed to get straightened out as the show went on. There are still 4 remaining members of the old original Silver Bullet band with Alto Reed on sax, Robin Robins on Keys, Crag Frost, Chris Campbell on bass, and they were on point as usual all night. My only complaint was the drummer. I am not sure who he was, but is apparently a famous Nashville session player. He was very good, but I just did not think his style fit Seger’s music that well, and he was using a little Ringo Star type drum kit that I thought was a bit limiting compared to the last time I saw Seger with Don Brewer (Grand Funk) on drums. As always Alto Reed drew the biggest cheers with his outstanding sax work and stage presence all night. The set list was hit after hit covering territory all the way back to 1971. Seger and the band did a very cool tribute to Glenn Frey of the Eagles playing Bob Dillon’s “Forever Young” while pictures of Frey and Seger were shown in the background. Many people don’t know that Frey is originally from Detroit and the two of them worked together way back in the early 70’s. When Seger plays in Michigan he almost always pulls out something special, and last night was no exception. For his second encore, he pulled out a song he has not performed in 30 years. “The Famous Final Scene” was an emotional moment as the lyrics resonate on the fact that this was his last show in Grand Rapids. Overall it was a great night and a celebration of a man who has meant so much to the state of Michigan. I am glad I caught him one last time. Here is the set list:

    SHAKEDOWN
    STILL THE SAME
    THE FIRE DOWN BELOW
    MAINSTREET
    OLD TIME ROCK N ROLL
    THE FIRE INSIDE
    SHAME ON THE MOON
    ROLL ME AWAY
    COME TO POPPA
    HER STRUTT
    LIKE A ROCK
    YOU’LL ACCOMPNY ME
    WE’VE GOT TONIGHT
    TRAVELIN MAN
    BEAUTIFULL LOOSER
    TURN THE PAGE
    FOREVER YOUNG
    RAMBLIN GAMBIN MAN

    ENCORE I:

    AGAINST THE WIND
    HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS

    ENCORE 2:

    NIGHT MOVES
    THE FAMOUS FINAL SCENE
    ROCK N ROLL NEVER FORGETS

    Last edited by SteveSly; 01-08-2019 at 02:21 AM.

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    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Looks like a great setlist. Back in the '70s the radio used to overplay Bob, to the point where we got tired of hearing him on the left coast. That was a shame, because it was clear that there was no shortage of talent in Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Nowadays he's not overplayed on the radio and I have picked up a few of his albums. Still a great rocker and balladeer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spellbound View Post
    Looks like a great setlist. Back in the '70s the radio used to overplay Bob, to the point where we got tired of hearing him on the left coast. That was a shame, because it was clear that there was no shortage of talent in Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Nowadays he's not overplayed on the radio and I have picked up a few of his albums. Still a great rocker and balladeer.
    I agree, some of his songs got so played to death that it was easy to get sick of them. Some of his hits I never really cared for either, but his overall output has a lot of good stuff in it.

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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    I won a $20 bet a few years back by telling a guy that I had Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band first 6 albums starting with Live Bullet thru Like A Rock. Of course he had Bob Seger albums previous to 1976 and railed on about how Seger had been around since the early '60s but I cleverly pointed out (and proved) that those weren't Silver Bullet Band albums (even though songs from the album Beautiful Loser were featured on Live Bullet it was not an official Silver Bullet Band release). I didn't collect the $20 because being right was reward enough.

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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    He didn't do "Lock and Load"?!
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    He didn't do "Lock and Load"?!
    Yes, it was on the 1995 album "It's A Mystery".

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    I won a $20 bet a few years back by telling a guy that I had Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band first 6 albums starting with Live Bullet thru Like A Rock. Of course he had Bob Seger albums previous to 1976 and railed on about how Seger had been around since the early '60s but I cleverly pointed out (and proved) that those weren't Silver Bullet Band albums (even though songs from the album Beautiful Loser were featured on Live Bullet it was not an official Silver Bullet Band release). I didn't collect the $20 because being right was reward enough.
    True the SBB did not come along until the mid-70's, although a few of the guys were playing with him before then.

  8. #8
    As I said on Facebook, the only album of his I have is the first Bob Seger System album, Ramblin Gamblin Man (though I prefer the original title of Tales Of Lucy Blue, because of the cover artwork). Somehow, that was one of the records my oldest brother had in his record collection back in the 70's, and as such, it ended up in my record collection when he joined the Navy. I always dug that record, particularly Ramblin Gamblin Man itself, Tales Of Lucy Blue herself, and 2+2=?.

    I remember awhile back reading an article online about how much of Seger's catalog is out of print, and apparently, he wants it that way. I gather he feels the Bob Seger System records "weren't very good" and therefore keeps them out of print for that reason (despite fans asking him to reissue them).

    What's more surprising is a lot of his 80's era records, even the ones with the big hits are out of print, too. Apparently, his manager has some sort of business scheme where he thinks this is a good idea, and this is the guy who's been Bob's manager since the 60's, so I guess he trusts the guy enough to go along with it.

    Oh, and I always dug Like A Rock. Love Rick Vito's slide guitar solo on that song.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    As I said on Facebook, the only album of his I have is the first Bob Seger System album, Ramblin Gamblin Man (though I prefer the original title of Tales Of Lucy Blue, because of the cover artwork). Somehow, that was one of the records my oldest brother had in his record collection back in the 70's, and as such, it ended up in my record collection when he joined the Navy. I always dug that record, particularly Ramblin Gamblin Man itself, Tales Of Lucy Blue herself, and 2+2=?.

    I remember awhile back reading an article online about how much of Seger's catalog is out of print, and apparently, he wants it that way. I gather he feels the Bob Seger System records "weren't very good" and therefore keeps them out of print for that reason (despite fans asking him to reissue them).

    What's more surprising is a lot of his 80's era records, even the ones with the big hits are out of print, too. Apparently, his manager has some sort of business scheme where he thinks this is a good idea, and this is the guy who's been Bob's manager since the 60's, so I guess he trusts the guy enough to go along with it.

    Oh, and I always dug Like A Rock. Love Rick Vito's slide guitar solo on that song.
    I think most of those albums are available now, but some were out of print for a while. Much of his stuff was not available on any streaming services until fairly recently too. His manager is Punch Andrews who has been his manager for almost Seger's entire career.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    I think most of those albums are available now, but some were out of print for a while. Much of his stuff was not available on any streaming services until fairly recently too. His manager is Punch Andrews who has been his manager for almost Seger's entire career.
    Yeah, that's the guy I was talking about. I remember this article talkign about how this Andrews guy had some sort of weird scheme that involved keeping the music off streaming services, etc. So, have the Bob Seger System records been reissued?

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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    It's a Mystery is still OOP
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Nice review Steve.

    Bob Seger is a national treasure. It's only been in the last 4-5 years that I've become more acquainted with this style of heartland rock. Good songs, great singing.

  13. #13
    Seger's earliest singles (East Side Story, Persecution Smith, etc) were FINALLY released on CD a few months ago. Heavy Music: The Complete Cameo Recordings 1966-1967.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Yeah, that's the guy I was talking about. I remember this article talkign about how this Andrews guy had some sort of weird scheme that involved keeping the music off streaming services, etc. So, have the Bob Seger System records been reissued?
    To be honest I am not sure.

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    Jon Neudorf
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    Been getting back into Seger lately. Picked up Against the Wind recently. Had it on vinyl back in the day. Forgot how much I loved that record. Some of his recent stuff is really good as well.

    Jon
    Last edited by jlneudorf; 01-10-2019 at 06:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlneudorf View Post
    Been getting back into Seger lately. Picked up Against the Wind recently. Had it on vinyl back I the day. Forgot how much I loved that record. Some of his recent stuff is really good as well.

    Jon
    I think both "Face The Promise" (2006) and "Ride Out" (2014) are very solid albums. I never picked up his most recent though. "Against The Wind" is not my favorite, but it does have quite a few good songs on it. I always liked "Betty Lou" and "Long Twin Silver Line" a lot.

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    Someone filmed Bob doing "The Famous Final Scene" for the first time in 30 years at the show. A great way to say goodbye to Southwest Michigan on final time:


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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Someone filmed Bob doing "The Famous Final Scene" for the first time in 30 years at the show. A great way to say goodbye to Southwest Michigan on final time:
    Steve, thanks for posting these videos and your review.
    As a former resident of Michigan for over 65 years, now living in the sunny state of Florida, Bob Seger has always been the Michigan Home Boy Hero. Such wonderful rock n roll music came out of our great state during the early years. Bob Seger, Amboy Dukes w/Ted Nugent, Mitch Ryder, MC5, Grand Funk, Alice Cooper to name a few.

    I was friends with Chris Campbell(bass)(we graduated together in 1965) and would often give him a ride home to his apt where he lived with his mom in Plymouth, Michigan. My best friend Darel played organ and keyboards and was trying to start a band with Chris, who at the time was playing drums. It never worked out but his friendship with Chris remained throughout the years.
    I remember one time when I was first married, running into Chris at the local laundry mat. He was still with Bob Seger and Bob was keeping the band going by playing a lot of smaller venues and State Fairs.
    Good to see Bob has remained loyal and kept most of the original band together including Chris.

    Sad to see Bob's wrapping up touring with this final tour, he's coming to Tampa in April and I've thought a little about going with the wife.

    Here is a photo of Chris with my friend Darel(right) at the 45th Plymouth High School Reunion.(I didn't go)
    darel and chris.jpg
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    Steve, thanks for posting these videos and your review.
    As a former resident of Michigan for over 65 years, now living in the sunny state of Florida, Bob Seger has always been the Michigan Home Boy Hero. Such wonderful rock n roll music came out of our great state during the early years. Bob Seger, Amboy Dukes w/Ted Nugent, Mitch Ryder, MC5, Grand Funk, Alice Cooper to name a few.

    I was friends with Chris Campbell(bass)(we graduated together in 1965) and would often give him a ride home to his apt where he lived with his mom in Plymouth, Michigan. My best friend Darel played organ and keyboards and was trying to start a band with Chris, who at the time was playing drums. It never worked out but his friendship with Chris remained throughout the years.
    I remember one time when I was first married, running into Chris at the local laundry mat. He was still with Bob Seger and Bob was keeping the band going by playing a lot of smaller venues and State Fairs.
    Good to see Bob has remained loyal and kept most of the original band together including Chris.

    Sad to see Bob's wrapping up touring with this final tour, he's coming to Tampa in April and I've thought a little about going with the wife.

    Here is a photo of Chris with my friend Darel(right) at the 45th Plymouth High School Reunion.(I didn't go)
    darel and chris.jpg
    Awesome, great picture!

  20. #20
    One more thought about Bob Seger: of course, Thin Lizzy did an awesome cover of Rosalie, first on their Fighting album, then they sort of ignited a cherry bomb under it on Live & Dangerous. Always thought that was a cool song.

    I need to get more Amboy Dukes records. I have the live album they did, I think it's called Survival Of The Fittest, which I seem to recall is a pretty good record, but I don't really know any of their other albums. Of course, I've heard Journey To The Center Of Your Mind many times, and find it hysterical that Terrible Ted didn't know the song was about dropping acid, but beyond that one song, I don't really know their studio records.

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