Since coming back from a ten year sabbatical in 2006, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band launched three major tours, which by the latest leg of its “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” revue, found the men from the Motor City sounding tighter than even the first go around. Granted, the group’s graying leader is 67-years-old and looked like he stepped straight off of the night shift in a simple T-shirt and jeans at Chicago’s sold out United Center, but he could certainly still belt out his blues-infused brand of classic rock just like it was the ’70s.
Based on the reception of Seger’s latest trip through town, it was apparent he was far from forgotten, but rather rapturously received for bringing back a body of work that’s thus far stood the test of time.
While the set list across his two hour headlining slot was mostly steeped in nostalgia, the material truly came to life in the right here and now, not only because of The Silver Bullet Band’s nimble abilities to groove with the moment, but simply due to the timelessness of the material. Seger had the all ages audience standing from the get go, growling his way through blue collar belters like “Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You” (an Otis Clay cover), “The Fire Down Below” and “Mainstreet” as a few big screens broadcasted the players lit with tasteful but relatively simple stage lights.
The frill free night left practically no stone unturned in the veteran’s hit rich catalogue, from the expectant “Old Time Rock And Roll,” “Like A Rock” and “Beautiful Loser” through less familiar but equally potent litmus tests. “All The Roads” served as an acoustic, roots rockin’ glimpse of a forthcoming studio record, while a blustery cover of Billy Bragg & Wilco’s “California Stars” (with lyrics by Woody Guthrie) was a welcome surprise that had no trouble fitting Seger’s no-nonsense Midwest motif.
Even though they were massive radio successes, the show could’ve probably done without the weary ballad “We’ve Got Tonight” and the love it or loathe it growls of “Katmandu.” Instead, Seger was best served highlighting more enduring classics like the chilling sax jam “Turn The Page,” plus the band’s ultimate anthems “Hollywood Nights” and “Rock and Roll Never Forgets.” Based on the reception of Seger’s latest trip through town, it was apparent he was far from forgotten, but rather rapturously received for bringing back a body of work that’s thus far stood the test of time.