If you are well-schooled in the history of Rock music then you know the talents of Mr. Paul Rodgers very well. The legendary singer made incredible music with bands like Free, Bad Company, The Firm and most recently alongside the members of Queen. The chance to see him perform in such an intimate space as B.B. King Blues Club was a no brainer and you can learn more by scrolling past the logo below.
Artist: Paul Rodgers
Venue: B. B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Label: Eagle Records
There are legends, and then there are the legends among those legends, and when it comes down to it singer Paul Rodgers is definitely one who holds this type of status when compared to his music industry peers. The world first heard him with Free and then Bad Company, the latter being my own first introduction to “The Voice” and that bands music adding crucial building blocks to my own Rock music interest. His prolific career found him working with lead guitarist Jimmy Page in The Firm, and while this band was never my own cup of tea it did some good for those who appreciated it. The most recent years of Paul’s career have found him working with Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen in their “Queen and Paul Rodgers” outings and while this project had been met with mixed commentary, it was great to find friends working together for the common musical good when it came down to it. Now on what appeared to be a break from the Queen outings, we found Paul doing a night of material at the venerated B.B. King Blues Club and there was no way that I was going to miss seeing him perform in such intimate quarters.
Upon arriving at the venue I noticed how it was a sitting scenario and while I had been here many times in the past year or so, I had not been to a lot of shows that had the audience stationary as opposed to be able to rock around the whole place. It’s ok as this was a slightly older crowd than I was used to as well and this setup made the most sense. Paul’s band would feature the one and only Howard Leese formerly of the band Heart and it was great to see him in action again. I had long loved the early years of that band and despite numerous lineup changes I have yet to catch them doing their thing. He also had a teenage wunderkind in Kurtis Dengler on guitar and this kid was nothing short of amazing. The downside was that there was no opening band and while this sped up Paul’s hitting the stage it was also limiting the overall entertainment of the night. One had to think that the absence of an opener was going to give us a super long set. Only time would tell with that. Paul would open up with the Muddy Waters standard “Louisiana Blues” and while a solid number was not a rousing, get me on my feet opener. He rectified this by jumping into “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love” as his second tune. Going in I had to say that there were a number of songs I expected based on the singer releasing his “Live In Glasgow” CD and DVD back in May. This amazing pair of releases captured him and the guys live on the last night of the European part of his tour and he sounded incredible. A similar display of vocal excellence was being enjoyed tonight without question but they were mixing up the tunes just a bit.
Watching Paul do his thing tonight was amazing because he had such a “genuine” vibe to him and this could be felt as positive energy that was hitting the crowd and making them shout louder and louder or sing along with him when the moment was proper for such a response. He had a warm smile that didn’t seem to leave his face once and it was nothing less than infectious to all that saw it. The set was loaded with winners tonight from the very expected “Feel Like Making Love” and “Wishing Well” to one of my own favorites of “Shooting Star”. I had to wonder if Paul knew that the Power Metal band Iced Earth did this song on one of their albums because they really did some justice to it and I feel he would have approved. “All Right Now” came up next and that made me a little bit sad because while this is a truly bombastic tune, it was the one that found us at the end of the show. The whole venue was singing and those that were at one time sitting were all on their feet and clapping while they joined in with the band. Paul loved this as all could see but he would walk off the stage after that and it was done. A great show yes indeed but it really didn’t seem like it was all that long when it came down to it. I was cool with the presentation even though I could have seen him doing a couple of more songs for good measure. Some people were balking about what they felt was too short a night for the price that they paid but in the end we did get over an hour and fifteen minutes of songs. Be sure to check out Paul if you see him playing in your town because he is one of the greatest singers in Rock & Roll and he can still deliver. The DVD and CD are worth checking out so add them to your holiday shopping list if you know what’s good for you. Rodgers will begin recording with the guys in Queen to deliver some new material and if you felt that their collaboration was intriguing enough you should look into their “Return Of The Champions” CD and DVD. Perhaps a Bad Company reunion will come in the future as well since such things are proving to generate some serious concert attention.
1. Lou Blues
2. Cant Get Enough Of Your Love
3. Running With The Pack
4. Standing Around
5. Be My Friend
7. Satisfaction Guaranteed
8. Feel Like Making Love
9. Little Wing
11. Wishing Well
12. Shooting Star
13. All Right Now
Official Website: www.paulrodgers.com