Bob Seger makes triumphant return to SLC

SALT LAKE CITY — Ok, so my day job has kept me busy and I’m behind on writing music news.

But since I waited 35 years for Bob Seger to return to Utah, he can wait 2 weeks for a concert review.

Seger and his Silver Bullet Band returned to Salt Lake City’s Energy Solutions Arena on March 13. It was his first performance in Utah since March 9, 1980.

While many are speculating this tour will be his final outing, the soon-to-be 70-year-old Seger still belted out some of classic rock’s greatest hits with vocal prowess that many 20-year olds today can’t match. No, his voice wasn’t as strong as it was 30 years ago. And yes, with his white hair, headband and glasses he looks more like someone’s grandfather than Dave Grohl.

But it would be hard to find a person who didn’t walk out of the arena who wasn’t inspired by Seger’s performance. The rock legend was energetic, walking to all sides of the large stage, fist pumping and raising his arms as the crowd sang along to the music that many grew up to.

Seger mixed songs off his latest album, Ride Out, with classic staples, opening with “Roll Me Way” before getting into crowd pleasers, “The Fire Down Below,” “Mainstreet,” and “Old Time Rock & Roll.” He also gave a quick apology to the audience for being away for so long.


Joining Seger on stage were long time Silver Bullet members Alto Reed and his array of saxophones, Chris Campbell on bass and keyboardist Craig Frost, as well as more than a half-dozen other various players.

Before launching into “Like a Rock,” a song that is nearly 30-years old, Seger announced it was the first time the song had been performed live in Utah. He took over the piano for “We’ve Got Tonight,” a song he said he plays every night because it’s his mother’s favorite.

“Turn the Page” with the iconic saxophone opening from Alto proved to be one of the highlights of the evening. The main set ended with “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.”  Seger finished with some of his most iconic hits in two encores, “Against the Wind,” “Hollywood Nights,” “Night Moves” and “Rock and Roll Never Forgets.”

Don’t let his age fool you. Bob Seger was solid from start to finish. And while it’s unlikely he’ll be back, it was nice for Salt Lake City fans to be able to say the saw a music legend before he retires.

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