Seger with his heartland old school rock and roll and a ginormous amount of superb songs was back and better.
Over the course of a brisk two hours, Seger and the Silver Bullet Band showcased not only how fine they are in the flesh, but perhaps more importantly how Seger's songs have stood the test of time.
Songs like "Travelin' Man/Beautiful Loser," the gorgeous and spare "Turn the Page" and "Against the Wind" are ample proof as are chestnuts such as "Night Moves."
Seger's voice is a bit scuffed up - no surprise given his age, but he was more vigorous than a show in the same venue 13 months earlier. He moved about from side to side, enjoying his interactions with the crowd. Seger would take a seat at times, sometimes telling stories about the songs.
Seger took several turns on a grand piano, including a moving take of Dylan's "Forever Young." While he sang yet another song dealing with getting old, flashes of those who have passed away in recent years flashed on the screen - Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin, Eddie Money, Chuck Berry, BB King and good friend Glen Frey among them - to applause from the crowd.
Seger's Silver Bullet Band was as excellent as ever. A few Nashville cats - lead guitarist Rob McNelley, drummer Greg Morrow and guitarist/pianist Jim "Moose Brown" - were standouts. But there was no deadweight with the rest of the band either. Sax ace Alto Reed was about as cool as ever with pianist Craig Frost and a backing trio of female singers (triumphantly singing the backing chorus "night moves" with punch) and a horn section kicking in often.
The band certainly had a chance to shine and strut their stuff, although there was not a lot of difference between the recorded versions and the real deal. But the overt enthusiasm starting with Seger was palpable, leading the crowd to sing along in song after song.
Seger closed out the glorious night with "Rock and Roll Never Forgets." Seger changed the lyrics so slightly from "sweet 16's turned 31" to "sweet 16's turned to 74." Seger hunched over, putting his forearms on his legs, sort of shaking his head, but embracing the humor as well.
And then he continued with words that fit Seger perfectly: "You get to feelin' weary when the work day's done/Well all you got to do is get up and into your kicks/If you're in a fix/Come back baby, rock and roll never forgets."
Seger seemed anything but weary. In fact, he left the stage triumphant, thrusting his arms into the air.
He had plenty of justification to do so as well. If this, indeed, is Seger's final go round, he left on top. Rock and roll never will forget Bob Seger.