redgebnT.gif (7711 bytes)

Ventura Theater; Ventura, CA;   01/06/99

Reviewed by William Derham

Hailing from Middlesbrough, England; British-Blues-Rocker Paul Rodgers has
brought numerous memorable hit songs to the airwaves and turntables of rough and ready listeners all over the globe. Over the span of his 30 year career he has succeeded in finding a showcase for his rich, ornate, and anguished vocals in such distinguished bands as FREE and BAD COMPANY. Years of touring have polished his stage presence and tonight’s performance at the Majestic Ventura Theater was packed with Paul’s fans: some young, some not so young, yet all attendees alike were treated to not only his brilliant vocals but his considerable talent as a monster guitar player. Could he be England’s version of Sammy Hagar?

Opening the show with a nugget from the early days with Free, “All Right Now”
he continued to mine golden classics like “Honey Child,” “Rock Steady,”
“Runnin’ With The Pack,” “Bad Company,” “I Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love,”
“Shooting Star,” and the theme song for back-seat-at-the-drive-in-fornication,
“Feel Like Makin’ Love.” Rodgers even managed to toss in a little ZEPPELIN and HEART riffs keeping it fun and frisky.

Looking like he could be Edge’s big brother with his carefully cropped goatee, Rodgers knows how to work a crowd and when he stepped from the stage onto the dinner tables and offered his microphone to join in a sing-along the fans went ballistic. Singing from an inverted microphone stand held high overhead [Paul’s signature pose] his backup band (Howard Leese of Heart on guitar, studio musician Jeff Kathan on drums, Jason Boyleston on bass, and guest guitarist Ritchie Sambora) charged the air with welcome blasts from the past in addition to 3 songs of recent material proving Rodgers' talent hasn’t dwindled with the passing years. “All I Want Is You,” “Saving Grace,” and the powerful “Soul Of Love,” (from Rodgers' latest double CD “Now/Live” on Velvel Records, a must for Free and Bad Company fans everywhere) are testimony that new music can still be moving and rock hard. This disc captures Paul’s mighty vocals and proves one of rock’s greatest voices can still stand and deliver a tune with the best of them. Check for further info.

Hats off to the new management at the recently renovated Ventura Theater, an
extremely user friendly venue providing dynamic acoustics in an intimate
setting for some of the biggest acts that pass through Southern California. Call 805 639-3965 for upcoming events.

Back to Live Reviews Page

Back to Home Page

Copyright 1998 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.