Rod Stewart in Shrewsbury: 20,000 pack ground to see music legend - with pictures
It was one legendary rocker that brought thousands of fans through the doors of Shrewsbury Town Football Club.
Around 20,000 fans packed in to the stadium last night to see Sir Rod Stewart perform his classics spanning five decades.
It took an army of workers, several miles of electric cable and lorry-loads of scaffolding to get Greenhous Meadow ready for the concert.
The 72-year-old music legend has sold more than 200 million records worldwide and fans were in high spirits when they filed into the venue to see the Maggie May singer. Large queues formed for those turning up an hour before the concert and all bags were searched as people made their way in.
Construction manager Adam Ellis-Morgan was at the concert with his partner Jackie Marvell. Mr Ellis-Morgan, aged 48, of Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, said: “This is the third time I’ve seen him. I saw him at the NEC 15 odd years ago.
“He’s one of those classic artists.
“He’s one of those superstars who are few and far between, a bit like Elton John. I like his old stuff like Maggie May and Forever Young is a classic.
“The best album has to be Atlantic Crossing. I’ve been very excited to see him again. I’m surprised he’s come to Shrewsbury.”
Ms Marvell, 48, of Monkmoor, said it was her first time seeing Sir Rod in concert but she once sat on a plane next to a man who claimed to have tiled his bathroom.
She said: “He’s got great charisma. I like his old songs like Sailing and Maggie May. I’ve been really excited and have just hoped that the rain holds off.
“It’s absolutely brilliant he’s come to Shrewsbury and given everyone an opportunity in this county to see such a superstar.”
Rod Stewart's setlist at Shrewsbury:
- Having a Party
- It's a Heartache
- Love Is
- Some Guys Have All the Luck
- Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)
- Rhythm of My Heart
- Forever Young
- Can't Stop Me Now
- Downtown Train
- The First Cut Is the Deepest
- Ooh La La
- I Don't Want to Talk About It
- Have I Told You Lately
- Baby Jane
- Maggie May
- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
- Stay With Me
Wendy Barnes, 61, and her 64-year-old husband Mike Barnes were also in high spirits at the concert.
Mrs Barnes, of Oxon, Shrewsbury, said: “He’s amazing. My husband and I met in 1972 and we’ve been super fans ever since. I like everything about him – his voice, his personality.
“This is the first time I’ve seen him. It was on my bucket list.
“This was a birthday treat for me. It’s the highlight of my life. I got the tickets as soon as they went on sale.”
Debra Jones, who lives near Church Stretton, also snapped up tickets to his show as soon as they went on sale.
The 52-year-old, who came with friends, said: “We sing his songs when we do karaoke. I like him. He’s a family man. It’s brilliant that he’s come to Shrewsbury to do a concert. It’s just down the road so it’s handy.”
Mother-of-three Lisa Jarvis, who works as a care and support worker, was also at the show with her husband Mark.
The 50-year-old, of Harlescott, Shrewsbury, said: “I’ve been really excited.
“It’s my first time. I’ve never seen him before.
“I love his music. I like quite a lot of the old stuff.”
Mr Jarvis, 55, who works as an antique dealer, said he had seen the music star in concert about 10 times.
“I’ve seen him all over the country,” he said.
“I’ve been a fan since I was 17.
“I like his style and there’s always a story behind his records.
I’m so glad he’s come to Shrewsbury. I didn’t think he would come here.”
Mother-of-two Sue Booth, of Apley, Telford, said she came looking for a good night out.
She said: “He’s entertaining.
“I love when he sings The First Cut Is The Deepest.”
Great grandmother-of-two Jean Purfit came to the concert armed with a placard that read Welcome 2 Shrewsbury Rod.
The 80-year-old, of Belvidere, Shrewsbury, also wrote Sir Rod a letter, and dropped it at the football club before the gig, requesting that he sing Rhythm Of My Heart.
She said: “I love that song. It’s my favourite.
“I’ve always liked him. I’ve brought my family along.”
Linda Morgan was joined by her friends at the concert.
The 60-year-old, of Wellington, Telford, said: “I try to go and see him when I can.
“I’ve been going to see him since 1977. I’ve been to see him all over the place.
“Blondes Have More Fun was my first concert. I love his music.
“I think it’s fantastic he’s in Shrewsbury. My dream is to see him in Las Vegas.”
The superstar’s hit songs include Maggie May, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy and Sailing.
It was one of only two mainland Britain concerts the veteran performer will do this year in preparation for headlining the Isle of Wight Festival on June 11.
The preparations for the concert involved putting in a gigantic stage stretching across the pitch in front of the North Stand, covering the turf and installing an extra 10,000 seats.
Even the dug outs, advertising hoardings, and press seats were removed.
The stage stretched the width of the pitch and reached out to the edge of the 18-yard-box, usually patrolled by Shrewsbury Town goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler.
It took the production company responsible for the gig, Cuffe & Taylor, around 72 hours to put it up, with a team of 50.