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  Little Rock, Arkansas
September 4, 1998

Review by GJ Hemingway

Nashville - September 1998

Review by Lucy Piller

Caruthersville, Missouri - Aug 1, 1998

Review by Tim Arnold

I wanted to see Paul because I wanted to try not to miss some of the great classic rock acts coming through this summer like I did last year. Only problem was that one of the closer venues to where I live was 9 hours away in Caruthersville, Mo. at the Aztar Casino. I had been communicating with another fan, Don Walters, and decided to make the drive and pick him up on the way.

We arrived about 4:00 for the 6:45 show. We sat around the casino for a couple of hours talkin classic rock and waiting for the gates to open. We were also wondering if any would show up in this little Missouri town of around 7,000. Well 6:00 rolled around and so did the crowd. We already had our tickets so we got right in and made our way to the front. We were one of the first in so we we able to sit in the second row back. What great seats! I was starting to sense that this would be a great night.

Tension was starting to build a few minutes before show time. Don was aquainted with Paul's road manager and walked up to chat with him for a minute. He told Don that the band had been on a grueling schedule and they had been sleeping in the van on the way to the concert. I thought that Paul and Co. would be drained and any enthusiasm for performing would be gone. Man was I wrong! They announced Paul and out he came and blasted out All Right Now.

He then told the crowd to come up around the stage. I thought I am too old for this but grabbed my wife and up we went. We were within arms reach of Paul. He was smiling as he belted out one Bad Co. song after another. It was as if he was singing those tunes for the first time and it really made the crowd feel that he was enjoying performing them as much as we were enjoying hearing them.

One incident stands out. An overzealous security guard was trying to push the crowd back away from the stage. Paul saw this and stopped singing and got down at the edge of the stage and told him to get the heck out of the way and let the crowd up to the stage. He was obviously angry and had his fans in mind. He really wanted to create some intimacy by having the crowd within a few feet of him. What a great gesture on his part.

I highly recommend any fan of Paul's to make every effort to see him as he is as strong and soulful as ever.

Tim Arnold

Branson, Missouri - July 23, 1998

Review and photos by Donald Walters

Paul - click for full photo (76,704 bytes)I went to the Branson show last night, probably 250 people there. Paul was in geat form and really put on a good concert. The sound system lacked good quality in that the vocals seemed just a touch muddled. Kinda like listening to analog tape after hearing the same track on CD. But it still kicked.

A large group of people danced and rocked in front of the stage. One guy jumped on stage and picked up a fallen drumstick. Then took a dive off the stage. It was great fun!

The songs are as follows, to the best of my recollection:Paul
all right now
honey child
saving grace
feel like makin love
shooting star
movin on
rock n roll fantasy
run with the pack
bad company
too bad
encore: can't get eough of your love.

Seattle - June 18, 1998

Review by Lucy Piller

Ohio - June 1998

Review by Greg

Chicago - June 1998

Review by Jack Jalove


Saw PR give one helluva dynamite and entertaining show last night along Chicago Illinois USofA's downtown lakefront. Longtime BadCo fan but never saw the band live. I was there to see a "Joe Walsh with special guest" show. Didn't know PR was the "spec guest" til 15 minutes before showtime when some DJ from the sponsoring radio station announced it. Four piece band--PR/guitar/bass/drums--but that doesn't EVEN begin to describe the band. They rocked heavily, to say the least! By halfway thru the opening song, AllRight Now, PR "had 'em in the palm of his hand". Most everyone was singing and clapping right along with old Paul--and he was loving it, too--smiling and laughing. PLUS remember, no one even knew he was on the showbill til just before the show's start. That's mighty impressive to me. Highlights were Seagull (outdoor show in a large treeline bordered meadow, balmy summer evening, puffy white clouds AND.....actual seagulls from nearby Lake Michigan floating overhead on currents of air as PR sang--QUITE remarklable); a new song, Soul Of Love (I think that's the name); and Bad Company, the song. For it, roadies carried an electric piano onstage--center stage, facing front, and PR did a wonderfully jazzy--both hands dancing along the keys--solo towards the end. Great interplay among all band members, too. The guitarist (Randy Hansen?) had all his chops (and "rock poses") down! Drummer and bassist laid down a backbeat foundation that would have supported the weight of the earth, itself. Wow. What a show. 30 minutes of pure--and unexpected--delight. Wish it coulda lasted longer. Got up this morning and HAD to do an Internet search on "Paul Rodgers" so I could tell somebody the story! <wink> (By the way, Joe Walsh was great, too!) <grin>

Well thanks for listening.

Seattle - February 1998

Hello everyone,

My name is Chip Hart and I am the drummer for the Fat James Band out of Seattle Washington. We had the honor of playing two shows with Paul Rodgers on the 27 Feb. at the Mount Baker Theater which is a 1400-seat old theater in Bellingham Wa. and at Parkers in Seattle. It all came about when Paul somehow heard a 3-song demo tape of the Fat James Band. Our management got work tapes of his material and we all put our nose to the grindstone and went to work. We scheduled two rehearsals with Paul at a recording studio in Bellingham Wa. Needless to say, when I first heard his voice come out of the PA, it hit me that I was actually playing with one of rock and roll's ledgendary voices. Paul was a complete gentleman, very polite and the rehearsals went smoothly.

The day of the show, we had a sound check at 2:00 and tried to dial in the PA at the theater and also smooth up some rough edges on the show. The actual show is kind of a blurr now. The place was packed with a very noisy enthusiastic audience, to say the least. We opened up the show with our original material and then brought Paul on. What a thrill!!

Our next show was the following Sunday at a club called Parkers in Seattle. We were playing a show in Boise, Idaho ( Fat James ) the night before so logistically it was a bit trying. We ended up flying back to Seattle for a 2:00 sound check and sent our gear home the night before with our manager. Paul seemed a bit more relaxed for this show. The sound was a lot better and we had already seen action, so to speak. A local band called Reckless Ricky opened the show and then we took our places. The show was sold out and they were turning people away from what I heard. The place was filled with excitement. My biggest concern was making sure the tempos didn't get away from us which can happen easily in a charged environment like that one. Paul really made the night into a rock event. I'm still buzzing from the experience. For those lucky people that were able to attend, they know what I am talking about.

So that is my story. Please feel free to email me and I also would like you to become familiar with The Fat James Band. We are headed to Europe in May to play the Moulon Blues Festival in Ospel, Belgium. We have one live CD which is doing well and also we are in production for our 1st national release. So here is the link to Fat James Band.

I hope to see you at one of our shows.

Bellingham WA - February 1998

Review by Karim Makalai

The show was at the Mount Baker Theatre, which is in downtown Bellingham, WA. The theatre is beautifully refurbished. The sightlines and acoustics were excellent. I was seated in the 9th row. I'm not sure of the capacity, but it was packed! I missed the warm-up act, the Fat James Band. Paul's performance started at 9.45pm.

Paul didn't have his usual band. Instead, he played with The Fat James Band. It included a drummer, bassist, lead guitar player and keyboard player. There was also a grand piano on the stage, which Paul used for a couple of numbers. He commented that he loved playing "a real piano". Paul's voice sounded fabulous. No matter how many times I hear his music, it always sounds fresh and different because of how he improvises. The lead guitar had too much distortion, and sounded very screechy on some numbers. As well, the guitarist missed the starting chord on "All Right Now". Obviously, with some more sound checks, rehearsal and familiarity this will improve. The highlight of the night (for me) was hearing Paul sing a couple of songs accompanied just by his acoustic guitar. Most of the material in the show was from his Bad Co days. I wish he had done some more from the Free days. Still, the audience really seemed to get off on the Bad Co songs.

Here's the songlist:

- Live for the Music
- Honey child
- Rock Steady
- Ready for Love
- Youngblood
- Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy
- Run with the Pack (Paul on piano)
- Bad Company (Paul on piano)
- Seagull (Solo performance with acoustic guitar - heavenly!!)
- All I want is You (Solo performance with acoustic guitar - indescribable!!!!)
- Shooting Star
- Saving Grace
- Movin' On
- Feel Like Makin' Love
- The Hunter

Encore 1:

- Soul of Love
- Can't Get Enough

Encore 2:

- All Right Now

Well, that's the story. Can't wait for the next show!!!

Vancouver - 17 January 1998

Review by Karim Makalai

It was incredible!!!

The show was at Jaguar's in Vancouver. The club holds about 500 people, though I have a feeling that the capacity was exceeded on Saturday. Paul performed at the club on Friday 16th Jan, and Sat 17th Jan. Both shows were sold out.

The band was not his usual group. I'm not sure if they were local, but they were very good. There were two chaps on guitar, a bass player and a drummer, and of course, Paul. The lead guitarist played a "blues minimalist" style ala Paul Kossoff, but he really cooked during the solos. They played two forty five minute sets, mostly Bad Co material. (I wish they had done more Free, they really sounded good.) Paul's voice was in vintage form, and you could tell that he really enjoyed the intimate setting of the club.

The first set started at 10.30pm, and featured the following songs:

- Rock Steady - Honey Child - Live for the Music - Ready for Love - Run with the Pack (Paul played electric piano) - Youngblood - The Hunter - Sweet Li'l Sister

The second set started at midnight:

- Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy - Soul of Love - Happy birthday (to some called Stink, I think!) - Shooting Star - Movin' On - Feel Like Makin' Love - The Stealer - Saving Grace - Fire and Water - Can't Get Enough

Encore 1:

- Bad Company (Paul played electric piano) - Good Lovin' Gone Bad - All Right Now

Encore 2:

- A blues number I've heard before, but can't remember the title. Words are something like "Baby, you're nothin' like you used to be".

Paul left the club immediately after the show, approx 1.30am.

A couple more notes:

Paul sang with his eyes closed, mostly. His energy level was unbelievable. The way he belted out some of those songs was a joy to behold.


Jack Monninger Jr. meets Paul Rodgers

Jack with PaulThe night of Saturday, October 4, 1997 I will remember as a true rock and roll fantasy. A few weeks prior to this time, while surfing the Internet and checking out tour dates on Paul Rodgers' official website, I learned that the former Free/Bad Company/ Firm frontman and his band would be headlining at a club called Annie's in Cincinnati. Just two months prior to this, I'd seen Paul Rodgers open for Lynyrd Skynyrd at Deer Creek Music Center, a large outdoor music venue located just outside of Indianapolis. Having been so impressed by Paul's live performance there, I vowed that I would take advantage of any reasonable opportunity to see the man perform again. After learning of the Cincinnati club date, I decided this was the perfect opportunity - it was close to home and yet far enough away to make it a special weekend getaway for my wife and me. A quick call to Ticketmaster was all it took to set the wheels in motion.

The weekend of the 4th arrived, and we spent that Friday evening at a little family retreat down in Vevay, Indiana, a small town nestled along the Ohio River in a beautifully hilly part of the state. The location was perfect for we were only an hour away from our destination. The next evening, we arrived in Cincinnati slightly before 7:00 p.m. and managed to locate the club easier than expected. Our arrival strategy had been simple, to arrive early enough as to allow us ample time to beat any long lines or capacity crowds. If we were worried about a large turn out, we needn't have been! Arriving over a full hour before the doors were even to open, we were amazed by the fact that there was not one single person in the parking lot! For all intents and purposes, minus a car here or there, the parking lot was nearly empty! I did take notice of a large tour bus that was pulled up against the side of the building, and quickly surmised that this surely must be the road vehicle for Paul Rodgers, his band, and crew. With the realization that long lines were not going to be a problem this particular evening, we contemplated getting a quick bite to eat and returning before the doors were scheduled to open. As I prepared to start the car and pull away, just out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of two men walking from the blind side of the tour bus out into the parking lot. As the two men stopped to face each other and engage in conversation, I looked over and was struck by an immediate realization. Holy snikes, there was Paul Rodgers in the flesh, chatting amicably with a crew member no more than 30 feet from my car! I excitedly shouted to my wife, "It's him! Quick, get the camera!" With that said, I began to try to open the doors to my wife's new Saturn, but this was only the second time I'd driven her vehicle, and suddenly I was faced with the reality that I did not know how to unlock the doors! In a frenzy that had developed from the unexpected sighting of my rock idol, and my worry that at any moment the planets would misalign themselves and my chance to meet Paul would be gone forever, without even thinking really, I began to throw my body weight against the door, shouting "It won't open, where's the damn locks?" My wife, Joan, caught up in the excitement of the moment herself, began to laugh at my helplessness and promptly released the lock buttons to the car doors. I literally tumbled out of the driver's side from the force of my momentum, but then quickly regained my composure and walked around towards the back of the car.

I quickly surmised that I must implement my strategy to meet Paul Rodgers, but then realized I had no strategy! I didn't want to rudely invade his privacy and conversation by just walking up and jumping right in, especially in this day and age in a barren lot when I might possibly startle him into thinking I was some kind of rock and roll celebrity stalker. And hadn't I read somewhere that Paul had a black belt in one of the martial arts, and was a bit ill tempered to boot, which might result in an accurately placed kick that might relegate me to singing a soprano part in a church choir forever! Yes, all kinds of thoughts were fleeting through my mind as to what I should do, knowing that this opportunity would probably never materialize again. But suddenly, Paul looks over and does a little double-take, recognizing his face emblazoned on my black Paul Rodgers NOW shirt (the only shirt that I've EVER bought at a concert in my life!) and says with a smile, "Hey, nice shirt!" In all honesty, at that particular moment, in a setting and situation that I can only describe as surreal, I have no recollections as to what the first words were to leave my mouth. Luckily for me, my wife had the presence of mind to jump out of the car and ask if she might take a picture of Paul and I together. Paul politely agreed, and with that the other gentleman took it as his cue to disappear. So Joan and I approached Paul, shook his hand, and I mentioned that we'd driven from Indianapolis to see him perform. My wife then proceeded to tell Paul what a huge fan I was, and how when we first met I made it my personal crusade to familiarize her with ALL of Paul's music, as I've always considered him the "finest" singer in rock. She even mentioned that we had one of his songs played at our wedding reception for our first dance together. This piqued his interest enough to ask, "Oh really, which one was that?" Unfortunately, I was somewhat ashamed to have to admit that it wasn't one of his compositions, but his rendition of Hendrix's "Little Wing" - but what a rendition it is! As my wife began to ready the camera - wouldn't you know we forgot to bring our real camera and had stopped for the disposable variety - Paul obligingly asked what location we would like for the background of our picture. I told him the choice was his. I was too stunned to really comprehend the stroke of timing and good luck that I'd just experienced. He looked around for a moment, commented on the beautiful evening sky that was beginning to paint its way across the horizon, and then pointed to a long wall that was covered with artful graffiti. He said he liked the wall and chose it because he thought it showed the "local color." We walked over to the wall together, stood side by side, and quite coincidentally I might add, struck nearly the same pose, positioning our hands on our hips and smiling at the camera while my wife recorded my monumental moment in the sun. Paul responded by saying he thought he'd blinked, and not knowing whether he was kidding or not, she asked to take another picture just so we could be on the safe side. At this moment I must confess that I was feeling PDC (pretty damn cool!) and just in utter disbelief at how fate, if it can be called that, was smiling down on me tonight. After thanking him and telling him we knew he had other things he needed to attend to, we shook hands again and I wished him luck on the remainder of his tour. I stood there for a moment trying to make sense of what had just happened, and was basking in the glow of having met my first real music celebrity and favorite musician/singer of all time. I couldn't have written a better script myself, and not for one moment could I have imagined that just by sheer timing and luck, that I would happen to run into Paul Rodgers, all alone in a deserted parking lot with not another soul around, and actually get to talk to and take pictures with the most soulful rock singer on the planet! It was just so incredibly cool that I still find it somewhat hard to believe that it happened the way that it did. The next time I hear that "voice" come blaring out of the stereo singing, "It's all part of my rock and roll fantasy," it will definitely conjure up images of a night that was meant to remembered.

London, England - February 1997

Review by Lucy Piller


September 4, 1998
Little Rock

September 1998

August 1, 1998
Caruthersville MO

July 24, 1998
Branson MO

June 18, 1998

June 1998

June 1998

February 1998

February 1998
Bellingham WA

17 January 98
Vancouver, Canada

Rock & Roll Fantasy
Jack Monninger
meets Paul Rodgers 

February 1997
London, England

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