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Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma WA
November 23, 2002

Review and photographs by Bill & Barbara Spanton

The Emerald Queen was a really cool venue and you could tell the crowd was eagely awaiting Paul to take the stage. The show kicked off with Joe Fabulous which has worked it's way into an opening slot and suitably so. The Can't get Enough which had everybody up and dancing.

Deep Blue from Pauls solo album "Electric" was next (nice to hear) in fact, this was the only song he played from his solo material. After Deep Blue he ran through some Bad Co tunes. Feel Like Makin Love and Run with the Pack had the energy level at an all time high.

A nice surprise was next. Satisfaction Guaranteed, from the Firm days, which we have never seen him perform. I think Shooting Star was next which was awesome. After that Free songs followed, Fire and Water & Wishing well (always nice to hear these). He did a blues number from the Middy Waters archives, Standin Around Crying, and invited Lee Oskar, up on stage. (Lee played harp with Eric Burdon and War) great redention on this song. Paul sings the blues like he owns them and Lee Oskar sounded great with his unique signature style of harmonica playing.

From this point on the set just accelerated and the adrenalin was pumping. Allrightnow, Rock and Roll Fantasy (with the Beatles medley) and Bad Company. WOW !! How do you top that? The band then took a short pause and left the stage briefly. When Paul came back out he was by him slef and sitting at the piano. He did a goose bump arousing version of Silver, Blue and Gold. It was very intimate, as if you were sitting around the piano and Paul was playing this song just for you.

By the time of the solo break in the song, Howard Leese came out playing Mandolin which was a nice touch. By the final chorus the remaining band members chimed in and gathered around the microphone. Supurb !!! For my wife and me, who had flown in from Jersey for the show, that topped the night and made the whole trip worthwhile. That's alwsays been a special song to us and we have never seen it performed live before. After Silver Blue and Gold I think he played Ride on Pony from the Free days, but I cannot be sure. I do know they closed with Muddy Waters Blues and were joined by The Mighty Quinn, a friend of the bands and a friend of ours now as well, it was excellent. Well what else can I say other than THE SOUND WAS FANTASTIC that night and it had to have been one of the best shows we have ever been to. Paul is truly a gifted, talented singer-musician. He's a natural and the BEST!!!

Meeting him after the show was an absolute pleasure of honor. He is a true gentleman and a wonderful performer. Can't wait till the next show.

Bill & Barbara Spanton, New Jersey

Review and photographs by Karim

My wife and I met up with Lucy Piller and the group on Friday 22nd Nov at the Edgewater Inn. We had dinner and drinks, and talked much of the evening. It was great to meet up with fellow fans. Lucy had brought some pictures from the Free days which were beautifully laminated to preserve the images. Later that evening, Paul’s road crew came by and said “hello”.

By now, we were all so excited and looking forward to the concert.

The next evening, we arrived on time at the venue. The concert was held in a large permanent tent, behind the casino building. Most of the gang was seated in the first row. My wife and I were in the 3rd row. The seats were excellent.

Then the first strains of “Joe Fabulous” rang out. As the band came out, the applause was deafening. Instantly, you could tell that Paul was really excited to be performing there. The first few songs were just a blur. Paul was in top form! His singing was flawless as usual, and he seemed to display even more energy than usual. He told the crowd how much he enjoyed performing at the Emerald Queen Casino, and really seemed charged up.

The band was really tight. Instead of the usual quartet, there were five of them, including an additional guitar player, who played a lot of the rhythm pieces. This freed Howard Leese up to play the lead. The additional guitar really helped cement the sound.

The highlight of the night for me was when the band performed “Standin’ Around Cryin’”, a slow blues number. For this song, Lee Oskar (from War) played harmonica. What a combination that was. Paul is absolutely outstanding singing this kind of material. You can tell his first musical love is the blues. Lee Oskar’s harmonica was like another beautiful voice! What a talent…

The other truly memorable moment was the final song Muddy Water Blues. This is another masterpiece penned by Paul himself. With Lee Oskar and Quinn both playing harmonica, it was breathtaking.

They performed, of course, all the usual Bad Company standards and some Free material. Paul also performed “Silver Blue and Gold” solo on the piano, with just a little additional guitar by Howard Leese. This was the first time he tried this apparently. It was a rousing success!

After two encores, the night came to an end, all too soon. I can’t wait for the next show!


Atlantic City, April 20, 2002

Review by Lucy

Paul Rodgers & Company
Saturday 20th April 2002
Atlantic City NJ Trump Marina Casino

Set List (thanks to Charles for keeping track)
1.Can't Get Enough
2.Saving Grace
3.Rock Steady
4.I'm On Fire ~ Instrumental
6.Muddy Water Blues
7.Shooting Star
8.Feel Like Making Love
9.Ready For Love
10.Fire And Water
11.Rock and Roll Fantasy
12.Alright Now
13.Run With The Pack
14.Bad Company


It's taken me a full week to get over this trip, first I hooked up with Todd Smith, author of the Free (Heavy Load) book.  We actually went to New York City first to attend a Janah show with Chris Crawford (Paul's manager) and also Jeff Cornell, a MTV producer. We had a blast in New York .... Janah played terrific as usual. The next day we headed for Atlantic City, wow that place has changed since I was last there about 10 years ago..... A pleasant surprise I must say. I am not sure how many people the venue holds but it seemed to be pretty full...... Todd and I met many of the fans before the show. It was great to see Eileen and Clem, Jeff, Charles and his wife, Glen Murani, and Jimmy Kunes at the show. I did meet some new fans who (I'm sorry) but forgot their names. The young boy with his dad, maybe his name was CJ or something, he look like he could not come to turns with meeting Paul. If you read this CJ please email me your email address ok?? Then a young man named Rory ...... We had a blast meeting them all. Mark Farner opened the show, he is a real showman. Paul was starting pretty late on this night, it seemed to be around 10.45 by the time he appeared.......Gosh does that man ever stop looking wonderful or what. In fact he must be working out big time, he looked fit as a fiddle you could say.......and sure was happy to be on stage. I did not (as usual) write down the set list, so hopefully in one of the other reviews someone remembers it. It was the same line up Paul had used last summer. Jeff Kathan on drums, Howard Leese on Guitar  and Lynn Sorensen. on Bass Backstage one of the fans Charles had his guitar signed by Paul. Shortly after the show Todd and I met the band in the casino for some late drinks, and then we returned to Philadelphia. Lastly I want to say Thanks to Marsha for making my weekend extra special.

I would like to thank Todd and Angie Smith for making my weekend a BLAST !! If you want to see more photos from this show see the Photo Gallery No.





Review by Don & Gerry

Greetings from Don & Gerry! We met before the AC Gig, it was a pleasure meeting you and discussing a subject so near and dear, FREE.

Paul's Atlantic City show was unbelievable! He was in great voice, no surprise there! and the band was up to the task. We loved the show but would have been thrilled to hear more FREE stuff but BAD COMPANY songs Kicked Ass! Paul had the audience in the palm of his hand as soon as he hit the stage. He opened with "Can't Get Enough" and the fans stood & sang along the whole night.

As far as Paul's solo material goes the lone selection in the set, "Saving Grace" was all Don could talk about on our way to the gig, I almost had to pick him up off the floor when Paul announced it, and low and behold Paul sang the hell out of that song! The highlight of the show for me (Gerry) was "Fire & Water" which remains a blues rock classic today and happens to be a personal favorite, it is shear perfection.

We thought that we had everything that existed on Free but were so excited when we found that a book "Free Heavy Load" had been written. Just got finished reading the book and all I can tell you is David Clayton and Todd K. Smith have done a fine job indeed. Not only did we get to see a fabulous show but actually got to meet "The Voice" after the show. It was tough but our persistence paid off and Paul autographed our books, he was genuinely gracious and with the time constraints he had, he had another flight, he couldn't have been nicer. Looking forward to seeing you again, possibly the New York show at the Beacon Theater.

Review by Charles

      Paul Rodgers/Mark Farner Concert
            At Trump Marina Casino
            Atlantic City,New Jersey
                   April 20,2002

          A Review by Charles Boone
                   April 23,2002    

     WOW!!!!! What a wonderful night and a great great show. As far as
I'm concerned, the Paul Rodgers and Mark Farner show at Trump Marina
Casino this past Saturday night was THE SHOW OF SHOWS. Never ever did I
dare to so much as dream that one day I would be at a concert where
these two rock giants shared the same bill. Totally unbelievable!
        Weeks ago,when I first heard about it I knew without a doubt
this was going to be a very special night and in many ways it was. Not
only were many of my friends and fellow musicians in attendance but we
were also honored to be in the company of Lucy Piller of "Alright
Now.Com" and Todd K.Smith, co author of "Heavy Load", a book about the
band, Free, with whom Paul Rodgers first gained fame back in the late 60s.
         All of that magic going on and the show hadn't even started
yet.But when it did it was on like a run away train with Mark Farner
kicking straight into high gear. Three times I had seen Grand Funk
Railroad back in their hey day of the early 70s and the last time I saw
Mark Farner perform under his own name was back in 1987 at a small club
just down the road from my house.Needless to say,he hadn't lost his
touch at that time.However, this being fifteen years later,my only
question was, "Would he still be able to perform at the same level he's
been known for"? I was praying he would and thank God my prayers were
answered because,take it from me......MARK FARNER HAS NOT LOST A THING!
He still has it all,from his hard edged,firey guitar mastery and strong
high end vocals to the funky prancing and boogying across the stage.
         Accompanied by a smoking band (bass, drums and
keyboards),Mark's set consisted of not only all the Grand Funk hits but
also classic album cuts I did not expect him to perform such as
"Creep'n" off the "We're An American Band" album.
         Whenever I saw Grand Funk in the past,I remember being on such
a rush at the end of their show,and even after all these years,I felt
that same rush Saturday night at the end of Mark Farner's
performance.All I can say is, go 'head with your bad self,Mark
Farner.You've still got the fire.Keep it "Shining On".
          Now,back in the day,Grand Funk were the headliners with no one
to go on after them.Therefore I had nowhere to channel that intense rush
I was left with after the show.However,such was not the case on this
occasion because by now I was not only primed (which I had already been
for weeks),but I was on fire in anticipation of Paul Rodgers' set.
          Eversince I first heard him with Free back in 1970 it's been
my opinion (humble as it may be) that Paul Rodgers is THE GREATEST MALE
would be if Otis Redding were to return from the dead and since that
isn't about to happen Paul Rodgers stands alone and SHOULD HAVE ALREADY
BEEN IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME!!!!!!! and not that it should be
of any importance or significance,but this is coming from the heart of a
black American male.
         Now,back to our show.
    Finally,after about a half hour intermission,the house lights go
down, the stage lights come up,and Paul Rodgers is introduced.Greeted by
deafening cheers and howls,Paul strides on stage,smiling and visibly
ready to rock.
     Backed by Howard Leese on guitar,Jeff Katan on drums,and a solid
bass player whose name I am not aware of at this time,Rodgers and
company launch full tilt into a blistering set of rock classics spawned
over the years by three Rodgers affiliated bands;Free,Bad Company,and
The Firm,not to mention his own solo albums,"Muddy Water Blues" and
      Like a shotgun blast,the band fired off with Bad Company's "Can't
Get Enough" and "Saving Grace" from Paul's "Now" cd.From there the
momentum is increased with the opening riff to "Rock Steady" which
caused the crowd to explode in one collective'YEAHHHHHHH".
        Next,Paul did something I saw him do two years ago.He left the
stage, allowing the band to cut loose on a rauchous instumental piece
entitled "I'm On Fire".This really impressed me as one of the cool
qualities about this man,that he shows so much appreciation and respect
for his musicians that he is willing to not hog all of the spotlight to
let them have a moment of glory.For this,I take my hat off to you,Paul
         After that,we are treated to a really cool surprise as Paul
returns to the stage to perform "Radioactive",the classic hit he
recorded with Jimmy Page in The Firm,and follows it up with "Muddy Water
          From there the heat gets kicked up to the max as Paul and the
boys seriously get down on some Free and Bad Company material such as
Feel Like Making Love,Shooting Star,Ready For Love,Fire And Water,Rock N
Roll Fantasy,and of course Alright Now as the closing number.
          Now as fired up as the crowd was,there was no way we were
going to let it end just like that.Needless to say,we stomped yelled and
banged the stage until we saw the roadies wheeling out a baby grand
piano,followed by Paul and the band returning to the stage for another
encore.Suddenly the crowd loses it as Paul pounds out the piano intro to
"Running With The Pack".During the song you could actually feel the
crowd grooving in sync as one rythmic wave flowing with the
music.Following "Running With The Pack", Paul fingers another piano
intro clearly familiar to all present;that of signature song,"Bad
Company".During this time virtually every voice in the hall, including
my own,could be heard singing in unison with Rodgers mesmerizing vocals.
          Finally bringing the song to a rousing conclusion,Paul steps
up and stands atop the piano and with one hand outstretched to the
crowd,he arches  backward,his sweat glistened face raised skyward as he
belts out every fiber of his soul and emotions into the microphone like
some triumphant warrior at the end of battle.Ultimately the final note
is cast and Paul Rodgers,along with his band walk off stage to the
thunderous clamor of a rocked up super appreciative crowd.
          Thus ends one of the most intense and highly energized concert
experiences I have ever witnessed.
           But mind you........I said the concert ended....Not the
entire experience of the evening.The cake was yet to be iced with a
cherry on top.(You'll understand what I mean as I continue).For thanks
to my friend,Jeff Cornell of MTV and his family,as well as Brad,Paul's
PR person,my wife and I were able to meet and chat with Paul Rodgers,the
band,and manager,Chris Crawford, upstairs after the show.This was
actually my third time meeting Paul,and just as with the two prior
meetings,he was extremely warm and welcoming to us as was everyone else
involved with him.I was even blown away by the fact that he even
remembered meeting my wife and I from before.
          But for me,the ultimate happening of the night was when Paul
graciously consented to autograph my black Fender Strat.I can't even
begin to explain the feeling that came over me while I stood next to
him,watching as he wrote on the pick guard of my guitar:
To Charles
  Rock Steady!!!
    Paul Rodgers
Even now,three days later,I look at it and still can't believe that
Paul Rodgers' actual signature is on my guitar.All glory goes to God
because God knows how much of a chance I was taking just by bringing my
guitar to the concert with the possibility of being denied admittance
with it,which almost did happen.
        So there you have it.Atleast for your's truly it was the perfect
ending to a perfect evening.I remember in the movie,"Conan The
Barbarian",Conan is asked the question,"What is best in life'?Well,
without going into his reply,I'll just say that,for me,what could be
better than an evening spent with the one you love,amongst great friends
,with Paul Rodgers and Mark Farner providing the entertainment and
having your instrument
permanately embellished by the greatest male vocalist in the
world.........Paul Rodgers.
        Thank you so much Paul and Mark for a most wonderful night.May
God bless you both.
             SING ON BROTHERS!!!
                            Charles Boone

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