SUNRISE — "Alright Florida, let's go to Hollywood!" Bob Seger yelled before launching into "Hollywood Nights," the second of four encore songs at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise on Thursday night. The crowd roared back. By then, even those in the last row had their arms in the air.
For two hours, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band belted out their iconic 8-cylinder rock and roll, fueled by high octane rhythm and blues. From the opening escape of "Roll Me Away" to the giddy, main set-ending "Katmandu," we were pelted with a steady stream of tried and true rock; every note seemingly delivered with concerted effort and Motor City grit.
Seger's got so many hits, he can play classics like "The Fire Down Below" and "Old Time Rock and Roll" early in the set because he still has "Sunspot Baby" and "Against the Wind" in the back pocket of his blue jeans. He threw in a few fun cover songs, too. "Real Mean Bottle," a tribute to Merle Haggard written by Vince Gill, was a gem.
His voice sounded strong and his rasp as beautiful as ever. He continually connected with the audience, roaming from one side of the stage to the other. He directly pointed or waved to each attendee or so it felt.
The band could not have been tighter or appear to be having more of a blast. Saxophonist Alto Reed was an animated, one-man show. He was flawless when he delivered his signature intro on "Turn The Page" basked in a stage-right overhead spotlight. On other songs, he'd smack a tambourine, shake maracas or strum an acoustic guitar. The "musical handyman" did a Chuck Berry-infused kick strut across the stage during the rowdy finale "Rock and Roll Never Forgets." The vocal ending to "Night Moves" by his three lovely backing vocalists? I just got goose bumps again. Drummer and Boca Raton resident Don Brewer crushed the rock revival vibe mid-section of "Travelin' Man."
It was a mixed crowd: couples, bikers, groups of women and even some families with kids. Marcie Collins of Naples was there with her sister and said "It was a great show, he sounded so good." A fan since 1968, she held a sign high that read "NAPLES MISSES YOU."
Chris Bradshaw is a southwest Florida-based concert photographer who loves to shoot the show. He's covered local bands in tiny smoke-filled bars, U2 in a sold out stadium and everything in between, from Jimmy Buffett in Paris to Hellyeah on a cruise ship.