Rod Stewart and his ensemble beats them all!

Confession from the start. I’ve always been a big fan of Rod Stewart, writes Ken Hickson

  • 04:35 PM, 19 Mar, 2024
Photos Courtesy MBS

Ken Hickson’s been to hundreds of events at Marina Bay Sands  – conferences, Art Science Museum exhibits, trade shows and many musical theatre performances - but he’s seen nothing quite like this!

(Singapore March 17, 2024) The first time I approached Rod Stewart he was about to give a performance in Christchurch, New Zealand 47 years ago. Yes, that’s in 1977. I was relatively young TV news reporter and I gingerly asked if I could have a few words with him. I was warned in advance that he could be difficult. Surprisingly, he was very happy to oblige. So, I got Rod Stewart on New Zealand national TV news for the first time.

He was very obliging last night too. He gave me and 6000 fans a night to remember in the Marina Bay Sands Ballroom. Traditional “Rod, the Rocker” material. Some of his big ballads. As well as a sprinkling of heavier stuff. Accompanied by an amazing mix of talented musicians, singers, and dancers.

And the crowd sang along with most of it. Particularly when the first chords announced a favourite,  such as  “I Don't Want To Talk About It”, “Maggie May” , “You’re in my Heart”,  or “Sailing”, one of my favourites from the 70s.

Violins, saxophone, guitars, drums and even a harp kept the musical mix right in line with what the audience expected and got. If any in the audience had expected a quiet ballad from the raspy voice of Rod, they might have been disappointed. It was all full on. Lights, action, full sound, multiple screens. There wasn’t a moment’s hesitation.

And for this couple of seniors, myself and my wife M, who slightly exceed Rod’s age – he’s 78 – it was a spectacular evening of pure entertainment from a class act. Not too loud. Not too long. Just what the doctor ordered.

Besides being in full admiration of Rod for his extraordinary energy and superb talent, we must also put in a word for the masterful management of the whole event by Marina Bay Sands.  No hitches from start to finish. Thanks to Paul Town and the remarkable skills and sensibilities of his team of event experts, the staging, as well as the crowd control, was impeccable.

At the end, when we thought it would be a mad scramble for the exits and escalators, dozens of experienced staff were well positioned to safely guide and assist 6000 attendees navigate the doors and steps from the fifth floor of the convention centre to the ground.

Rod Stewart was at his best on stage. MBS matched him for good management every step of the way. I’d even go as far to say the reputation of Marina Bay Sands shone as brightly on the night as the bountiful and dazzling stage lighting!

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