Seger proves that he still has the moves

By William Perkins

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Last Friday, Bob Seger proved that he’s still got his Night Moves.

The legendary Detroit-based rocker showed when he performed in front of a packed crowd at the TD Garden that despite his age – a respectable 65 – he has still has a lot of energy left. And quite a bit of talent, too.

Playing a roughly two-hour set, which began with “Roll Me Away” and ended with “Rock & Roll Never Forgets,” Seger barely let his age show. Though his once brown hair appeared to be a silvery-white, the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee showed no real signs of fatigue – he took control of the stage from the get-go.

Seger played a slew of his greatest and most revered hits. Tunes played included “Fire Down Below,” “Mainstreet” and “Old Time Rock & Roll,” the 1979 hit that has become one of his most recognized songs.

Additionally, Seger delivered impressive performances of “We’ve Got Tonight,” which he dedicated to his daughter in honor of her soon-to-be 16th birthday, and “Turn The Page,” his ’70s hit that regained fame when it was covered by Metallica in the late 1990s.  He also awed some in the crowd while playing a rendition of “Travelin’ Man,” which transitioned into “Beautiful Loser,” a performance that conjured up memories of his noted “Live Bullet” album of 1976.   

Seger also played a few lesser-known tunes during Friday night’s show. He gave a performance of “Gets Ya Pumpin’,” a song which he noted was written in 1971 that went unreleased until 2009. He also played a crowd-pleasing edition of “Shinin’ Brightly,” a track off his 1980 “Against the Wind” album which he said he had never performed live until his current tour.

Seger also mixed in a few renditions of cover songs he’s recorded during his tenure. He delivered solid performances of “C’est La Vie” and “Real Mean Bottle” – songs originally performed by Chuck Berry and Vince Gill, respectively.

And, judging by audience members’ sentiments throughout the performance, Seger didn’t disappoint those who were in attendance for the show.

Attendees, who were overwhelmingly middle-aged, participated in and commenced a number of sing-alongs during the duration of the show – particularly during two encore performances, when Seger delivered great renditions of “Against the Wind” and “Hollywood Nights,” then “Night Moves” and “Rock & Roll Never Forgets,” respectively.

Seger, however, did hint during a few instances in his performance that his voice might no longer be as powerful as it once was. But he still delivered commanding performances throughout most of the set – and let his distinctive vocal style shine through.

Seger, though, didn’t single-handedly make each performance. Backed by members of the Silver Bullet Band, some of whom have been playing with him for close to 40 years, Seger had exemplary musicians backing him up on vocals, piano, guitar, saxophone, drums, bass and a whole host of other instruments.

Seger’s stop in Boston was part of his two-month, 22-city tour. He began his tour in late March in Toledo, Ohio, and will continue playing until late May, when his tour will come to an end in Cleveland.

Seger’s stop in Boston was reported to be sold out.

William Perkins can be reached at [email protected]