Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper – Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, Bangor, Maine – July 14, 2017

A lot of bucket lists got a little bit shorter Friday night when legendary musicians Sir Rod Stewart and Cyndy Lauper performed at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, Maine. Combining hits and showmanship that stretches several decades, these entertainers left the patrons gathered beside the Penobscot happy and satisfied.

Opening the show, Cyndi Lauper took the stage in a violet wig, top hat, and a black suit adorned with flowers last seen decorating a VW Bug, and it only got better from there. True to her image, Lauper generously shared her humor, her antics, and her famous vocal style during an eleven song set filled with all her hits, including “I Drove All Night,” “Money Changes Everything,” and “Time After Time.”

And then things got really cool.

Not does Lauper’s music stand the test of time, but her message now links 1983 to 2017. Always a champion for inclusion and human rights, Lauper gracefully shared her joy at seeing her hit song’s title “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” used on placards for the recent women’s marches: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-damental Human Rights. In addition, Lauper praised Maine’s Senator Susan Collins as a hero in Washington citing Collins’ support for LGBT homeless youth, referring to April 2015 and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development subcommittee (according to the Portland Press Herald.) Lauper’s best line of the night – “And she’s a Republican.” Lauper urged Senator Collins to the center of the stage where she received a round of applause from the crowd.

Then it was Sir Rod Stewart’s turn to take the stage. Stewart, never known for being shy or subtle, hasn’t changed much – he does it big or he doesn’t do it all. The stage set was expansive and filled with a substantial crew of musicians and backing vocalists. Complete with wardrobe changes across the members on stage, Celtic dancing, and the list goes on and on, this performance was an entertainment bonanza.

Starting off the set with his MTV era “Infatuation,” Stewart rolled through his hits including “Tonight’s the Night,” “Downtown Train,” and of course, “Maggie May.” Clearly still loving to perform, Stewart’s show was a thrill ride. The list of iconic songs that have lit up radio dials since the early 1970s, the delightful gravel in his vocals, the energy he brings to the stage, the flash and personality – the man is rock and roll. Stewart wrapped up the evening with his 1978 anthem, “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

So let’s just say what we are all thinking – Rod’s still got it! Now in his seventies, he still commands the stage. He is both amazing and inspiring. Let that be a lesson to all of us old enough to remember when his hits were just hitting hot rotation and vinyl was the standard.

About the author

Christopher Joles

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Christopher Joles was a teen when he discovered photography, about the same time he discovered rock and roll. It only makes sense that his dream was to combine the two mediums and photograph rock stars.

Serving in the United States Air Force, Joles was stationed just a bus ride away from the hot spots of Great Britain’s historic rock and roll spectacles of the 1980s. On hand for many of the historic shows, and with many a story to tell, Joles went on years later to hone his photography skills as owner of Joles Photography, specializing in portraiture. The years behind the camera in his studio taught him one thing: it’s all about capturing the subject’s genuine emotion.

As luck would have it, he has been able to take that knowledge to the foot of the stage. Owner of Maine Music News, a website covering concerts across Maine and the Boston area in photographs and reviews, Joles has now photographed many a rock star with many more on the bucket list.