Legendary band Bad Company graced the stage at Artaprk for the 2nd last installment of the Tuesday concert series. This is their first trip back to Lewiston since they played it back in 2013. That was the last time the WNY area got to see original guitarist Mick Ralphs. He suffered a stroke in November of 2016 and has been unable to perform with the band since that time. Nonetheless, the band has been carrying on with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (Heart) Howard Leese handling all guitar duties. He is joined by longtime bassist Todd Ronning and original Bad Company members Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke.
As the band took the stage you can sense it was going to be a special night. Rodgers exhumed that sentiment from his smiles and joy of taking the stage. He got behind the piano for the first song “Run With the Pack.” Most of the time, he wandered all-round the stage with occasionally twirling round his microphone stand. He belted out songs like “Can’t Get Enough” “Shooting Star” and one of my personal favorites, “Seagull.” His melodic soft tones mixed together with his high vocal range on “Seagull” makes for it a perfect blend for a fine rock ballad. His counterpart Kirke (along with Ronning) were spot on their rhythm deliveries. They been playing together for well over 7 years so it’s expected that they are locked in together. Kirke even made a trip to the front to sing and play acoustic guitar for the title track of his solo album called “All Because of You.” Leese also tried (and surprisingly a very good one at that) in handling not only guitar leads but also lead vocals on “All Along the Watchtower.” I have never seen Leese sing lead vocals, so it took me by surprise. His tone fit the song very well and he crushed it on ends of it.
Rodgers not only played the piano, he played the acoustic guitar and added some harmonica on “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” He led the band on a solid and appreciative set that seemed to make everyone happy from the start until the last notes of “Rock n’ Roll Fantasy.”
I can’t gush enough about Paul Rodgers. There are few better vocalist or performers in rock history than Paul Rodgers. Not only should this man be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers himself, why he wasn’t bestowed with Knighthood? Not only is a great performer, he is even a better person with his charity work and just a great human altogether!
Run with the Pack
Can’t Get Enough
Live for the Music
Feel Like Makin’ Love
Young Blood (The Coasters cover)
Gone, Gone, Gone
Al Because of You (Simon Kirke song)
Ready for Love (Mott the Hoople cover)
All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover)
All Right Now (Free cover)
Rock n’ Roll Fantasy
We would like to thank Dave Wedekindt and Maria Hays from Artpark for the credentials to review the show.