It is fair enough to say Rod Stewart has never been one to act his age.
And the man who famously asked his adoring fans “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” thought it was about time to ask them again... just to make sure.
The fact that the majority of the 25,000 who packed into Bloomfield Road last night were up on their feet dancing with arms in the air when he ended the show with his 1970’s disco classic tells you they think he’s still got it.
And he has.
In a two-hour set packed with hit after hit, spanning a remarkable five decades, Rod proved that at the age of 69 he has lost none of his talent, showmanship and charm which the crowd lapped up.
His superb band arrived on stage to fireworks – literally – before the man himself entered – suited and booted in a slick white jacket, drainpipe strides and the sharpest pair of shoes Blackpool will see in many a long year.
He did not so much strut onto the stage with a cocky swagger, but in a casual “you alright Blackpool” swoon with his mic stand nonchalantly resting on his shoulder.
Before too long that was being thrown around with gay abandon as he belted through a breakneck opening salvo of This Old Heart, Having A Party and Tonight’s The Night.
He waved, smiled and blew kisses to the mob of women at the front who had decided to ignore the fact this was a seated gig and swarm forward to get closer to their rock God.
Not that anyone was sitting, be they women in Celtic shirts with such hopeful messages as “Mrs Rod Stewart” or a stream of blokes who were either Rod Stewart tribute acts in their spare time or just simple lovers of bleached blond hair, bottle tan and cheeky winks to any lady who caught their eye.
But it was the Rod on stage who kept this party going as he continued belting out hits Some Guys Have All The Luck, It’s A Heartache, The Faces’ Stay With Me and Can’t Stop Me Now from last year’s number one album Time.
“It sold considerably better than Elton John’s” he announced to the crowd which drew a huge cheer, “the rivalry continues,” he added.
“There is no miming here, just live music and live singing... as it should be,” he said as he and his band, including a superb horn section and backing singers, lowered the tempo with The First Cut Is The Deepest, I Don’t Want To Talk About It and Brighton Beach.
After a couple of costume changes on went the tight jeans, a shirt so outrageously loud even the keenest Rod-alikes in the crowd would have thought twice about wearing it, and the two hour set was brought to a close with Maggie May, Sailing (backed by the Warrington British Sign Language Choir) and then the finale Da Ya Think I’m Sexy.
“This is a bit of silliness,” he said as he introduced a song he famously once said he would never sing again after he turned 50... but then again, if you’ve still got it why not?
And with that he was off – a wave to the crowd and a crescendo of more fireworks.
Bloomfield Road was packed – a sea of fans. It was great to see this proud old venue bring something new to the resort, and that is its transformation as a bona fide gig venue for major acts.
And they don’t come much more beloved by their fans than Roderick David Stewart.
And yes Rod, on this evidence, there is a fair few thousand women in Blackpool who still think you’re sexy – you lucky blighter.
WHAT THE ROD ARMY SAID
Speaking straight after Rod left the stage, Linda Tomlinson, 52 of Broadway, Fleetwood, said: “I loved every second.
“This was bought as a birthday present for my friend and I really hope there are more concerts like this at Blackpool Football Club again. It’s been absolutely wonderful.”
Also going home smiling were Hilary Barker and Dee Foster, both of Blackpool.
They said: “It was brilliant.
“It was absolutely fantastic – we both really enjoyed it. We’d definitely come again.”
And although the concert was nothing new for life-long Rod fan Steve Dimmock, he couldn’t wait to see the rocker again.
Steve, of Stourbridge, Birmingham, said the Blackpool gig was his 70th Rod Stewart concert. “I’ve followed him everywhere,” he said.
“I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and New York with him, and I’ve met him twice.
“Ever since I heard Maggie May I knew I loved him, and everyone says I look like him.”
Peter Mason, 53, and David Charley, 40, both of Lytham, bought tickets for their wives Corrine and Jane.
Peter said: “I like his music, but Corrine’s a big fan.
“I’ve never been to a concert of his before but a lot of people in Lytham and beyond have been talking about Rod coming to Blackpool all day.”
And although Glynis Tomlinson has seen her idol Rod 22 times, another date in Blackpool was as good as the first.
Glynis, 56, of Kirkby Lonsdale in the Lake District, said: “I have loved Rod since I was 16, but every time I see him he gets better.
“His voice is so wonderful and raspy, he’s unbelievable for a 69 year old.”