The fact that there was absolutely nothing new or creative about Paul Rodgers & Company’s set Friday at the Anson Ford Theater didn’t deter several hundred classic rock fans and guitar-god wannabes from enjoying the performance of this veteran artist and his crew.
Despite being billed as a tour to support Rodgers’ recently released Victory/PLG disc “Muddy Waters Blues,” a tribute album to the blues legend featuring some of his best-known tunes, with contributions from several of the industry’s top axe-slingers, the set also included a handful of tunes from Rodgers’ tenure in earlier bands Free, Bad Company and the Firm.
Rodgers’ vocal ability was impressive throughout, and the guitar-god trainees in the audience marveled at Neal Schon’s considerable skill as he put his own spin on the riffs, milking each note to its definitive conclusion.
But Rodgers resorted too often to using many of his past repertoire tracks to goose the crowd into responding.
The “special guests” tease in promos for the show had the crowd speculating who among the disc’s contributors would appear on stage. In the end, Rodgers could only muster appearances by the Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer and Yes’ Trevor Rabin, certainly the B list compared to some of the other names on the album.