To: Bob Seger, music legend
From: Johnny Marx, big fan
Thank you for sweating on me. I knew it was going to be a great night when you had to switch headbands just three songs into the show.
Thanks for smiling down at nerdy me as I stood during your opening act -- Larkin Poe -- hooting, hollering and dancing away a recent Saturday.
It appears your Moline show was last call -- in person -- for you and me. After all the years I've spent waiting for you to do a show on my turf, you finally played the iWireless Center.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming our way.
If this was indeed the last time I catch a Seger live show, you made it memorable -- not only for me, but also for the 11,499 others who stood for the 120 minutes of amazing entertainment you and the Silver Bullet Band provided.
Even 16-year-old Kendall Maslak, who battles a variety of health ailments, loved the show. Kendall was seated to my left, and despite many physical hardships she endures, had a great night, thanks to you. She is a huge fan, her mother told me.
Bob, you played every song we all came to hear, and you did it with energy, enthusiasm and appreciation, knowing 11,000-plus paid good money to see the man we've shared car rides, parties, good nights and bad nights with for nearly five decades.
Usually, Bob, when I go out on a limb and make a bold statement, the limb breaks. This time, though, I can safely say no one -- from next to the stage to section 209 of the iWireless Center -- did not enjoy everything you gave us on Aug. 26.
Judging by the tweets and the Facebook posts from others just like me, you made the night, the week, the month and the year of a lot of people.
What still stands out, Bob, is the energy and stage enthusiasm you have at age 72, and what you did to bring smiles to everyone in attendance. You still have it, Bob, a unique desire to perform and entertain, to play music, to sing and enjoy life.
There was not one song you shared that we all did not know, and you included several favorites of mine. I made sure those around me knew that "Turn the Page'' is my all-time favorite, that "Traveling Man'' and "Beautiful Loser'' is still an amazing combo that gets the blood pumping, and that "Trying to Live my Life Without You'' and "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man'' would have been enough to keep me happy.
But being the dude you are, you gave us two encores and two songs for each encore. The two-minute standing ovation you and Alto Reed -- the greatest saxophone player of our time -- received for "Turn the Page'' was also warranted. I realized on a recent Saturday that tune might be the favorite song of the other 11,499 in attendance.
One of your best traits, Bob, is knowing the importance of having a great band. And the 2017 version of Silver Bullet might be the best version ever. From Reed to Rob McNelley, from Chris Campbell to Jim "Moose'' Brown, from the horn players to the backup singers, you had the right combination to bring us all to our feet.
In closing Bob, I want to thank you for the most fun I have had at a concert in years. You gave everyone there what we came for. I wish you could have been outside the iWireless Center to see the results of the buzz you created inside the place. Everyone was talking about what a great night it was.
Thanks for still being you.
Johnny Marx, even bigger fan than before
Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309 757-8388 or Jmarx@qconline.com
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