Led by Paul Rodgers – one of the most talented rock n’ roll singers of all time – and with a catalog comprising some truly anthemic hits, Bad Company is one of those classic rock bands truly deserving to be even more widely acknowledged (and I’m not talking a Rock N’ Roll Hall of fame induction, because the credibility of their nominees process is being completely hit and miss as of late). They burst upon the rock ’n’ roll scene in 1973, and were immediately dubbed a super-group by fans and press alike, as its members all came from very successful popular bands: Rodgers and Kirke from Free, Ralphs from Mott The Hoople, and Burrell from King Crimson. Four decades and a half have passed and these guys continue to tour continuously.
With a set revolving around their timeless songs, the band took the stage of the Hard Rock Event Center at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – currently a temporary venue while the construction of the new Hard Rock Hotel is completed – amongst the cheers of a venue at capacity. Right from the get-go, Bad Company sounded remarkably confident and extremely tight, despite being a four piece only due to the absence of Mick Ralphs, who is sitting out the tour due to the effects of a stroke in 2016 that has left him partially paralyzed. Founder members Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke (drums) are joined by Howard Leese (guitars) by Todd Ronning on bass, and when Rodgers isn’t playing piano or 12-string acoustic guitar, Bad Company morphs into a three-piece group in terms of instrumentation. Make no mistake, these veterans sounded like a well-oiled machine, bringing out a performance, which delivered in all fronts.
From the onset of the show, it was clear that the Hard Rock Event Center was not full of seat fillers or complimentary ticket recipients from the casino. The audience was singing, word for word, song after song, and that reflected in the band’s attitude on stage. Paul and his Bad Company did not stray from their well-known hits, and the crowd was ecstatic while staples like “Feel Like Making Love,” “Run With the Pack,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” and “Ready for Love” made presence. Paul Rodgers seems to preserve his vocals range and dynamic delivery despite the work of father time, and his bandmates shone in their instruments, displaying clear enthusiasm and energy. A special moment happened during “Shooting Star”, almost the entire venue sang for bars of the chorus a cappella before the band joined back in to finish the song.
Not many other groups that were popular back in the 70’s could perform as professionally or have the song catalog as Bad Company does after all these years. They brought back some very special memories of my younger days and I truly hope they continue to be around for many more years to come. Want a night to celebrate life and music? Go to see Bad Company live.
Bad Company Set List
Can’t Get Enough / Live for the Music / Feel Like Makin’ Love / Movin’ On / Burnin’ Sky / Run With the Pack / Ready for Love (Mott the Hoople cover) / Gone, Gone, Gone / Honey Child / Shooting Star / Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy
Bad Company / All Right Now (Free cover) / Little Wing / Angel (Jimi Hendrix cover)