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Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Rod rocks at Stormont
Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart attracted a big crowd at Stormont
About 16,000 fans turned out to see rock legend Rod Stewart perform at Stormont on Saturday.

Ioan Bellin looks back on a magical night when Northern Ireland's seat of power was transformed into a rock and roll paradise.

So often on the television because of political events, Stormont looked some what different basked in sunshine and swamped by thousands of music lovers.

Rod Stewart was ably supported by Omagh artist Juliet Turner and pop diva Gabrielle.

Gabrielle played a lot of rock and roll hits like Papa was a Rolling Stone and Knocking on Heaven's Door, warming up the crowd for later no doubt.

Gabrielle
Pop diva Gabrielle entertained the crowd

She played her hits Out of Reach and ended with Dreams. At the back, it was a bit difficult to see her because she was not on the big screen.

That was unlike Stewart who could be seen getting ready to come on stage having a drink and mucking about with a football on screen.

He kicked off with his first song Handbags and Gladrags.

Younger elements of the crowd knew this one because of the Stereophonics cover version. So it was a good start.

It was followed by the First Cut is The Deepest.

The sound at the back was not as good as for Gabrielle, but it was soon forgotten when Stewart carried the crowd with his sweet ballads like Have I Told You Lately and Downtown Train.

Stormont
Stormont: Now a concert venue

And as dusk fell over Stormont, Stewart rocked his way through all his hits including Some Guys Have All The Luck and Stay With Me.

At 57-years-of-age, he was dancing as if he was younger than a 20-something like me.

Many in the audience would have answered a resounding "yes" to the question posed by his song: Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

As a former schoolboy professional, football is very dear to his heart and he proceeded to kick a few footballs into the crowd.

Football's loss is music's gain.

The audience loved every song and where I was standing they were singing along particularly to Maggie May and Sailing.

He closed with these words to the audience: "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's been a magic night."

Everybody agreed.

See also:

28 Jul 02 | Entertainment
11 Apr 02 | N Ireland
20 Jun 02 | Entertainment
03 Feb 01 | Entertainment
04 Jun 98 | Latest News
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