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Tonight’s the night (well, one year on) - Memories of Rod Stewart at Portman Road in 2019

PUBLISHED: 10:58 07 June 2020

Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

Archant 2019

Were you at Portman Road a year ago tonight for Sir Rod Stewart’s open-air concert?

Fans had a great evening, but had to beat both the traffic and the weather. Many were stuck in jams on the way, following a major crash which left a lorry hanging over a bridge at Copdock.

The crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODENThe crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

Then the heavens opened as Rod burst on to the stage, greeted by fireworks.

The crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODENThe crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

I was among the crowd sitting on the pitch, who were soaked to the skin, and extremely cold, by the time the opening notes of Baby Jane rang out at the end of the night.

But we wore it well. It was worth braving the elements to hear the superstar, proving he was Forever Young at 74.

Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODENRod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

He performed a host of classic hits, from Maggie May and Tonight’s the Night to I Don’t Want to Talk About It, Some Guys Have All the Luck, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, Sailing, and many more.

The crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODENThe crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

There were great video presentations throughout the night. In one memorable sequence, Rhythm of My Heart was turned into a poignant tribute for the 75th anniversary of D Day, with a video featuring Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Douglas Bader.

The crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODENThe crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

Before, during and after the show, some members of the audience headed for social media to express their thoughts about the big night.

The crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODENThe crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

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Crime writer Sandra Prior tweeted before the concert: “Have I Told You lately these Hot Legs are walking through Portman Road on way to see Rod Stewart, never know Maggie May might be there . I’m getting the T shirt too.”

After the show, Mark Dunkley tweeted: “Just home after seeing Rod Stewart in concert at Ipswich Town FC. Over 2 hours on stage, 25 songs and at the age of 74. Fantastic show and managed to avoid the rain, watching from under the main stand.”

Sir Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTHSir Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

And Pippa May tweeted: “Saw Rod Stewart tonight at Ipswich and he can still rock.”

The crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODENThe crowds enjoying Rod Stewart performing at Portman Road in Ipswich, 2019. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN

It was the second rain-soaked concert by Sir Rod in Ipswich, after his 2007 gig was also hit by downpours, gaining it the nickname “Singin’ in the Rain”.

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But, as Miss Chalks said on Instagram: “Not even the rain stopped us. Dancing in the rain makes it that little bit more fun, but totally worth it.”

Of course, this summer Ipswich can’t stage any big outdoor gigs such as the Rod Stewart concert, Music in the Park and the four-night Ed Sheeran spectacular at Chantry Park, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But it’s hoped there will be more big concerts in the town to look forward to in the future.

• What is the best outdoor gig or festival you have seen in Ipswich or Suffolk? Send your memories to judy.rimmer@archant.co.uk


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