Baby boomers were celebrating last night as Rod Stewart led his latest world tour to Vector Arena in Auckland, and treated a sold out audience to a nostalgic evening of endearing ballads, easy-going rock, and some very shiny, colourful suits.

The 70 year old veteran brought an expansive band with him, with string and brass sections, a harpist/percussionist, and three backing vocalists on top of a five piece band, and they all embraced the evening's high cheese factor just as much as Stewart, with plenty of solos and opportunities in the spotlight shared around.

They had the audience on their feet right from the top, with the silvery bouffant topped front man darting round the stage and swinging his microphone stand like an 18 year old.

Stewart seemed just as cheekily raspy and husky-voiced as ever, though it took him a few tracks to warm up, with the audience's enthusiastic singing overwhelming his vocals on You Wear It Well and Tonight's The Night.


He kept plenty of energy in the tank though, and some of his best performances came later in the nearly two hour set - his cover of Van Morrison's Have I Told You Lately was the best of his ballad segment, while You're In My Heart and Sailing gave the show's climax plenty of oomph.

He (somewhat oddly) dedicated Handbags and Gladrags to Mike Hosking, and wasn't afraid to break out Do You Think I'm Sexy, even donning a cowboy hat specially.

Stewart also managed to show off an impressive right foot by kicking around 30 soccer balls into the crowd during Stay With Me, with those in the back claiming as many balls as those near the front.

And his Scottish roots were sprinkled throughout the set with occasional bagpipes, some photos involving kilts, and an old Scottish folk song, Wild Mountain Thyme to close the night.

The set did sometimes feel like a glitzed up karaoke night, but that's what you go to a Rod Stewart show for, and he happily proved he's still the man to sing those baby boomer hits like no one else can.

Who: Rod Stewart
What: The Hits world tour
Where and when: Vector Arena, Auckland, last night and tonight.