695 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco
The way it works at a Rod Stewart tribute band show is like this: Stewart attracts the women, and the women attract the men. Everyone is happy.
In the performance at the Bombay Club Saturday night, the part of Rod Stewart was played by George Orr, fronting for the Hot Rod Band of Fort Lauderdale. Familiar “faces” to Marco Island, the band used to play at Blu Fusion. Orr not only sounds like Rod Stewart, he looks like him to an uncanny degree. Dressed in white with red sneakers, he sipped white wine as he sang Stewart’s hits, and kept up a running comedy routine.
“Our job is to make you drink. We’re here to keep you here,” he informed the crowd that filled most of the space at the second floor lounge.
“Dance with her to this song, and you will get lucky tonight,” he advised the men in attendance, before launching into “Tonight’s the Night.”
“You brought her here, you got her drunk, now time to dance with her, fat ass — and I mean that in the nicest possible way.”
Orr’s humor continued in his in-your-face style, but the audience couldn’t say they hadn’t been warned; he started off by saying, “If I haven’t said something to offend before we’re done, you’re not paying attention.”
When he did launch into song, Orr seemed to channel Rod Stewart, with his striking physical similarity complemented by the moves and gestures of a self-assured showman. He was accompanied by Melvin Hernandez on bass, and Larry Janca on, as Orr put it, “the rest of the orchestra,” playing keyboards and cueing a wide range of instrumental and drum backup.
“He’s wonderful, isn’t he?” enthused Marguerite Clemson, after joining Orr onstage as he sang “Reason to Believe,” the Tim Hardin song which was Stewart’s first U.S. hit.
“I was in seventh grade when ‘Maggie May’ was such a big hit. I went to see Rod Stewart — the real one — when I was in college, but it was cancelled. And we were going to go see him in Miami last year, but it was $1,000 for two tickets — and those were the cheap ones. This is great for so close to home, and without even a cover charge.”
Michele and Creston Wood of Marco Island also enjoyed the show.
“My wife absolutely loves Rod Stewart, that’s why I brought her here,” said Creston. He figured Orr was right about the advisability of getting up and dancing with his date/wife, and squired her gallantly around the floor.
Many of the girls in the Bombay Club got up and danced without male partners as Orr and the band performed “If You Think I’m Sexy.” Orr came off the stage and onto the dance floor, dancing with one after another, never missing a beat or a word.
“We had a blast,” said Rachel Houck of Marco, who came with her girlfriends for the show. “I can’t believe how much he looks like Rod Stewart, and sounds like him, too.”
“I want to make this a destination,” said Chad Chupurdick, manager of the Bombay Club. “We’re trying to do a bunch of different things, and get different groups of people in here for different shows.” He is working on scheduling tribute bands portraying ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and the Rolling Stones, but was not ready to announce dates. Chad did say he will have radio station 103.9 broadcasting live on Friday nights, playing their Top 40 R&B dance hits.
George Orr and the Hot Rod Band are already booked again, scheduled for a repeat engagement July 11.