Rod Stewart impressionist, big band aim to wow SaddleBrooke crowd

2013-11-14T00:00:00Z Rod Stewart impressionist, big band aim to wow SaddleBrooke crowdBy Phil Villarreal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

SaddleBrooke’s Desert View Performing Arts Center is hosting a Rod Stewart performance this weekend. Minus Rod Stewart.

Channeling the  100 million record-selling artist will be Gregory Wolfe, a Long Beach, Calif.-based impressionist who will perform along with a 15-piece orchestra.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Desert View Performing Arts Center, 39900 S. Clubhouse Drive in SaddleBrooke.

Wolfe will perform the work of Stewart, as well as Stewart-flavored covers of the work of others, ranging from pop standards to soul, Motown and blues.

Opening acts include Nick Davies, who will perform Michael Bublé songs, Chelsea Faulds, who will sing like Natalie Cole, as well as pianist Terry Davies.

Pat Beeks, director of events for the 488-seat DesertView Performing Arts Center, said this is one of the most exciting concerts the venue has hosted since opening in 2005.

“I think it’s going to be one of the best we’ve ever had,” Beeks said. “It’s the best of everything. I think it’s  going to be phenomenal.”

The show is something of a coming-out party for the venue’s new sound system. Among the $25,000 in upgrades are a new soundboard and speakers.

“Now it’s crystal clear,” Beeks said. “It can make the walls vibrate.”

Wolfe, 56, hopes to make use of that system by getting the audience on its feet.

“I refuse to let the crowd just sit there,” he said. “No matter who they are, I make sure they’ll get into it.”

A cancer survivor, Wolfe is dipping his toes into performance again after eight months of treatments that started in late 2012 and took up much of the year.

“I like to think I’m cured,” he said. “I’m feeling good. I’m looking forward to it. I’m used to working with a sizable band. It should be fun.”

Having and sharing fun, Wolfe said, is his main goal.

“If I’m having fun, usually the crowd reciprocates and has a good time,” he said.

“It’s just about performing. Ninety-nine percent of the whole show is getting the crowd involved, singing — even the slow songs. Basically, the whole idea is to have a good time. That’s the main point. It’s not rocket science. It should be a blast.”

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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