Could this be "The Famous Final Scene?" Fans had waited over a decade to see Seger perform live again when he kicked off this tour in late 2006. Speculation is that this could be the last concert ever for the 61-year-old hometown hero. )
Two aging rock-and-roll veterans got one last chance to bask in the glow of the spotlight and the roar of nearly 12,000 loving fans Saturday night: Cobo Arena and Bob Seger capped off a tour that may also mark the end of a career that spans a generation.
Neither has offered any solid clues about the future. As the region ponders the expansion of its convention center, will Cobo - the site of so many music spectacles - fall under the wrecking ball? And will Seger, 61, retire from the business that made him one of America's blue-collar heroes?
"This was his best concert, but I know it could be his last," said Kelly Martines, of Warren, who, with her long-time friend Susan Adam of Davison, attended two shows at the Palace and two at Cobo to take in as much Seger as they could. "I hope it's not the last, but, you know, you cling to anything."
Seger himself said little to tip his hand. He closed the show by dedicating "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" to "the best crew we ever had," then offered a simple "Thank you. So long" to a crowd that would have stayed and sung back-up until morning had the band played on.
Whatever the future holds, Seger seemed to be taking in every moment of this show. As he stood atop thrusts at the sides of the stage, he shielded his eyes with his hands to get a better view of the fans standing and cheering. Backstage, he bumped fists with bandmate Alto Reed, and pumped his fist to the rhythmic clapping and stamping of a crowd eager for a second encore.
"This was excellente. Totally the best," said Adam, who recalled having seen Seger with Martines when the pair were teens. "It's amazing."
Mt. Clemens native Uncle Kracker opened the show on time at 8 p.m. and wrapped up around 8:30. Seger took the stage soon after, playing a 14-song first set that included "Old Time Rock and Roll", dedicated to his son's piano teacher, Miss Susan. He finished the first set in a duet with Kid Rock on "Real Mean Bottle."
After an 8-minute intermission - as he promised - Seger was back with "Simplicity," a driving rocker he wrote for the Detroit Pistons' 2005-06 run.
Special for the Cobo show, he played "Good for Me," an album track from "Against the Wind" that he dedicated to his wife and the spouses and girlfriends and boyfriends of the members of his Silver Bullet Band. He finished the second set with a rousing and energetically extended rendition of "Katmandu" shortly before 11 p.m., and was called back to the stage twice for two-song encores.
Seger thanked the crowd, but Dennis Bokash, 50, of Atlanta, Ga., wanted no thanks.
"Thank you, Bob Seger," he shouted as he high-fived those around him. Then, at the conclusion of the show, Bokash stood at the bottom of section B5 and shook the hand of every fan that walked by, thanking them, too, just for being there.
Bokash said he also attended Seger concerts in his youth while living in Rockwood, including three of four shows on the 1984 tour. When the final Cobo show came up, he bought six tickets and brought his hometown friends. "I wanted us to see this. It's just a huge part of our lives," he said.
"When I was a kid, they used to bring me along," said Bokash's friend Dana Phipps, 46, of Carleton. "It's just a wonderful thing. It was awesome."
Tom Gromak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.