Fans come up from Texas to see Seger on home ground

Susan Whitall
The Detroit News

Travis Sawyer is from a little town in Texas: Monahans, population about 6,500. It’s 50 miles west of Midland/Odessa in rural west Texas, so as a Bob Seger fan, he would have to do some traveling to see his favorite in concert — to Dallas, at least.

But nope, Sawyer, 31, an insurance agent, decided for his first experience of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band live, he and his wife would travel to the heart of Seger Nation: Detroit, and attend the Palace of Auburn Hills show Thursday night.

“This is it, we’re aiming for the fences, we’re going for everything,” Sawyer said with a laugh.

“He was also going to play Dallas, Las Vegas, places that might be more appealing to other people for sure, and closer,” Sawyer said. “But with an artist like Bob Seger, you want to see him in his element; in his hometown. That’s when an artist performs the best.”

So the couple, who have never been to Michigan, decided to make the trek.

Sawyer first became a Bob Seger fan in college, when he was attending Texas Tech. He first loved “Turn the Page,” and all those Chevy truck commercials featuring Seger’s song “Like a Rock” were on TV constantly.

“There’s no telling how many Chevrolets that ad sold,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer and his wife Lindsay stayed downtown for two days, and have been happily wandering the city. They ate coney dogs at both Lafayette and American coney islands, and took a private tour of the city that showed them the Packard Plant, Belle Isle and downtown’s architecture.

They also visited a downtown ping-pong bar. They said everywhere they go, Detroiters are delighed to learn they travelled from Texas to see Seger perform.

“Now I’m just bragging, but the people have treated us so well, we’ve had the best experience. Coming up here, Detroit carries a small stigma. People were saying ‘look out’ and all, but we have not experienced any of that.”

Apart from the architecture, what’s most impressed them about Detroit?

“The ice flowing down the Detroit River blew our minds,” the Texan said. “That was not anticipated at all. Holy cow! Well, we’re not used to water. Ice and water — not even close.”