Bob Seger jumped on the farewell bandwagon this morning by announcing the Travelin’ Man tour, which kicks off November 21st in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There’s no official end date on the books, but anything besides an epic blowout in his hometown of Detroit to wrap things up would be surprising. Farewell tours are rarely the true last time that artists hit the road, but in Seger’s case we have little reason to doubt his sincerity. He’s 73 and dealt with major back problems in recent years. Anyone that doesn’t see him on this tour will likely not have another chance.
There was a long period after Seger’s 1995–96 It’s a Mystery tour where it seemed like Seger had prematurely ended his career. He was raising young kids, living peacefully on his Michigan estate and letting his hair go grey, with seemingly no interest in getting back on the road or cutting new music. The only time he performed in public was in 2004 at his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. But after a full decade passed and most people assumed he was forever out of the rock game, he released the new LP Face the Promise in 2006 and went out on the road to promote it. Here’s video of him performing “Against the Wind” in Kansas City, Missouri that year.
During the next decade he became a mainstay on the arena circuit and cut two more albums, but in late 2017 he had to wrap up his Runaway Train tour short on doctors orders due to issues with his vertebrae that required major surgery. He’s finally healed up and ready to finish off his career with one last tour. Expect a show packed with big hits like “Roll Me Away,” “Night Moves, “Hollywood Nights” and, of course, “Turn the Page.” The lyrics to that one will be particularly apt. He usually plays it towards the end of the main set, but in this case it might work better as a final encore: “Here I go/Playing the star again/There I go/Turn the page.”