ROD Stewart may be breaking new ground with his gig at Elland Road tonight – but he’s no stranger to the delights of Leeds.
A trawl through the Yorkshire Evening Post archives has revealed he played a number of concerts in the city in the early 1970s, during his time as singer with The Faces.
And, judging by the YEP’s reports on the shows, Rod should have vivid memories of Yorkshire’s unofficial capital.
One gig, at Leeds Town Hall in December 1972, was hit by a stage invasion 15 minutes from the end of the band’s set.
The YEP reported: “One girl led the rush and the others followed until there were hundreds of fans at the stage screaming to be near their hero.
“Some of the stewards were from the Leeds United ground and their gentle but firm tactics won the fans over.
“The police were [also] called when several youths tried to climb on the windows ledges outside the Town Hall to get in.”
A year later Rod was back for a gig at the old Queens Hall on Swinegate – and once again drama was in the air.
Crush barriers in front of the stage had to be hastily reinforced after they gave way as the crowd started to build up ahead of the concert.
The YEP told its readers: “Promoter Peter Bowyer, worried that more fans might be injured when The Faces came on stage, positioned stewards all along the barriers.
“During Rod Stewart’s 100-minute set, they lifted injured girls from the massed ranks of fans.”
The report also lavished praise on the singer, describing him as a “super showman” who “strutted and posed” his way through the evening.
Rod’s debut appearance at United’s Elland Road ground tonight will be the first gig it has staged since a homecoming concert by Leeds indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs in 2008.
Other acts to have played the stadium over the years include Queen, U2 and Happy Mondays.