"THIS is going to be a good night, I can feel it in my water," said the legend that is Sir Rod Stewart.

And he was right, writes Neil Brandwood

Friday evening's concert at the University of Bolton Stadium was quite simply magnificent.

Although not a huge Rod fan myself, he totally won me over with his talent, professionalism and good humour.

"We've been blessed with a clear night, chilly but dry, that's the main thing. Enjoy yourselves!"

He began the evening dressed in his trademark leopardskin jacket. Leopardskin was also the choice of many of the fans, along with tartan of course.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Despite the size of the venue and the crowds, the atmosphere was intimate, almost as if Rod had invited a few old friends around.

From the beginning, they were singing along with his hits.

Speaking about Bolton Wanderers' recent trouble, he said: "I wish you well and hope you find a good sponsor."

A massive football fan, he told the fans: "I remember watching Nat Lofthouse on the telly as a kid."

It was one of several personal insights he shared.

He mentioned that two of his daughters were at the concert.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"I've got a lovely life. Eight children and a great career so I'm going to dedicate the next song to myself," he laughed before breaking into Some Guys Have All the Luck.

READ MORE: Can you spot yourself in our gallery of pictures from the concert

Sailing, Do Ya Think I'm Sexy, Young Hearts and Tonight's The Night were all included, along with a couple of songs from his recent number one album and a tribute to Muddy Waters.

Revealing a self-deprecating sense of humour, he introduced Maggie Mae by saying: "This next song was written in the same year that my wife was born."

There was poignancy too with a backdrop of poppies accompanying Rhythm of My Heart and Forever Young

"This is the 75th anniversary of D-Day and I had the great pleasure of meeting some of those great guys recently. I kissed them and I love them so much for what they did for us. Where would be without them? Under a jackboot probably."

His song choice was nicely judged. Along with the hits he sang the ballad Grace - "the most tragic love song" - and dueted with one of his hugely talented backing singers for It Take Two.

For a man of 74 his voice is holding out well and he was energetically bouncing around the stage. However, it's a sign of the times that there was an extended drum section, and a guitar solo, presumably to give him time for a sit down backstage.

Among the crowd was 61-year-old Stuart Warwick of Radcliffe.

A Rod Stewart lookalike, he said: I like his style, his clothes and his music. He's a nice guy."

Mr Warwick's look was Sir Rod down to a tee, complete with spiky hair.

And he revealed it's been his everyday look for decades, not just for concerts.

"His was the first concert I ever saw. I jumped school to go and see him at Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1971."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Alison Smith, 60, of Preston, and her daughter-in-law Amanda, were up on their feet dancing along to the tunes.

"I've been coming to his concerts for 45 years, I must have seen dozens," said Alison.

"I think he's gorgeous."

A firework finale marked the end of a concert that will stay in the memory for ever.

Afterwards, fans took to Twitter to rave about the concert.

"Sir Rod Stewart you absolute legend," wrote Jane O'Berg.

While Melissa Johns posted: "Teenage dream come true... About to see @rodstewart in concert at Bolton stadium! Tonight IS the night!!"