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Rod Stewart To Begin Two-Year Las Vegas Residency In August

Rod Stewart will join Celine Dion and Elton John at Las Vegas’ Colosseum at Caesars Palace, beginning a two-year residency on Aug. 24. The first 18 concerts of “Rod Stewart: The Hits” go on sale May 15.

Stewart says the show will be “90 percent songs that people know,” including “Maggie May,” “The First Cut Is the Deepest” and “You’re in My Heart.” The songs were performed at the Colosseum when he played at the 4,100-seat venue in November.

“It’s a rock’n’roll show,” Stewart tells Billboard.biz. “We’ll try to give the people what they want, which are the songs that made me famous, plus a few surprises. There won’t be any magicians or midgets, just a good rock show.”

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A 13-piece band will back Stewart, whose shows will be presented by AEG Live. That way, he says, “I’ve got the lineup to (make changes) — all the mandolins and guitars. We’ll throw in something from, say, ‘Gasoline Alley,’ maybe even ‘Gasoline Alley.’ “

When Stewart performed eight concerts at the Colosseum in November, his opening night 18-song set included covers of “Love Train” and John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary,” standard “I Get a Kick Out of You” and a healthy dose of his rock hits — “Downtown Train,” “Reason to Believe” and “Maggie May.”

Stewart recently wrapped his Heart & Soul Tour with Stevie Nicks and is currently working on an album of blues songs with guitarist Jeff Beck. He plans to have a “summit meeting” with Beck about the album during his tour of England between May 29 and June 8.

Stewart’s contract with J Records, which released his collections of the Great American Songbook and two albums of rock covers, recently expired, making him a free agent. Stewart and Beck are recording the album without a label attached.

One of the tracks recorded for the set, Elmore James’ “Shake Your Moneymaker,” is likely to make it into set lists, he says.