Attending a rock concert in an amphitheater on a hot August night in St Augustine, FL can sure have its draw backs, particularly for a jaded, old musician like me. First, it’s a two -plus hour drive from my home near Orlando. Second, after about fifteen minutes, you really start to hate the heat and humidity (I’m a lover of AC this time of year!). This tour consists of three acts, all with roots in Australia and their prime being the ’80s — Rick Springfield, Men At Work, & John Waite.
John Waite opened with a 3-piece accompaniment, kind of unplugged and mellow. A good thing I remembered his hit “Missing you”. The female audience seemed to dig his set.
Next up, Men At Work. This is really about Colin Hay, the only original member performing. An international an eclectic collection of fine musicians the M.A.W. set was good mostly of songs I never heard. But then they played “Who Could it Be Now” and “Down Under” and I was thrown back to a rather whimsical era in music history that I somehow survived.
After a brief stage reset, the lights went down and the stage filled with fog. A figure came bouncing on to the stage through the fog and the classic ’80s-style music started pulsating in waves through the venue. Is that really Rick Springfield? Wait, he’s how old? The driving groove of “Affair of the Heart” washes over the ladies in the high-end seats right at the foot of the stage. There’s nothing more oddly entertaining than watching middle-aged women swoon over a Pop singer like High School teeny boppers at a Prom. But the introduction to Rick Springfield’s set is dynamic and yes engaging. So now I’m optimistic. My first and only Springfield performance I attended (till now) was 20 years earlier when he took the lead in the EFX Alive show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That was a very good show.
So, Rick and the band kept driving the throbbing pulse and the ladies seemed to be at his mercy. In between songs he briefly spoke of his battle with depression over the years. Even suicidal thoughts. Then the band plowed into “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and that changed up the vibe. Finally, they dove home with “Jesse’s Girl,” what all the ladies came to hear, dance and bounce around to, wishing they were Ricky’s girl, at least at one time forty years ago. A predictable finale and so triumphant! Well for me, a good enough excuse to get out the house. Admittedly I of course was entertained. Hey, it was Rick Springfield! Go see him on tour if you can, dates here: rickspringfield.com/concerts/
Rick Springfield Live Review 2022 by Perry Goldman.
Rick Springfield Live Photos 2022 by Justin Nedrow courtesy of The Amp & AEG.
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