March 28th 2009
Atlantic City, NJ
Review by Pam Geiger
Pictures by Rosie Malthaner
Atlantic City’s skies were treating all who gathered for this show to some very yucky weather, but luckily we had an antidote with the initials RLS, and he wasn’t just the “warm up” person. While rain and fog have their purposes on this earth, they often cause confusion; things are not always what they appear to be, and that is why as soon as Rick took the stage I thought I was an audience member at a game show.
Apparently Rick was feeling the need for some love tonight as he entered stage left exhibiting a sign that requested “Applause” with a stride only Vanna White could replicate. He quickly lost the sign and snapped me back into the now with the tour’s current opener “Mr. PC”. Thank goodness, I really was at a Rick Springfield concert! Or was I? Being in the midst of the center section of the Music Box, I was surrounded by squatters, and I found I would have to sit and squirm for almost the entire remainder of the night.
Within minutes Rick removed his jacket to reveal a recently added wardrobe piece – a tartan plaid shirt with sleeves (I wonder how long they will last), and while the sparkly Converse were back, I think it would be remiss not to mention an accessory of sorts - Rick’s new guitar that looks like a vintage Sunburst Fender Esquire – very nice!
It was a pleasant surprise to have the set list changed up a bit from the night before. Actually, it was more than pleasant, it was impressive. It was the second night in a row without WKRR, the medley was bumped, we got “Love Me Do” (I love to watch that left leg go during this song), Jesus Saves, and IGE; entirely all cool stuff being performed and I was still sitting in my seat!
The set list shined, however the “featured guests” were brilliant. IGE was performed triad style. The first girl to get up on stage either didn’t want to sing or didn’t know the words, so with some prompting from a sign, Rick chose a second girl who knew the words. Both ladies strapped under Rick’s guitar did a great job. Evan, the little guy who graced the Borgata’s stage last year was chosen again to get up with Rick. Now one of the things I’ve admired about RS is his ability to keep a mouth load of lyrics flow in small measures of time, and Evan must study RS quite often. When Rick prompted, “Sing it Evan!” the cutie replied, “Kiss my mommy, don’t talk to strangers.” without missing a beat.
The grand stars of the evening were a pair of elder women who boogied in their seats all night with finger points that would make John Travolta proud. They were having a great time, and Rick was simply enamored with them. He offered them his best, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and a snippet of “Don't Keep The Sandman Waiting”, which sounded really great. After he asked them if they thought they were going to see Dr. Noah Drake, he attempted a bad, flirtatious, pick up move with a flash of his…well…his nipple!
While the entertainment all around was bar none, the fog of the room didn’t lift until midway through “Human Touch”. Finally everyone stood and all was clear and the way it’s supposed to be. After playing the new version of “Jessie’s Girl”, Rick returned to the stage with a one song encore of “Kristina”.
As Music Box cleared I overheard the squatters around me comment with surprise what an amazing show it was, and that is was.Many of us went directly to the MIXX After Party where Rick turned the tables and was the voyeur in the upper level of the club. Looking over the balcony he got to see a club full of people dance to a remix version of “Jessie’s Girl”. While I prefer the new stage version, I think it must have been cool for him to see people of all ages still having fun to his music; so many years and generations later. I don’t know if anything else happened as I left the club early, but as I was leaving, out of the corner of my eye, I saw six of the show squatters looking up at Rick in the upper level. I think it’s a safe bet to say some new admirers were won over that night and it certainly was well deserved.
Affair of the Heart
Living In Oz
VIO (Tony Bennet Comments)
Don't Keep The Sandman Waiting
I'll Miss that Someday
Love is All Right
Harmonica-Love Me Do
I Get Excited
Jessie's Girl (new version)