Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rick Springfield Night 2 in Milwaukee

May 8th 2009
Milwaukee, WI
Review by: B Dahl
Photos by Laura Hoppe

Here's the set list from Friday, May 8th, in Milwaukee, followed by brief comments and observations. As often happens in Milwaukee, the set list was changed up a bit and included some songs you usually wouldn’t hear in-concert.

Mr. PC
What’s Victoria’s Secret?
Affair of the Heart
I’ll Make You Happy
I’ve Done Everything for You
Jesus Saves

I Should Have Known Better
Don’t Keep the Sandman Waiting (chorus and verse)
Venus in Overdrive
I’ll Miss That Someday
Love is Alright Tonite
Inside Sylvia
Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix)
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Lust (a cappella)
-Bop ‘Til You Drop
-Celebrate Youth
-Calling All Girls
-Jessie’s Girl riff
-Don’t Walk Away
-State of the heart
-What Kind of Fool Am I
- I Get Excited
- Bop ‘Til You Drop (redux)
Here Comes the Sun (Beatles – one verse)
Love Somebody
Human Touch
Jessie’s Girl
Twist and Shout (Beatles)

* Before the beginning of the concert, they showed a promo video for the upcoming cruise. It began with Rick lying shirtless in bed, inviting everyone to join him on the cruise (this part is also posted on multimedia section of the RickSpringfieldcruise website). Then there was Rick’s music playing with graphics and lots of photos and video clips from the cruise – a very nice promo package! At concerts where the video retrospective opens the concert, I wonder if they will be playing this promo, also….. Oh – the promo video announces the entire guest list of “friends” who will be on the cruise with Rick: Richard Marx, Doug Davidson (“back by popular demand”), Mark Goodman, Yannick Bisson (who played Rick’s little brother in the High Tide series), and Brandon Barash (who plays “Johnny Zachara” on General Hospital). Also news: one of the on-board concerts will be the Working Class Dog album in its entirety.

* The concert began with a video retrospective of Rick’s career – I never tire of seeing this, and hope they decide to put it out on something sometime so fans will have it to keep. After seeing all these vintage video clips, it’s only appropriate the “Nothing Is Ever Lost” plays. Then Rodger begins the drumming intro to "Mr. PC" – and another high-energy evening of rock has begun!

* There were none of the usual cover songs again tonight, but a couple Beatles tunes and a Jimi Hendrix tune that showed off Rick’s amazing guitar talents. And knowing what a Beatles fan he is, it’s always cool to hear him sing some of their music.

* Rick pulled out the harmonica again tonight, this time to play “Love Me Do”.

* When beginning the intro for “Venus in Overdrive” by saying it was from his latest record, he corrected himself, saying that his latest record actually was My Precious Little One . Then he sang a bit of “Don’t Keep the Sandman Waiting”, after playing around with it to figure out the correct key and where in the song to begin singing. When he came to the lyric that says “hear his wings BUZZ”, he said something rude about the crew guy, Buzz.

* He dedicated “Inside Sylvia” to a fan from last night who had a sign up all night long requesting it. As always, this song sounded great in-concert.

* Rick found a woman at the front table who didn’t know any of his songs except “Jessie’s Girl”, and he choose her first to sing along with “Don’t Talk to Stranger”. It took him a while to teach her the lyrics and convince her to sing. He told her that the point of a sing-along is that singing with other people connects you. He also had a few other people sing: a girl he grabbed to his chest, three girls with name shirts (Sylvia, Alyson, and Kristina), and several others as he ran thru the audience.

* While out in the audience finding targets to sing “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, someone handed him the lyrics to “Lust”. He began singing it, a little weak at first, but he finished strong, not needing to read the lyrics anymore. He only sang a few verses, and without any musical accompaniment.

* He didn’t introduce “Love Somebody” with the usual “naked butt” line, but with the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” fading into “Love Somebody”. I didn’t realize before how similar those songs sound. In the middle of “Love Somebody”, he even sang a bit of “Here Comes the Sun” again.

* Rick only stayed out into the audience for “Human Touch”, sans guitar and with a handheld mic; though he did make it up to the balcony tonight.

* I missed the repeated pauses during “Jessie’s Girl” that he did last night. That was an interesting change to the classic, and a change from the heavy breathing pause (which he didn't do tonight either).

* A two-song encore again – but strange to end with a song that isn’t even one he wrote.

* Again, there were lots of interesting guitar intros to familiar songs. One of my favorite things about seeing Rick in concert is watching him play guitar, and he shredded it tonight more than once.

* Rick wasn’t as chatty as he was last night, but he seemed to be singing with his full voice again, not as softly as he was last night. He did tell one bad KnockKnock joke – too ridiculous to repeat here; the whole audience groaned!

* Rick’s energy level was very high again tonite, with lots of jumping and leg movements. and this weird donkey kick off the drum stand. He didn’t break any guitars, but threw one up in the air and caught it twice. And there were several rose explosions, courtesy of the many bouquets bought by fans.

* Who was there: all the usual suspects - Rick on lead guitar and vocals, Derek on keyboards, Matt on bass, George B. on guitar, Rodger on drums, sound guy Mattie, guitar tech George II, and the always pleasant Dave at the merch table.

* What he wore: Rick came on-stage wearing his leather jacket, grey dress pants (looked the same as last nights), and his black high-top shoes with the sparkly embellishments. He took off the jacket after a few songs, revealing a grey striped sleeveless shirt with a cross pattern on it. The shirt was open to his chest when he got back on-stage from his foray up to the balcony during “Human Touch”; I don’t know if it was ripped open by fans up there, or if Rick opened it himself on his way back to the stage. No shirtless encore tonight; he came back on stage wearing the Gomer baseball jersey.

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