Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rick Springfield's final night in Milwaukee

May 9th 2009
Milwaukee, WI
Review by: B Dahl
photo by Laura Hoppe

“Is it over already?” That’s what Rick said at the end of tonight’s concert. Here's the set list from the final night in Milwaukee: Saturday, May 9th, followed by comments and observations. The usual set list with three rockin’ songs from the SDAA album thrown in.

Mr. PC
What’s Victoria’s Secret?
Affair of the Heart
Will I?
I’ve Done Everything for You
I Get Excited
Venus in Overdrive
I’ll Miss That Someday
Love is Alright Tonite
Who Killed Rock ‘n Roll
Crossroads (Cream/Eric Clapton)
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Love Somebody (with Here Comes the Sun intro)
Human Touch
Jessie’s Girl
Beautiful You

* Before the beginning of the concert, they showed a promo video for the upcoming cruise again. Then, the manager of the theatre and Rick’s manager, Rob Koz, came on-stage to apologize for having to cancel the charity softball game this morning on such short notice. They bantered back and forth about who would have won and then Rob Koz announced that they were hoping to reschedule the game for when Rick was back in Milwaukee this August at the Wisconsin State Fair. (This is the first I have heard about this concert date. It hasn’t been listed on the tour schedule, though I see WCD has posted about Access pre-sale tickets going on sale Monday!)

* The concert began with the video retrospective of Rick’s career –followed by “Nothing Is Ever Lost” – then Rodger banging it out on his drums as the lights flash and Rick walks on-stage.

* No guitar girl for “I Get Excited” – he just went on to the second verse himself. The part where he usually does the back bend with the girl under the guitar seemed strange to see him play it alone.

* Surprised to hear no Beatles tunes tonight (except for the “Love Somebody” intro), as the past two nights he has done at least one. “Crossroads” was the cover song tonight. He sat on the stage speaker to sing this, and put the mic stand on the table in front of him. He had a girl at the table hold the mic stand so he could sing into it, and as he described how she should hold it, he made it sound very pornographic. Naughty boy!

* For “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, he first picked a girl who said she couldn’t sing because she was hoarse. Rick said, “Horse? I didn’t know they let animals in here!” He has such a quick sense of humor! Then, after she sang (and sounded terrible, because she was very hoarse) Rick asked George to swab the mic with alcohol before he had anyone else sing into it, because he didn’t want to spread her cold around. (She said she wasn’t sick, just lost her voice from screaming the past two nights.) He found a table of some guys from Scotland, and he had a fun time having them sing (and asking them what they were wearing under their kilts). The past two nights, when asking the audience to chime in with “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, Rick has said to sing it softer, then softer, then “Sing it in Swahili”. Well, tonight, some girls actually came prepared with the “Don’t Talk to Strangers” refrain in Swahili – which Rick tried to sing.

* Rick only stayed out into the audience for “Human Touch”, sans guitar and with a handheld mic. He made it up into the balcony again tonight for a quick run across the front row.

* He did the repeated pauses during “Jessie’s Girl” again. I think I like this version of the song better than when he was doing the heavy breathing bit.

* A two-song, shirtless encore again.

* Again, there were lots of interesting guitar intros to familiar songs. He just sounds better every time I hear him in-concert.

* Rick didn’t stop to chat much, though he did mention that he had been to the Titanic Exhibit yesterday, and talked about what a Titanic freak he is and the Titanic memorabilia that he owns. The band was just sitting around while he was talking, and he asked if he bored them. Then he told George B. to “make some sounds”, and George barked like a dog. Rick laughed, and said he meant for him to play his guitar and start the next song.

* His singing voice seemed to be full-on again, and he sounded really good, though he said after singing three nights in a row he almost blew his throat out again.

* Rick’s energy level was still very high tonite, with lots of jumping and leg movements, and what’s up with the weird donkey kick off the drum stand? He didn’t break any guitars, or even throw any up into the air to catch. He seemed to have a problem with the guitars tonight, as he had to change several during songs. And there didn’t seem to be as many rose explosions tonight.

* 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 still pleasant Dave at the merch table.

* What he wore: Rick came on-stage wearing his leather jacket with the checkered yoke, grey dress pants (looked the same type he has worn both previous nights), and his black high-top shoes with the sparkly embellishments. He took off the jacket after a few songs, revealing a dark grey sleeveless t-shirt with some sort of design on it. And it was a shirtless encore again tonight! The flash cameras went wild!

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