Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rick Springfield Rocked The California Theater

Rick Springfield plays the California Theater,
Oct 1, 2009
Review & Photo by Laurie Bennett
The California theater is a historical landmark, and a gorgeous theater built in 1928, with ties to Vaudeville and Will Rogers. The architecture and detailing inside was simply stunning. The seats were theater style with a slightly angled floor and a balcony as well. The place wasn't full, probably because the show was on a Thursday evening. The stage was a perfect height for a concert and all seats were good ones.
Rick came out wearing grey pants (looked like jeans, and I think they were actually tiny black and white checkers, so the whole fabric looked grey), grey sleeveless button down collared shirt and a vest, and the cool "bedazzaled" black shoes. All of the band were in attendance, as well as Wife Barbie (!) and Mom Eileen, who both watched the entire show from seats on stage left.
The set list was the same or similar to what Rick has been playing lately - check out recent blogs/reviews for info. He did have lots of challenges with the lyrics to What's Victoria's Secret - a bit surprising to watch and quite funny for Rick himself to experience as he struggled through the song, laughing at himself. Guess his mind just wandered somewhere else. There were lots and lots of rose explosions, many more than I've seen for a long while; I especially liked the few small bouquets that were both red & white roses. Sometimes I think Rick likes to smash them standing over the fans, just to watch all of them cover up from the fall out. While in the audience, Rick noticed a woman with a dozen red ones, and asked her if she was going to hold on to them all night or actually give them to him?! (There was no space between the rows, and unless you were on an aisle seat, you were locked in place during the show). He finally got them from her, feigned a "for Me???" look, and hugged them, in award recipient type style. Too cute. Then he said, roses don't get to live long at Rick shows. This is where they come to die.
He did no guitar smashes, but was having plenty of technical issues with the new guitars. He had two broken strings only about 5 songs into the show, on two different guitars - a white one and a black one, both with the new RS logo on them. George II couldn't rotate them out fast enough, and there were more guitar changes than I think I've seen before. Roger even lost a cymbal off the drum kit. During Crossroads, Rick didn't like what he was hearing, threw the guitar towards George and it slid side stage as if sliding into home. Rick looked to the audience, mouthed a cuss word, and then said If I had a guitar right now, I'd be playing an awesome solo at this part!
He talked about his mom being there, teased her about her age, and how she was a tough parent and so forth. He didn't talk about Barbie but at one point mentioned his two very good looking sons. He apologized every time a cuss word flew (more maybe to Barbie than to the audience), and was cute once when he said something in front of a ten year old - then pointing directly at her and saying Don't you ever cuss!
He took off his vest and change into a sleeveless t-shirt mid-show, asking us all to close our eyes while he counted 1-2-3 and magically had changed. Of course he teased those of us who grabbed our cameras fast, saying how could our flashes be going off if our eyes were closed??? Early in the show he needed not one but two band aids, both for his right thumb, making it quite difficult to play the strings on the guitar. He commented that only the die hards know to bring band aids to the show (they were offered up from 2 fans towards the front quite quickly), saying when you go to a Rick show, you don't bring wine, you don't bring dope, you don't bring (?), but you do bring band-aids!!! He asked us all if we knew how hard it was to play guitar while wearing a band aid. Then he said, to reply to himself, it was really hard. Yes, really hard. Everyone started to giggle, and so he changed his verbiage - it's really difficult.
He talked briefly about his upcoming stint for Californication, and that we'd be seeing more of Rick Springfield than we probably ever wanted to... During DTTS, instead of "how's life in the big city" he said how's life in the where the &*^$D# are we??? Although still in Los Angeles county, we were on the edges/outskirts and it felt like closer to no where. It is in a very bad area of town, so he told us all to be careful not to get mugged on our way home! Out in the audience, Rick leaned far enough back that he was almost horizontal, (I was hoping the audience would surf him back to the stage, but it didn't happen) and so he commented on how beautiful it was to check out the ceiling, etc. The show was very fast paced, seemed to be over in a blink. When he started Jessie's Girl, he asked, is it that time already??? so maybe he even felt it. He had security guard Ray sing, teasing him because he wasn't even born in the 80's, and yet, the little girl close by who was only 12 knew the words! The show ended with a shirtless and wearing eyeglasses two song encore.

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