Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rick Springfield at the Taste of Joliet

Saturday June 27,2010
The Taste of Joliet
Joliet, IL
review by B Dahl
photo by Lauri J

The Taste of Joliet is held at a football stadium, and the stage was set up at one end, while food venders lined the sides and the other end of the field. Rides and carnival games were also set up outside the stadium. There was a fenced in area in front of the stage for the “reserved” ticket holders, though this area had no seats and was a general seating area, too (ie, has the potential for people pushing up front once Rick took the stage). Some fans had gotten there as early as 7:30 AM to be up front, but the reserved area really didn’t start filling up until the second band started playing.

Two bands were on-stage before Rick: Camouflage, a local band of older guys who played mostly classic rock cover songs; and 7th Heaven, also a local group who are well-known in the Chicagoland area, who play current cover songs as well as their own songs (that some of the audience seemed to know, as they have a huge local following). Both bands were fairly good and made the time waiting for Rick enjoyable. 7th Heaven especially seemed to have a lot of energy; as part of their set, they play “30 songs in 30 minutes”, which is a montage of familiar songs.

* There were a couple of special guest performers tonite with Rick:
- Dustin Walker, a 14-yr-old guitar player who played Rick’s guitar during “What’s Victoria’s Secret” This kid is an amazingly talented guitarist, a real rock-star performer, with great stage presence. At one point, Rick handed him some roses to shred, and Dustin at first refused- like maybe saying that was something only Rick could do - but then he took them for a mini-rose explosion.
- Jackson, Jack White’s son (also a young teen?), who played drum during “Crossroads”. He also had great stage presence, and did an awesome job.
- and Jack White himself (Rick’s drummer from the 80’s), who played drums for the surprise second song during the encore. This seemed to have been unplanned, as the “clear the venue” music started playing first, and Rick had to tell Matty (sound engineer) to turn it off as he introduced Jack.

* The “heavy breathing” that Rick used to do during “Jessie’s Girl”, he now did in the pause between the first and second verse of “I Get Excited”. During the pause in “Jessie’s Girl”, he held his hand over his eyes and scanned the audience, looking for “a woman like that”.

* While having the audience practice the “Yeah Yeah” for “Venus in Overdrive”, Rick repeated it different ways, and made other sounds for the audience to repeat. He said it sound like we were calling aliens, and he looked skyward, as if waiting for them to arrive.

* For “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, in addition to choosing some people in front of the stage (who couldn’t sing, according to Rick), he waded thru the crowd to the tent that was set up on the side, with raised seats, that Rick called “the expensive seats” (I think these may have been the festival organizers and sponsors and such?). He had a few people there sing, and then said, “See, rich people suck at singing, too! Does anybody here sing in this crowd?!” On his way back to the stage, he found one of “the city’s finest”, a police officer named Willis, who he had sing, and then he told Willis that he wasn’t allowed to give anyone a speeding ticket for the next month if when he stopped them, they mentioned that they’d heard the police officer sing at the Rick Springfield concert. Back on stage, he tried to get a little girl in front to come on-stage with him, but when she refused, another girl was pushed on-stage from the side. He had 9-yr-old Maddie (sp?) dance with him first, jumping around wildly and waving his arms, before he had her sing.

* When introducing “Love Somebody”, after asking who saw the movie “Hard to Hold”, Rick asked who thought he should have won an Oscar for that movie, and if his naked butt should have won an Oscar, too? Then, he said that his naked butt was nominated for an Emmy from his appearance on Californication. This song (“Love Somebody”) he sang on both shows.

* During “Human Touch”, Rick went into the audience without his guitar and with a handheld mic. He went only as far as the fence that separated the reserved area from the general admission area, and sang most of the song from there, standing on top the fence.

* During the chorus of “Jessie’s Girl”, George B and Matt joined Rick at his mic center stage, and pushed him away every time it was time for them to sing the refrain.

* At one point early in, someone in the front handed Rick some festival food: a large, non-alcoholic drink and a corndog wrapped in foil. Rick was uncertain about what the corndog was, and asked if it was something he ate. He then threw it back to Rodger and Matt, saying they ate anything. Rodger unwrapped the corndog, and tried to play drums with it, which Rick then had to do, too, before throwing it over to George B. (who tossed it off-stage to George N.) Later in the concert, someone from the audience handed Rick a beer, the band which was one of the festival sponsors.

* The documentary film crew (Yellow Rick Road) was there filming both on stage and in the front of the audience. And a photographer from the Joliet Park District was running all over the stage and in the front row snapping pictures during the entire concert.

* What he wore: Rick came out on stage wearing jeans, a white button shirt with gold designs and ripped off sleeves, a jacket, and sparkly black high top sneakers. The jacket was quickly removed, and once the white shirt became soaked with sweat, he changed on-stage into a black sleeveless pull-over shirt. No change for the encore.

Set list:
Mr. PC
I’ve Done Everything for You
Affair of the Heart
Living in Oz
What’s Victoria’s Secret
Celebrate Youth
I Get Excited
Venus in Overdrive
I’ll Miss That Someday
Love Is Alright Tonite
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Love Somebody
Human Touch
Jessie’s Girl
Wild Thing

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