Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review of Atlantic City Concert

Atlantic City Full Band Show
September 23, 2017
Review by Lisa Howell

I know this is a little late…but better late than never!
I bought my tickets for the show in April, so this was a highly anticipated concert!  Of course, Rick didn't disappoint…even without his guitar!  I'll admit I was a little disappointed to hear that Rick wouldn't be playing the guitar for this show and I thought he would look and feel awkward without it.  Boy, was I wrong!  I actually liked that he didn't have a guitar in front of him all night.  I think it allowed him to have more interaction with his fans.  Don't get me wrong, I love Rick's guitar playing, but I did like him without it for this particular concert.

The first time I saw Rick in concert was May 21, 1982 when I was 14. It was also my very first rock concert....and my first unchaperoned date.  It was a BIG night for me and turned out to be the most exciting night of my life up to that point.  The surge of excitement I felt when Rick came on stage along with the thrill of the roaring crowd was like nothing I had ever experienced before.  It's a feeling I'll never forget!

Now, back to the Atlantic City concert......
The minute Rick walked onto the stage, the excitement rushing through me was hard to contain!  I had an awesome front row seat and was thrilled when Rick came over and sat down on the edge of the stage in front of me….TWICE!
He started the concert with “Light This Party Up” and the party was ON!  He did all of the great ‘80s hits, including my favorite (from the 80s) – Alyson.  Actually, he did most of my favorites…including “Our Ship’s Sinking”.  I did miss the guitar on that one - I love watching him play the guitar on that song!  If you haven't seen the YouTube video of it, you should – he totally ROCKS it!  He included a couple songs from my favorite album, shock/denial/anger/acceptance, including “Jesus Saves" and “I'll Make You Happy”.  He DOES make me happy and judging from the audience's energy and excitement, he makes them happy too!  He also did a couple songs from the Rocket Science album – “Down” and “That One”. He said that he had planned to do “Miss Mayhem” but because of his injured arm, he substituted it for another song from the album.
It was Siggy’s (bass player) birthday, so of course, we sang Happy Birthday to him.  Rick loves singing Happy Birthday!  And speaking of birthdays, Rick recently celebrated his 68th birthday, but even 30+ years later, the electrifying energy is still ALIVE and well!
Since Rick wasn't playing the guitar, I didn't expect there to be rose explosions.  Oh, there were rose explosions - on speakers, guitars, the mic stand and even the drums - sending Jorge running for cover a few times!

The highlight of the show was "Don't Talk To Strangers" when Rick brings the kids on stage to sing and dance with him.  Rick recognized one of the kids from a previous Stripped Down Show - four year old Jake.  Jake was wearing a shirt that said, "I've had Jessie's Girl" which everyone, including Rick got a kick out of.  Apparently Jake had scolded Rick at a previous Stripped Down show for "saying bad words" which I won't repeat.  I believe there is a video on YouTube (I love YouTube!)  Jake has to be the cutest kid I've ever seen!  After Jake "stole the show", Rick says he wants to take him on the road and after some dancing - and the kid has some moves too - Rick jokingly boots Jake off stage, with a standing ovation from the crowd.

Rick later mentioned that he will be on the upcoming season of the FX channel TV series “American Horror Story” and that he'll also continue his role as Lucifer on the CW channel TV series “Supernatural” this season.  When does this man sleep? Lol
He finished the night with “Kristina” and “Jessie’s Girl”.
This was hands down the BEST concert I've ever been to!  And unlike my 1982 concert, I didn't spend the next two weeks crying myself to sleep every night because I couldn't be his girlfriend! (True story)
As usual, he left me wanting MORE, so I can't wait to see his Annapolis show in December!

Photo of Jake and Rick by Denise Bozarth    (used with the permission of Jake's parents)