By Brenda Lorenz
On Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, The Mahaffey Theater began to fill early with Rick Springfield fans and the anticipation grew. For many, this isn’t just another great show they were about to see – this is a superstar!
Tommy Tutone got things started at 8:05 with “Sylvia” – he joked it was about Jenny’s sister. His set list included, “Angel Say No”, “Cheap Date”, and of course, his 1981 hit “867-5309/Jenny”. That got the crowd to their feet and singing along!
As the intermission was winding down, you knew when Rick hit the stage even if you weren’t in your seat – the roar of the crowd was a dead giveaway! The beginning of “Affair of the Heart” was filling the air! I, along with several others, rushed back to our seats to catch ever moment of the icon himself!
At the end of the first song, he talked about his hit album “Working Class Dog” – “May not seem like it, but Working Class Dog” was 40 freakin years ago – I must have been about 10 when it came out!”
As he ended “State of the Heart” and was moving into “Father’s Chair”, he sat on the edge of the stage and talked about this song he wrote for his dad. “My dad passed away in 1981 just when things were starting to happen for me. Cancer took him, so please join me in a ruckus call of “F%*& CANCER!” – and of course the audience eagerly obliged! “When dad was dying, he’d sit in this blue leather rocking chair and he’d watch cricket”, saying his dad loved the game but he never did. “Its terrible game – It’s like baseball on Percocet”. He went on to explain that his dad loved it and he would sit in that chair all day. When his dad finally passed away, Rick went home for the service. He had to go into that room to get something, and he saw his dad’s chair sitting there. He realized then for the very first time that his dad wouldn’t be coming home. That was the beginning of his grieving. With shouts of “WE LOVE YOU RICK” from the audience, there weren’t many dry eyes left at this point.
Now to bring the party atmosphere back, he shouted, “TIME TO GET UP!” and he started a medley of his hits saying to “sing along if you know the words, and if you don’t, then what the Fk you doing here?!” The medley included “Bop Till You Drop”, “Bruce”, “Jessie’s Girl”, “Don’t Walk Away”, “Rock of Life”, and “What Kind of Fool Am I”.
As a huge blues fan, he made my day by pulling from his most recent album, a very bluesy song called, “Voodoo House”. In this, he asked for participation from the crowd. I love how he interacts with his fans during shows! This song is from his most recent album, “Snake King” that he jokingly said, “a very rocking album that nobody’s heard yet – well some of you have.” He blew me away with his steel guitar in this swamp blues tune! Then without missing a beat, he began his ripping intro to a cover of “Wild Thing”!
Next up was yet another fan favorite – “Human Touch”. He made his way off the stage and through the crowd with fist bumps, high fives, and handshakes as he walked across the seats as adoring fans stood to try to get his ‘human touch’! Safely making it back to the stage, he then closed things out on a breathtaking note appearing shirtless for “Jessie’s Girl”. You would never guess that this man is 73 years old with his exceptionally fit physique!
He does not hold back when he’s on stage giving a high energy show every time! He left the stage with “God bless you guys! We love you more than you know!”
Full set list:
Affair of the Heart
I Get Excited
Living in Oz
I’ve Done Everything for You
Light of Love/Everybody’s Girl
World Start Turning
State of the Heart
Love is Alright
Noodle/Wild Thing (cover)
Don’t Talk to Strangers