A most diverse crowd gathered at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach last night for the “Lionel Richie: All The Hits All Night Long” tour. The audience was already fired up after the performance of “Forget You” (or “F--k You;” the audience determined the chorus) by Richie’s opening act, Cee Lo Green, but this would be no match for the excitement Richie’s performance would bring.
As Richie was announced, the event staff had a hard time controlling the crowd as it moved its way closer to the stage. The music legend appeared with a flash of colorful lights and the words to “All Around the World.”
“I haven’t seen dancing like that since 1982—that’s some vicious dancing!" he claimed of the energetic crowd. "That was something else."
The most impeccable element of the night, despite his modulated singing and impressive performance, was how Richie connected with the audience. The diversity in age and backgrounds was no match for Richie’s “stories” that went along with songs. He told a story of devastation, despair and rekindling of a relationship followed by songs that could reach the oldest and youngest audience member alike: “You grab your album, your CD, your cassette, your 8-track and you call Lionel Richie,” he said.
Richie spoke to the audience as if he was speaking to an old friend. He told the story of “Three Times a Lady”—a song inspired by his own mother. He even made a promise, one of which he definitely kept. “Three things will be accomplished when you leave here tonight: You will remember where you were, what you were doing and who you were doing it with.”
Anyone who attended this performance walked away feeling as if they knew Richie on a more personal level—as if he had been at each individual’s home rather than in front of an audience of 7,000 fans.
“We have been together a very long time,” he said to the cheering crowd. “I realize when you were in love, I was in love. When you fell out of love, I fell out. When you were young, I was young. When you were old, I stayed young.”
The crowd resonated with his words and lyrics alike and as Richie asked them one last time—“Who do you call?”—the uniform response was, and always will be, “Lionel Richie.”
All Around the World
Running with the Night
Stuck on You
Dancing on the Ceiling
Three Times a Lady
Lady (You Bring Me Up)
Just to be Close to You
Say You, Say Me
All Night Long
We are the World
Kelsey Howard is a recent college graduate who earned her Bachelor of Arts in mass communications with a concentration in magazine journalism at the University of South Florida. Kelsey is an editorial intern this summer at Boca Raton magazine. She is 21 years old with a passion to explore the world and write about it along the way. You can contact Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941/306-9158 or view her portfolio here.