Saturday, July 20, 2024

Concert Review: Rick Springfield

You know you’re at a concert featuring bands from the 1980s when someone, like the woman seated next to me last night at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, comments, with concern in her voice, “Oh my, look how puffy they are.”

While that may have been the case with opening acts The Romantics and Loverboy, who, from a sheer rock standpoint, couldn’t have been in finer form, the same couldn’t be said for the headliner on this blast-from-the-past triple bill.

Riding a wave of estrogen that swept through the aisles with tsunami-like force, Rick Springfield took the stage in a black sleeveless shirt—the better to reveal his seriously ripped biceps—looking like a rocker half his age. As we learned when he prompted us to sing him “Happy Birthday” (even though it was back on Aug. 23), that age is 66.

Whatever the Aussie-born actor/musician who brought Dr. Noah Drake to “General Hospital” is doing to stay fit, it’s working. The 50- and 60-somethings who were falling all over one another to snap selfies with Springfield in the backdrop hadn’t been that excited since Luke and Laura were married.

For his part, Springfield gave the wildly enthusiastic Hump Day crowd exactly what they wanted. He commanded the front part of the stage, keeping his four-piece backup band a good 6 feet behind him, almost like they were in time out. And he never stopped engaging his audience.

Currently riding his own wave of renewed interest—thanks to a creepy turn as an over-Botoxed plastic surgeon in HBO’s “True Detective” and a co-starring role opposite Meryl Streep in “Ricki and the Flash”—the ageless Springfield played his MTV videos in the background, posed for countless photos (one woman must have taken 147 selfies) and brought two young girls on stage to sing. Appropriately enough, during the song “Human Touch,” Springfield threw caution to the wind and walked straight into the cougars’ den, accepting hugs, kisses, gropes, back issues of Soap Opera Digest—who knows—from every section of the audience.

On the music front, Springfield tossed in a few numbers from a forthcoming album, along with a Katy Perry cover (“Roar”), to go with his more familiar tracks. Back in the day, his heartthrob looks tended to overshadow the fact that Springfield could bring it as performer/songwriter. One of the evening’s highlights was a medley that proved as much, including two songs—“Celebrate Youth” and “State of the Heart”—off the underrated album “Tao.”

Earlier in the evening, Loverboy had the crowd on its feet with a nonstop barrage of hits that prompted one man to say, “I forget just how many great songs these guys had.” The high-energy set included hard-rocking versions of “The Kid is Hot Tonite,” “Turn Me Loose” and “Working for the Weekend.” The Romantics may not possess the same new-wave sneers they did in the late ’70s, but they also had some serious bounce in their step, bringing the crowd to its feet on songs like “Stone Pony” and “What I Like About You.”

Springfield closed the show with an encore that included his signature hit, “Jessie’s Girl,” then signed a few autographs before exiting stage right. If they could have, the ladies in the crowd might have smoked a collective cigarette. Needless to say, it was good for everyone.

Photos by Ron Elkman (

Rick Springfield

Light This Party Up
I’ve Done Everything For You
I Get Excited
Affair of the Heart
Roar (Katy Perry cover)
Our Ship Is Sinking
• Bob ‘Til You Drop
• Celebrate Youth
• Calling All Girls
• Don’t Walk Away
• State of the Heart
• What Kind of Fool Am I?
Love Is Alright Tonight
Wild Thing
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Human Touch
Love Somebody

Jessie’s Girl
I’ll Make You Happy


Lucky Ones
Queen of the Broken Hearts
Take Me to the Top
The Kid is Hot Tonite
Lovin’ Every Minute of It
Hot Girls in Love
Turn Me Loose
Working for the Weekend

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