Everyone knows my taste in music is notoriously eclectic. If you’re at all surprised that I not only love Rick Springfield but was all over a chance to see him live in Greensburg, you’re wrong.
Of course, this was a family affair–as are all other concerts given by musicians whose careers started before I was born. We all go. Very rarely does one of us sit one out, though I wanted to for The Police. And I kind of wish I would have because it was kind of a forgettable show–the band didn’t even seem to like each other or want to be there.
But I’ve seen bands just as old kick so much ass that they put bands half their age to shame. Styx, Def Leppard, Elton John, and Paul McCartney (obviously) are all on the top of my list of acts you do not want to miss because they still put on a lively, energetic, engaging, interesting, fun show. And I’m adding Rick Springfield to that list.
Most people only remember Rick Springfield from “Jesse’s Girl” or General Hospital, but those people are missing out on a whole body of rock work. By the way, “Human Touch” is one of my favorite Rick Springfield songs, so start there. Then try “Kristina.”
The theater was full of women my mom’s age. The Palace Theater is Greensburg isn’t well-suited for a rock show simply by design, but size-wise, it’s perfect for musicians like Rick Springfield with a decent (and rabid) following. It’s along the lines of some of Pittsburgh’s mid-size to large clubs, just really pretty with legit seats. And they let everyone pretend they weren’t there, if they so desired, and swarm the stage, but our seats were close enough that we were able to stay put with no problem seeing.
But those ladies went nuts, ran to the stage, and took gifts and flowers with them. Now, I’ve seen lots of displays of female affection at concerts, most notably one woman who had “TOM” written on her bare ass in the crowd when Angels & Airwaves were playing X-Fest in Pittsburgh, but I’ve never seen bouquets of roses for a man brought by multiple women. He accepted them graciously, then took handfuls of them and used them to strum his guitar, thereby destroying them and sending rose petals all over the stage. And it was fucking badbass. Seriously, it was one of the simplest yet coolest acts of rock I have ever seen. My only regret is failing to get a picture of it every time.
He put on an energetic show, despite playing with a broken hand. He tore through a setlist including pretty much all his hits, some newer songs, some unfamiliar gems (like the aforementioned “Kristina”), and even covers of “Jet” and “All My Loving.” Now, I notoriously hate Beatles covers, but plenty of artists keep proving to me that they can do them skillfully (Cheap Trick is another).
He even came out into the crowd. The ladies loved that. He climbed on the tops of seats, got groped, and made his way down our row, singing right above us, which is always cool.
He frequently lost his balance. When he did so in our row, everyone reached to support him. I nearly grabbed his hand, bandaged and broken, then stopped myself and grabbed his arm instead. Basically, my entire family kept him from falling, and he thanked us–but best of all, my mom’s position and and desire to rescue him ended up with her hands planted on his ass.
(In fact, my parents are the two people immediately in the front of the picture on either side of Rick.)
When he made his way back to the stage, he brought a little kid up to finish the song–“Don’t Talk to Strangers”–and it was adorable.
In the end, it was a great show, I had a lot of fun, and I left impressed. Then had to drive an hour home, get to bed around 11 or 12, and get up between 5:30 and 6:00 the next morning to be at work at 7:00, but whatever. I prioritize fun, music, and concerts over the recommended amount of sleep.