TVD Live Shots:
Rick Springfield at the Lincoln Theatre, 4/19

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Standing outside the Lincoln Theatre on a rainy Sunday evening, a crowd of forty-something women with a sprinkling of husbands and boyfriends populated the sidewalk waiting to see ’80s heartthrob Rick Springfield. His one man show (along with a laptop he calls his “Band in the Box”) consisted of personal stories about his life infused with music that in the ’80s had women between the ages of puberty and death swooning. He continues this tradition even today at age 65.

As a collection of photos appeared on a screen highlighting his career in both the music and acting worlds, Springfield began the show with his story of growing up in Australia and did a quick montage of chart hits—“I Get Excited” and “Affair of the Heart”—closing with the line “Why can’t I find a woman like that,” which geared the crowd up for what was to come.

Through his story telling, facts emerged from his life that people may or may not know—such as after being kicked out of high school, Springfield and his band were recruited to play for American soldiers in Vietnam where the locals afforded them steady supplies of pot. After playing a cover of “Oh Well” by Fleetwood Mac, he rolled into the first song from Working Class Dog, “Love is Alright Tonite” which everyone sang along to enthusiastically.

After a brief interlude for traditional blues on a steel guitar (apparently Springfield fell in love with the blues at age 16), it was back to the hits with “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” which was in reference to his wife being alone while he was on the road. Many of his songs were about his wife including “Ordinary Girl,” which apparently his wife offered an “F U” to the song’s title.

A misty moment came when Springfield sang the song “My Father’s Chair,” written a few years after his dad passed away in 1981. His father watched cricket all day in a blue chair, and the image stuck with Rick—and after seeing the empty chair he knew his pop wasn’t coming back. As Springfield sang, photos were shown of his father and family growing up which resulted in many weepy eyes (including Springfield and myself).

As to bring everyone back up again, Springfield sang his hit “I’ve Done Everything for You,” a song actually written and performed by Sammy Hagar, but it was Rick Springfield’s good looks that made the song popular.

The show closed with some of Springfield’s remaining hits including “Love Somebody,” “Human Touch,” and everyone’s favorite “Jessie’s Girl,” which apparently could have been “Gary’s Girl” or “Randy’s Girl,” but those names just didn’t sound right.

The only disappointment of the show may have been the question and answer session afterward which allowed for perhaps just 4 questions—half of which were women asking for a hug or photograph with the heartthrob—and soon afterward Rick exited behind the stage curtain. An indication of the show’s success however was a long line of people assembled at the merch table—while the rest of the crowd continued to sing “Jessie’s Girl” as they exited into the night.

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