TVD Live Shots:
Rick Springfield with
the Pacific Symphony Orchestra at Pacific Amphitheater, 7/11

Although I’ve never seen Rick Springfield in concert, I have always been intrigued at the possibility of catching one of his rare live performances in Southern California. An acclaimed actor, singer, and songwriter, Springfield has dozens of albums under his belt and a cult-like following like no other in the industry today. Fans from all over Southern California flocked to the Pacific Amphitheater on Thursday night for a special performance under the stars accompanied by the celebrated Pacific Symphony Orchestra. This show had all the ingredients necessary to be special and I was excited to finally get a chance to see Rick Springfield live!

Walking into the Pacific Amphitheater, I was amazed at the number of die-hard fans that Rick Springfield still has. Men and women from all walks of life were pouring into the venue donning shirts emblazoned with slogans like “Jessie’s Girl,” “We’re with Rick,” and my favorite “It’s a Rick Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand.” In addition, long-stem roses seemed to be standard fare for many of the female persuasion, with many leaving bouquets for Rick center stage prior to the show getting underway. I asked a super fan sitting next to me if this was typical of Rick’s shows and she emphatically screamed, “Of course it is, what else would you expect at a Rick Springfield concert?”

The show kicked off promptly at 8:15PM, and the crowd went absolutely nuts as Springfield took center stage directly in front of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Fans were screaming, roses were flying, and there was a surge to the front of the stage as Rick kicked off his set with 1983 classic (and Night Tracks standard) “Affair of the Heart.” If you didn’t know better, you’d have thought you were at a classic Van Halen show by the way the crowd exploded.  Alas, we were underway and headed for sheer musical madness.

Over the next few hours, Rick Springfield delighted his legions of fans with a spectacular set composed of 14 songs that spanned an amazing musical career of over 40 years. Sure, fans came for classics like “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Affair of the Heart” but lesser known hits like “Souls,” “Irreplaceable,” and “Kristina” were simply incredible and showcased Rick’s amazing talent as a vocalist. My favorite track of the evening was Springfield covering the Sammy Hagar classic, “I’ve Done Everything for You.” The funny thing was that many diehard fans insisted he wrote the song, but obviously this was not the case as the Red Rocker dropped it in 1978. I just think Rick’s version was a bit more popular upon its release on Working Class Dog in 1981.

The show ended with a bang as Springfield crushed crowd favorite “Jesse’s Girl.” Everyone (and I mean everyone) was off their feet and singing along to what is considered his trademark song. What was even more killer was how this song sounded accompanied by the Pacific Symphony. Having a veteran like Carl St. Clair leading the orchestra took the production to a whole new level and ended one incredible night of music in Orange County.

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