I’ve been a fan of Rick Springfield since his early days as Dr. Noah Drake on ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ when ‘Jessie’s Girl’ was quickly becoming a hit. I’ve seen him live several times, bought all of his CD’s, read his autobiography, and met him at a book signing. I’m pretty confident in saying that I’m one of his biggest fans.
But last night’s concert at Detroit’s Motor City Casino was much different than the Rick Springfield shows I’ve seen in the past. Why? In a word, it was very intimate.
Coined the ‘Stripped Down Tour’ – the concert was an interesting and entertaining mix of songs and personal stories starring Rick Springfield.
Dressed in his usual jeans and t-shirt, Springfield took the stage alone. Although he was surrounded by many different guitars, Springfield’s only accompaniment came from what he called the ‘band in a box,’ which contained prerecorded backing vocals and music also performed by the singer.
Even though this was a very different concert for the diehard Rick Springfield fan like me, the singer included many of his hits like ‘Jessie’s Girl,’ ‘Love Somebody,’ ‘Don’t talk to Strangers,’ and ‘I’ve Done Everything for You.’ Springfield incorporated a few covers as well, including Badfinger’s ‘Baby Blue.’
Throughout the show, Springfield shared stories about his experiences and inspirations as a musician. He also shared many personal stories about his family and friends. Springfield said that many of his songs resulted from the trying times in his life.
‘Sometimes I think I initiated a fight with my wife to get a song out of it,’ he laughed.
The singer got visibly emotional after performing ‘My Father’s Chair,’ – a song about the death of his dad. ‘My dad died just as ‘Jessie’s Girl’ was getting popular…. It was one of those times that something bad was happening, but there was something good happening too,’ Springfield shared.
It was clear that the emotional version of ‘My Father’s Chair’ had an impact on the audience as well. Looking around, many of us were wiping our tears, thinking about the loss of our own fathers.
Perhaps the most poignant moment was when Springfield explained the meaning behind his 1988 song ‘Honeymoon in Beirut.’ The song came out of a difficult time in the singer’s marriage.
‘We were going through a rough time but nobody knew it…. Everyone goes through things and you never really know what goes on inside someone’s relationship…. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that other people are in a better place than you are,’ he shared.
But story after story and song after song, Springfield’s voice was strong, consistent and flawless. His guitar playing was complex and impressive. His personality was charming. And he remained engaging, funny, and at ease.
After the concert, Springfield sat down for a Question and Answer session with the audience. Fans (mostly female) from Rochester to Dearborn posed some interesting questions. Some fans came from as far away as Ohio. Springfield answered each question - including one about his ‘most embarrassing moment on stage’ – which he said was singing in Japan with his ‘fly down.’
When asked who his ‘favorite 80’s band’ was, Springfield answered ‘the Aussie group ‘The Church.’ Then he proceeded to sing the band’s hit ‘Under the Milky Way.’
Also, when asked why he ‘never sings the song ‘Souls’ live anymore,’ Springfield answered by doing just that.
The evening came to a close but not before the singer commented that he really loves performing in Detroit. Back at you Rick – Detroit loves you too. Come back and see us soon.
For more on Rick Springfield, visit his official website.