Like many young girls in the 1980’s I fell in love with Rick Springfield after I first saw his video for “Jessie’s Girl” on MTV. I had posters of him covering my bedroom walls, bought his records and scoured the teeny bopper magazines for photos to cut up and pin on my walls.
With my undying love for him, sadly, I was too young to attend any of his concerts. (Or, more like there was no way that my parents were gonna attend one of his concerts or let me go at 10 yrs old). So 30 years later, I have fulfilled one of my lifelong goals of seeing my first music fella crush, and oh boy, it was worth every second!
We had a tad bit of a scare when on Saturday, Rick Springfield was arrested, the day before our show, in L.A. for something stemming from an old DUI charge so we weren’t even sure he was gonna make it. But Sunday morning I read that paperwork was produced, he was released and made it out here in plenty of time for the show.
Now, I have spent many years making fun of the casino shows and the old bands that are delegated to play them. So this was my first casino show (stumbling upon random cover bands in Las Vegas doesn’t count!). It’s a whole other world in the casinos, and I had ideas of what it might be like to see a live band by choice there, but I was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality, the organization and the great view you could get from anywhere in the room. These folks run a tight ship, probably because they are used to dealing with lots of drunks, disappointments and dick outs.
Rick Springfield came out onto the stage and blasted into the show right away, playing three songs before he spoke one word. I went with my friend Carrie, who shared my childhood love of him and plastered her bedroom walls with his face as well. I didn’t think I would react like I did, but when he came out onto that stage I was 10 years old again and found myself actually making a deep sigh. Not kidding. I’m pretty sure butterflies and little hearts popped out of my eyes as well. However as an adult, it’s way more appropriate for me to stare at his ass and arms. Damn, he may be older, but he is in great shape.
I often think it must be a pain in the ass playing these same songs for so many years, but he took it in stride, was energetic and really fun. For an hour and forty five minutes Rick played all the old classics and some new songs including one for the ‘Sound City’ documentary soundtrack he wrote with Dave Grohl, which sounds exactly like a Foo Fighters song, and that’s ok with me! And one thing people forget because Rick is so associated with the 80’s and pop, is that the guy really plays guitar fantastically. He did one small solo, nothing too showy, but just enough to remind us that’s there’s more to him than pop hits and General Hospital appearances. He had great interaction with the audience (at least the ones on the right side of the stage!) and right before he played “Love Somebody” he asked the audience “Did anyone here see ‘Hard To Hold’ (the 1984 film he starred in)?” Some people applauded, but not many, then replied “Yeah, sorry about that.” That was pretty funny. He teased “Jessie’s Girl” a couple of times, then kicked it out at the end of the show. During the line “Where can I find somebody like that” two girls held up signs with arrows pointing down that said “Right Here”. Rick almost fell over laughing, as did the rest of us. Very clever ladies!
Now I never thought I’d say this, but I was actually glad to have a security there. It’s my age I’m sure, but it was nice not too worry about people cutting in front of you, knocking you down (I’m small so this is a thing!), or just being crazy in your face. And I know what you’re thinking, who would do any of this at a Rick Springfield concert? Well when it comes to seeing Dr. Noah Drake, and you add alcohol, it’s an ugly combo of sweaty middle aged women with partial pony tails and Disney sweatshirts willing to take an assault charge to get as close to Rick as possible. These ladies were full of booze and vigor, staggering down to the front trying to jump in front of us. The security guys were nice. We never saw anyone man-handled, they were calm and polite and kindly asked people to return to their seats. We saw a number of ladies trying to negotiate this, but security wasn’t having it and they went back defeated.
Carrie and I had second row seats with no one in front of us. We were ecstatic and couldn’t believe our luck (This only proved to suck later when Rick went out into the audience and touched people. Because for some reason, he went to the right of the stage then down the middle but never over to the left. One of the security guys told us most performers there do the same thing, they rarely ever going to the left. Noted for next time!)
It was a total tease. We watched him move through the crowd, and every time it looked like he might come our way, he moved back. We had a set of stairs on our side that would have led him right to us. So every time he looked like he was coming our way, we would get really excited, I mean really excited. Our hearts were pounding, we looked at each other and giggled and said “oh my god, he’s coming this way!” And, then boom he was back on the other side of the stage. We tried to get his attention, just by dancing, not obnoxiously, but we had no seats in front of us so we had a wide open space to dance around in, he had to see us! But no go. Come on Rick, we were the youngest ladies there, possibly the soberest, and we’re wearing modern day attire. Why wouldn’t you want to come our way and touch our hands! Dammit! Yet, Carrie and I convinced ourselves that he looked our way at least once. Just let us have it ok!
Now you’re probably making fun of me, and I don’t blame you, ’cause I was making fun of myself. I don’t know what the hell happened, but Carrie and I suddenly turned into our younger selves, yet with cocktails in our hands, and dammit, we loved every minute of it!