Last Thursday night, Rick Springfield, the sex symbol from Down Under, played his first of two nights at the Avalon Ballroom Theatre in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Sixty-six years young, Springfield has enjoyed a prolific career as both a musician and an actor. His acting roles have included hit TV shows such as General Hospital and True Detective, as well as movie roles such as 2015’s Ricki and the Flash. Rocking and rolling all night, Springfield proved that his talents are many as he delivered an hour and a half rock spectacle that left all in attendance excited.
The show opened up with a video montage spanning the many decades of Springfield’s illustrious career, including snippets from his music videos, TV and movie roles, talk show appearances and his significance to pop culture. The short video served as the warm up act, pumping up the audience before Rick Springfield and his band took to the stage for the fist pumping opener of “Light This Party Up.” Right from the get go there were people on their feet, dancing and grooving, like they were back in the ’80s.
After the stomping opening number, Springfield broke into his first cover of the night, Sammy Hagar’s “I’d Do Anything For You,” which had the crowd singing along to the anthem. Springfield appears to have discovered the fountain of youth as he moved around with more energy than most musicians do, half his age. Springfield’s youthfulness was also on display as he performed rock and roll versions of modern pop hits such as Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”.
The set featured everything Springfield had to offer, including a large number of classic hits as well as songs off his most recent release “Rocket Science.” Springfield was very personable with the audience. He shared the story of how he had a history of putting animals on the cover of his albums, most famously “Working Class Dog,” so he thought “why not put a monkey dressed up as a scientist on the cover of ‘Rocket Science?'” Unfortunately for him, PETA contacted him upset about the cover so he jokingly told the audience not to buy the album. For those who chose to though, the new songs still have the same Rick Springfield charm as shown by his revved up performances of “Down” and “Miss Mayhem.”
To close off the main set, Springfield played two of his biggest hits, “Human Touch” and “Love Somebody.” Both songs saw Springfield jump off the stage into the audience to make for a very intimate concert experience. Throughout the performance, Springfield used bouquets of roses to strum his guitar sending petals flying everywhere and by the end of the show the stage was covered with red. The biggest cheer from the audience came during the encore when Springfield performed his mega hit “Jessie’s Girl.”
Springfield is one of those performers that checks all the boxes for what makes a good show. He has a multitude of hits that he does not shy away from playing. He is involved with the audience, sharing stories and engaging them to sing. He and his band electrify the room with their energy and create an atmosphere where smiling is infectious. The audience left the show that night having experienced everything that was great about the ’80s. This summer, Rick Springfield is bringing his brand of feel good music throughout the United States. Joining him on different nights are similar acts such as Night Ranger, Loverboy and 38 Special. What kind of fool would want to miss a concert like that?
Light This Party Up
I’ve Done Everything For You (Sammy Hagar Cover)
I Get Excited
Affair Of the Heart
Roar (Katy Perry Cover)
Medley : Bop Til’ You Drop/Celebrate Youth/ Calling All Girls/ Jessie’s Girl/ Don’t WalkAway/State of the Heart/ What Kind of Fool Am I
Love is Alright Tonight
Shake It Off (Taylor Swift Cover)
Don’t Talk to Strangers
I’ll Make You Happy
Photos by BackstageAxxess Correspondent Brandon Taylor. We would like to thank Jennifer Murphy from the Fallsview Casino for the credentials to review the show.