Live review: Rick Springfield, Loverboy and The Romantics at Classic Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta, 8/29/15
It was a night of nostalgia as three of the ‘80’s most prolific acts joined together on one stage in Atlanta. Rick Springfield wowed the (mostly) female audience with all of his hits. The ratio of men to women may been a bit more even, but judging from the forty-somethings dancing at the foot of the stage, you wouldn’t know it.
He led the crowd through an impromptu singing of “Happy Birthday,” as he had just celebrated his 66th the week before. You heard that right: 66. The guy doesn’t look like a sexagenarian (no pun intended). You may not admit to remembering being excited when General Hospital’s Dr. Noah Drake became a rock star, but you will remember all those radio songs: “I’ve Done Everything For You,” “I Get Excited,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “Love Somebody,” “Affair of the Heart” and the big one, “Jessie’s Girl.”
After the birthday song, with many in the crowd dumbfounded by his age, he said, “Hey, compared to rocks, I’m young! I mean rocks are four billion years old, right.” Fair enough. Springfield appeared to be having the time of his life – and those females up front concurred. A surprising highlight of the evening was his cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
Loverboy had a terrific run of hits in the eighties and fans sang along to let them know it. Lead singer Mike Reno had possibly the best voice of the evening, hitting every note with passion and energy and sounding as if it was all happening for the first time. Again, you know the hits: “Turn Me Loose,” “Hot Girls in Love,” “Take Me to the Top,” “The Kid is Hot Tonite” and introduced by Reno with “Time for a little cow bell…” they rocketed into “Working for the Weekend.” The band was tight and haven’t missed a beat for over three decades.
Opening the show was Detroit’s own Romantics who brought the crowd all the way back to 1980 with “She’s Got Everything” and “What I Like About You” along with other hits including “Rock You Up” and “Talking in Your Sleep.” Granted, the opener at Chastain is usually met with much wine glass clinking, silverware jangling and general mid-level conversation from the otherwise unfocused season ticket holders. More than once, lead singer Wally Palmer politely asked the still-filling venue to, “Put down your forks for one song…” Brad Elvis shook the house with a phenomenal set of drumming. Imagine a cocktail with two parts Keith-Moon-monsoon and a splash of Rick-Nielsen-showmanship and you’ll get Mr. Elvis.
You can still catch this tour on the road if you act fast. For more info, visit the band sites: Rick Springfield / Loverboy / The Romantics