Rick Springfield

FirstMerit Bank Pavilion / Chicago, IL

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Photos by Laura Sedor


On a beautiful fall-like evening, Rick Springfield and opening acts Loverboy and the Romantics played Chicago’s FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. While the Romantics seemed to somewhat rouse the two-thirds capacity crowd, the energetic audience favorite was Loverboy, which really had the (mostly middle-aged) women on their feet. With their ˊ’80s hits, “Working for the Weekend” and “Turn Me Loose,” they were a nostalgic reminder that the audience really responded to.

Sixty-six year-old Rick Springfield has recently added to his acting resume by supporting Meryl Streep in Ricki and the Flash, as well as a role in HBO’s True Detective, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. A new album, Rocket Science, comes out in January 2016; along with his current US tour, work seems to keep him looking young and energetic. Springfield hit the stage with, “Light This Party Up,” and got the crowd standing with “I’ve Done Everything For You,” a longtime favorite.

The visible skyline added a certain emphasis to his sing-a-long cover of Katy Parry’s “Roar,” and the fun “Wild Thing” cover reminded everyone in attendance that the man can play guitar. After nearly getting mobbed during a walk through the audience, Springfield obligingly took off his shirt to overwhelming squealing and cheering. He finished the next two songs topless, threw on a new shirt, then pulled a six-year-old girl onstage to help him sing “Don’t Talk to Strangers.”

The still-energetic Springfield gave the expectant crowd his biggest hit, “Jessie’s Girl,” during the encore, as well as 2004’s “I’ll Make You Happy” and the show closer, “Kristina.”

—Laura Sedor

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