Review by Valerie Curtis
Rick Springfield Rockin’ on the Ohio River with Greg Kihn, and Patty Smyth & Scandal.
What better way to spend a gorgeous Friday Summer’s evening than with Rick Springfield at PNC Pavilion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rick treated the concert goers to some of his older and also more recent tunes as he reminded everyone that he was, is and will always be a true Rock Star. Guaranteed to get the crowd immediately up on their feet and dancing, Rick opened with “Light This Party Up” from his 2016 album, Rocket Science. After gliding right into a couple of his fan favorites from the 80’s, “Affair of the Heart” and “I Get Excited,” he took a turn toward his latest album, The Snake King, and belted out “Little Demon,” bringing massive applause. The audience couldn’t help but sing along to his next number, penned by Sammy Hagar, “I’ve Done Everything For You,” proving to be a nostalgic trip down memory lane for many.
Pausing the show for a bit, Rick announced that last month he reached a landmark birthday, the big 7-0, so he led his fans in singing a fun round of “Happy Birthday” to him. From there, Rick launched into a medley of some of his greatest hits, which highlighted that he has a very impressive catalog of chart-toppers under his belt. Bringing the show back to his Snake King album, he gave a lesson on how to sing the chorus of “Voodoo House,” and everyone obliged in full force. Again, appealing to members of the audience to help with singing his songs, not only did Rick allow an adorable little girl named Chloe to sing along with him on stage, he also engaged volunteers in singing one of his biggest hits by tossing a microphone into the crowd and letting them pass it around, taking turns singing ” Don’t Talk to Strangers” For a quick a chance to get up close and personal with Rick, he traveled throughout the Pavilion giving high fives and hugs to those lucky enough to be in his path during “Human Touch.”
After peppering the stage with “rose explosions” throughout the night, where he runs bunches of roses against his guitar strings causing the petals to rain down on those in their proximity, he closed his set with “Love Somebody” from the soundtrack of his first starring role in a silver screen movie, Hard to Hold. Rick returned to the stage for an encore after the crowd screamed for more, where he delivered his signature number one song, “Jessie’s Girl,” ending the evening on a perfect note.
Providing main support this evening was the incomparable Patty Smyth & Scandal. After a slightly rocky start where the band launched into the opening song before they were introduced to the crowd, it was all systems go for Patty Smyth & Scandal as they rolled through a fantastic, energetic set of classic rock songs.
Casually dressed in a sequined Led Zeppelin shirt and shiny 3” silver heels along with a smile from ear to ear Patty and the guys started the evening with “Love’s Got a Line on You” along with “No Mistakes,” and then the first of their mega-hits “The Warrior”. It was great to see everyone on their feet, singing right along with Patty and the band, having the time of their lives. After pouring out so much energy during the song, Patty jokingly sprawled out on the stage and called for a medic to help her which drew laughs from everyone.
Patty was very personable and engaging with the crowd, one moment sitting on the stage while singing the Bobby Gentry cover of “Ode to Billy Joe” and then in the crowd dancing, singing and exchanging high-fives during “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough”. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but not before a very sincere cover of Tom Waits’ “Downtown Train” came pouring from the stage followed by the groups biggest hit “Goodbye to You” closed out the set with a bang.
Along with Patty Smyth on stage is long time guitarist Keith Mack, guitarist Cliff Hillis, keyboardist John Deley, bassist Tom Welsch, and drummer Eran Asias.
Backed by Rick Springfield’s band, rocker Greg Kihn opened the evening with a short set that had the crowd up and going from the opening chords. Greg closed out his time on stage with an elongated rendition of “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)” with the whole venue smiling, dancing and singing the song’s familiar chorus.