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Concert Reviews:
Rick Springfield and friends heat things up at Sound Board

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

Posted: Saturday, December 30, 2017

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DETROIT -- With help from a Romantic, and R2D2, Rick Springfield delivered a cool show on a cold night Friday, Dec. 29, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino Hotel.

The Australian native and West Coast resident was certainly conscious of the temperatures outside. Declaring that "it's freaking freezing out there," Springfield fingers his lightweight scarf and noted that "in California, this is our winter wear." He also noted that his wife "sent me a photo of our dog laying out in the sun today. That's cruel and unusual punishment!"

But Springfield and his four-piece band heated things up inside Sound Board with a high-energy 90 minutes of his particular blend of pop and rock, with some blues thrown in, along with a tightly produced video presentation that synced appropriate images to songs spanning the past 36 years of his recording career. And it was all lapped up with the usual enthusiasm by fans so rabid that a documentary was once made about them.

Though he complained about having "a lil' bit of a cold," the 68-year-old Springfield looked lithe and youthful as he charged into "Light This Party Up." He kept the (mostly 80s) hits coming throughout the night, including "I Get Excited," "Affair Of The Heart," "Love Is Alright Tonight," "Love Somebody," "Jessie's Girl" (of course) and a mid-show medley that mashed together another half-dozen hits, along with covers of Sammy Hagar's "Love Is Alright Tonight" and Katy Perry's "Roar." He proffered the microphone to several (very loud) fans as well as to R2D2 -- a working class droid, perhaps? -- during "Don't Talk To Strangers," then forayed deep into the Sound Board seats for "Human Touch," taking myriad selfies as he climbed over seats and walked up aisles.

Springfield didn't play anything from his upcoming blues-flavored album "The Lizard King," though he mentioned it a number of times and made fans promise to buy 10 copies each. He did, however, get bluesy with "Miss Mayhem" -- one of three songs he performed from his last album, 2016's "Rocket Science," and he showed off some guitar chops by playing a bit of the Chantays "Pipeline" and hints of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" before plunging into the Troggs' "Wild Thing."

Springfield spiced the encore by bringing the Romantics' Wally Palmar onstage for that group's seminal "What I Like About You" before finishing with his own "Kristina." Those leaving Sound Board found snow added to the cold, but with a glow from Springfield's show that should have sustained them at least to their cars.

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