Musician, soap star, movie star and author Rick Springfield brought his show to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Thursday night. He is touring with the new record “The Snake King”, which was released in January. A bluesy rock hard edged record making some political statements is not what you expect from one of 80’s pop/rock favorites. Long before Justin Bieber, Springfield was a Teen Idol in his native Australia in the 70’s. He came to America and found musical success and then television success on the popular daytime drama General Hospital. In the 80’s, Dr. Noah Drake and Rick Springfield were almost one in the same. Rick left the show and devoted himself primarily to his first love music.
He has continued to release new music, play sold-out shows and do some acting occasionally. He has played the Van Wezel several times over the last 10 years, he has a fan base here and this show starts off a string of dates in the south along with the 80’s Cruise which Rick is hosting. When he disembarks he and his band will be playing in Naples. April 15th through 16th, he will be back in Florida to play the Garden Concert Series at Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot and a date in Miami.
He opened the show with “Light this Party Up” and then into “I’ve Done Everything for You” that people don’t know is actually a Sammy Hagar written song that Rick made his own hit. He did not overpower with unfamiliar tunes from the Snake King album. He peppered the setlist with a couple in “Little Demon” and “Devil that you Know”. But Springfield knows his audience and that they came to hear the hits like “Affair of the Heart” and of course, the song that will be forever his “Jessie’s Girl”. Along the way to the encore he treated his mostly female baby boomer audience to covers of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and The Trogg’s “Wild Thing”. Another thing the general public probably doesn’t know about Rick Springfield is that he is quite an accomplished guitar player switching instruments quite frequently and playing some great riffs.
He makes a pilgrimage through the audience during ”Human Touch” to connect with the crowd. People love it. He takes selfies with fans and shakes hands. At 68, Rick Springfield is doing it his way, playing for the people and playing for himself.
Photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography