Opens Up Acoustic Tour
February 15, 2022
Rick Springfield opened up his winter, solo acoustic tour at the Goodyear Theater in Akron yesterday. Springfield had just played the MGM with a full band in December, but that did not deter his longtime fans from seeing him in a more intimate setting on Valentine’s Day.
Sitting on a stool, center stage and surrounded by guitars behind him, Springfield opened the show with “Affair Of The Heart” and the show was off and running.
Or so we thought.
Springfield also had a laptop next to him that had pictures that were supposed to project behind him to enhance his stories. There was also background music that he had recorded to help enhance some of the songs and provide background vocals. He noted that “it isn’t cheating, well it kinda is.”
Since it was the first acoustic show of the year, there were some kinks that needed to be worked out with the computer as well as his guitars staying in tune.
So he had his assistant named Maddy come and help him out with the technology. Let’s just say that Maddy made several appearances on stage throughout the show.
Springfield shrugged off the first mistake by playing the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Oh Well.”
This is where things went haywire with his computer and he demanded that Maddy come up and "fix it." While Maddy was trying to fix the problem, Rick went to the front of the stage to talk with the audience and someone asked him if he wanted a beer. He said yes, then told the crowd, "Forget the music, why don't we all get shit faced?!"
Earlier, he told a story of his high school friend that he first started playing music with. Springfield noted that his friend saw a picture of a band in his locker and said that he liked that band too and that's how the friendship started.
During the break in the music, someone asked Rick who the band was in his locker and he said it was the Shadows, an English band that was popular before the Beatles. He later went on to meet the guitarist of the Shadows and that was a bigger thrill than meeting Elvis or Paul McCartney.
Things finally got fixed, for the most part, so the music continued.
A mashup of "Jessie's Girl," "Stacy's Mom" and "867-5309 (Jenny)" was a fun interlude in the middle of the set.
"Don't Talk To Strangers" became a big sing-a-long, and "Voodoo House" was a bluesy number where he got to show off his slide guitar playing skills.
Springfield sprinkled in stories throughout the show from getting to travel the world being an Army brat, to playing music in Vietnam as a teenager for the troops, to finding work as an actor in case the music thing didn't work out.
The last part of the show was heavy on the hits. "Human Touch" saw him come out into the crowd to fist bump the fans. "I've Done Everything For You," "If Wishes Were Fishes" and "You Better Love Somebody" got the fans out of their seats.
Rick's final story told of how he became a stain glass artist in the late '70s. There was a beautiful girl in his class that he really wanted to meet but she had a boyfriend named Gary. So he went home and started writing a new song about how he wanted Gary's girlfriend. However "Gary's Girl" just didn't sound right. So he thought of a LA Rams player named Ron Jessie whose jersey that he happened to be wearing.
Boom, that's how he got "Jessie's Girl." Not knowing at the time that it should have been spelled Jesse. It didn't matter, because it was a smash hit for him.
Photos and review by Greg Drugan