–by Laura Tucker
The I Want My 80’s Tour consists of a few staples from that era, Rick Springfield, The Hooters, Paul Young and Tommy Tutone. It seemed their stop at St. Louis Music Park on Tuesday night was long overdue for some. The night couldn’t have been any nicer and the fans couldn’t have been any more excited.
The 80’s are alive and well and there is a particular audience for this genre; or maybe time period is more accurate. But it really was more than that. It was a sound, a style and a feeling that could only be truly appreciated by those fortunate enough to be there firsthand. We all soaked up the videos of our favorite artists and one of those leading the movement was Rick Springfield. Not only was he gaining our sympathy over his misplaced affection for “Jesse’s Girl”, he was swooning the afternoon soap opera crowd as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. But on Tuesday night, we are reminded once again that he is not only a pretty face, he’s a real musician with hits that spanned that decade. So many in fact, that I forgotten them all.
First out was Tommy Tutone. While this artist is really a one-hit wonder, the song is one for the record books. We all know that Jenny can be reached at 867-5309 and will forever have these seven digits etched into our memory. So, let’s be honest, who has called this number? You know you have. Everyone knows this song and everyone chimed in when it was time. His set was short and sweet and didn’t even include a break before the next artist, Paul Young, took the stage. Both were provided musical backup by Sigve (Siggy) Sjursen (bass), Tim Gross (keyboards and guitar), George Nastos (lead guitar) and Jorge Palacios (drums) – aka – Rick Springfield’s band.
Paul Young is more than a one-hit wonder but his most memorable contribution to the world’s music library, “Every Time You Go Away” was the highlight of his short set and came after “Come Back and Stay.” The British singer with the haunting vocals, unique delivery and spiky black hair has changed in appearance (as we all have) but he sounded as soulful as we remembered and the crowd responded by singing and swaying.
A few even lit their phones to commemorate the moment and show him some love. Another of his songs “Love of the Common People” is one that I remember and would have also enjoyed. It is something special to see artists that you never thought would be possible and that’s the beauty of them coming back around.
80’s music filled the venue during intermission to crowd of Gen-Xers who were all secretly doing the Safety Dance in their heads. A handful of fans were dressed in 80’s attire or t-shirts that said things like “Frankie Says Relax” and some went the extra mile with a custom-crated message. (Hmmm, something to ponder).
Up next, the band from Philly who sounds like they might have a bit of Zydeco blood in them. The six original members, Eric Bazilian (lead vocals, guitar, sax), Rob Hyman (vocals, keyboard, accordion), John Lilley (guitars and mandolin), Fran Smith, Jr. (bass and vocals), David Uosikkinen (drums) and Tommy Williams are uniquely, The Hooters.
They brought amazing vibes and their very special style to the party. They had as much fun as anyone there and played unusual instruments like the banjo, harmonica, accordion and a melodica (that little keyboard that you blow into was the inspiration for their name) to create a one of a kind sound. Add in vocal harmony and you get the signature of The Hooters. They played “Day By Day” early in the set to get the audience engaged and slipped in a few covers like “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper. They closed out the set with “And They Danced”. And…. we all did! Incidentally, this band wins my vote for best website! No contest! If you are curious, here you go.
Now for the tour headliner, Rick Springfield. Let me just say, his fan club is an impressive group. They are an extremely supportive and loyal. Carrying signs and standing in the VIP line to get their chance to meet him before his show began. They had patiently waited for this moment.
As he came out to the stage, you could feel the energy. The lights low and the anticipation high. He began with “Affair of the Heart”. It’s easy to forget just how many songs he has graced the video airwaves with but as the night went on, my memory was jogged by one after another.
He was engaging and energetic and perused the stage in his red Converse shoes. One very cool move is the bouquet of red roses that he smashes into his guitar, mid-song, and plays right though as the petals fill the air. It is a spectacle that likely never gets old, even for those who have seen him numerous times. One couple I spoke to had just been at the Decatur show two days before.
He would have been playing in Oklahoma City on his birthday, August 23rd. He mentioned that it had just passed and he was 74 years young. He said “74 is the new 47.” It seems to be true in his case. He mentioned that it was great to be in St. Louis and thanked the city for two things: Chuck Berry and Anheuser Busch. Well, you’re welcome.
His music is the soundtrack of the 80’s and creates a nostalgic feeling. Songs like “Love is Alright Tonite”, “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Human Touch.” For this one he actually climbed over the barricade and went into the audience, touching fans to get his point across. As I think back to the video, he found himself in the year 2016 with everything automated. He wasn’t too far off on his prediction.
He returned to the stage and wrapped up the night with “Love Somebody” and of course, “Jessie’s Girl”. This tour is really an opportunity to relive a moment in time if you love the 80’s, and at the very least, it was a good time!
Check out the full gallery of photos after the setlist below.
Rick Springfield Setlist:
Affair of the Heart
I Get Excited
I’ve Done Everything for You (Sammy Hagar cover)
World Start Turning
Medley: Bop’ Til You Drop/Bruce/ 867-5309(Jenny)/ Jessie’s Girl/ Don’t Walk Away/ Rock of Life/ What Kind of Fool am I
Love Is Alright Tonight
Don’t Talk to Strangers