For a guy in his mid-60s, Rick Springfield has the energy of someone one-third his age. The Australian rocker led a trio of 1970s-80s acts at Council Bluffs’ Mid-America Center Friday.
Springfield lived up to his title as the headliner for the show that featured Little River Band and Eddie Money.
Springfield, who had a string of Top 20 hits during the 1980s, gave the crowd of about 3,500 its money’s worth with a strong performance.
He came on stage and immediately went to work with strong guitar play and great vocals. He moved around the stage while performing. You could immediately tell the guy still loves performing after all these years.
Starting his set with “I’ve Done Everything for You,” Springfield had the audience eating out of his hands. Women of all ages stood and danced in the aisles.
He encouraged the audience to sing along with him. He even interacted with fans during two songs.
He worked his way around the main floor during “Human Touch.” He even moved his way to the arena seats. He was about 15 feet from us. I thought a woman in her mid-40s behind us was going to level me on her climb down the seats to get to him. She succeeded, as she was screaming to her friends that she shaking.
Our ticket give-away winner had a fantastic time.
“The concert was amazing! Rick Springfield still has it!! He literally got 5 feet from me during human touch! He’s definitely in it for his fans! Little River Band and Eddie Money were wonderful as always too! Such a fun time!” said Andrea Zyla. She attended with her mom.
His second trip into the audience was during “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” He didn’t wade as far in, but he did engage the fans. He had a few people sing the title. He had a 12-year-old boy named Wyatt come up on stage with him and had him sing a bit.
Springfield performed a cover of “Roar,” by Katy Perry. I like Perry, but I thought his cover was better.
Springfield used a video of montage of TV shows that featured his most successful song. Vignettes from “The Office” and “Glee” showed actors singing words to “Jessie’s Girl.”
Then, the spotlight shined on the 64-year-old, who was wearing a leather vest opened to reveal his chest. He rocked the song. The crowd loved it.
As he ended “Jessie’s Girl,” he thanked the crowd and threw the vest to the side of the stage. The women in our section went crazy.
The evening opened with a strong performance by Little River Band. The Australian-formed band played several of its hits during a 45-minute set.
Though none of its original band members are with it, LRB’s lead vocals are handled by veteran Wayne Nelson. Nelson took over vocals in the early 1980s and has been the mainstay for most of its time. All current band members have been with LRB for at least a few years.
Opening with one of its biggest hits, “The Night Owls,” LRB spent little time talking and a whole lot more with treating fans to its music.
The band still has it. The vocals and music were strong.
LRB’s set included “Reminiscing,” “Happy Anniversary,” “Cool Changes,” and “Take it Easy on Me.” The band dedicated “Help is on its Way” to current military and veterans, recognizing that Friday was the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that started the end of World War II.
The band closed its performance with “Lonesome Loser.”
1970s rocker Eddie Money bridged the opening act to Springfield with an interesting performance.
Money – with hits “Hold On,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Walk on Water” and “I Wanna Go Back” – showed his age a bit. Now 62 and a little slower than his old rockin’ days, Money still gave a good performance.
Money expressed his support for the military with a song called “One More Soldier Comes Home.” He also encouraged people to buy T-shirts, with proceeds going to support groups.
Money sang his marquee song “Two Tickets to Paradise,” with the crowd erupting in support.
Say what you want about these rockers getting older, but their music has lasting power. Musical acts from the 1970s remain popular. Their music is played during sporting events and in movies. How many acts from the 1990s and 2000s will have their music being played 30-40 years from now?
They may not be in their 20s any more, but guys like Springfield, Money and the LRB band members know how to rock. Enjoy these performers while we still have the chance.
Disclaimer: Thanks very much to the Mid-America Center for the tickets to see the show. Opinions were all our own.