It’s An Affair of the Heart
It was a balmy night in St. Augustine as I traveled back in time to the 80s – the decade that launched MTV, the music video and big hair bands. The rain cleared just in time for The Romantics and Loverboy to warm up the crowd for Rick Springfield.
The Romantics had the crowd singing along to their popular hits, including What I Like About You and Talking in Your Sleep. As Loverboy took the stage, fans broke out the red bandanas. They did not disappoint with favorites like their first breakout song The Kid is Hot Tonight and other popular songs such as Lovin Every Minute of It, Turn Me Loose, and Working for the Weekend. The crowds were dancing and singing as the storm passed and cooled off the late summer night.
I attended my first Rick Springfield concert in 1983 during the Living in Oz tour in Jacksonville. One of his latest designs on a ladies sparkle shirt says it all – Affair of the Heart * Rick Springfield Lifelong Fan. More than a decade went by before Rick toured again for Karma. I have been lucky enough to attend five of his concerts in the past 15 years – not nearly enough.
Rick Springfield is one of the best performers in the industry. He is an extremely gifted guitarist, songwriter, singer and actor. He gives everything he has to his performances, from the signature strumming of the guitar with red roses to interacting with his fans during Don’t Talk to Strangers and Human Touch. Rick thrives on being with his fans. I think he draws energy from it. He comes alive on stage and if you ever get close enough to witness the way he smiles with his eyes you will never forget it.
By the time Rick took the stage, the venue was packed. Most people stood and danced the entire set which lasted almost 90 minutes. He opened up with a new single titled Light the Party Up from an upcoming album followed by a fan favorite I Get Excited. He also created a medley of favorites including Bop Til You Drop, Celebrate Youth, Calling All Girls and Don’t Walk Away. The crowd went wild when the first signature notes of Affair of the Heart were played followed by I’ve Done Everything For You.
The security teams were busy keeping up with Rick during his two forays into the “Pit” or VIP section to get up close and personal with fans. I think he wanted to be with the fans as much as they wanted him to. One of the newer additions to the show in recent years is a video screen that plays footage from music videos, interviews, movies, TV shows and more. It is a great way to reminisce the past 30 plus years. The night would not be complete if Rick did not play Love Somebody from the amazing Hard to Hold soundtrack followed by an encore of Jessie’s Girl and two other songs.
The second song in the encore was titled I’ll Make You Happy. Check that box because this girl was beyond happy. I don’t know what it is about Rick Springfield, but he has the ability to make you light up and smile. Young and old, man and woman, all had a great time including this fan, who had the time of her life photographing her favorite artist of all time.
The St. Augustine Amphitheatre was a great venue for the event and I think that it is a gem in St. Johns County. ~A.S. MacLeod