Lifestyle Magazine

Rocket Science: Rick Springfield Rocks It Out at the 2015 CNE!

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

After a 33 year wait, Rick Springfield finally returned to the CNE stage on Wednesday night – and it was like he didn’t miss a beat.

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Before the musician/actor took the stage the seats were full (much to the delight of opening act Autumn Hill) and fans of the Jessie’s Girl hitmaker were ready. They sat at first, but when the video package started to play to open the show – they got on their feet in a hurry. By our estimation 93% of the CNE Bandshell audience stood for Rick Springfield’s rock show – and nearly 99% were standing/dancing/cheering when it was time for the encore.

By his own admission Springfield hadn’t been to the CNE stage since 1982 – our research tells us 08/31/82 Toronto, Ontario CNE Grandstand/w Greg Kihn Band to be exact. And while that is a lengthy delay, and a whole lot has happened in the now 66 year old’s career in those 33 years (that’s half the man’s life!) the crowd that loved him in ’82 showed him the same love in 2015. And they were rewarded with a set that quite honestly, we weren’t ready for.

When you think of Rick Springfield you think of popstar. That’s what they called him. He was on the cover of teeny-bopper magazines and starred on General Hospital. But Wednesday night it was more rock and roll guitar, big crashes on the drums, and loud lyrics than poppy radio fodder.

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Under his suit jacket was a Ramones t-shirt – and when the jacket came off (and the ladies screamed like it was ’82) a simple “One, Two, Three, Four” could be seen on the back, obstructed only by the guitar strap. Springfield looked grown-up rock and roll, arms still in shape, voice still in the game, energy levels still way higher than the average man – and on a mission to prove that he’s still got it. Mission Accomplished.

This wasn’t a last ride show, this was a buy my new record in January 2016 show… the record will be titled Rocket Science. Look out for it.

The set was a hit. Packed with new tracks (Down & Light This Party Up from the upcoming record), singles that the crowd remembered and loved (I Get Excited & I’ve Done Everything For You), multiple teases of Jessie’s Girl, and 2 awesome song performances that got the crowd to their pre-boiling point.

On Don’t Talk To Strangers the dude went above and beyond. Reaching a microphone into the crowd for the call and answer in the chorus, calling on individual fans to belt out the title line themselves, and bringing an adorable 9 year old girl named Tatia, with her arm in a cast, up on stage for a dance break and her own chance to sing in front of a couple thousand people. AND Springfield also brought out a former on-screen brother (TV’s High Tide 1994-97) Yannick Bisson – who is now famous as Detective Murdoch on Canadian television screens. Bisson looked anxious at first, but found his rhythm in time to shout out Don’t Talk To Strangers on his turn.

And when Springfield and the band played Human Touch, there was even more fan interaction, with Rick dropping down into the camera pit, climbing over the rail and wandering through the madness as he continued to sing the 1983 hit. At one point he was seen wearing some sort of cape and mask… it was Super Springfield out there in the Toronto audience. And it was moments like that that keep his fans engaged during a 33 year wait to see him live.

Note: Rick Springfield also covered Katy Perry’s Roar – and it was fantastic. Like really, really good. We don’t have video because we were too busy singing along. But if you can find it, enjoy!

After getting all of that fun out of his system and into the air, and finishing the set with Love Somebody before leaving the stage and getting the screams and cheers and calls that we all knew were coming… there was something left.

And when he came back out, with the 1981 music video for Jessie’s Girl playing on the screen behind him, we knew it was finally time.

Watching Rick Springfield play all night with the energy of a man half his age, and the guitar chops we didn’t know he had was fantastic – but crossing Jessie’s Girl Live off of our musical experience bucket list was something special. There was so much dancing and singing and love and happiness when he played that damn song. We’re very happy we were there.

Check out the quick video clip here. We’ve got a couple more pics. And when Rick Springfield comes back (hopefully he doesn’t wait 33 years this time) we’ll see you there.

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