This morning, during those precious moments between waking up and the alarm blaring – prompted by loud thunder and a burst of light flashing behind the sliver between the curtains – I reflected on how much has changed since last time I spent an evening with Rick Springfield at Phoenix’s Celebrity Theatre.
That evening was in 1999. I recently returned to Arizona after separating from my then-husband and I was at the concert with my best friend from high school, who has gone to several RS concerts with me, both before that night and afterward.
Between now and then, I’ve remarried and had three children so my life has changed dramatically.
But the change is not just on a personal level, of course, the world has changed tremendously, too. That was a time when you could meet loved ones at the airport gate, welcoming them the moment they disembarked the plane. A time when “You’ve Got Mail” was exciting instead of overwhelming. When you’d discuss news or TV shows with co-workers the next morning instead of attacking strangers on Facebook or Twitter if you don’t agree with them.
Back in 1999, before “Late, Late at Night” revealed Rick Springfield’s “darker side” and he was just our favorite crush from the ’80s, his shows were a nostalgic visit back to a simpler time. A fun evening out that transported us back to our pre-teen or teenage selves.
That experience is even more important today. As RS fans from the ’80s have evolved from prepubescent to premenopausal through the years, most have experienced darker times in their own lives, too, which strengthens their connection to their favorite rock star. It turns out that by sharing his own “darkness” with others, and sharing his own therapy (i.e. performing energetic concerts) with his fans, he both comforts them during their rough patches and transports them back to those fun times, away from adult responsibilities and worries, if only for a few hours.