A spritz of happiness at Wild Horse Pass

I wish I could bottle up that feeling I have when I’m sitting in the audience a few minutes before my favorite rock star comes on stage. I could spritz a few sprays on my soul whenever life feels too overwhelming or mundane.

As I sat there in the second row last Sunday night at the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler, Arizona, it didn’t matter that this was the 14th time I’ve seen him in concert or that I had a long “to-do” list waiting for me on my Google Tasks app. I just felt so happy to be at another Rick Springfield concert.

I was originally supposed to be there with my husband but he ended up having to go out of town over the weekend so the day before the concert, I asked a friend to go with me. She’s not really a Rick Springfield fan, but it’s not that she didn’t like him, she was just indifferent. But she’s one of the few people in my real life who know that I write this blog and knows how much of a fan I am and wanted to experience his concert with me. What a good friend, right?

In addition to enjoying the concert for the music and the performance of both RS and his band, she also enjoyed the people-watching. It was her first encounter with such dedicated fans of any musician and was intrigued by how women in the audience responded to him, even after he mentioned his wife of nearly 34 years and sang one of his many songs inspired by her.

For example, she found it interesting how many women were willing to reach out and touch his hand even after he blew his nose and mentioned that he had been sick with the flu. (Did he use the hand sanitizer that was up on stage afterward? I don’t remember.)

Fortunately he only teased tossing his used tissue into the audience and didn’t actually do it because who knows what might have happened. When he came around during “Human Touch,” two of my fingertips touched his, but she wasn’t interested in his human touch at all. (Fortunately I didn’t get sick, although I did end up taking a two-hour nap the next day after work because I was so wiped out, which is unusual.)

She also commented on how amazing RS’s energy on stage was considering he’s almost 70 and he was so sick earlier in the week and still not feeling well and she enjoyed Siggy’s energy and performance.

Highlights for me included the songs “Souls,” which is one of my favorite RS songs and I hadn’t seen that performed live in recent years, and “World Start Turning.” The young girl on stage for “Don’t Talk to Strangers” was also adorable. Plus the fact that my favorite rock star – the one whose face covered my bedroom walls as a teen – was right there only a few feet away putting on such an energetic and fun show.

I only recorded one full song during this show: “Souls.”

I started taping “World Start Turning” but he was way on the other side of the stage often with his back to me so I stopped recording. Fortunately somebody else filmed it on the other side of the stage:

Video courtesy of donna2kayak on YouTube:

During the concert, there were two possible instances of split-second eye contact and the aforementioned split-second two-fingertip human touch. (Do you think this is what my friend meant when she said that some of the fans seem a little fanatical?)

Our seats were way on the end of the second row, on Tim’s side of the stage. Here was my view:

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RS didn’t come over to our side of the stage very often for this show so I didn’t get many good non-zoomed pictures, although he did sign an “Orchestrating My Life” CD for a guy in front of me, which gave me the chance to take this photo:

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Last time I was this close to the stage but on the Nastos side of the stage, RS also seemed to favor the opposite side of the stage from where I was standing. I would take it personally if I actually thought he was aware of my existence. (Or maybe he is aware of this blog and purposely avoids me? Ha.)

Anyway, after the crowd cleared after the show, we returned to the stage and I collected a few rose petals and took these pictures:

Although I typically try to hang out after the show for a little while because of the possibility of meeting RS, I didn’t this time because I knew he was sick and wouldn’t likely be hanging out in the casino afterward, but we did see Siggy on the way out and got a chance to compliment him on the show and get a picture. As he was the last time I met him, he was really nice.

And that was that. Later that evening I was already craving another spritz of that pre-RS concert feeling.

Here are a few more pictures:

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Show #14 coming soon!

Usually when a new Rick Springfield show is announced, it’s in a different state and I don’t think twice about going (unless it’s in Vegas or L.A. then I consider it.)

I was eyeing the symphony show in Costa Mesa this summer because there’s a chance I’ll be in Southern California that week, but a few things have to happen first to get that in place. Not only do I want to see a symphony show, but I also wanted to get in at least one RS show in my milestone birthday year since I’m not able to go on the big fan trip in November.

Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks ago, I received a notification that he will be in Chandler, AZ (about 15 minutes from where I work) at the beginning of June! Tickets went on sale May 3 so there’s not even much time to wait. I considered it my early Mother’s Day present. I missed the presale unfortunately because the timing didn’t work out, but I still got second row, albeit way at the end of the stage. This will be my first time on this side of the stage – over in Tim’s territory. Maybe I’ll even get in Tim’s photo of the audience if he takes one!

My husband will be joining me for this show, as it’s been a couple years since he went with me and we even have a babysitter already lined up! Just for the fun of it, here’s a recap of the past 13 shows:

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  • Sept. 28, 1983: ASU Activity Center in Tempe, AZ.
  • Oct. 4, 1984: ASU Activity Center in Tempe, AZ (Ticket pictures courtesy of my 14-year-old and 15-year-old selves respectively, as preserved for decades in the scrapbook I found in my parents’ shed in April 2016. See “Where it all began.”) For one of those two shows, me and a few friends camped out overnight at Fiesta Mall for tickets, along with a long line of other RS fans (and their mothers).
  • Dec. 5, 1998: Sunset Station in Henderson, NV: My aunt and uncle lived in Henderson so I stayed with them and saw the show with a friend who also traveled to Vegas to see the show.
  • April 13, 1999: Met RS for the first time at a Los Angeles Wherehouse on the day “Karma” was released. Not a show, but noteworthy.
  • Aug. 28, 1999: Sunset Station in Henderson, NV: Went with one of my friends who I saw him in concert with in high school. Met some of the band members in the bar after the show and even got the guitarist’s phone number (because we had a mutual friend and he wanted me to give his number to her). Also got to say hi to Tim Pierce, RS’s guitarist from the ’80s who made a special appearance that night. (See “Flashback to 1999 concert” for more on this show.)
  • Sept. 24, 1999: Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Again went with my friend from high school.
  • May 5, 2000: Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Again with my friend from high school, along with her sister-in-law and niece (whose daughter’s name is Christina – the sister-in-law was also a huge RS fan and she screamed out to RS that her daughter’s name is Christina when he started playing “Kristina.”)
  • March 7, 2015: Soon after I “rediscovered” RS in 2014 and started writing this blog, he came to San Tan Valley on what would have been my mom’s 70th birthday. I also got to meet him that night after the concert and give him a piece of paper with this blog address on it. (Has he read this blog yet?!?!?! Maybe someday I will find out?) Read about that evening here: “A brief crossing of paths” and “Almost a week after the concert” and “My Meet and Greet.” (Obviously I had a lot to say about it.) And a little video too: “Nine minutes from the 17th Row.” For this show, George Bernhardt was still the lead guitarist and George Nastos played bass (after George B. left, George N. moved to guitar.)
  • April 9, 2015: My husband and I traveled to Tucson for the night to watch a Stripped Down show. Read about that one here: “What an amazing show (and another brief meeting).” Because the guy who handled the slideshow was stuck on the East Coast due to storms, there weren’t any visuals for the show – it was just RS on the stage, which was really the only necessary visual (although I would like to see the show with the photographs, too.)
  • Oct. 21, 2015: Arizona State Fair in Phoenix: Since tickets were much more affordable than at a regular show, my husband and I brought our two older sons, who got to sing “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with RS when he came out into the audience. We captured it on video! (See “My sons got to sing with Rick Springfield!“) It was so surreal to have my favorite rock star/teen crush interacting with my kids and I was thrilled to hear “Down” live for the first time (from “Rocket Science,” which was released on Feb. 19, 2016.)
  • Oct. 25, 2015: Back to Las Vegas, stayed with my cousin and went to the show with her. It was her first RS show and we met some of the “Rick Chicks” in a casino bar before the show. Read about this show, when “Human Touch” was stopped short because of an audience injury so he never made it to my row: “What happened in Vegas.” (I saw two shows in one week because the fair show a few miles from home was announced after I already bought my concert ticket and plane ticket for the Vegas show.)
  • March 26, 2016: My husband and I did another road trip to Southern Arizona for a full-band show at the Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita. This time we stayed in the same hotel as RS and the band and even saw RS in the lobby. (I didn’t approach him, but I did write a song of regret about that afterward.) We did, however, get to chat with Siggy and say hello to the other band members and scored some “Rocket Science” guitar pics. (See “Sahuarita show.”) This show included the debut of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” in the set list.
  • July 8, 2016: Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Brought my friend from high school again, but this time I bought the tickets and surprised her that they were in the second row. She’s quite familiar with my longtime RS infatuation and expected to hang out after the show where I was fortunate to get a quick selfie with RS. (“Summer tour rolls on.”)
  • Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to the 2017 show in Phoenix or see any shows at all that year.
  • Aug. 21, 2018: Back to Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. I went by myself for the first time, as the tickets were a little pricey and I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go with me. (See “Concert in the round“). Still enjoyed the show, of course, and now I think of it as his last show of his 68th year and the night before he filmed “The Goldbergs” TV show. It was the first time hearing “The Snake King” songs live: “Voodoo House” and “Little Demon.”

So here we are in 2019 and three weeks from tonight, I’ll be there in the second row at the Wild Horse Pass Casino, squeezing one more RS concert into my first five decades here on Earth (or maybe there will be two more shows, if I work in the symphony show in July).