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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‘World Start Turning’

The song list for Rick Springfield’s upcoming “Orchestrating My Life” CD includes many songs that you would expect:

  • Don’t Talk to Strangers
  • Love Somebody
  • I’ve Done Everything for You
  • Affair of the Heart
  • Human Touch
  • Celebrate Youth
  • State of the Heart
  • Jessie’s Girl (of course)

Then there’s a concert favorite (especially for fans with variations of that name, I’m sure): Kristina

Then there’s the two dedicated to his parents: “My Father’s Chair” and the new “Irreplaceable.”

One song that I was surprised didn’t make the cut – simply because it’s one of my favorites and he’s played it before at symphony shows (which sounded beautiful) was “Souls,” off of “Living in Oz.”

The one song that I wasn’t expecting was “World Start Turning.”

Up until summer 1987 – when I graduated high school, moved out of my parents’ home and moved to California – my bedroom walls were covered with Rick Springfield posters. My Rick Springfield obsession started at age 12 and from junior high through high school, I went through a Duran Duran stage, a Beatles stage and a ska stage, but the RS posters remained through all those stages. After moving out, the posters came down and I didn’t see them again until about three years ago. (See the posters in the “Where it all began” post.)

Rock of Life

When the RS album “Rock of Life” came out in 1988, I was living in Southern California, taking some college classes and working. RS was no longer on my radar and to this day I haven’t owned this album (probably something I should remedy at some point, I know.)

Although I knew the song “Rock of Life” because I picked up a Greatest Hits CD after CDs were introduced, I didn’t hear any of the other songs until recently so they are not in my nostalgic memory bank.

Those past few paragraphs are a long way of saying that I wasn’t that familiar with the “Rock of Life” album or “World Start Turning.” (Or “Hold on to your Dream,” which I wrote a “Totally random post” about.)

Anyway, a recent, really awesome, concert review, “Rick Springfield reminds us he’s a rock star,” mentions that the March 19 concert in Airway Heights, Wash., included the “first-ever live performance of “World Start Turning.”

The review said:

Not only did the song kill, but Springfield appeared to break down in tears at the end, saying “That song brought up a lot of shit for me,” before taking a slug from a glass of wine.

So of course I had to check out the lyrics.

Like many of his songs, it’s autobiographical and the lyrics are pretty heavy. (In fact, the current Wikipedia entry for “Rock of Life” says it’s “considered to be the darkest Springfield album of his career.” Obviously that became outdated once “SDAA” then “The Snake King” was released.)

We were taught if man believes in
What he wants in America
It’s only a matter of time, just a matter of seasons
But I walk through the houses of dreams that died
I see the ones still trapped there the ones that tried
But spent the rest of their lives wondering why
And searching for reasons (and they never wake up)

-World Start Turning lyrics

After reading his autobiography and learning about the depression he experienced at that time (and still today), fans will notice how autobiographical this is as we now have some insight on what he was experiencing in his life at the time the record came out.

“Rocket Science” fans might find this line from “World Start Turning” familiar:

“I’ve been standing on the beach crying to the raging sea.”

From “The Best Damn Thing”:

I was crying on the beach by the raging sea
Just a small town broken-down refugee
Holier than thou, I caused the damage done
You’re the best damn thing and I’m the lucky one

His sharing so much of himself in his songs is one reason why so many of his fans feel a personal connection with him. I’m pretty sure I know more about his life than I do about 99 percent of the people I know in real life. (I may even know more details about his life than I remember about mine.)

In other RS, news we got to hear a little sample of the new album on social media:

Whoo-hoo! Can’t wait to hear the symphony version of all these songs!

The general release date of “Orchestrating My Life” is April 26, but visit the official RS site for details on how to get it earlier.)

RS rock review

(Read the full review here.)

Update on April 4: rickspringfield.us site posted this video on YouTube from the dress rehearsal. Yay!! Such a great video!