By Lachman Balani
BRAMPTON: Good ol’ Brampton transformed into Rocksville as Australian-born cricket lover and rocker Rick Springfield slammed into his old favourites and new rock-offerings enthralling the crowd in the cozy atmosphere of the Rose Theater!
As the lights dimmed the female dominated audience went crazy as Rick hit the stage and they espied his silhouette.
Shrieks and screams filled the auditorium as the lights came on again and Rick opened up with a song from his new album Songs for the end of the world backed by an intense band comprised of Brampton boy George Bernhardt, George Nastos, Paul Trudeau, and Rodger Carter.
He followed with an old favourite of his ’I’ve done everything for you’ really infusing energy into the crowd. He then announced he just had his 64th birthday and broke into a short clip of the Beatles’ “when I’m sixty four” flowing into his cover of Wings’ “Jet” with his raucous fans joining in! Rick had hit just the right chords with his audience.
He then let loose with his hits really sending electric vibes into the theatre and captivating his enthusiastic fans with “Our ship’s sinking”, “I hate myself”, “What kinda fool am I” and “Love is alright tonite”, all the while throwing away souvenir plectrums into the crowd with his photo on one side and ‘End of the World Tour’ written on the other. He banged his guitar with several bouquets of flowers sending all the petals flying into the animated patrons who loved every moment of it! Two eager fans held up huge lit up letters ‘R’ and ‘S’ waving them with frenzy and another threw her underwear up on stage! Brampton was alive!
He then ran down into the crowd and slammed into an amazingly long guitar freak-out finally breaking into The Troggs’ “Wild Thing (you make my heart sing, you make everything groovy)” sending the audience asunder! More fandemonium ensued as he followed with “Human Touch”, lengthening the version as he climbed over the chairs of the theatre and walked in the aisles touching everyone. It was a treat for all those present! Everybody got a piece of him!
Then things slowed down as he did a couple of ballads, dedicating one of them to his Dad with whom he would sit and watch cricket, from where he learnt to love the game(well Aussies are indeed great at that game).
The tempo picked up again with “Love screws me up” and he then followed with “Don’t talk to strangers” once again engaging the crowd by jumping down and walking all over the chairs of the auditorium and through the aisles asking many on a one-to-one basis to repeat the lyrics after him. This was Rick at his best!
Back to the stage and a couple more songs before he blew everybody’s minds with his all time hit that took the planet by storm way back in 1981- “(I wish I had ) Jessie’s Girl”-and still reverberates till today. There was no stopping anybody as they all got up and danced like nobody’s watching and sang along. This song feeds every guy’s imagination and lust as it talks about how one guy wishes he had his best friend’s girlfriend .This was Rick at his greatest!
To everybody’s yells and shouts for more, Rick, this time bare-chested to the delight of his female fans,, and his band came back and wowed everyone again with another Beatles’ hit – “All my lovin” and ending the night with his own composition “Kristina (I wanna be with you)”
Yes folks, Rick’s affair of the heart with Brampton that fateful night of Oct 16 will indeed remain an affair to remember for many!