Springfield Tops At First Summer Concert
As the Sacramento region saw temperatures heading north of 100 degrees for the first time in 2014, Thunder Valley Casino kicked off their Summer Concert Series in style with thousands of fans filling the outdoor amphitheater to capacity for a 6:30 p.m. start time.
A number of fans heading to their seats were voicing their opinions on the lineup and the sequence of performances. Many people I spoke to thought Rick Springfield didn’t warrant being the headliner of the show and wanted to see Eddie Money as the closer. Those fans were sorely disappointed when Eddie Money opened the show, followed by Loverboy and then finally Rick Springfield.
All three bands brought their A-game with Eddie Money kicking off the season opener with “Baby Hold On” and “Walk on Water,” with the crowd cheering and singing along.
Money was joined by the Eddie Money band consisting of Tommy Girvin (guitar), Lee Beverly (bass), Glenn Symmonds (drums) and Chris Groves (keyboards).
The 65-year-old Money gave a great performance with plenty of audience interaction as he tossed one lucky audience member his tambourine. At one point, Money grabbed Mr. Socks (a stuffed monkey) out of the director’s chair it was sitting in and Money sat down in its place, throwing the monkey to the ground. (Cody, the monitor technician, brings Mr. Socks to all the summer shows. The Thunder Valley crew has taken in Mr. Socks as their mascot.)
Money continued with a number of his hits ending his set with “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Shakin.”
I attempted to contact Money after the show to talk to him about his abuse of stuffed animals, but he couldn’t be reached for comment.
Loverboy followed Money with original band members Mike Reno (lead vocals), Paul Dean (guitar/vocals), Doug Johnson (keyboards) and Matt Frenette (drums). They were joined by their newest member Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve (bass).
Loverboy began their set with “Notorious” and “Lucky Ones,” with Reno shouting out to the audience in between songs.
The 59-year-old Reno sounded excellent and put on a higher energy show than Money, but his performance was lacking the crowd interaction that complements Money’s performance.
While I think Money would have been better suited following Loverboy, I believe Loverboy’s high energy performance proved that they could follow the likes of Money.
Loverboy finished their set with “Turn Me Loose” and “Working for The Weekend.”
Rick Springfield jumped on stage with all the women going wild as he started his set with “Living in Oz,” followed by “I’ve Done Everything for You.”
The 64-year-old Springfield was all over the stage, acting like he was still in his 20’s rather than his 60’s. He put on quite a show for the ladies in the audience including what appeared to be a group of women from the 1986 Springfield Panty Droppers – at least based on their sign. Most female fans refer to themselves as Ricks Chicks.
Fans were singing along with the majority of songs, including a cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
A number of female fans came prepared with roses. Each time a bouquet made it up on stage, Springfield would grab the roses and thrash his guitar with the buds, spraying petals all over the stage.
Springfield did a great job of audience participation when he jumped off the stage and headed into the arms of waiting fans – much to the delight of the Panty Droppers.
Springfield ended his set with “Jessie’s Girl,” and afterward apologized for cutting his set short due to a curfew.
I know some fans out there will continue to argue that Eddie Money should have headlined the show, but Springfield deserved the slot, especially with his popularity among women and his highly energized performance.
This was a great start to what promises to be a great Summer Concert Series at Thunder Valley Casino.