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Music DVD Review: Rick Springfield — Live in Rockford

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When I was younger I wasn’t the most sophisticated kid on the block music-wise. In a moment of blushing honesty I’ll even confess that there was a moment in my life where I honestly didn’t know which singer was (Bruce) Springsteen and which one was (Rick) Springfield. To a small town Louisiana boy like myself whose family listened only to country music, it wasn’t such a clear-cut answer. After all, both of their last names had the word “SPRING” in it!

Decades later, of course, I can tell them apart by their choices in earrings.

In all seriousness, the passing years have found me becoming a dedicated fan of Springsteen, especially (and ironically) the material he put own during my earliest years of life. Springfield, however, other than the occasional moments when I’m listening to a classic rock radio station and “Jessie’s Girl” comes on, I am just as unfamiliar with. This is why, of course, when I was offered the chance to review a new live DVD of Rick Springfield in concert, I agreed.

Maybe afterwards my inner-child would have his reference point, at last!

Eventually the DVD arrived in the mail and was placed on one of the bookshelves in my bedroom. There, of course, it sat. And sat. And sat some more. Turns out my inner-child was more interested in other things than clearing up the ages-old question it had of the “differences” between Springsteen and Springfield.

When I finally did push play and begin to watch the DVD, though, I found myself growling at said inner-child and pushing him way to the corner of my mind. A self-imposed mental “time-out,” as it were.

He’s still not speaking to me.

That’s okay, though, as the more mature part of my brain is still staring at me in wonder. When did Rick Springfield learn to play guitar like that? When did he learn to play other songs than “Jessie’s Girl”? Where the hell have I been that I haven’t noticed how good he still sounds and plays? Why am I sitting here asking myself question after question instead of watching the small window on my iMac where I have the concert playing as I type this?

Why, indeed.

Turns out that Springfield has always been touring and writing and performing and that it was only my own childish preconceptions that had pushed him back into the recesses of my mind as being the more “unworthy” of the two guys with “SPRING” in their name.

As usual, I was wrong. So far, I’ve found myself watching this DVD at least a half-dozen times, since that initial viewing. Touring in support of his The Day After Yesterday CD, which came out in 2005, the concert finds him performing a very nice mixture of original material as well as the amazingly GOOD cover songs that made up said CD. In fact, let me give a track-listing here:

I’ll Make You Happy
Will I
Affair Of The Heart
I’ve Done Everything For You
Rock Of Life
Red House
Don’t Talk To Strangers
I Get Excited
Baker Street
Broken Wings
Beautiful You
Living In Oz
Love Somebody
Jesus Saves
Human Touch
Jessie’s Girl
Waiting For A Girl Like You (Bonus)
Perfect (Bonus)
Wasted (Bonus)
Love Is All Right Tonight (Bonus)
My Father’s Chair (Bonus)

One of the odd reasons that I find myself enjoying this DVD perhaps a bit more than I might have had it been comprised solely of Springfield original material, is that I knew so many of the songs that he chose to cover. Actually, on second thought, the word cover is quite unfair here. Sure, for example, “Broken Wings” wasn’t written by Springfield, but man-o-man does he sing the hell out of that song and make it something unique and definitely of himself.

Other favorites of mine on this DVD are “Affair of the Heart,” “Don’t Talk To Strangers,” “Jessie’s Girl,” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You.” That’s not to say that I like these and only these songs, however. These are just my favorites of the moment. Decked out in his suit and armed with his guitar, Rick Springfield in concert is something to see on this DVD release.

Full of heart, passion, energy and a genuine sense of love for music and for the people that came to listen to him play, I can’t imagine a better way to spend an afternoon than popping this into your own DVD player, and pressing play — other than going see him live in concert, for yourself.

Which is something I hope to do one day.

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About Michael Jones

  • Lisa

    This is indeed a great DVD. I listen to it every single day at least 5 times a day since my cable don’t work right now.

  • Congrats! This article has been forwarded to the Advance.net websites.

  • Amy K

    This was a great review. Thanks for taking the time (and the time out) and looking at it for what it really is. Rick doing what he loves the most: playing guitar and singing his songs. I was at this taping as well, and it was a great night, with great energy. If you do in fact get a chance to go to a live show, take it. You will not regret it.

  • Michael, as the other commenters have mentioned, this is one of the best–and fairest–reviews of Rockford that I, too, have read! It is very nice to see another male who “gets it.” It really IS about the music and the performances. And the connection between artist and audience is what makes Rick’s concerts so very unique and enjoyable!

    I love going to concerts of many varieties, and Rick’s shows are definitely at the top of the list for me. I travel a couple of times a year as he is indeed “travel-worthy.” It’s so much fun to get together in various cities with dear and like-minded friends.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I was at that concert, and count that experience as one of my concert highlights for sure. The dude definitely ROCKS, and has one of the most giving hearts of any celebrity out there. That is a combo that cannot be beat!

    Thanks again,


  • Kelley68

    Michael, what an awesome review you wrote for Rick’s new DVD! When I first started reading, I was a bit worried, but was happily surprised to learn that you loved the show. I have never been able to really understand how people can get Bruce & Rick confused (ok…so the names ARE similar), but we forgive you! LOL They are world’s apart musically. I’ve been a fan of Rick’s since the age of 13 and I’m now 38. He is THE man who created my love of rocking guitar players from so early on. He’s absolutely a master on his guitar and I feel could give a lot of musicians a run for their money. I am very happy for you that you learned what an amazing talent he is. I’ve always thought it was a shame that the media kind of “tainted” his image back then, thus causing casual listeners to turn away, rather than buy his works and see for themselves, finding the gems on his albums that were NOT the hits. Rick has a massive library of music from way back in the early 70’s (even late 60’s with Zoot) up until now. If you decide to buy anything of Rick’s….Shock Denial Anger Acceptance is a MUST!!!! It will rock your world. And yes…a live show is also an experience you’ll be glad you had. I met Rick this year, and he is a beautiful soul & a real entertainer. Thanks for all the great words about my guitar hero and rock God and the man who defined the word “cool!” I look forward to future reviews from you about Rick’s music. Now if others would just see what they’ve been missing with Rick Springfield, I think he’d finally get the respect he deserves.

    Kelley from NC
    PS…you should check out his website, message board and merch department. It’s full of all kinds of great things you’d probably enjoy! http://www.rickspringfield.com Also, check out this wonderful fan site as well: http://www.rickspringfield.us and go into the RSU library to see what other works he’s done.

  • Lynn

    I too, enjoyed your review Michael. How nice it is to know that Rick has male admirers out there. I wish I could get my husband to get past the notion that Rick’s music is just for women. Is it just because he was born with good looks? (Thank God for that!) Really though, Rick considers himself a serious writer and musician and if anyone went to see him live, they would certainly agree. I too, have been a fan since I was 12 years old. Now at age 36, my fondness for him has never changed….it just gets better.

    p.s. Krissy- I was behind you at the Cape Girardeau concert and I have a pic of you and your daughter giving Rick the rose!!

  • Krissy

    Lots of people who know of my love for Rick also have a preconceived opinion of him and his music. I have attended many concerts through the years and recently got the chance to introduce 2 college students and my 5 year old daughter to the Rick experience at a benefit concert in Cape Girardeau, MO. They were left speechless and wanting more . . he was so kind when he took a rose from my daughter’s hand and then kissed her hand, he is genuinely a nice guy on top of his enormous talent. It is just great that people are discovering the Rick I have known since I was 12. Great review! Loving Rick . . . . Krissy (36)

  • All of your comments have left me flustered and blushing. Who knew that Rick Springfied has this kind of pull? I’m relatively new to Blogcritics, so it is unique for me to see so many comments on a review I’ve written!

    What makes it all doubly unique for me is the fact that, left to my own choices, I’d most likely have never requested this DVD to review. Springfield, as I mentioned in the review itself, was not someone I would have thought of. Luckily, the DVD was offered to me by a gentleman that had sent me a copy of the new (and wonderful) Hall & Oates christmas cd.

    Once I’d finished writing this review, I thanked him repeatedly for suggesting and then giving me the opportunity to listen to and review this DVD.

    Now, I’d like to thank everyone who has responded so warmly to my review. Until later…

  • Thanks for the great review; it’s always refreshing to see a critic set aside their pre-conceived notions and look at Rick Springfield’s work with an open mind. When they do, they’re rarely sorry!

    I hope you get to see Rick in person very soon – you’ll be glad you did!

  • Sonja

    “Full of heart, passion, energy and a genuine sense of love for music and for the people that came to listen to him play…”

    This is a perfect description of Rick Springfield. For years it seemed as though his die-hard fans were the only ones to recognize the guitar talent, the full library of songs, and the heart, passion, energy, and love you mention. So nice to see that other people are finally figuring out all that he has to offer. Better late than never. Now go buy Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance and find out what else you’ve been missing. I promise you won’t be sorry.

  • Lauri J

    This is indeed a wonderful review and a good read! I love the DVD too and have a whole new appreciation for Rick Springfield’s tremendous talent – even though I am already a fan and have been forever. Well, for a long time. He is as “Live & kickin” as ever and puts so much of himself into guitar playing and singing and peforming – it’s wonderful to see. Thank you for a cool review. I think I’ll go watch it! And buy a copy for a friend for a b/day gift! Definitely do go see Rick perform live when you can – it’s like nothing else by virtue of the energy alone.

  • Nice review, Michael. I was actually at the concert in Rockford, IL when this DVD and special for HD NET was filmed, and you’re right about the DVD making a nice souvenir of the event.

    While the DVD is a nice representation of one of his shows, it’s nothing like the real thing. I would definitely encourage you to check out a show next time he’s close. You won’t be disappointed.