Best In Show Tour 2018 Rocks Celebrity Theatre

Rick Springfield at Celebrity Theatre August 21, 2018

Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents (DZP)
Venue: Celebrity Theatre
Date: Tuesday August 21st, 2018

It’s a hot night in Phoenix and with even hotter music in the Celebrity Theatre.  Four outstanding groups from the 80s brought their rock and roll to Phoenix for an evening of fun.  These groups were a mainstay in the video rotation in the early days of MTV.  It was interesting to see a concert where the women outnumbered the men, but given the headliner, Rick Springfield, I was not surprised.

Danny Zelisko and St Mary’s Food Band drawing Name for 2nd row tickets

At the start of the show, Danny Zelisko of Danny Zelisko Presents (DZP) and a representative of the St. Mary;s Food band came out on stage to pull the winner of a drawing for 2nd row tickets.  DZP and St, Mary;s Food Bank have been do this at a number of years at the Celebrity Theatre.  They have raised a lot of money for the food bank, so please let’s keep up this fine tradition of giving.

Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield at Celebrity Theatre August 21, 2018

OK, lets start with the reason most of us were at the show, Rick Springfield.  Rick is one of those rare individuals that has been successful in multiple entertainment areas.  For a lot of folks, we remember Rick from his younger days as the hunky doctor on General Hospital, Dr. Noah Drake in the early 80s.  At that same time, he also produced his # 1 hit, “Jessie’s Girl” for which he won a Grammy.  He continues to produce new music, with his latest album, The Snake King which is also his current band’s name.  He continues acting and will be in an episode of “The Goldberg’s” this fall (he actually was doing the show the next day after our concert).

Rick Springfield with The Snake King at Celebrity Theatre August 21, 2018

Rick’s new band is called The Snake King.  It is made up of Rick Springfield as lead singer and guitarist, guitarist George Nastos, keyboardist Tim Gross, Siggy Sjursen on bass and drummer Jorge Palacios.

The show consisted of music that spanned Rick’s musical career.  From his earlies days in the 80s, with Working Class Dog to his latest album, The Snake King.  For tonight’s show, they played all of his greatest hits starting with, “Light This Party Up”, and “I Get Excited”.  During the middle of the set we got to hear 2 of his newest songs, “Little Demon” and “The Voodoo House”.  He ended his show with 3 of his biggest hits and fan favorites, “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, “Love Somebody” and of course his biggest hit, “Jessie’s Girl”.

Rick Springfield with Red Roses at Celebrity Theatre August 21, 2018

It seems to be a tradition in Phoenix for women to bring roses to a Rick Springfield show and throw them on the stage throughout the concert.  Rick in turn picks up the roses and smashes them on his guitar strings as he strums the string with them.  The rose pedals fly all over the stage.  By the end of the show, the stage is almost covered with rose pedals.

Rick Springfield talking to young lady at Celebrity Theatre August 21, 2018

It was truly amazing to see all of the women running up the aisles to the stage and trying to get selfies with Rick.  Since the Celebrity Threatre is unique with its round stage and no pit, the fans were about get right up to the edge of the stage.  Rick was a great sport and played along with a large number of the fans and had his photo taken with them.  Toward the end of the show, Rick put down his guitar and grabbed 2 mics and wandered around the stage pointing the mics at the audience so they could sing along with the song, “Don’t Talk to Strangers”.  He even brought 3 young ladies up on the stage to sing and dance with him.  The crowd loved it and the ladies seemed to also enjoy it.  The mother of the youngest, 3 years old, was in heaven as she collected her daughter and was lead off stage I am sure to meet Rick after the performance.

Rick is one of those truly ageless artists.  He was celebrating his 69th birthday in 2 days and we all sang Happy Birthday to him.  At one point during the show, he and the bassist jumped on their knees and played as they were leaning back.  I can only hope I have his energy when I get to that age.  If you ever get a change to see Rick perform, it is definitely a show to see.  Also, ladies, I hope you got a good selfie.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018, All Rights Reserved

Rick Springfield Setlist:               (Album)
Light This Party Up                         (Rocket Science)
I’ve Done Everything 4 You             (Sammy Hagar Cover)
I Get Excited                                  (Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet)
Little Demon                                  (The Snake King)
Affair Of The Heart                         (Living in Oz)
Happy Birthday
Love Is Alright Tonite                      (Working Class Dog)
Voodoo House                               (The Snake King)
Guitar solo/Pipeline/Wild Thing
Don’t Talk to Strangers                  (Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet)
Love Somebody                            (Hard to Hold)
Jessie’s Girl                                    (Working Class Dog)

Tommy Tutone

Tommy Tutone performing at Celebrity Theatre August 21, 2018

The night starts off with Tommy Tutone.  Actually, it was the lead singer from that band, Tommy Heath.  Tommy has taken on the persona of Tommy Tutone, just like another great artist, Alice Cooper.  Tommy did a short 4 song set with the backing band, The Snake King.  Tommy Tutone is best known for their hit song “Jenny, 867-5309”.  Just prior to playing the song (the last of his set) he told us that they got into a lot of trouble because a lot of fans would call that number in their area code and harass the owner.  Only 2 songs from Tommy set were from his time with the band.  The others seem to have been from his solo career.  Tommy does a good job of entertaining the fans.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018, All Rights Reserved

Tommy Tutone Setlist:               (Album)
Angel Say No                                 (Tommy Tutone)
867-5309                                     (Tommy Tutone 2)

Greg Kihn

Greg Kihn performing at Celebrity Theatre August 21, 2018

Next up was Greg Kihn.  Again, it was Greg with the backing band, The Snake King.  Greg did a 5-song set that encompasses songs from a number of his albums including his latest, Rekihndied (yes all of his albums a pun on his name).  Greg started with their first hit, “Happy Man”.  Next was probably his most famous song “Jeopardy” that Greg joked, when his friend “Weird-Al” redid it as “I Lost On Jeopardy” it is still bringing Greg a lot of royalties.  Greg ended his set with the popular song, “The Breakup Song” which a lot of the audience was singing along with.  Greg still tours either with Rick Springfield or Greg’s own band.  If you like 80s music, then definitely go see Greg in concert.  If is a fun evening.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018, All Rights Reserved

Greg Kihn Setlist:                        (Album)
Happy Man                                    (Kihntinued)
Jeopardy                                       (Kihnspiracy)
The Life I Got                                 (Rekihndled)
Reunited                                        (Kihntagious)
The Breakup Song                          (Rockihnroll)


Loverboy at Celebrity Theatre August 21, 2018

One of the most popular groups in the MTV music video rotations in the early 80s was Loverboy.  They were a Canadian rock band from Calgary, Alberta.  They never had a number 1 hit, but posted 6 songs in the top 10 during the 80s.  The current band members are founding members: lead singer Mike Reno, guitarist Paul Dean, keyboardist Doug Johnson, and drummer Matt Frenette.  Due to the passing of the original bassist, Scott Smith, Ken ‘Spider’ Sinnavene has been added to the group.

After a short break to reconfigure the stage, Loverboy emerged and started off with their hit “Notorious”.  I would have liked to here some of the songs from their latest album, Unfinished Business, but this was an 80s greatest hits tour.  And they did not disappoint their fans.  They hit their stride in the middle of the set when they played their first big hit, “The Kid Is Hot Tonite”.  From this point on, the audience were on their feet, dancing and singing along with each of the songs.  When they performed “Hot Girls In Love” the ladies around us were all singing as loud as they could and having a great time.  They ended their set with one of their biggest hits and my personal favorite, “Working For The Weekend”.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018, All Rights Reserved

Loverboy Setlist:                         (Album)
Notorious                                      (Wildside)
Lucky Ones                                   (Get Lucky)
Queen of the Broken Hearts           (Keep It Up)
Take Me to the Top                        (Get Lucky)
The Kid Is Hot Tonite                      (Loverboy)
Lovin’ Every Minute Of It                 (Keep It Up)
Hot Girls In Love                            (Keep It Up)
Turn Me Loose                               (Loverboy)
Working for the Weekend               (Get Lucky)


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