On Aug. 2, Rick Springfield performed at Pala Casino’s Infinity nightclub. Springfield last played at Pala Casino in July 2010, when Bret Michaels and Springfield were double headliners at the casino’s outdoor Palomar Starlight Theater.
Springfield’s ability to provide a full concert rather than a split concert increased the number of songs and the time he was on stage. In 2010, Springfield performed 12 songs in 57 minutes of performance, not including a two-minute break prior to his encore.
This year he performed approximately two dozen songs when medleys and other shortened versions were included and was on stage for 93 minutes. The indoor venue also allowed Springfield to use the back screen for videos, and he made a comment that the screens in front of the stage allowed him to watch himself performing.
There were also chronologically-based differences. Springfield’s latest album, Songs for the End of the World, was released in 2012 and he played five of the songs from that album at his 2013 concert including the initial concert song “Wide Awake.” Age doesn’t seem to have slowed Springfield much, but the fact that he’ll turn 64 on Aug. 23 led him to perform a shortened version of “When I’m Sixty-Four” before his full rendition of “Jet,” which was also written by Paul McCartney. “He’s actually older than I am,” Springfield said of McCartney.
In addition to covers and newer songs, Springfield also provided some of his classic hits such as “Jessie’s Girl,” his only number one single, and “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” His extended concert version of “Don’t Talk to Strangers” includes bringing the microphone to fans in the seats to sing that line; in 2010 he concluded the song by bringing a three-year-old girl onto the stage to provide those words while in 2013 that duty was handled by an 85 1/2-year-old woman.
Springfield didn’t need to move all over the stage to show that he has maintained the same charisma since his early 1980s hits; rather “Father’s Chair” showed that he can play the acoustic guitar just as well as an electric guitar. He ventured into the audience a couple of times, shaking hands with several fans during “Human Touch.”
Springfield, who during his acting career played Lorne Greene’s son on the 1970s science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica, also paid homage to the 1970s sci-fi movie Star Wars when he used one toy gun to blow up a death star on the back screen before deciding that wasn’t the gun with the fancy lights. Springfield showed that he had humor as well as musical talent during his performance, and the audience appreciated that.
While the opening song “Wide Awake” was new to many audience members, his second song was “I’ve Done Everything for You” and got the audience up and dancing. The audience was all up for “Jessie’s Girl,” which was his final song before the two encore numbers, and they stayed up during the encore which closed with “Kristina.”
Springfield used cleaner language than in his 2010 performance at Pala when he used a handful of A-list obscenities during his comments. His only profanity at that level in 2013 was a word in the lyrics of one of his new songs while his comments to the audience included only a couple of second-tier unprintable words.
Because the 2010 concert sold out the 2,237-seat Palomar Starlight Theater and the Infinity nightclub’s capacity is approximately 900, Springfield didn’t have as large an audience in 2013 as he did three years ago. Springfield could be more intimate in the smaller venue, but he certainly wasn’t any less popular.