This veteran Australian rocker prefaced his performance with a video retrospective of his acting and musical career, mostly focusing on the first half of the ‘80s when he was both starring on the hit soap opera General Hospital and hitting the top of the charts as a recording artist.
Rick then moved from the past to the present, kicking off his show with the song “Party Up” from his new album Rocket Science.
Even though he compared playing mid-afternoon to “f _ _ king under fluorescent light”, Rick’s performance in the hot South Florida sun delivered.
Familiar smashes like “I’ve Done Everything For You” and “Affair of the Heart” were featured on a set-list that also included a massive medley of songs such as “Bop Till You Drop”, ”Celebrate Youth”, ”Don’t Walk Away”, ”State of the Heart”, ”What Kind of Fool Am I”, ”Love Is All Right Tonight”, even a bit of his signature hit “Jessie’s Girl.”
In addition to his well-known hits, Rick also highlighted some other songs from the new album. After playing “Miss Mayhem”, a track with a swampy feel and slide guitar, he pointed out appropriately enough a sky banner being pulled over the festival advertising a blues concert featuring Buddy Guy. Other songs from the new album included the tracks “That One” and “Down.”
Rick also played a couple of surprising covers. After saying he was going to play a “girl’s song” but he was going to make it more rockish, Rick launched into a cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar.” Some of the concertgoers I talked to afterwards wondered why he would cover such a song but I thought he probably did so as a way to be relevant to younger music fans. I later heard from my friend Gail, a prominent member of the local contingent of Rick’s Chicks, that he also covered Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
Last but certainly not least, Rick’s biggest smash, “Jessie’s Girl”, a song that had been teased earlier in the medley he played, was played in full as the final song of his show, as has been his tradition for thirty-five years. It’s nice to see that some things never change.