Live Review: Rick Springfield + Men At Work + John Waite @ Red Hat Amphitheater – August 7th 2022

It’s been 41 years since Rick Springfield released his iconic platinum certified album, Working Class Dog.  In a slightly belated celebration of its 40th anniversary, Springfield has hit the road on the SiriusXM 80’s Tour of The Year with Co-headliners Men At Work and special guest John Waite.  The tour kicked off August 5th in Florida and is set to wind its way across America.  We caught the party, two shows in, this past Sunday at Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh NC.  

Despite being a hot, muggy North Carolina Summer evening Red Hat started filling up early.  Luckily the evening storms, that have delayed several outdoor shows recently, took Sunday night off.  There was a lingering relaxed weekend vibe circulating through the building crowd as British singer John Waite took the stage to get the party started.  Waite wasted no time dipping into the hits and kicked off with “Change,” the top 20 single from his debut solo album Ignition.  Backed by a trio of musicians, including a drummer on a smaller than average drum kit, Waite performed a condensed 30 minute set that managed to cover his solo hits including “Missing you” the Bad English hit “When I See You Smile,” as well as a song from The Babys, and even a Led Zepplin cover!  Waite’s vocals were solid, and held their own over the pared-back stripped-down playing.  The crowd were engaged and cheering loudly as the set ended all too soon.

With the crowd now primed, next up was Men At Work.  The Grammy winning Australia-based band, led by Colin Hay, rose to prominence on the back of critical accolades, multiple awards, and multiplatinum sales in the early 80’s.  Following the breakup of the band in 1985, Colin Hay went on to a successful solo career, but he has also continued to tour as Men At Work.  The current run of shows finds Hay performing under the Men At Work banner with a talented group of Los Angeles-based musician friends.  Singer-songwriter, Hay, remains a captivating frontman, and both he and the crowd seemed to enjoy the nostalgic run through the highlights of the Men At Work catalog.  The set started off with “Touching the Untouchables,” from Business as Usual, and continued to build the energy level with each subsequent song.  The band nailed the passion and bright melodic aura of the original lineup as Hay led them through a set that positively exploded as it neared the finish line with some of Men At Work’s biggest hits played one after the other.  “Overkill,” “It’s a Mistake,” “Who Can It Be Now?” “Down Under,” and “Be Good Johnny” were all performed to a receptive audience that became more frenzied with each song.  Colin Hay has an obvious affection for the songs of Men At Work, and based on the performance and crowd reaction in Raleigh, there are lots of fans who share that affection.          

Soon after the Men At Work set, the crew swarmed the stage, simultaneously tearing down and setting up.  Almost as quickly as they appeared, they were gone, replaced by billowing smoke as the lights dropped and the crowd roared for Rick Springfield.  The video board at the back of the stage came to life, playing a montage of highlights from Springfield’s rise to fame as a musician and actor, including footage of him on General Hospital that generated loud cheers and wolf whistles.  As the video ended, the band locked into a groove and Springfield sauntered to center stage, and they were off and running with “Affair of the Heart” from 1983’s Living in Oz.  With the adrenaline flowing from the high-octane opener, the band segued into “I Get Excited,” and “Living in Oz,” before landing on “I’ve Done Everything for You,” penned by friend and current Beach Bar Rum partner Sammy Hagar.

Rick Springfield was every bit the rockstar, both charismatic and captivating.  His dynamic and energetic performance would generate envy from performers half of his 72 years.  When not covering every inch of the stage, he would venture out onto the speaker stacks to get even closer to the adoring and wildly cheering fans, at one point taking a slight spill when the lights were cut off between songs, which he laughed off with no real damage done.  His vocals and playing were solid, and he was positively charming as he chatted with the crowd between songs.

Much like the pacing of Men At Work’s set, Springfield upped the ante with each new song played.  A highlight certainly being a mid-show medley that mixed “Bop ‘Til You Drop,” “Don’t Walk Away,” and “Bruce,” with other favorites. The set closed with “Love Somebody,” followed by the crowd favorite and chart topper, “Jessie’s Girl,” which had everyone up and singing along.  Rick Springfield is a seasoned performer who knows how to command the stage and engage an audience.  While he may be surfing a wave of ’80s nostalgia, his shows deliver soo much more.  To quote a friend, “Rick Springfield Rocks!”

Rick Springfield and Men At Work with John Waite @ Red Hat Amphitheater
Photos © Dan Kulpa // Clashdan Photography // @clashdan

  1. Great show by great artists.Rick really put on a good show i was glad to take my son to it.He really enjoyed it.

  2. I live in Huntington, WV. I went to visit my sister on July 27th went to the beach with them. My sister invited me to go with her to the concert to see Rick Springfield on August 7th had a fantastic time. My sister bought one of the Jessie guitars. Got to meet him and he autographed the guitar and autographed my shirt. I flew home on August 8th to West Virginia.

  3. I was there, did a meet and greet with Rick Springfield, he was so nice to everyone, signed photos of me on stage with him from 2000, signed my new shirt. He is. So good looking, his voice was still fantastic, he put on a great show! Love the pictures, thanks for sharing! Rocking with Rick! Beautiful

  4. Thank you Dan for the great pictures. What a magical night between the shimmer wall, stage lights and the performance by Rick – my hometown was rocking it on August 7. So blessed to have had been part of both meet and greets, my family and I had a wonderful time. Hope you will visit us again soon Mr. Springfield – blessings.

  5. Thank you Dan for taking such great pictures. It was a magical evening between the Shimmer Wall, stage lights and Rick performing – my hometown was rocking it on August 7. So blessed to have met him before and after the show. My family and I had a wonderful time – I hope you will come back to Raleigh Mr. Springfield – blessings.

  6. I have love Rick Springfield since I was 19 years old Stockbridge ga storms made us miss Rick’s show Please Please please come back I am so ready

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