Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
“You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I love her, but the point is probably moot”
– from “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield
No question about it, Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” is a great pop song, an iconic audio artifact of the ’80s and the only No. 1 hit in rock history to feature the word “moot” in its lyrics.
As an ’80s hitmaker, rocker Rick Springfield specialized in arena-ready nuggets of well-crafted power-pop. But in his solo “Stripped Down” concert at The Egg’s Hart Theatre recently much of the power was drained from his pop gems.
He’s an exceptionally ingratiating performer, and that came through loud and clear during his 100-minute show, a kind of cross between MTV’s “Unplugged” and VH1’s “Storyteller.” But without the muscle of a band behind him, too many of the songs never really took off. Seated on a stool at centerstage surrounded by a phalanx of guitars, Springfield launched his show with the opening volley of “I Get Excited” and “An Affair of the Heart,” strumming his acoustic guitar with abandon. And right from the start, it was clear that this wasn’t really a solo show – without coaxing, the crowd sang along with him in full voice.