LIVE: Air Supply Definitely Not Out of Love Yet in Troy 2/27/2020
Soft rock 80s duo Air Supply brought their “Lost in Love Experience” to Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Thursday, February 27th. When Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell took the stage, the crowd screamed as if they were greeting the Beatles off an airplane from London. A woman behind this writer screamed, “Oh my God! It’s them!” with intense glee. And so started a night of 1980s love songs sung with the romanticism and vocal range congruent with the very spirit of Air Supply’s original concerts.
Full disclosure: I do adore these love songs, and knew the words to each one by heart. They were the songs of my youth, played at my prom, and were on quite a few mixtapes given to me by young boyfriends in High School.
So I did understand the woman behind me who almost burst with enthusiasm as the 69 and 70 year old men took the stage. There is a romanticism about them, and with their silk dress shirts unbuttoned mid chest, it felt like time was suspended a bit. Except for their gray hair, their age wasn’t really betrayed in the men’s presentation much. They both appear trim, could jump with exuberance, and continued to demonstrate vocal control similar to much younger musicians.
As Hitchcock crooned through “Even The Nights Are Better” and “Just as I Am,” it became more and more impressive that his range and on target pitch hadn’t diminished at all through the years. Even with some early difficulties with his monitor and need for water, Hitchcock hit some high technical notes that had the crowd pausing with notice: here’s talent that hasn’t faded.
The crowd clearly loved the duo, singing back “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You)” with Hitchcock to a volume level that made it almost challenging to hear the band.
This is the band’s 5,207th show, per Hitchcock. He promised to be Troy’s tonight, and stated, “And you are ours.” There was a real rock star command of the audience, causing jumping and swooning that isn’t often seen at Troy Savings Music Hall.
Hitchcock took a four minute break, allowing Graham Russell, the songwriter behind the duo’s success, some time alone on stage. Reading from a poem, Russell eloquently shared his love of language and the written word. Taken from his third book “Turn Left Greenland,” the poem “I” illuminated a romantic theme similar to his songs.
Only after the poem did Russell break from his love song pattern to share a personal song titled “Son of the Father.” Written about his father, a man who fought in the English army during World War II as part of the platoon The Sherwood Foresters, the song boldly and openly demonstrated love and admiration for his dad. He was unabashedly proud to be his father’s son.
Rejoined after the brief break by Hitchcock, the duo set off to play the most famous of their songs. From “Two Less Lonely People” to “Here I Am,” Air Supply commanded hit after hit. They even joined the audience, walking the aisles among the fans while singing along with the very hyped-up crowd. At one point, they silenced the band and made use of Troy Music Hall’s amazing acoustics, having the audience sing the chorus unaccompanied. The sound in the historic hall was clear as a bell.
The musicians covered the entire stage during their high energy show, playing directly to audience members, winking and flirting with the crowd. Both traveled around the stage with fluidity, making eye contact and singing directly to audience members.
Troy didn’t want to let them go, either. With three encore songs, including “I Can’t Live (If Living Is Without You),” “Shake it Tonight,” and “I”m All Out of Love,” the two stars acknowledged their band and technicians’ talent while also thanking veterans and those on active duty.
Air Supply clearly isn’t all out of love at all. They reminded people of a joyful energy with their impossible fountain of youth sound. They also suggested folks go out and be kind tomorrow, filled with the joy of tonight.
Yeah, it was predictably sweet. Just like the 80s. It was also honest and bare and vulnerable. Air Supply was here to remind us there’s nothing wrong, really, with being lost in love. We all might try it a little bit more often.