By Joshua Maloni
The 1980s came to life this week at Artpark.
“Tuesdays in the Park” boasted a triple-bill with Tommy Tutone, Loverboy and headliner Rick Springfield. The “Best in Show” tour offered more than three hours of high-energy performances, complete with a smorgasbord of hit songs and some unexpected fan interactions.
Tutone took the stage first, providing a half-dozen songs – mostly newer tracks – capped by his iconic “867-5309/Jenny.”
Loverboy was the wildcard, following a less-than-stellar performance in Lewiston two summers ago. The Canadian rock band was vastly improved this time, and had the crowd on its feet with smash hits “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” “Turn Me Loose” and “Working for the Weekend.” In fact, at the end of the set, frontman Mike Reno squeegee-squeezed his black bandana to reveal copious amounts of perspiration. … He then proceeded to throw said sweat rag into the audience, for one (uh) lucky fan to keep as a souvenir.
Singer, guitarist, actor and all-around teen-heartthrob Springfield closed the show with an ample set of 12 songs. He performed hits – including “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Jessie’s Girl” – new songs, and even a version of “Human Touch” wherein Springfield went out into the crowd and, yes, received human touches.
It was a self-indulgent set, to be certain, with a constant barrage of Springfield photos, videos and pop culture performances in the background. But by no means was the ticketholder slighted – in fact, judging by the number of “Jessie’s Girl”-inspired shirts in the audience, people loved the big-screen scrapbooking.
Moreover, just shy of his 70th birthday, Springfield shows no signs of slowing down. At night’s end, he looked as if he had at least another hour of music in him. Of course, Artpark has a curfew, so there would be no second encore.
Springfield is both a 2019 season outlier, as he’s one of the bigger names in a “Tuesdays in the Park” lineup devoid of famous faces, and in keeping with the norm. That is to say, the “Best in Show” concert was another in what’s been, perhaps, the venue’s most fun summer of music in recent memory.