It was another glorious ‘80s night at the Hollywood Bowl this past weekend, but instead of the upbeat pop we’ve gotten recently with Boy George and the Village People, things went a bit mellow. But not too mellow.
The musical duo Air Supply, comprised of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, are widely recognized for their powerful ballads and impressive key changes. However, it was surprising to discover that they also have a knack for rocking out, much more than I had previously remembered. During their performance at the Bowl, Hitchcock’s pristine vocals mesmerized the audience while Russell and the rest of the band delivered outstanding guitar and drum solos in between singing some of their most popular hits, including “Every Woman in the World,” “Here I Am,” and “Making Love Out of Nothing At All.”
While Hitchcock did his best Elton John impression, prancing around in a glittery coat (and later in a sleeveless tee showing off his many tattoos), he worked the crowd throughout the evening, getting them to clap and sing along.
His vocals were the star, sometimes so clear and flawless I wondered if he was lip-syncing. At 74 years old, the guy can still belt their hits the same as he did 40-50 years ago, and that’s more than impressive.
Likewise, bandmate Russell not only shredded throughout the night but at one point did a stupendous percussive bit on his guitar that has to be seen to be believed.
I had planned to attend a relaxing concert featuring some of my favorite childhood songs, but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself at a full-blown rock concert that exceeded all my expectations. The performers were truly talented, and if you have the opportunity to see them live, I highly recommend it.
The band closed the evening with their classic “All Out of Love,” which had the audience on their feet and singing along. Truly a special night.
First to hit the stage was the renowned Michael Bolton. He effortlessly performed ten of his most popular songs, including some of his famous covers like “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “(Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay.”
One of his backup singers, Chrissi Poland, joined him for a few of his other hits, including the David Foster penned “The Prayer” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.”
Bolton’s presentation was somewhat stoic, but his dry wit between songs kept the audience amused.
The singer wrapped up the night with a lively rendition of “Steel Bars,” a song that had slipped my mind. The audience was thrilled, particularly the female attendees who were still just as smitten with him as they were when he had long hair like theirs. This performance left everyone in high spirits as they headed into intermission.