Air Supply’s Graham Russell: ‘Our show is definitely not soft rock. It’s hard-edge’

via Florida Today

Despite their best-known mellow hits, don’t mistakenly think that Air Supply delivers a mild, “lite rock” live performance on stage, singer-guitarist Graham Russell warns.

“Because a lot of our big hits would be ballads, people presume that that’s all there is. But there’s a whole cache of other genres that we play, and have played, throughout our career,” Russell said.

“Our show is definitely not soft rock. It’s hard-edge. The band is on fire, and they’re the best in their profession. And it’s a rock and roll show,” he said.

“It is loud, and it is passionate. They hit you right in the chest. So if people haven’t come, there’s some surprise: ‘I had no idea you were like that,'” he said.

Air Supply will visit the Space Coast on Saturday, March 5 for a concert at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts, which is fresh off a $4 million modernization project.

Air Supply plays at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday.

The pop duo of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock met in May 1975 in Sydney, Australia, during rehearsals for the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

After forming Air Supply, they scored seven straight Top 5 hits (equaling The Beatles’ historic run) starting in 1980, including “Lost In Love,” “All Out Of Love” and “Even The Nights Are Better.”

The band performed its 5,000th concert in 2018 in Las Vegas, and the calendar is fast approaching Air Supply’s 47th anniversary.

The band will play a Friday concert in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before traveling to Melbourne. Next week, they play five shows in Hawaii. Then they will return to Florida for shows at Paradise Sports Complex in Naples on March 26 and the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in The Villages on March 27.

“We’re kind of like full-tilt now. But with COVID, we didn’t play for 18 months — and it was very unusual, very unique. But we went with the flow,” Russell said.

“So we’re back all over the world again, which is wonderful,” he said.

Asked about his impressions of Central Florida, Russell shared a story detailing an unexpected brush with nature.

“My keyboard player lives in Orlando, so I’ve been there several times. He lives not far from Disney, and recently I was visiting him at his house. And about 15 minutes from his house, we rented canoes — and suddenly we were in this world of lagoons, and this beautiful waterway. It was like a paradise tucked away,” Russell said.

“It was just incredible. I can’t remember where it was, but it went from miles and miles. So we were in these canoes with these mangrove swamps, and turtles, and all kinds of beautiful, natural things. It was beautiful. I had no idea it was there,” he said.

In late February, Air Supply co-headlined the weeklong ‘70s Rock & Romance Cruise, which sailed from PortMiami with stops in St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

One of the cruise’s feature acts was the Little River Band, which plays The King Center on Monday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m.

“It was great. They’re good friends of ours, the Little River Band. We’ve known them for years and years, because they began in Australia,” Russell said.

“The cruise was great. It’s just a wonderful experience. There are bands on from 11 in the morning till two in the morning, and it’s just a great vibe, you know? Everybody’s there for one reason: to listen to great music. And it’s just a wonderful experience.”

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