By Russ: My wife was given a pair of tickets for a concert that was held in Toronto last night (June 28/11) – it was very nice of her to take me along to see “Lionel Richie with special guest Michael McDonald“.
McDonald was the “warm-up” act but, trust me, he was HOT from the get-go, and he kept us all very entertained for a little more than a solid hour with his block-buster hits – but that’s another story.
Following Michael’s closing number there was this huge break, during which we watched stage crews dismantling one show and setting up the next. It seemed like a very, very long and restless time… about 50 minutes, actually… (and then in the darkness) we heard a bit of background music quietly start on stage as blue back lighting began to glow. Then from off-stage we began to hear the rather eerie sound of Lionel Richie’s voice (with slight reverb) faintly singing the phrase “Is it me you’re looking for?” (from his hit, “Hello” – very cool).
I was amazed at how Richie sounds as fresh as the first time I ever heard him, and his stage performance is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure to take in.
2. Dancing on the Ceiling/
3. and the official video, the idea came from the Fred Astaire movie “Royal Wedding”/
4. All Night Long /
Some of the songs we heard:
Hello (1984) Brick House with the Commodores (1977) Three Times A Lady (1978) My Love (1983) Easy (1982) Dancing On The Ceiling (1986) this version was recorded Live in Paris Stuck On You (1984) Running With The Night (1983) Say You, Say Me (1985) Ballerina Girl (1986) You Are (1983) All Night Long (1983)
During Richie’s show, there were segments where the rest of the band would walk off and it was great to hear just Lionel on stage, playing the piano, as he sang songs such as “My Love” and “Three Times A Lady”, like he had just written them.
Lionel Richie was born on June 20, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama. His 30-year success story is the stuff of legend and one that few artists can match: he’s sold over 100 million albums and won countless awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a staggering five Grammy Awards and the Crystal Award for Humanitarianism.
Richie has written some of the most known and loved songs in pop history and continues to sell out stadiums and arena shows all over the world. For example, “Endless Love“, his 1981 duet with Diana Ross on the theme from the film of the same name, became a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Motown’s best-selling single of all time. “Endless Love” was also the biggest-selling single in Diana Ross’ career.
Richie spent more than a decade as the lead singer with the funk-pop group, The Commodores, and grew to become the band’s most famous face, a silky crooner and ladies’ man who composed ballads like “Easy,” “Sail On” and “Three Times A Lady“.
Richie left the Commodores in 1982 and became an even greater success as a solo act, hitting #1 on the pop charts with singles like “Hello“, “All Night Long” and “Say You, Say Me“.
He also co-wrote, with Michael Jackson, “We Are The World“, the USA For Africa benefit tune, which was recorded by an all-star cast of popular singers and became a giant hit.
His albums include Lionel Richie (1962), Can’t Slow Down (1982), Dancing on the Ceiling (1985) and Louder Than Words (1996).
Much more could be said here, but it has been covered so well in Wikipedia as well as Richie’s own web site.