Live Concert Review: I Want My 80s Tour (Rick Springfield/The Hooters/Paul Young/Tommy Tutone) at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, August 11, 2023, Grantville, PA
Written and Photographed by Sharon Sipple
I admit my favorite era of music is the 80s! I have been waiting all summer for this evening. The Hooters and Rick Springfield were both staples of my playlists and I was fortunate to see both multiple times throughout the years. Walking into the Penn Heroes Stage at the Hollywood Casino in Grantville PA., there was definitely an air of excitement and anticipation for the evening. Some fans waiting from early morning until the venue opened around 5:00 to secure their spots up front. As I watched all the acts that evening, it was evident that everyone of them was having a blast on stage. What really impressed me was that Tommy Tutone, Paul Young, and The Hooters all went back to the merchandise tent after their set to greet fans and sign autographs.
Tommy Tutone opened the show, followed immediately by Paul Young. Tommy did a 4 song set, ending with his massive hit “867-5309/Jenny”. Paul followed with a 4 song set also that concluded with his biggest hit “Everytime You Go Away”. Both were backed by Rick Springfield’s band. Paul was very charismatic on stage.
The Hooters were next on the bill. They were formed in 1980 in Philadelphia, PA by Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian. The band got its name from their nickname (hooter) for the melodica, which is key to their unique sound. The Hooters also had the honor of opening “Live Aid” concert at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. Enough history. This performance was magical! While band members have changed, the band was tight and vocals by Eric and Rob were amazing. They kicked off the set with “I’m Alive”. Eric told the crowd how great it was to be back in PA…back their roots. He told the adoring fans “we belong to you, and you belong to us. For those of you that don’t know us, get “hooterized”! It was obvious that the fans here were already “hooterized”, singing along with the band to their biggest hits. Of course Rob, and Tommy Williams played the “hooter” during the set. Their set included “Time After Time”, co-written by Rob with Cyndi Lauper. The band included “Why Won’t You Call me Back”, which is off their newest album “The Hooters – Rocking and Swing”, released May 12, 2023. Other than that, the set was filled with their biggest hits and fan favorites. The audience knew the words to every song and sang along with the band. The set wrapped with an energetic version “Day by Day”. I believe it is safe to say that they walked off the stage with the fans wanting more!
The headliner, Rick Springfield burst on the stage with “Affair of the Heart”. The women in the audience came well prepared with bouquets of roses to throw on the stage for Springfield to smash against his guitar in one of his signature moves. I lost track of how many bouquets were shredded that evening. Rick included “Automatic” from his newly released album of the same name The new album just dropped on August 4th. The rest of the set was a fast paced set containing nothing but the hits. The crowd sang loudly to every number. Rick mentioned that this is his birthday month. His birthday is August 23 and he will turn 74! Yes, I said 74!! Anyone that watches a Rick Springfield concert would never believe this. He looks fabulous and runs around the stage all night like a 25 year old. Kudos to him for keeping himself in such amazing shape. Many young rockers could learn something from watching his performance. He is a master at engaging the audience. During “Human Touch”, Rick got down from the stage and climbed over the security barrier into the pit to sing to the audience. He made his way to the 2nd barricade, stood up shaking hands and fist bumping with the audience. He did this with no security….it was his time with his fans. We all know that in the 80s, Rick was known as a ‘teen idol’. This evening, there was also a large number of males in the audience, some who were made to come with their significant other. If they were not already familiar, what they learned is that Rick Springfield is a rocker. During “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, he divided the audience into male/female and had a little friendly singing competition. He acknowledged that most men say they don’t sing….then he reminded them that women LOVE men who sing! A shirtless Rick came out to wrap the evening with “Jessie’s Girl”.
This is the most fun I have had at a concert in a long time. It was almost like time had stood still for a few hours this evening and for me, transported me back to a period in time that I will always cherish. Thank you to each of these bands for giving it your all and creating an evening of memories for all your fans.
There are still plenty of chances to catch the “I Want My 80s Tour” in your area. Here are the remaining dates:
Aug. 19 – Lake Charles, LA @ L’Auberge Casino*
Aug. 20 – Ft. Worth, TX @ Dickie’s Arena*
Aug. 22 – Lubbock, TX @ Cook’s Garage Stage*
Aug. 23 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Zoo Ampitheatre*
Aug. 25 – New Haven, KY @ Log Still Distillery Amph**
Aug. 26 – Bay City, MI @ Wenonah Park Shell**
Aug. 27 – Decatur, IL @ Devon Lakeshore Amphitheatre**
Aug. 29 – Maryland Heights, MO @ St. Louis Music Park*
Aug. 30 – Omaha, NE @ The Astro*
Aug. 31 – Aurora, IL @ RiverEdge Park Pavilion*
Sept. 6 – Redmond, WA @ Marymoor Park***
Sept. 7 – Bend, OR @ Hayden Homes Amp***
Sept. 8 – Airway Heights, WA @ No. Quest Casino***
Sept. 10 – Redding, CA @ Civic Auditorium+
Sept. 12 – Saratoga, CA @ Mountain Winery Amp***
Sept. 13 – Los Angeles, CA @ YouTube Theatre***
Sept. 14 – Bakersfield, CA @ Mechanics Bank Theater and Convention Center***
Sept. 16 – Murphys, CA @ Ironstone Amp++
Sept. 16 – Fresno, CA @ Warnors Theatre***
*Rick Springfield, The Hooters, Paul Young, Tommy Tutone
**Rick Springfield, Paul Young, Tommy Tutone
***Rick Springfield, The Hooters, Tommy Tutone
+Rick Springfield, The Hooters, The Tubes, Tommy Tutone
++Rick Springfield, The Hooters, John Waite, Tommy Tutone