Jonni Lightfoot

Air Supply in demand at Thunder Valley

Graham Russell (L) and Russell Hitchcock

Graham Russell (L) and Russell Hitchcock

Crap it happened again.

Last year Air Supply stormed into Thunder Valley Casino Resort playing all their hits from the ‘70s and 80’s, pretty much nothing but love songs, and I liked it. It was after that show, back in December of last year, that I started questioning my maleness. Was it time to turn in my man-card?

 
To prove to myself that I wasn’t playing for the other team, I decided to take in a Chippendales show (review) followed by a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight (review).  That didn’t go so well. You can read those reviews and decide for yourself, but in my mind, I think I failed – not that that’s a bad thing, at least that’s what my wife keeps telling me.

Air Supply

Russell Hitchcock and Jonni Lightfoot – Click for more images


Well I got a do over as Air Supply came back to Thunder Valley Casino on Sunday night playing to another sold out crowd.

It all started out quietly enough as founding members Russell Hitchcock (lead vocals) and Graham Russell (guitar/vocals) took the stage with fellow band members Jonni Lightfoot (bass/vocals), Aaron McLain (guitar/vocals), Aviv Cohen (drums), and filling in for Amir Efrat on keyboards Davy Nathan.

Hitchcock wading through the crowd

Hitchcock wading through the crowd – Click for more images

 

They kicked of the night with “Even the Nights are Better” and “Just as I Am,” as their fans greeted them with deafening applause, mixed with the occasional scream.

Midway through the show, Russell went unplugged with “Me and The River,” as Nathan accompanied him on keys. All the other band members, including Hitchcock left the stage.

As Russell finished “Me and The River” he was handed another guitar for his next song, only it wasn’t working. As Nathan, the guitar guy, not to be confused with Nathan the keyboard guy, worked on the problem, Hitchcock came back out on stage and told a joke about an elephant and something about a stocking over his head. It was quite funny, but you had to be there.

Taking a bow

Taking a bow

Once Russell had his guitar functioning again, Hitchcock appeared stage left, walking straight into a sea of fans. He was handing out hugs and kisses to a number of fans, as he sang “The One That You Love,” with Russell wading into the crowd as well.

That’s when everything changed.

As the crowd was worked into a frenzy Hitchcock and Russell made their way back onstage to play “Lost in Love” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” with the crowd still going wild.

Pandemonium broke out as the band left the stage, with the crowd on their feet clapping and screaming for more. After the requisite wait, the crew jumped back onstage to finish with “Goodbye” and “All Out of Love.”

By the time Air Supply finished their 90 minute set I was passing out hugs and telling everyone I loved them, like there was no tomorrow – Obviously the Mayans were wrong. It was then I realized I’d failed again.

Goodbye man-card.

These guys are pure entertainers and make for a great night out.

Set-list:
Even the Nights are Better
Just as I Am
Every Woman in the World
Sweet Dreams
Here I Am
Chances
Dance with Me
Power of Love
Me and the River
The One That You Love
Lost in Love
Making Love Out of Nothing at All
Goodbye
All Out of Love

 


Air Supply in Demand at Thunder Valley

Click for more images

Wow. What the hell happened out at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Friday night?

It seems soft rock group Air Supply, playing to a packed house of lovesick fans, actually came out and rocked the house.

I know. I still don’t believe it, but it’s all true! It was bedlam, I tell you.

Here I Am thinking Sweet Dreams. What are the Chances I would find myself in a Sanctuary where Me Like You can feel The Power of LoveEverywhere, only to have a real rock concert break out. Seriously!?

Air Supply started out innocently enough with “Even the Nights are Better,” and then segueing into “Every Woman in the World.”

OK so far, but as veteran performers Russell Hitchcock (lead singer) and Graham Russell (lead guitar) weaved their hits through the guise of soft rock, I should have noticed the younger band members standing at the ready. That should have been my first clue.

CJ Burton - Click for more images

The newest members to the band could have been playing for Papa Roach the way they were attacking their instruments, running and jumping around the stage. This should have been my second clue.

Jonni Lightfoot (bass guitar), CJ Burton (drums), Amir Efrat (keyboards) and Aaron McLain (guitar), all kicked out some serious tunes.

As the band made their way through their repertoire, the crowd started to react more and more with every hit played, but that all changed when Russell went acoustic with their new song, “Everywhere.” Just prior to the song, Russell requested that some audience members crowd down on the floor in front of him, having them sit on the floor.

While everyone was gathering around Russell, he explained how he enjoys sitting on his balcony at home and looking off into the mountains. He pointed to the spotlight, saying it represents the sun going down, and you all are the mountains.

“This song is about how love is all around us, and it’s called “‘Everywhere,’” he said.

Now I know you’re asking yourself, how is this not soft rock? Well, it is, but it’s really rocking in a Tesla/Eric Clapton unplugged kind of way.

Russell Hitchcock - Click for more images

But really the trick here is how Air Supply corralled a large portion of the audience to the very front of the stage and between the aisles. As soon as Russell was done with “Everywhere,” the band struck up “The One that You Love,” and Hitchcock headed out into the sea of madness, followed by Russell on guitar, neither of them missing a beat. That’s when they begin working the crowd into a complete frenzy.

Hitchcock was handing out hugs and kisses as he made his way up one aisle and down another. Women were grabbing at him as his crew fought to keep them at bay. Once they made their way back onstage, it was too late for the audience. They were under Air Supply’s spell, swaying to the music, with the periodic fan jumping up to grab Russell as he came close to the edge of the stage.

For their encore they played “Me Like You” and “All Out of Love.” It was quite obvious the crowd was not ready to leave, and there could only have been a handful of people who left before the end of the show.

I hate to say it, but Air Supply is a master of entertainment. There, I said it.

I like Air Supply.

Setlist:

Even the Nights are Better
Every Woman in the World
Sweet Dreams
Here I Am
Chances
Sanctuary
Power of Love
Everywhere -accoustical
The One That You Love
Lost in Love
Dance with Me
Making Love Out of Nothing at All

Encore
Me Like You
All Out of Love

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