Richard Marx has been on my concert hit list for so long that I couldn’t wait to hear him live. All fans have their own memories from throughout the decades but, for me, Marx is one of my favourite ‘car sing along’ artists. When I am driving on my own, I will belt out those tracks at the top of my lungs, totally off key but pretending for those brief minutes that I am actually in tune with him. Especially when ‘Hazard’ comes on, with the ultimate crescendo and we all know which line I’m talking about there.
Thank goodness he couldn’t hear me trying to sing along with him at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. It is only because the whole venue was chanting along that I was saved from being heard. Now after last night, I don’t just ‘like me a bit of Richard Marx’; I ‘love me a lot of Richard Marx’!
The fans were frisky! I wasn’t expecting that much hollering of ‘I love you Richard’ or knickers being thrown on stage, especially as a Friday night in Sydney, I have noticed, can be a tough crowd. Most of us are so exhausted after our working week that we are just relieved to arrive at the gig on time. Tonight the atmosphere was upbeat. We were there to have fun!
I was expecting many swooning ladies and loved up couples, but this is one very loyal and vocal fan base made up of all ages. It was such a pleasure to sing and laugh along with them. You rock, Richard Marx fans! Marx must have been blown away by the response. I know I was. Just watching the crowd lap up every song, every story, every command and direction from the man himself, he certainly deserves the love and respect. We all know how talented he is in regards to his singing, song writing, producing etc. I just didn’t know he was so funny and self-deprecating. I loved hearing those real life and industry stories, along with the rest of the crowd. It always gives us a great insight into ‘their world’ and makes for a very entertaining evening between the music.
We all knew this was going to be an awesome gig. A jam packed Greatest Hits tour is like the call of the siren. Our night began with a great support set from Matt Cornell. Then the animated crowd waited in anticipation for the legendary Richard Marx to finally come on stage at the sold out venue. It had been a very long 10 years for many fans and, starting with the sultry ‘Endless Summer Nights’, we all started to melt a little of that winter iciness away. All I could see around me were smiling faces, singing and swaying with total adoration. Seamlessly gliding on through the night with an Aussie band including Jack Jones, we were treated to all the favourites and then some.
Our second song was ‘Angelia’, and then a rendition of ‘Hazard’ with special guest singer Ronan Keating from the current season of The Voice and, yes, that line was cranked up a few notches, not just by Mr Marx but by the crowd. I got goose bumps. Hearing that live was an absolute thrill; his voice… wow! Continuing on was a great new track especially written by Marx for new wife, the beautiful Daisy Fuentes, titled ‘Last Thing I Wanted’. Then a smooth solo acoustic and covers set (i.e. songs written by Marx for other artists) including ‘Keep Coming Back’, ‘Hold On To The Nights’, ‘Now and Forever’, ‘This I Promise You’ and ‘Dance with My Father’. Such a repertoire of amazing songs! It was a feast for the senses. Then we were rocking on to tracks like ‘Long Hot Summer’ and ‘Don’t Mean Nothing’, among others.
So how do you keep topping such great songs? Oh yeah, we still haven’t had the encore yet. We all knew the finale was going to be cracking. Let’s just throw out ‘Satisfied’ just like that, then my personal fave ‘Should’ve Known Better’ and finally the gorgeous and gooey ‘Right Here Waiting’. It was as if trick cards were being pulled out from under his sleeve. Such a fitting finale, like the perfect dessert after a sumptuous meal, we were all extremely happy and satisfied.
With such a rich body of work, you don’t need the bells and whistles. It’s all about the music and these types of raw, genuine gigs are what it’s all about. He moved from guitar to piano, to a totally unplugged guitar and microphone and then back again. We were treated to much rocking and romance; this was one fantastic night out. I really wished we could have squeezed a few more songs out of him though, as I really wasn’t ready to go home after two hours. I wanted more. This man is just so blessedly gifted but he also made you feel like you were with him, as ‘part of his team’. Not many artists have that genuine sincerity and are able to make you rock. You rock, Richard Marx!
So until next time Mr Marx, thanks for a wonderful evening and hopefully it won’t be another 10 years between visits.
by MARINA KNEZEVIC