Jim Thorpe, PA: Air Supply Returns to Poconos for Penn's Peak Performance
In May, Air Supply entered the ‘Land of Love’ at Caesar's Cove Haven Resort in Lakeville, PA. A mere two months later, Air Supply returned to the Pennsylvania Poconos showing concert-goers exactly why the Love Zone 07/08 Tour was worth the second trip.
A former coal-transportation town, historic Mauch Chunk was renamed Jim Thorpe in memory of the world famous athlete who is memorialized and buried here. Overlooking the picturesque Appalachian Mountains, Penn's Peak is located on the top of a hill and having been to so many Air Supply concerts in casinos, it was inspiring to be surrounded by such beauty.
Resembling a lodge, Penn's Peak is a large 2-tiered room with a balcony, and appears to be made entirely of wood. The stage is high and large and opens to a two-story concert hall, making for strong acoustics.
Air Supply sang all of the songs we remember, including Even The Nights Are Better, Power Of Love, Just As I Am, Here I Am, Lost In Love and Making Love Out Of Nothing At All. During The One That You Love, Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell once again ventured into the audience to get close and personal with the crowd. Cameras flashed, hands extended and tears flowed as fans and friends made their own personal memories as Russell and Graham walked through.
Now part of the show, prior to Faith In Love, Graham Russell introduced us to Air Supply keyboardist Jed Moss and told us that Jed's first love is classical music and that Jed will play a few bars of something special for us. Classically trained, Jed has recently performed Chopin, Ginestera, and Rachmaninoff, and on this evening, Jed chose to play a bit of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Bringing tears to more than a few pair of eyes, Jed's performance was breathtaking.
The band solo also returned to the set list and we were treated to a little more than usual. During Live and Let Die, Jonni always gives us something good, and true to his ‘expect something different’ motto, Jonni stopped before he was about to sing, put his hands over his head and started clapping, encouraging the audience to get into it! Jonni surprised me, and it really got the audience rocking!
One of the most poignant moments of the show was when Graham and Russell stopped to say happy birthday to a little girl who just turned 10. They then had her brought up to the stage and Graham kneeled down to talk to her down on her level. As he got back up, his knees creaked and he joked about age. He then asked the little girl where she would like to stand while they sang All Out Of Love and she threw her arm up and pointed straight over to Russell! It was priceless and the audience erupted in laughter.
As Graham began the song, Russell held his arm around the little girl, kissing her head as a father kisses a daughter. And as Graham would have the spotlight during the song, Russell would lean down to her, and quietly shuffle backwards to get out of the spotlight or to move to the other side of the stage. At one point, the spotlight stayed on Russell and the little girl and they stepped out of the light so as not to detract from Graham's performance. Jonni even got in on the fun as they all ran into each other at one point and he pretended to get in her way to make her laugh. It was fun for us to see the ‘performers’ at work, moving around on the stage, respecting each artist's moment.
Fans came from far and wide to see Air Supply and in the end what they got more than exceeded their expectations. Once again, thanks go out to Russell, Graham, Jed, Jonni, Mike, Sparky, Brett, Moe, Nate and Mark for putting on a great show for all of us. Penn's Peak had some very special moments and they will be remembered always.
Betsy Hijazi attends Air Supply concerts and writes reviews and posts video clips on her blog at http://www.AirSupplyBlog.com http://www.MySpace.com/ASFanBetsy and http://www.YouTube.com/ASFanForLife