Ridgefield, CT: Air Supply Performs to Packed House at Ridgefield Playhouse
Air Supply continued its East Coast summer tour with a stop in Ridgefield, CT. The former high school auditorium hosts great performers and Air Supply left an indelible impression on these Ridgefield residents! Nestled in a small community near Danbury, CT, this epicenter was within driving distance for Airheads coming from Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
On Friday night in Endicott, I think someone must have given Graham an extra shot of jumping juice because he was springing all over the stage. Tigger was bouncing so much he nearly toppled over once when he lost his balance landing one of his turnarounds! I'm guessing that same someone gave Russell a happy pill because for two days, he never stopped smiling. This may seem like an odd statement, but having been to more than a few shows, I can tell that some performances are more fantastic than others. All of Air Supply's concerts are fabulous, but when one person's energy level is outstanding, I think it's worth noting.
I have previously commented on performances from Jed, Mike and Jonni so I think it's only fair that I compliment Russell and his performances on Friday and Saturday. I haven't seen him smile or seem to enjoy the performances this much since the Laughlin shows last November. He's always great on stage and I've never heard him miss a note. But there are times when notes are incredibly pure, smiles take away sadness, and passion electrifies the room. Friday and Saturday were such times and I compliment and thank Russell for all that he gives.
The set list in Ridgefield was similar to the set lists in the past, and we were fortunate enough to hear Graham sing three songs from The Future; The Future, Make You Mine and Lace and Leather. It has been some time since I've heard Jed, Mike and Jonni perform Live and Let Die, and it was great to hear it again on Saturday. Added to the set was Every Woman In The World. Having heard it on Friday night, I had hoped it would be added to the set list on Saturday so I could try to get a video clip of it. It was, and I did.
Saturday's show was relaxed and filled with levity. The audience knew every song lyric, every note, and sang loudly and in key. They were appreciative and many gave Air Supply its due respect with a standing ovation during many parts of the concert.
One of my favorite parts of the night was when the band left the stage and Graham and Russell talked about their early years in Australia. As they told some stories I haven't heard before, the audience laughed non stop, enjoying a shared moment with two icons clearly instrumental to the happiness in their lives.
As Graham began to tell us how he and Russell used to play pizza shops, he mentioned that every time he tells this story he can smell the cheese wafting across the stage. He and Russell laughed, recalling the smell of roasting cheese.
Graham continued to talk about their very early start as musicians in Australia and told the audience that they once opened for AC/DC. Graham said, “That’s when we wore white!” Russell, laughing, said they don’t do that anymore. Graham then commented that he believed that’s how all the rumors started and he began to move on to another part of the story. But Russell quickly asked Graham, “What rumors?” Not hearing Russell, Graham said, “what?” and Russell repeated, “what rumors?” Still not hearing Russell, he again said, “What? I can’t hear you?” Russell then walked over to Graham and said, “What rumors are those?” and Graham laughed.
Graham then told us that the rumors were “so ridiculous…SO RIDICULOUS” that they don’t comment on them to justify them. He and Russell then had a good laugh along with the audience.
Graham began to move on and then stopped and said he wanted to tell us something. He said, “This isn’t part of the show…but it is now. ” He asked Russell if he remembered the raffles, or something like that. Russell nodded and Graham told him to tell the story because he tells it much better.
Russell began to tell us that in the early days, they used to play in the RSLs (Returned and Services League – for Australian Veterans) in Australia. He gave us a little Australian slang lesson and told us that Chook is slang for chicken. So he told us that they would have these chook raffles in the RSLs where they were playing. They’d be back in the hall somewhere and “would be playing ‘lost in love and I don’t know much’ and the PA would start and this girl would go ‘Number 47, you’ve won the chook raffle. Number 47 please come to the front. ’
Graham, Russell and the audience were cracking up because of the way Russell told the story. It was hilarious! Russell then commented, “We don’t do that anymore” and Graham added, “We don’t go to raffles anymore. ” Russell immediately quipped, “Only in Singapore, ” to which Graham replied, “Oooh, one in a row!” I’ve been told that Graham likes to make this comment when someone makes a joke…one in a row! Pretty funny! Graham then introduced us to Two Less Lonely People and everyone's moods were high.
Not being able to venture out into the audience the night before in Endicott, NY, Graham and Russell did walk out into the crowd, much to the delight of the fans. There were hugs and handshakes, and kisses and a few hearts that skipped a beat! The audience joined in at the end of the verse and Air Supply received yet another standing ovation.
Air Supply rounded out the evening with the usual songs and the audience was in heaven. Russell told us how Air Supply was beginning an extensive international tour that includes Japan and Europe and that they would only be home for two days before they were off to New York next week. He then extended an invitation to ‘come get closer’ and close we got. At one point I looked back to the auditorium and not one person was sitting. Even the patrons in the balcony seats were on their feet. The audience sang, appreciated, applauded and loved.
I had been sitting next two two women who frequently come to shows at the Ridgefield Playhouse. They came to see Air Supply because they liked them but also because they go to a lot of shows in their town. As we exited the auditorium I asked how they liked the show, as they had previously commented how wonderful Graham was, singing his songs from The Future. The two women were over the moon! They were on a true Air Supply high. You all know the one that I mean! One of the women, LaVerle, commented that she was once again in love. . . with Jed. She said he was gorgeous and one of the hottest guys she's seen! She said, if only she were 20 years younger. . . he would be perfect for her! I reminded her that Air Supply would be at Mohegan Sun a mere two weeks from now and I think I convinced her and MaryAnn to come to see our boys again! Chalk one up for the good guys; I think we just added two new Airheads!
As always, thanks go out to Sparky, Brett, Moe, Nate and Mark. Without them, where would we be? Thanks Russell, Graham, Jed, Jonni and Mike. You gave us two great shows in two nights and you should know that your fans all had an incredible time and can't wait for you to show up in their towns again!
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