For the first time in years, Air Supply returned to Rhode Island to perform for fans. Located just outside of Providence, Twin River is a casino, racetrack and entertainment center catering to patrons from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. This was Air Supply's first appearance at Twin River, and if fans have their wish, it will be the first of many!
The Twin River Events Center was a bit interesting. Tucked away in the back of the casino this large ‘ballroom’ style room had me a bit confused. The room was huge, and the ceilings were high. On either side of the room were portable ‘bleachers’ for side viewing, and half of the floor seating was reserved while the other half was used as SRO, standing room only. To see that half of the floor would contain only standing guests, sectioned off by a gate, inside this carpeted room, was a bit bizarre. To top off this odd style, the stage was wide, large and tall, standing about 4 and a half feet high off the floor. It was a puzzling venue but in the end it made no difference to the fans. They loved their Air Supply.
Prior to the show, I spoke with someone from security who told me that taking photos would be no problem at all. Unfortunately, being 15 feet back from the stage proved too much of a challenge for my little 3x zoom camera and most of my photos did not turn out very well. As fortune would have it, a professional photographer was on hand and he shot some incredible photos. Jeff Fox, contracted by Twin River, shot hundreds of photos during the first four songs. Living in the area, Jeff quickly went home and printed out a few photos and returned in time for the Meet & Greet. Asking Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock to autograph the photos, Graham, Russell and Jonni Lightfoot remarked how fantastic they were and were shocked to find they had just been taken that evening. Graham complimented Jeff's talent and asked to see more. If Jeff is able to provide some photos to me, I'll post them later.
Sweet Dreams was the first song of the set and I was looking forward to seeing the brilliant red lights and hearing the da da da da, just like I had at Mohegan Sun. Surprise! Air Supply changed it up yet again! The opening song is still Sweet Dreams, but the song didn't start like before. If memory serves, the opening began with Graham's poem followed immediately by a very powerful “Close your eyes, I want to ride the skies. . . !" The spotlight hit Graham and he softly sang, “I think of your kiss as the days roll by and I write the words you love. " Talk about shocking the audience! Nothing soft and serene this time around.
The Air Supply set list did continue on with the Sweet Dreams/Young Love medley, Even The Nights Are Better and Just As I Am. We also heard The One That You Love, Chances, Faith In Love, Power Of Love, Two Less Lonely People, Lost In Love, Here I Am, Every Woman In The World, and All Out Of Love. If I count correctly, that's half of the set list with songs containing Love in the title!
The night was filled with laughter and it made for some fun photos. The audience was incredibly loud, and at one point I caught the eye of Jed Moss and he and I just looked at each other and said, “WOW". It seems that each concert I attend has even better, and louder, fans than the last. Graham encouraged the audience to ‘let it all out’ and that this would be a ‘therapy session’. Perhaps the lack of sleep and crazy travel is bringing out the silliness in the band. I, for one, find it to be a lot of fun! When Russell came out into the audience during The One That You Love, it took him a bit to get back to the stage. Even Graham got lost in the crowd as the fans engulfed the floor. Graham and Russell then encouraged the audience to sing along, but these fans never needed an invitation. Everyone sang and it was amazing!
Graham and Russell sang their hearts out, and Mike Zerbe, Jonni and Jed gave us a great show, once again. Air Supply's energy was high and the crew, having had no sleep in 3 days according to Graham, was thanked for their tremendous efforts. It's amazing when you think about the roads they travel and the skies they fly. Just last weekend they were in the Turks & Caicos, Florida the following day and Missouri the following. Air Supply had but one day home, on the West Coast, to switch suitcases, say hello to the pets and water the plants before they had to board their next flight out to the East Coast. These days, travel is never trouble free, and having experienced great delays in Chicago, Air Supply didn't arrive in Providence until 1:00 am. A 9:00 pm show allowed for a little extra sleeping time in the morning, but their bags were once again packed a few hours later (as if they even unpacked them!) so that they could board a bus immediately after the Twin River show and drive over 900 miles to Friday's show in Rising Sun, Indiana. That's a 14 hour bus ride! Air Supply's dedication to fans worldwide is apparent with each flight, bus ride, hotel stay, airport and venue, and fans rarely, if ever, hear of the daily challenges they face with each.
Thank you once again to Russell, Graham, Jed, Jonni, Mike, Sparky, Brett, Moe, Nate and Mark. It was another great show and it was clear that this Twin River audience came to see one of their all-time favorite bands. You made it a superb night for all of us!
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